Light Matter is Co-Programmed by James Hansen & Eric Souther
Program Six: Tilted Perception
Saturday Nov. 5th, 7:30 PM
WARNING: Many selections in this program feature flicker effects and perceptually challenging images. Those with photosensitivities may want to consider earlier programs.
Black Hole Space Debt, or A Basic Guide to Syncing Sound and Image
Stephen Wardell, USA, 2022, 14 minutes
This is a 16mm film about making a handmade optical soundtrack and syncing it to the image track. It is also a playful experimental narrative about space exploration. As the film progresses, the nature of the soundtrack comes to speak for the way space exploration is part of a larger, systemic repetition of colonialism.
This film is purposefully queer, handmade, and anti-illusionist as a means of deconstructing established narrative film conventions and audience expectations - ultimately working toward a musical, process-based state of play.
Siegfried Fruhauf, Austria, 2022, 4 minutes
North American Premiere
The green leader of the 16mm film is still running, yet the rattling sound is already committed to forward movement. And indeed, it moves forward, but also back again, past hills, fir trees, and apple trees—and at some point, the gaze zooms into the seemingly passing landscape; but will also be forward again.
By stringing together recordings created in the context of a camera test, Siegfried A. Fruhauf constructs a cinematic “journey,” whereby each of the landscape images are separated by several monochrome frames of green leader.
This generates a simultaneously connecting and disturbing stroboscope effect, which generates post-images and allows the landscape to appear continuous despite obvious breaks; at the same time, the interim garish green “flash” offers glaring evidence that here we are dealing with a cinematically constructed journey rather than a “natural” one.
Like the soundtrack, which is based on a staccato-style playback of ocean sounds split onto the stereo channels rather than a linear sound recording, the images are the cinematic synthesis of several camera pans across one and the same landscape, and not the result of a journey from A to B.
Fruhauf works with the fine differences that the runoff patterns of pan and tracking shots leave behind on the retina, and he knows the breaking point at which something is still just barely perceptible: starting with the precise application of four frames per shot (less than that, the human eye would not be capable of recognizing the electrical lines or garden fence) through to rhythmizing the images, so that a “journey” through local stomping grounds becomes a storm of the components scattering in all directions.
Although the whistling of the birds still suggests linearity, Fruhauf increasingly dissolves the succession of images: the landscape falls apart, not only passing by horizontally, but also vertically, swaying back and forth, and in part running diagonally out past the screen.
In times of climate change, a commanding cinematic destruction of an apparently intact (cultural) landscape is an impressive symbolic image of the crisis: towards the end, even a fir tree seems to be shaking its head and countering the viewer with a vehement “no, no, no,” before falling headfirst out of the image as we completely lose our orientation in a stroboscope storm. (Christa Benzer)
Translation: Lisa Rosenblatt
Maxime Hot, France, 2018, 7 minutes
Raptus (delight in Latin) is a strong disturbance of consciousness provoking a sudden impulse urging the subject to act violently in a reflex way.
The cactus is a spiny plant whose certain species contain psychoactive substances.
Cactus Raptus combines these two elements.
Cactus is used as a plastic and dynamic pattern.
It’s growing up on the screen.
It progressively disturbs the space around us.
It’s entering our bodies up to the brain. The crisis is coming.
We’re about to feel the compulsive energy of raptus.
The following images never happened
Noé Grenier, France, 2022, 7 minutes
North American Premiere
The following images never happened is a found-footage film made from the 35mm trailer of the American action film TWISTER (Jan de Bont, 1996) and based on a phenomenon of collective hallucination.
A strange incident occurred on May 22, 1996 at the Can-View Drive-in in southern Canada. The disaster movie Twister was scheduled to be shown as the weather conditions became threatening. Shortly after, a real twister destroyed the screens. The showing was canceled, but some spectators have built up the memory of having attended the movie, in the middle of a storm.
This film was supported by the Atelier 105 Light Cone, DRAC Hauts-de-France and la Malterie (Lille)
Lydia Nsiah, Austria, 2022, 8 minutes
"vs" (or "virtual spiral") deals with the dynamics between time and body in film. On digital video and non-reliable 16mm-film the processual of time and (film) body is visually transformed by spiraling camera movements. Here, contrary movements, distance and proximity or depth and surface enter into a dialogue with each other. The spiral runs like a thread through the film "vs". For creating the spiraling effect the artist Lydia Nsiah invented a camera tracking machine and shot in-studio, operating the movements of the camera live while recording. On screen we see Found Footage of data centers/ recordings of the physical bodies of our omnipresent data cloud. Artist Hui Ye composed the film’s immersive sound space interacting with the hypnotic and spiraling data body images.
Alexandre Alagôa, Portugal, 2021, 14 minutes
A post apocalyptic state, still full of angst and sorrow. We follow the frustrated hammer of the future, long after Brecht thought that he had nailed it. Searching always searching, feeling deep yearning from the bowls of what used to be biology. Does he get it in the end?