Light Matter is Curated by James Hansen
Program Two: Body Party
Friday Nov. 3rd, 7:30 PM
Hither & Thither
Bridget Coderc, United Kingdom, 2022, 5 minutes
North American Premiere
The conjunction of the 2nd and 3rd millennia has always fascinated me. I am drawn to the imperfections of video technology from that time, especially VHS. The yellowish tint, saturated lines, fuzziness, and the occasional glitches that run through the tapes. Neglect means dust, and overuse leads to scratches. Just like our memories become distant and otherworldly, VHS cassettes decay over time. When you play an old tape, the picture is not the same, but watching it evokes a familiar feeling. This awareness is the base on which I created Hither & Thither. I distorted VHS footage from my mother’s archive of a dance festival in 2001. I embraced the video anomalies, rechoreographed the dance, and created an exaggerated sense of scale. I approach my archives with inquisitiveness and playfulness to reconstruct memories and reclaim the sense of awe I used to get from watching VHS cassettes in my childhood.
April Lin, 2 minutes
North American Premiere
FIEBRE comes from a desire of creating an intimate, inceptive space where three dancers progressively explore the possibilities of a viscous and sentimental apparatus. Moving through trajectories of physical states, erotic togetherness, sexuality, sincereness and rawness. FIEBRE intents to imagine other ways of being together for thresholding and transformation. Eroticism becomes a source of empowerment where desire, disgust and alienation are free to coexist and feed each other. FIEBRE is built on cooperation and care, the work relies essentially on the group. Re-framing the inherited hierarchies of the different parts of labor in such a work and their respective visibilities aiming to shake up structural ways of putting cheer to the singular author.
S4RA, Portugal, 2023, 9 minutes
North American Premiere
a̶r̶t̶i̶f̶i̶c̶i̶a̶l̶ safe space, where collective practices are amplified through a̶n̶ ̶i̶n̶n̶e̶r̶ monologue invoking other bodies that explore diversity & non-normative s̶e̶x̶u̶a̶l̶ practices ironizing capitalism as a form of libidinal pleasure.
The Halo is a Symbol of Our Death
Lorelei d’Anriole, USA, 2023, 8 minutes
“The Halo is a Symbol of Our Death” is a video artwork that delves into the intersections of technology, trans experience, and the juxtaposition of Christian iconography with queer liberation. The work centers around a deeply personal act: the injection of estrogen by the artist, a trans woman, capturing an intimate and transformative moment. The video unfolds through a dynamic interplay of two camera angles, seamlessly interwoven with animations generated by AI using the artist’s action art prompts for trans becoming. The screen is awash with vibrant shades of pink. Distorted human figures, generated by the AI animation and evoking the fluidity of gender and identity, traverse the screen. As the artist self-administers the injection, the details of the act are camouflaged within the visual tapestry, prompting viewers to engage in a deeper level of observation, engaging the audience in a delicate dance between visibility and ambiguity. While some details are brought to the forefront, others remain shrouded, underscoring the nuance complexities of representation. The title itself serves as a metaphor, drawing attention to the unsettling trend observed by the artist of younger queer artists using Christian iconography as symbols of liberation. Through titling this work as such, the work demands contemplation on the fraught relationship between the church and its relationship to queer persecution, while raising questions about the reclamation of symbols and narratives. There is intentionally no reference to the title to be found in the work, as the artist is not convinced that the Christian church and its language, as a cultural force has anything to offer queer people. This work is the beginning of a new series of scholarship and art that focuses on contemporary loneliness and eradication of community spaces by examining cultural trends of taking communal ritual and turning it into individual practice in pursuit of enlightenment or self-care in context of late-stage Capitalism and the United States.
Interspecies Robot Sex
Miriam Simun, USA, 2023, 20 minutes
New York Premiere
As bee colonies face global collapse, human farm laborers in China and ROBOBEE engineers in the US attempt to take over the labor of pollination from bees, with human-hand and robot labor. Labor costs in China are becoming too expensive, so pear-producing towns turn to pear-blossom tourism as a way to survive. Meanwhile we learn that the ROBOBEE is too expensive for agricultural use, and is rather doomed for military 'search and rescue.' We observe the transition of capital extraction from nature first as nutrition (agriculture), then as representation (tourism), and finally as evolutionary design (engineering). As the meaning of the word 'drone' moves from male bee to flying robot to bee-inspired-flying-robot, the metaphor folds back in on itself.
Sofia Theodore-Pierce, USA, 2023, 11 minutes
Seizure dreams, horses, and long distance conversations from bed. Loose reenactments from Marguerite Duras Baxter, Vera Baxter. A year of stormy weather and temporal rupture recalled in fragments. Featuring my mother and other star crossed lovers.
Ashes of Roses
Sasha Waters, USA, 2023, 12 minutes
This movie is about loving things that are embarrassing and people who are inappropriate. It's an essay film reflection on popular trash; football parties; older men; adolescent desire and the outrageous yet mundane humiliations of being a teenage girl in the 1980s. With sound design by Kevin T. Allen and performance cameos by filmmakers Roger Beebe and Jason Livingston.
Ahwesh/Goss, USA, 2022, 55 minutes
A theoretical musical about the scientist and social thinker Wilhelm Reich, shot in his home and laboratory in Rangeley, Maine. In this playfully performative piece, the writing and work of Freud's favorite student are put to melody and into conversation with contemporary feminist writers.