2021 Program

Light Matter is Co-Programmed by James Hansen & Eric Souther

Program Two: Performing Memory

Friday Nov. 12th, 7:15PM

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The Initiation Well
Chris Kennedy, Canada, 2020, 4 min
New York Premiere

The Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra, Portugal is a huge estate that has two initiation wells built into the ground. This film takes us into one of them. Soundtrack by Samuel La France.

Maya at 24
Lynne Sachs, USA, 2020, 4 min

Lynne Sachs films her daughter Maya in 16mm black and white film, at ages 6, 16 and 24. At each iteration, Maya runs around her mother, in a circle – clockwise - as if propelling herself in the same direction as time, forward, on celluloid at 24 frames per second. Conscious of the strange simultaneous temporal landscape that only film can convey, we watch Maya in motion at each distinct age.

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My Favorite Object
Meredith Moore, USA, 2019, 5 min

"Any object, intensely regarded, may be a gate of access to the incorruptible eon of the gods."

- James Joyce

Ross Meckfessel, USA, 2021, 12 min

When you question the very nature of your physical reality it becomes much easier to see the cracks in the system. Estuary charts the emotional landscape of a time in flux. Inspired by the proliferation of computer generated social media influencers and the growing desire to document and manipulate every square inch of our external and internal landscapes, the film considers the ramifications of a world where all aspects of life are curated and malleable. As time goes on all lines blur into vector dots.

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Black Square
Peter Burr, USA, 2020, 6 min

Black Square examines the ways we endure contemporary life in the grid. It animates a philosophy of perception through an assault of optical illusions, highlighting limitations of your body and mind. An assembly of human figures writhe and squares strobe in rhythm to audio sampled from the opening of the 1965 Op Art exhibition "The Responsive Eye". Through the friction of this contrast, a portrait emerges of an anxious divided society testing the boundaries of awareness.

The Left Hand of Darkness
Sara Bonaventura, Italy, 2019, 4 min

This is a drawing exercise, recording in real time my left hand and a white paper, the right hand was not holding a pencil but rather adjusting knobs and patching oscillators, of a Jones Raster Scan, similar to the Rutt Etra Scan Processor, but one of a kind built by Dave Jones for Sara Hornbacher and powered by Signal Culture. It looks easy, but it is not so comfortable, rather a process of prosthetization in which a very familiar part of the body becomes alien, sucked by the uncanny vortex of the machines, in which we believe to see a glimpse of creation, when two index fingers touch each others, but the triangulation ends up with a merging unity which is unsettlingly revealing. see the closing idiom in Mandarin: 孤掌难鸣 meaning something like It's hard to clap with only one hand, or It takes two to tango... The piece is inspired by the Vasulkas’ Scan Processor studies and by Ursula K. Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness. Sountrack: Handplant, by EVN from his album Oh Cruel Science, on Enklav label

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The Room Presumed
Scott Kiernan, USA, 2021, 19 min
New York Premiere

The Room Presumed utilizes machine learning and real-time analog video processing to reveal the paradoxes inherent in the ways we speak about immersive media. In other words, the act of speaking about immersion, as is so often done in the marketing of tech, is somewhat paradoxical. One could imagine instead, that a true state of "immersion" may defy the need for language all together.


The work is inspired, and the software partially trained on, an early 1980s thought-experiment at Atari in which a group of computer scientists envision “virtual reality” without any of the needed tools to do so. Through this exercise, the subjects become improvisational actors, speaking the roles of “user” and “interface.” Trained on this account, the ML that scripts The Room Presumed distends their unfinished acts and reveals the illusory comforts of a so-called “technological immersion.”

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Alex Morelli, USA, 2021, 4 min
US Premiere

Through datamoshing and sonic interventions, Greece’s COVID-19 tourism ads offer glimpses of anti-migrant measures and reveal the contradictions of travel.

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Jason Bernagozzi, USA, 2021, 5 min

Diachrony is an experimental video that examines the framing of historical records as a fragmentation between signifier and sign. Shot in the Sanpete Valley in Utah, footage of monuments, words chiseled in stone are pixel shifted through locally rendered expressions of what the west represents. The entangling of data and image tells a story told by the land and those who claim it, bearing witness to the truth behind cultures born on the backs of terrible tragedy.