Light Matter is Co-Programmed by James Hansen & Eric Souther
Program Three: Architecture of Dreams
Saturday Nov. 13th, 5:30PM
The Razor's Edge
Stefani Byrd, USA, 2015-16, 3 min (excerpt)
“...we are walking the razor’s edge—we are in the present moment.”
- Charlotte Joko Beck, This Very Moment
The breath is a constant reminder of our physicality and an anchor to our embodied experience. In these video portraits performers exhale slowly against an unseen piece of glass, fogging and obscuring their faces in fleeting moments between breaths. When shown, it creates the illusion that the performers are breathing against the surface of the screen. This work references the use of the “breath test” in the era before modern medicine where a mirror would be placed under the nose of the dying to test for respiration.
The illusion in the video is uncanny and the screen itself becomes the edge of the razor that separates both past from present, performer from viewer, and the living presence of the viewer from the illusion of life on the screen. An exploration in impermanence, embodiment, and the mediating presence of the screen, the work captures the breath - making it visible just long enough to be confronted by both performer and viewer.
Kimberly Burleigh, USA, 2020, 7 min
Jealousy is an experimental 3D animation. It features an elemental digital construction of the plantation house meticulously described in the seminal 1957 novel La Jalousie by French writer Robbe-Grillet. No characters are depicted in the animation – just as the novel emphasizes settings and objects over characters/dialogue. The compulsively observed settings and objects reveal the obsessive mindset of the main character, a jealous husband who suspects his wife of having an affair. The soundtrack features sounds described in the novel; nocturnal animal cries, insects whirring, etc. The animation expands on the novel by making settings and objects dynamic; furniture self-constructs, objects move, and lights shift.
Arvcúken Noquisi, Mvskoke Nation, 2020, 5 min
Wenaketv: to live. Andrew Jackson's army slaughtered 800 of the 1000 Muscogee Red Stick warriors in the 1814 Battle of Horseshoe Bend. The white men harvested their skin to use as horse reins. Moviegoers applaud.
The violent destruction of Indigenous bodies is embedded in the historical canon of the moving image. Film enforces the invisibility of Indigenous peoples, comforting white audiences with colonial fantasies that deny Native autonomy and our continued existence.
Until i remember a dream i had before
Santiago Colombo Migliorero, Argentina, 2021, 2 min
"We dream in order to forget [...] attempting to remember one's dreams should perhaps not be encouraged, because such remembering may help to retain patterns of thought wich are better forgotten. There are the very patterns the organism was attempting to damp down"
(The function of dream sleep (1983), Francis Crick & Greame Mitchison)
We don't have direct access to our dreams. We only access them through our memory, which in the vigil we remember. Here we add narration and meaning to what was, in the first instance, multiple and simultaneous. The images and evocations become significant. What was once transformed. The primary reference is lost and the memories are modified as new ones appear.
Adrian Garcia Gomez, USA, 2020, 5 min
Primavera is a frenetic experimental animation that documents the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests as they intersect in springtime Brooklyn. Shot during isolation on a phone, the video explores the effects of imposed distance on touch and intimacy, the proximity of an invisible virus and invisible deaths and the revolt against the racist, corrupt systems that commodify, exploit and render their most vulnerable citizens disposable. The video also parallels the current uprisings with the queer liberation movement which began as a riot at Stonewall and was led in large part by trans people of color who still experience violence at disproportionate rates.
Época es poca cosa
Ignacio Tamarit & Tomás Maglione, Argentina / Germany, 2021, 3 min
A handheld camera tries to empathize with urban objects that have inherited animated potential. These elements, disconnected from each other, are related through camera movement and montage, which slides through the city looking for its definitive form.