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2023 Program

Light Matter is Curated by James Hansen

Program Four: Blurred Lines

Saturday Nov. 4th, 2:30 PM

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Tina Frank, Austria, 2022, 4 minutes
North American Premiere

’Prototipo is an audiovisual piece based on two live recordings by General Magic ∞ Tina Frank in 2022 in Vienna and London. In ’Prototipo, General Magic’s music is moving fast and merges seamlessly with Tina Frank’s visual odyssey.

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The Best Lover
Nini Korkalo, Finland, 2023, 13 minutes
North American Premiere

The Best Lover is a short film about loving yourself. It plays with the myths of love in pursuit of the revolutionary power of self-love. Feminist humor bubbles and confuses as artificial intelligence mines the definition of the best lover, and the retired Queen of the Galaxy addresses the inhabitants of Earth. As in a love scene, the image focuses on sunsets and waterfalls, shifting the act of love towards nature. The most important thing is to swear an oath of love – naturally to yourself.

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Mandy Eugeniou, United Kingdom, 2023, 7 minutes
North American Premiere

Experimental film made exclusively from images from the Commons which speaks to myth-making in an age of algorithmic image profusion, exploring the role of viewer-witness and developing themes that focus on the ideological gaze, proximity, danger and embodied time.

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A.I. made me do it: Ophelia
Gioula Papadopoulou, Greece, 2023, 2 minutes
New York Premiere

The work "AI made me do it: Ophelia" (2023) is an experimental video, made entirely with images created using the AI system Dalle-2 (OpenAI), with variations of one single image. The initial image was created by Dalle-2 using a text prompt asking the program to generate an Ophelia in the water with flowers. The rest of the images are variations of this first image, as created by the AI generator following different paths of variations each time. The sound was created by AI platform Melobytes, turning that same first image of Ophelia to sound. The final result is based on the randomness and fluidity of the AI generators used, leading to a surreal animation where a classic theme character (Ophelia) meets with weird dreamlike mutations and unexpected futuristic scenes. Ophelia changes identities, gender, attributes and constantly moves away from her stereotypical image and fate, in a fantasy world where everything is possible.

Victoria Schmid, Austria, 2023, 8 minutes

NYC RGB is part of a series of works in which Viktoria Schmid deals with historical color film processes. Using a special technique of color separation through RGB filters, the real temporal dimension can be concentrated on a cinematic triple exposure. The film strip was sent through the camera three times, exposing the material with a different color filter on each pass. First red, green, then blue. This method borrows from historical color film processes and corresponds to a separation of color by the photoreceptors in the eye. The temporally staggered recording of the color separations generates perceptual patterns in the condensation on a single film strip that go beyond a human experience of time and the perception of the human eye. What becomes visible in the color overlays, respectively in the repetitions and the resulting differences, celebrates the past moment in its uniqueness. Viktoria Schmid succeeds in demonstrating in the filmic reproduction that each moment has never been there before and will never return. With the triple exposure, real time is condensed and a new cinematic time level is generated. The film was shot over a period of several months from the 20th floor of an atelier apartment in New York City, where the artist lived in 2020 during the initial phase of the pandemic, and finally again in 2022. Schmid's work explores everyday perceptions and how they can be sharpened through her art. Musician Liew Niyomkarn composed a sound design from field recordings made on site and synthesizer triads that are the acoustic counterpart to the RGB colors of the film.

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Haxan: Reducida
Michael Mersereau, USA, 2023, 6 minutes
New York Premiere

"Haxan: Reducida" is an abridged recreation of the 1922 silent documentary horror film "Haxan." Using new machine learning / AI videography, and English to Spanish translators, select scenes from "Haxan" are recreated in the style of a lost middle class, leisure, and vacation. This film reinterprets the phantasmatic beliefs of witchcraft in the Middle Ages and applies them to modern contemporary environments, such as the motel, the home, and the vacation spot. All of these sites become fully out of reach in the new era of growing class differences and irreversible destruction. However, in this world of “Haxan: Reducida”, it is in the superstitious present that enjoyment is still considered possible but unsustainable.

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The Perfect Human
Lilan Yang, China, 2023, 13 minutes
New York Premiere

Inspired by Jørgen Leth's Black and White cult classic The Perfect Human (1968) which raises many simple yet philosophical questions about who the perfect human is, what it means to be human, or perfect, this animation The Perfect Human by Lilan Yang applies unsupervised machine learning and experimental filmmaking techniques to reexamine and question the contested notion of perfection in the eyes of artificial intelligence. Later the remake of the computer-generated moving images are transformed from digital recreation to an analog artifact of transparencies which completed the cycles from analog film to digital video and back to 16mm format, from motion pictures to still images, and then latent-space interpolation, from a proxy of human memories to the machine learning construct.

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AI Lobotomy
Ian Haig, Australia, 2023, 2 minutes
North American Premiere

AI lobotomy refers to the hypothetical scenario where an AI system is deliberately limited or "lobotomized" in terms of its cognitive abilities in order to prevent it from developing consciousness or becoming a threat to human beings. This concept is often discussed in the context of concerns about the potential dangers of advanced AI systems that could surpass human intelligence and become autonomous. AI lobotomy refers to the process of intentionally limiting or removing certain functions or abilities from an artificial intelligence system. This can be done for various reasons, such as reducing the complexity of the system, improving its performance, or ensuring that it adheres to certain ethical or regulatory guidelines. With the ultimate goal to produce an AI system more compliant and less likely to question authority.

Refuse 2 (Disc)
Alex Broadwell, USA, 2023, 2 minutes
World Premiere

DVD copy protection meets inadequate software, rendering a digital transfer useless and causing series of most unusual revolutions.

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to be with you (grotto)
Sarah Ballard, USA, 2023, 3 minutes

to be with you (grotto) fuses 16mm hand-processed film and digital artifacts in an attempt to adapt a love song written and performed by my mother in the 1980s.

Laberint Sequences
Blake Williams, Canada, 2023, 20 minutes

At the Laberint d’Horta in Barcelona, the film charts several journeys into the garden in search of its centre, where a statue of Eros waits. As the film navigates the maze’s false pathways, its recursive structure begins to crack, and a mysterious underworld floods its gates.

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