LOST DIMENSION

Exhibition screening at AMIFF - Arctic Moving Image and Film Festival 

DATE: 21.10.2017, 3:30pm (duration: 2h)

VENUE: Harstad Kino (Harstad, Norway)

 

ARTISTS

Sebastian Díaz Morales, Graeme Arnfield, Agnieszka Polska, Nicolas Rupcich, David Blandy and Larry Achiampong, Christopher Kulendran Thomas and The Mycological Twist.

Curated by Vanina Saracino

 

When publishing “Lost Dimension” in 1984, philosopher Paul Virilio imagined a near future dominated by interactive networks, data transfers and interfaces, a world in which any notion of space as we know it, measure and perceive it, would be drastically transformed. Today, new technologies (including the Internet) give us the illusory feeling of unlimited access, with products, information and experiences being at hand reach with the lazy touch of a click. To a certain degree, not being online equals to not exist. Tangible realities and simulated environments begin to merge. Images are no longer a way of representing reality, they are constituting a reality in themselves, and the same notion of inhabiting is dissolving through an increasingly disembodied experience of the space, with our existence being permanently split between online and offline presence.

The program “Lost Dimension” brings together six internationally renowned artists to reflect on the evolution of new notions of space under the principle of simulation, and invites the audience not to look at the cinema screen as an inanimate canvas, but to inhabit it as a temporary space.

 

WORKS

The Lost Object, Sebastian Díaz Morales | Video installation, HD, 14’ (2016)

Reality goes beyond fiction. In a film-set the elements and language for creating fiction are being disarticulated. A ritual is performed in which the camera, lights, set and objects break through to a place where fiction and reality merge into one single element. Where the paraphernalia to make fiction vanishes and there is no more need of it. Fiction becomes autonomous and auto-generates itself. The universe gets under control by the principle of simulation.

Sebastian Díaz Morales, The Lost Object (2016)

Sebastian Díaz Morales, The Lost Object (2016)

Sitting in Darkness, Graeme Arnfield | HD video, 16’ (2015)

Out of the darkness a sound emerges. It echoes and drones. Terrified people take to the streets in search of its source. They get their cameras out and document the sky, searching for an author. We watch on, sitting in darkness, our muscles contract and our pupils dilate. “I hope the camera picks this up”. “Sitting in Darkness” explores the circulation, spectatorship and undeclared politics of contemporary networked images.

Sitting in Darkness, Graeme Arnfield. HD video, 16’ (2015)

Sitting in Darkness, Graeme Arnfield. HD video, 16’ (2015)

What the Sun has Seen, Agnieszka Polska |. HD animation, 7’ (2017)

The film borrows its title from poem by Polish poet of the realist/positivist style Maria Konopnicka (1842-1910). The poem What the sun has seen recounts in a childish style the quotidian, peaceful rural activities and happy family life of the nation in the countryside, as observed by the sun on its daily journey across the sky. Polska offers her own dark, ironic version of the poem, dealing with contamination by information (information waste) and the role of the `helpless observer` who, like the `Angel of History` in the well-known adage by Walter Benjamin, can only look at the debris piled by lived time without being able to intervene.

What the Sun has Seen, Agnieszka Polska. HD animation, 7’ (2017)

What the Sun has Seen, Agnieszka Polska. HD animation, 7’ (2017)

EDF, Nicolas Rupcich | HD Video, 5’ (2013)

In “EDF” the Chilean Patagonian landscapes from the “Torres del Paine National Park” are the main protagonists. As the video develops the images are slowly been deleted. The intervention consists in a “monumental black block" that literally blocks the landscape images. What we finally see is similar to the logic of the “fade to black” transition, the difference here is that not only the two-dimensional image fades to black, but also the topography is gradually covered. One of the main ideas in the project is the problem of digital representation, in the context of what some people calls the “post-photography era”, where the images are no longer a representation of reality, but a way of reality itself. The annulation of the geography in the screen is an effort for making a simple visual but symbolically strong intervention that make us aware of the instability of the representational surface.

Nicolas Rupcich, EDF (2013)

Nicolas Rupcich, EDF (2013)

Finding Fanon 2, David Blandy and Larry Achiampong | Ultra HD video, 9 min (2015)

Finding Fanon 2 collides art-house cinema with digital culture’s Machinima, resulting in a work that explores the post-colonial condition from inside a simulated environment – the Grand Theft Auto 5 in-game video editor. The two artists continue their search for Frantz Fanon in the digital realm. This video work combines several stories, including how the artists’ familial histories relate to colonial history, an examination of how their relationship is formed through the virtual space, and thoughts on the implications of the post-human condition.

Finding Fanon 2, David Blandy and Larry Achiampong (2015)

Finding Fanon 2, David Blandy and Larry Achiampong (2015)

60 Million Americans Can’t Be Wrong, Christopher Kulendran Thomas & The Mycological Twist, in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann |HD video, 31’ (2017)

"60 million Americans can’t be wrong" is part of the collaborative experiment New Eelam, a long-term artwork in the form of a startup, that brings together specialists from the fields of technology, real estate, art, architecture, finance and design to develop a new form of distributed housing based on a flexible global subscription. It originates from contemporary art’s role in pioneering new lifestyle formats and new forms of labour as part of the processes by which cities around the world are shaped. Its strategy is based on re-engineering some of these structural operations of art - and some of the property relations at the very heart of the present economic system - through collective access rather than individual ownership.

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THE POSSIBILITY OF AN ISLAND

Exhibition screening at Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art (Gdańsk, Poland)

DATE: 28.9.2017, 7pm

VENUE: Parakino, Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art (Gdańsk, Poland)

 

ARTISTS

Ursula Biemann, Isabelle Hayeur, Michelle Claire Gevint, New Mineral Collective (Tanya Busse and Emilija Skarnulyte), Sara Tirelli, Fiona Tan.

CURATED BY VANINA SARACINO

 

‘The Possibility of an Island’ brings together a selection of artists’ films addressing the human-made planetary destruction through geographically distant stories, deeply connected by two major liquid forces: oil and water. One narrative addresses the rising level of planetary waters that is quickly erasing lands and coastlines, forcing entire communities to migrate, as well as the destructive consequences of plastic and other debris drifting throughout the ocean’s surface. The second addresses the issue of fossil fuels, whose massive extraction is running geology backwards by bringing a substance to the surface, that took the planet millions of years to bury, and whose combustion is reinserting polluting elements into the atmosphere at unprecedented speed. Oil and water as liquid forces equally connect and divide peoples and territories on the physical, economical and social level. They set the basis of modern narratives of conquest and colonization, and ultimately shape the intangible battlefield of a struggle for the increasingly scarce resources on the planet.

 

works

Michelle Claire Gevint, The Sweet Stench of Sulfur | 4K video, 9’ (2017)

On the outskirts of Dead Sea in Israel a recent geological phenomenon is forming called sinkholes which are exponentially ‘swallowing’ man made habitats due to rapid evaporation, climate change and human intervention. Although extremely dangerous and unpredictable, there is much beauty in these pools of green, orange and blue liquid which resemble Martian landscape and have been a mysterious source for new microbial life in an ecosystem infamously known for its barren characteristics. The voice over is based on an interview conducted with a geologist who was ‘swallowed’ by a sinkhole. Spending hours inside a cavity in the earth, he went through psychological extremes from hope to despair.

The film blends documentary, historical essay and fictional elements by merging the resonances of a mythical fable with apocalyptic elements that seem like fragments of dreams and hallucinations. It invites us to examine human interaction with nature and the way in which nature reclaims itself through powerful and transformative natural disasters.

Michelle Claire Gevint, The Sweet Stench of Sulfur (2017)

Michelle Claire Gevint, The Sweet Stench of Sulfur (2017)

New Mineral Collective (Tanya Busse and Emilija Skarnulyte), Hollow Earth SD video, 23’ (2013)

Hollow Earth (2014) is a visual meditation and examination of contemporary resource conditions within the circumpolar areas of the North. Combining research material, landscape shots and archival footage, this short film hopes to reflect over the changing image of the north, as a site where violence, desire, greed, and emotions are played out.

New Mineral Collective (Tanya Busse and Emilija Skarnulyte), Hollow Earth (2013)

New Mineral Collective (Tanya Busse and Emilija Skarnulyte), Hollow Earth (2013)

Isabelle Hayeur, Castaway | HD video, 15’ (2012)

"Castaway" was filmed in the murky waters of Witte’s Marine Salvage at Staten Island (New York). The largest boat cemetery on the Eastern Seaboard, this uncanny, desolate place is the final resting place of numerous wrecks of all varieties and several eras : ferries, barges, fishing boats, even old steam tugs. Their hulks slowly rot away in the mud of Arthur Kill, a refinery-lined inlet still busy with tankers. Located near New Jersey’s Chemical Coast and the former Fresh Kills landfill, these now toxic shores, originally home to salt marshes, forests and freshwater wetlands, have seen their share of ecological disasters. This behind-the-scenes look at industrial development, revealing its hidden side : its dark underbelly, may offer a glimpse of an unsustainable capitalist economy’s eventual shipwreck.

Isabelle Hayeur, Castaway (2012)

Isabelle Hayeur, Castaway (2012)

Ursula Biemann, Deep Weather HD video, 9’ (2013)

Oil and water are taken as the two ur-liquids that form the undercurrents of all narrations as they are activating profound changes in the planetary ecology. The video draws a connection between the relentless reach for fossil resources that will continue its toxic impact on the climate, and the consequences this has for broad indigenous populations in remote parts of the world.

Melting Himalayan ice fields, rising planetary sea levels and extreme weather events increasingly define the amphibian lifestyle imposed on the Bangladeshi population. The video documents the gigantic community effort in building protective mud embankments. Hands on work by thousands without any mechanic help is what climate change will mean for most people in the Deltas of the global south. These are the measures taken by populations who progressively have to live on water when large parts of Bangla will be submerged and water is declared the territory of citizenship.

Ursula Biemann, Deep Weather (2013)

Ursula Biemann, Deep Weather (2013)

Fiona Tan, News From the Near Future | video projection, B&W tinted, 9’30’’ (2003)

News from the Near Future contains a number of key elements in the work of Fiona Tan: it explores memory and the passing of time through the use of black and white archival footage acquired from the Amsterdam Filmmuseum and tinted in order to create an almost painterly texture. The recurrent motif is water.

The viewer is met by the sea, on which all kinds of boats--from small yachts to much bigger steamships--sail. Its waves washing the seashore, landscapes with huge waterfalls, and the disasters that leave floods in their wake remind us of the ambivalent relationship between man and nature.

Fiona Tan, News From the Near Future (2003)

Fiona Tan, News From the Near Future (2003)

Sara Tirelli, Cassandra | 16mm video, converted to digital, 4' (2017)

Cassandra develops my artistic investigation about the concept of crisis understood as dynamic of rupture that unleashes chaos. It is a dystopian vision of the city of Venice.The main character, Cassandra, appears as survivor, witness and prophet, moving on a fragile boat on a wasted lagoon, blaming the disaster that has finally destroyed the city. Her words (taken from the poem A Soliloquy for Cassandra by Wislawa Szymborska) are juxtaposed and remixed with scientific data illustrating how the transit of cruise ships and the increasing pollution in the area have impacted the lagoon and poisoned the citizens to a point of no-return.

Shot in 16 mm, the video uses the aesthetics of “found footage” to blur the perception of time, evoking the idea of Venice as a city of future past, in which the present contains both traces of the past and visions for the future. This ultimately leaves space for hope that measures can still be taken to avoid the catastrophe, turning Cassandra’s lament into an urgent, desperate cry for love and action.

Sara Tirelli, Cassandra (2017)

Sara Tirelli, Cassandra (2017)