Featuring: Morehshin Allahyari, Graeme Arnfield, Darren Banks, Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz, Jenny Brady, Terence Broad, Karen Cunningham, Katie Hare, Saskia Holmkvist, Mike Hoolboom, Sky Hopinka, Patrick Hough, Hannah Catherine Jones, Christine Sun Kim & Thomas Mader, Ieva Kraule, Oliver Laric, Liz Magic Laser, Serena Lee, Ghislaine Leung, Deirdre Logue, Sara Magenheimer, Evan Meaney, Anne McGuire, Sondra Perry, Laure Prouvost, Gabrielle de la Puente & Zarina Muhammad, Steve Reinke, Miko Revereza, Manuel Saiz, Keith Sanborn, Linda Stupart, Jenna Sutela, Emily Vey Duke & Cooper Battersby, Douglas Waterman, and Anna Zett.
Respondents: Uma Breakdown, Tamar Clarke-Brown, and Jessa Mockridge.
The world is all that is the case (essay) by Nina Trivedi.
Its origins are indeterminate (essay) by Erik Martinson.
Enclosed print by Linda Stupart.
Design by Gaile Pranckunaite.
The series is curated by Erik Martinson and is supported by the inaugural Stuart Croft Foundation Special Projects Award.
With support from: Electronic Arts Intermix, LIMA, LUX, Video Data Bank, and Vtape.
The title for this screening series comes from Robert Barry’s Untitled (Its Origins are Indeterminate) from 1970. On a single sheet of paper type-written statements cascade down the page. The text reads as follows:
‘Its origin is indeterminate / Sometimes it is alone / It can cause things to happen / It is affected by other things / Some of it is unknown / It may appear to be something it is not’
The screening series Its origins are indeterminate examines the concept of ‘language-as-a-virus.’ As carriers of meaning, words and images are vulnerable to intervention and corruption. The works presented test and bend the limits of language, send out new versions of media to spread, and breakdown systems of controlling grammar.
Its origins are indeterminate features an array of international artists in four programmes. Three of the programmes are premiering at Whitechapel Gallery, and the fourth, a feature length work, screens at Close-Up Film Centre.
07:30pm Strain Andromeda The
The first programme is titled ‘Making a hunter’s bluff out of a word’ after a line from Pontypool by Tony Burgess. Between speaking agents, some things catch, hold on, despite the distance various translations create. The works presented begin to unravel language as a faulty carrier of meaning, vulnerable to semiotic stowaways.
In the Cinema No One Speaks Unless They Have Something to Say While in Real Life It’s Just the Opposite,
Mike Hoolboom, 1992, 0:40
Nothing Comes from Talking (But Sound), Sara Magenheimer, 2012, 1:43
Loneliness will be my greatest treasure, Ieva Kraule, 2014, 3:01 (silent)
Wawa, Sky Hopinka, 2014, 6:00
Classified Digits, Christine Sun Kim & Thomas Mader, 2016, 5:28 (silent)
Per Se, Deirdre Logue, 2005, 4:12
Writing Culture, Karen Cunningham, 2013, 1:50
Blind Understanding, Saskia Holmkvist, 2009, 11:55
My Mind is My Own, Liz Magic Laser, 2015, 8:05
Stretto, Serena Lee, 2016, 6:45
Text-to-Speech, Anna Zett, 2015, 9:38 (Audio work)
Wow and Flutter, Jenny Brady, 2013, 13:03
We Know We Are Just Pixels, Laure Prouvost, 2015, 4:44
The second programme ‘The black curtain is the instant when the eyes shut’ looks at strategies of appropriation as spell-craft and conjuration. Circulation and versioning of texts and images from various sources becomes a form of viral spread. The programme’s title is extracted from Ring by Koji Suzuki.
The Artwork in the Age of Its Mechanical Reproducibility by Walter Benjamin as told to Keith Sanborn, Keith Sanborn, 1996, 3:38
Versions, Oliver Laric, 2010, 9:06
HELLO OLIVER LARIC :0), Gabrielle de la Puente & Zarina Muhammad, 2016, 1:58
Wrong then, wrong today, Katie Hare, 2016, 7:17
Object Interviews (Part III), Patrick Hough, 2015, 5:32
Specialized Technicians Required: Being Luis Porcar, Manuel Saiz, 2005, 1:47
Shuffle, Douglas Waterman, 1971, 4:00 (excerpt)
Amethyst, Linda Stupart, 2016, 0:56 (silent)
Colossal Cave, Graeme Arnfield, 2016, 11:12
Ceibas: Shannon’s Entropy, Evan Meaney, 2008, 5:54
Owed to (C)ode, Hannah Catherine Jones, 2014, 4:39
Ask the Insects, Steve Reinke, 2005, 7:19
Object Cinema, Darren Banks, 2016, 5:26
The third programme ‘We want superior forms of corruption’ looks to fissures in language and communication as material to manifest and re- interpret for acts of resistance. Against the forced rigour of grammar and control, a space opens up for re-assertion and defiant existence. The programme’s title comes from Laboria Cuboniks’ Xenofeminism: A politics for Alienation.
Blade Runner – Autoencoded (Side by side comparison of the opening 5 minutes), Terence Broad, 2016, 4:46
Seven Signs That Mean Silence, Sara Magenheimer, 2013, 10:48
This is Living, Ghislaine Leung, 2011, 4:01
My Twilight Zone Thing, Sondra Perry, 2014, 1:04 (Work in progress)
Toxic, Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz, 2012, 13:00
Quantum Identity Politics, Miko Revereza, 2017, 8:48
She Who Sees The Unknown: Huma, Morehshin Allahyari, 2016, 6:04
Attention Public, Emily Vey Duke & Cooper Battersby, 2004, 10:00
Noise Tribe Speaking-Out-Of-Control, Jenna Sutela, 2015, 7:00
(Audio work: documentation of performance at Lunch Bytes Conference 20-21 March 2015, HKW, Berlin).
07:30pm ‘Strain Andromeda The’
11:00am Gallery opens
11:15am Doors open Zilkha Auditorium
11:30am Welcoming remarks
11:35am Programme 1: Introduction
11:40am Programme 1: ‘Making a hunter’s bluff out of a word’ screens
01:00pm Programme 1: Respondent: Jessa Mockridge, artists’ Q&A
01:20pm Lunch break
02:20pm Programme 2: Introduction
02:25pm Programme 2: ‘The black curtain is the instant when the eyes shut’ screens
03:35pm Programme 2: Respondent: Uma Breakdown, artists’ Q&A
04:20pm Programme 3: Introduction
04:25pm Programme 3: ‘We want superior forms of corruption’ screens
05:35pm Programme 3: Respondent: Tamar Clarke-Brown, artists’ Q&A
Morehshin Allahyari is an artist, activist, educator, and occasional curator. She is the recipient of the leading global thinkers of 2016award by Foreign Policy magazine. Morehshin was born and raised in Iran and moved to the United States in 2007. Her work deals with the political, social, and cultural contradictions we face every day. She thinks about technology as a philosophical toolset to reflect on objects and as a poetic means to document our personal and collective lives struggles in the 21st century. Morehshin is the co-author of The 3D Additivist Cookbook in collaboration with writer/artist Daniel Rourke– (published on December 2016 online in 3DPDF format and in print by the Institute of Networked Cultures). Her modeled, 3D-printed sculptural reconstructions of ancient artifacts destroyed by ISIS, titled Material Speculation: ISIS, have received widespread curatorial and press attention and have been exhibited worldwide.
Morehshin is currently developing a new body of work on Digital Colonialism and ‘re-Figuring’ as a Feminism and de-colonialism practice, using 3D scanners and 3D printers as her tools of investigation. Researching dark goddesses, monstrous, and djinn female figures of Middle-Eastern origin, Allahyari devises a narrative through practices of magic and poetic-speculative storytelling, re-appropriation of traditional mythologies, collaging, meshing, scanning, and archiving. She was recently awarded a major Rhizome commission to work on the archiving.
Graeme Arnfield (b. 1991, UK) is an artist living in London, raised in Cheshire, UK. His work explores issues of circulation, spectatorship and history and has been presented worldwide including Berlinale Forum Expanded, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Courtisane Festival, Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, Sonic Acts Festival, European Media Arts Festival, Hamburg International Short Film Festival, Kasseler Dokfest, Plastik Festival, Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur, LUX, Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) and on Vdrome. He graduated with a Masters in Experimental Cinema at Kingston University and is currently making a film with FLAMIN.
Darren Banks (b. 1978) incorporates found and made film footage into sculpture and installation to explore ideas about domesticity, defunct technologies, cinema and the unknown. The work questions the perception of sculpture in relation to objects, film and memory.
Banks is interested in the possibility of film as sculpture. Within his practice sculpture is not just confined to three dimensions, but can exist on and within different platforms. As a horror film fanatic he’s intrigued by the aesthetic and structural devices used within the genre.
Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz have been working together in Berlin since 2007. Their staged films and film installations often start with a song, a picture, a film or a script from the past. They produce performances for the camera, staging the actions of individuals and groups living — indeed thriving — in defiance of normality, law and economics. Their films upset normative historical narratives, as figures across time are staged, projected and layered. Their performers are choreographers, artists and musicians, with whom they are having a long-term conversation about performance, the meaning of visibility since early modernity, the pathologization of bodies, but also about glamour and resistance.
Jenny Brady is an artist based in Dublin, currently IMMA 1000 artist-in-residence at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (2017-2018). Recent presentations include Against Ordinary Language, Tate Liverpool; The Political Animal, The Showroom, London; As We May Think curated by Alice Butler, IFI, Dublin; November Film Festival, Goldsmiths, London; Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, Berwick-upon-Tweed, UK; 62nd International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Germany; and You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet, Beursschouwburg, Brussels and Videonale 15, Kunstmuseum, Bonn; Roadkill (Irish Museum of Modern Art); Experimenta at BFI London Film Festival; EVA International 2014 curated by Bassam El Baroni, MOTHS curated by Modern Edinburgh Film School, Images Festival 2014 (Toronto), Futures '13 (Royal Hibernian Academy) and TULCA Golden Mountain 2013 curated by Valerie Connor. She is co-founder and curator of PLASTIK Festival of Artists’ Moving Image.
Uma Breakdown is an artist and writer with research interests in the economies of horror and play. They are presently a PhD candidate at Northumbria University with the research title “Understanding an Art practice of Mucosal Play: Abject Waste, Ahuman Desire, and Difference”. Recent projects and presentations include: online commission "The Inhuman Ecstasy of Toxic Waste” for http://www.wormrefuse.org/ (2018), exhibitions “Creature of Havok” at Serf, Leeds (2017), and “Janusware” at Res. Gallery, London (2017), and video presentation "The Heartbeat of Kong or More Mouse Bites" at The Royal Geographical Society, London (2016). Recent publications: included in “Lossy Ecology”, edited by Louisa Martin and published by Flat Time House 2017, and "The Body That Remains", edited by Emmy Beber and published by Punctum in 2018.
Terence Broad is an artist and machine learning researcher based in London. He works at the forefront of technological developments in machine learning, exploring both the perceptual capabilities and limitations of these techniques. He graduated in 2016 from the Creative Computing Masters programme at Goldsmiths, University of London. His work has been exhibited internationally at venues including The Whitney Museum of American Art, Art Center NABI, and The Barbican.
Tamar Clarke-Brown is a London based freelance curator, critic and creator. She holds an MFA in Curating from Goldsmiths, University of London (2016). Her interdisciplinary practice is focused on experimental futurisms, digital culture, representation and the black diaspora. Tamar is developing new, open and playful projects for the digital age, with the potential for greater connectivity, access and critical investigation through the creative use of technology. Tamar has worked with institutions including Serpentine Galleries, Autograph ABP, ICA and Bard Berlin and she regularly contributes to platforms including AQNB, Protein Journal and Screen Shot Magazine. Tamar is a 2018 Wysing Arts Centre Resident as part of 'Formerly Called', and runs two collectives - Betababes with Francesca Altamura and CBT with Isaac Karikui.
Karen Cunningham's practice is inflected by anthropological perspectives and working across moving image, sculpture, installation and photography her works utilise specific mediums and materials to explore phenomenological relationships with culture and technology.
Recent exhibitions include the group shows, 'Here Was Elsewhere: >>FFWD', Cooper Gallery, DJCA, Dundee (2018) and 'Make Something, With Your Body', VBKÖ, Vienna, Austria (2017) and the solo shows, 'Plasma', Walden Affairs, The Hague (2013), 'Factish Field', Collective, Edinburgh (2013), and a special presentation of her commissioned film 'Movable Type; Under Erasure' at The Showroom, London (2016). Forthcoming exhibitions in 2018 include the solo show 'Deploying Culture' at Cample Line, Dumfries, Scotland and the group show 'Video Days' at Bonington Gallery, Nottingham Trent University.
Katie Hare (1987) lives and works in London. Working largely in video, but also across performance, sound and text, her work examines the effects of the increasing rapidity of technological progress, particularly with regards to memory and obsolescence and the way narrative and storytelling is shifting as a result of this development. Recent exhibitions and screenings include Video Visions (ACMI, Melbourne, Australia 2017), Touching The Void: When The Physical Collides With The Virtual (CRATE, Margate UK 2017), Portal Atop A Bus Stop (CAC, Vilnius, Lithuania, 2016), Constructs: Katie Hare, Callum Hill, Ellie Power (LUX Moving Image, London, 2016) and Love without capital: Reimagining Relations After UBI (The Showroom, London, 2016). In 2016 she was awarded the Red Mansion Prize.
In Saskia Holmkvist’s work, questions of agency and professionalized language are explored through fractured narrative, employing performance, orality, film and improvisation. A hybrid form of realism, Holmkvist appropriates typical interview scenarios to serve as allegory and example. The works address consequences of power structures in communication such as translatability of subject positions as well as historical trajectories and post colonial presence by interacting with methods of communication borrowed from fields such as interpretation, psychology, journalism, and improvisational theatre.
The work retools the aesthetic strategies of documentary with performative interaction to focus on verbal speculation by the subjects invited directly from their professional fields. In the process the negotiation of undertaking roles is explored and many works use the interview as storytelling. The interview has been a central area of Holmkvist investigation that touches the politics of interview techniques, developing critical and ethical approaches to question institutional agency. By creating mostly performative encounters between protagonists invited directly from their professional fields to interact through improvisation and in relation to site specificity each of the projects can be seen as a platform to perform, narrate, and share strategies, discourses or resistance.
Mike Hoolboom is a Canadian artist working in film and video. He has made over eighty films and videos, though most have been withdrawn from circulation, approximately a dozen remain on view. His work has appeared in over four hundred festivals, garnering thirty awards. He has been granted the Tom Berner Award for community service and two lifetime achievement awards, the first from the city of Toronto, and the second from the Mediawave Festival in Hungary.
He has enjoyed retrospectives of his work at the Images Festival (Toronto), Visions du Reel (Switzerland), Xenix (Switzerland), Cork International Festival (Ireland), Cinema de Balie (Amsterdam), Mediawave Festival (Hungary), Impakt Festival (Holland), Vila do Conde Festival (Portugal), Jihlava Documentary Festival (Czech Republic), Stuttgarter Filmwinter (Germany), Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen (France), Sixpack Film (Vienna), the Buenos Aires International Festival (Argentina), Pacific Cinematheque (Canada) and A Million Different Loves Festival in Poland.
He is a founding member of the Pleasure Dome screening collective and has worked as the artistic director of the Images Festival and as the experimental film coordinator at Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre.
Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga) was born and raised in Ferndale, Washington and spent a number of years in Palm Springs and Riverside, California, and Portland, Oregon and is currently based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In Portland he studied and taught chinuk wawa, a language indigenous to the Lower Columbia River Basin. His video work centers around personal positions of Indigneous homeland and landscape, designs of language as containers of culture, and the play between the known and the unknowable. He received his BA from Portland State University in Liberal Arts and his MFA in Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His work has played at various festivals including ImagineNATIVE Media + Arts Festival, Images, Wavelengths, Ann Arbor Film Festival, American Indian Film Festival, Sundance, Antimatter, Chicago Underground Film Festival, FLEXfest, and Projections. His work was a part of the 2016 Wisconsin Triennial and the 2017 Whitney Biennial. He was awarded jury prizes at the Milwaukee Underground Film Festival, the More with Less Award at the 2016 Images Festival, the Tom Berman Award for Most Promising Filmmaker at the 54th Ann Arbor Film Festival, and 3rd Prize at the 2015 Media City Film Festival.
Patrick Hough (b.1989, Galway, Ireland) is an artist living and working in London. Incorporating moving image, photography and installation, Hough’s recent work explores the relationship between cinema, technology and archaeology through an archive of historical film props. Questioning the relationship between humans and objects (both virtual and physical) his practice reflects upon the way in which cinematic images are indelibly embedded in our perception of history. He received his BA in Fine Art Media from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin in 2011 and his MA in Fine Art Photography from the Royal College of Art, London in 2013.
Recent solo exhibitions include: And If In A Thousand Years, Jerwood/FVU Awards 2017, Firstsite, Colchester, UK (2017); Hierophanies, The Swiss Church, London, UK (2017); Unobservables, narrative projects, London, UK (2016); An Archaeology of Cinema, Dagestan Museum of Fine Art, Makhachkala, RU (2015); Object Interviews, Swiss Cottage Gallery, London, UK (2015); Once More, With Feeling! MOT International project space, London (2014). He is a recipient of the Jerwood / FVU Awards 2017 and the PLASTIK moving image award 2017.
Hannah Catherine Jones (aka Foxy Moron) is an artist, scholar, multi-instrumentalist, radio presenter (NTS), composer, conductor and founder of Peckham Chamber Orchestra – a community project established in 2013. Jones is currently an AHRC DPhil scholar at Oxford University exploring the relationship between Afrofuturism and Gesamtkunstwerk through the art-music of Sun Ra and Wagner. Jones has performed and lectured internationally, including at Oxford, RCA, (UK), NYU, Harvard (US), Umuzi (SA), Liquid Architecture (AUS), and has exhibited widely including at Beirut Arts Centre, Modern Art Oxford, Liverpool Bienniel, Vitrine, IMT, Almanac and Whitechapel Galleries (London).
Christine Sun Kim and Thomas Mader have been collaborating for the last 5 years, covering communication in a variety of formats such as recording an overnight shipment from Berlin to New York (Recording Contract, 2013), compiling 24 hours of invited contributors’ studio time (Busy Day, 2014), and using the arm game, a combination of body and face, in order to describe a series awkward situations (Classified Digits, 2016). Selected group exhibitions include: Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo; Galerie Crone, Vienna; Ian Potter Museum, Melbourne; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Ieva Kraule produces sculptural objects often using materials such as ceramics, rubber, metal and stone. Accompanying these objects are short stories, loosely based on fictitious interpretations of historical events and absurd adventures of imaginary characters. Within her work she often refers to themes surrounding fetishism, history, applied arts and architecture of the Soviet era, while tracing origins of both personal and collective aesthetic codes. Ieva Kraule is based in Riga. Her recent exhibitions include Dancing water (with Kaspars Groshevs), Futura, Prague; The person you are trying to reach is not available (with Aidan Koch), Hester, New York; and Qu'est-ce que ça peut faire tout ça (with Kaspars Groshevs), Shanaynay, Paris. Her work has been included in group shows at 1857, Oslo; HIAP, Helsinki; Contemporary Art Center, Vilnius; Art in General, New York; and Kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga. Since 2014, she also co-runs a non-commercial gallery 427 in Riga.
Oliver Laric’s multimedia work engages with themes of pop culture, mass media, the relationship between past and present, and globalization. He re-imagines classic Greek and Roman sculpture, producing massive polyurethane and 3-D-printed casts. His ongoing video project “Versions” explores historical and contemporary image hierarchies through a series of documented monologues. Laric’s earlier work was primarily video-based and involved the manipulation of existing broadcast media such as YouTube, as in 50 50, a video compilation of karaoke singers covering a song by the hip-hop artist 50 Cent.
Liz Magic Laser (b. 1981, New York) is a video and performance artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Her videos and performances intervene in semi-public spaces such as bank vestibules, movie theaters and newsrooms, and have involved collaborations with actors, surgeons, political strategists and motorcycle gang members. She earned a BA from Wesleyan University (2003) and an MFA from Columbia University (2008). She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture (2008) and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program (2009). Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Kunstverein Göttingen, Germany (2016); Mercer Union, Toronto (2015); Wilfried Lentz, Rotterdam, the Netherlands (2015); Various Small Fires, Los Angeles (2015); Paula Cooper Gallery, New York (2013) the Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster, Germany (2013); DiverseWorks, Houston, Texas (2013); and Mälmo Konsthall, Mälmo, Sweden (2012). Her work has also been shown at Swiss Institute (2016); Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland (2016); The Whitney Museum of American Art (2015); Le Mouvement: 12th Swiss Sculpture Exhibition ESS SPA (2014); Lisson Gallery, London (2013); the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (2012); the Performa 11 Biennial, New York (2011); the Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia (2011); and MoMA PS 1, New York (2010). Laser is the recipient of grants from Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation (2013), the Southern Exposure Off-Site Graue Award (2013), New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (2012) and the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art (2010). Laser has upcoming solo shows at CAC Brétigny (France) and Jupiter Artland (Scotland) in May, 2017.
Serena Lee layers cinema, performance, voice, image and text to map a political grammar of harmony. Modeling belonging and power through polyphony, she practises and collaborates internationally. With the Read-in research group she explores the embodied, situated, and political aspects of collective reading aloud. Serena holds an MFA from the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam and Associate Certification in piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music of Canada. Active with various Canadian cultural organizations, she works as an educator in Experiential Learning at OCAD University. Serena is third-generation Chinese-Canadian and was born in Toronto.
Artist and writer Ghislaine Leung, lives and works in London and Brussels. Recent solo projects include Local Studies for Reading International, London, The Moves at Cell Project Space, London, 078746844 at WIELS, Brussels and group projects YOUR WORDS IN MY MOUTH | MY VOICE ON YOUR TONGUE at Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, Hollis & Money at ICA, London. Leung's publication Partners launched in 2018 and her solo commission at Chisenhale Gallery, London is forthcoming in 2019.
Deirdre Logue holds a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and an MFA from Kent State University. Recent solo exhibitions of her award winning film and video work have taken place at Open Space (Victoria), Oakville Galleries, the Images Festival (Toronto), the Berlin International Film Festival, Beyond/In Western New York, YYZ (Toronto), and articule (Montreal).
Logue has contributed over 25 years to working with artist-run organizations dedicated to media arts exhibition and distribution. She was a founding member of Media City, the Executive Director of the Images Festival, Executive Director of the CFMDC, founding member of the Media Arts Network of Ontario (MANO) and is currently the Development Director at Vtape. She is a champion of artist rights and has held numerous positions with organizations such as CARFAC National and the Independent Media Arts Alliance. Logue has been a member of the Independent Imaging Collective (the Film Farm) with Phil Hoffman since 1999 and directs the FAG Feminist Art Gallery with her partner, collaborator and artist Allyson Mitchell.
Sara Magenheimer was born in 1981 in Philadelphia, PA, and lives and works in New York. Recent solo exhibitions include Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, OR (2017); the Kitchen, New York (2017); Art in General in partnership with kim?, Riga, Latvia (2016); the Center for Ongoing Research & Projects (COR&P), Columbus, OH (2016); JOAN, Los Angeles (2015); and Recess, New York (2015). Her works have also been included in the group exhibitions “Body Language,” the High Line, New York (2017); “CCCC (Ceramics Club Cash and Carry),” White Columns, New York (2015); and “Amy Sillman: One Lump or Two,” Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, and Aspen Art Museum (2013–14). Her videos have been screened at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (2017); the New York Film Festival (2017, 2015, 2014); Images Festival, Toronto (2017); Anthology Film Archives, New York (2016); EMPAC, Troy, NY (2016); and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2015).
Erik Martinson is an independent curator and writer based in London, UK. He worked in Toronto at Vtape, a not-for-profit video art distributor, from 2005-2014, and was a member of the Pleasure Dome curatorial collective from 2006-2014. He has curated screenings/exhibitions for: Images Festival (2012); A Space Gallery (2012); Art Gallery of Mississauga (2013); Institute of Contemporary Arts London (2015); Chalton Gallery (2016); DIY Space for London (2016); LUX (2016/2017); Contemporary Art Centre Vilnius (2016); The Ryder, London (2017); and Toronto International Film Festival’s Wavelengths Series (2017). He participated in the Independent Curators International (ICI) Curatorial Intensive on Time-Based Media, New York (2013) and was on the selection jury for Videonale.15 at Kunstmuseum Bonn (2015). He was assistant editor for the Nuclear Culture Source Book (edited by Ele Carpenter) published by Black Dog Publishing with Bildmuseet and Arts Catalyst (2016). Recently he completed his MFA in Curating at Goldsmiths, University of London (2016) and was in residence at Rupert, Vilnius (2016). His screening series ‘Its origins are Indeterminate’ is being supported by the inaugural Stuart Croft Foundation Special Projects Award, and premieres at Close-Up Film Centre and Whitechapel Gallery in 2018.
Evan Meaney is an artist and researcher, teaching new media practices at the University of South Carolina in the United States. His work explores liminalities and glitches of all kinds; equating failing data to ghosts, seances, and archival hauntology. He has been an artist in residence at the Wexner Center for the Arts and the Experimental Television Center, a founding member of GLI.TC/H, and a contributor to the Atlantic. More recently, Evan has been working with super computing protocols and an international team of aeronautical engineers on virtual reality applications for mechanical prototyping. His time-based artworks are available through the Video Data Bank in Chicago.
Anne McGuire was born in the Valley of the Jolly Green Giant, and has lived in San Francisco since 1990. In Fall 2004, she relocated to Busan, South Korea, where she taught video art at KyungSung University for eighteen months. Prior to this she taught at the San Francisco Art Institute, University of California Santa Cruz, and Stanford University.
Anne started making videos in the late 1980's while a student. Her single channel works are much in the tradition of personal/poetical performance to camera, playing off of the conventions of television. She has explored the personal through formal narrative, particularly in Strain Andromeda The, her 1992 end-to-beginning re-edit of Robert Wise's The Andromeda Strain. Strain Andromeda The was her first foray into disaster deconstruction. In 2006 Anne completed Adventure Poseidon The (The Unsinking of My Ship), which celebrates the 20-year anniversary of her very own real-life shipwreck experience. She also writes poems and sings them as songs, and has performed as Freddy McGuire with San Francisco-based electronic musician Wobbly, live and on radio.
I am an artist and writer living in London; from Cape Town, South Africa. I practise through print, performance, video and sculpture. I’m interested in queer translating and not-translating as political acts. I co-organise and edit PaperWork Magazine, an independent art writing print and event publication.
Sondra Perry was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, in 1986. Perry holds an MFA from Columbia University and a BFA from Alfred University. In 2015, the artist's work appeared in the fourth iteration of the Greater New York exhibition at MoMA/PS1. Other exhibitions include Disguise: Masks and Global African Art, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, 2015; A Curious Blindness, Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, New York (2015); Of Present Bodies, Arlington Arts Center, Arlington VA (2014); and Young, Gifted, & Black: Transforming Visual Media, The Camera Club of New York (2012). Perry performed Sondra Perry & Associate Make Pancakes and Shame the Devil at the Artist's Institute, New York, in 2015. The artist's work has been screened at venues such as Les Voutes, Paris, France; Light Industry, New York; Video Art and Experimental Film Festival, Tribeca Cinemas, New York; Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Shenyang China; and LOOP Barcelona Media Arts Festival. Perry was a panelist at Black Artists on Social Media at the Brooklyn Museum, NY. In 2014 Perry was Guest Lecturer at the School of Visual Arts, New York, for the course History, Theory, and Practice of the Image. Perry has participated in residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Vermont Studio Center, Ox-bow, and the Experimental Television Center. Perry is currently based in Houston, Texas as part of the artist-in-residence program CORE at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Gaile Pranckunaite (b. 1987) graduated from the graphic design department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam in 2013. Practice focuses on combining graphic design projects with an editorial approach, experimental typography and sounds.
With Mislav Žugaj sometimes collaborate as ‘sprawl’. In their work they explore various repercussions of climate change through research, design and science fiction, often resulting in collaborations and unstable media. Looking for untold stories, they engage field work in geographical and social regions with contradicting pasts and threatened futures, like fishermen villages in the Bay of Ranobe in Madagascar, nostalgic teenagers in post colonial Hong Kong and what happens when you put 55 design students in an aquarium.
Laure Prouvost was born in Lille, France (1978) and is currently based in London and Antwerp. She received her BFA from Central St Martins, London in 2002 and studied towards her MFA at Goldsmiths College, London. She also took part in the LUX Associate Programme. Solo exhibitions include ‘the wet wet wanderer’, as part of ‘Para|Fiction’, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (2017); ‘softer and rounder so as to shine through your smooth marble’, SALT Galata, Istanbul, Turkey (2017); ‘And she will say: hi her, ailleurs, to higher grounds…’, Kunstmuseum Luzern, Switzerland (2016); ‘GDM – Grand Dad’s Visitor Center’, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan, Italy (2016); ‘all behind, we’ll go deeper, deep down and she will say,’ Museum Für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt Am Main, Frankfurt, Germany (2016); ‘Into All That is Here’, Red Brick Art Museum, Beijing, China (2016); ‘ we would be floating away from the dirty past’, Haus Der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2015); ‘For Forgetting’, New Museum, New York, NY, USA (2014); ‘While You Weren’t Looking’, Laboratorio Arte Alameda, Mexico City, Mexico (2014); Max Mara Art Prize for Women, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK and Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy (2013); ‘Laure Prouvost / Adam Chodzko’ as part of ‘Schwitters in Britain’, Tate Britain, London, UK (2013); The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield, UK (2012); and ‘All These Things Think Link’, Flat Time House, London, UK. Prouvost won the MaxMara Art Prize for Women in 2011 and was the recipient of the Turner Prize in 2013.
The White Pube is the collaborative identity of Zarina Muhammad and Gabrielle de la Puente under which they write criticism and occasionally curate. The White Pube is based at thewhitepube.com and on Instagram and Twitter as @thewhitepube. London/Liverpool.
Steve Reinke was born in the Ottawa Valley in 1963. He received his BFA from York University in 1984 and his MFA from NSCAD in 1995. During the 1990s he was active in Toronto's artist-run centres, most particularly YYZ and Pleasure Dome. He has taught at the University of Western Ontario, Cal Arts, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and the University of Illinois Chicago. He is currently associate professor of Art Theory & Practice at Northwestern University. He has an extensive national and international exhibition history. Solo exhibitions include the Power Plant and Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), Threadwaxing Space (New York), Argos (Brussels), Lux (London) and Gallery 400 (Chicago). Solo screenings: Museum of Modern Art (New York), National Gallery of Canada, Cinematheque Ontario, International Film Festival Rotterdam, London Film Festival, and many others. In 2006 he was awarded the Bell Award in Video Art. He has co-edited several books including "Lux: A Decade of Artists' Film and Video" (with Tom Taylor), "The Sharpest Point: Animation at the End of Cinema" (with Chris Gehman) and "Blast Counterblast" (with Anthony Elms). In 2004, he published "Everybody Loves Nothing: Video 1996—2004" with Coach House, and in 2011 a collection of his writing, "The Shimmering Beast," was published by Coach House/Gallery 400/white walls.
Miko Revereza (b.1988 Manila, Philippines) is an experimental filmmaker and illegal alien. Since relocating from Manila as a child, he has existed as an undocumented immigrant in the United States for almost 25 years. His long-term problems with documentation and the exclusion it imposes informs his films, writing and art practice. Miko lives in Los Angeles and is currently earning an MFA at Bard College.
Manuel Saiz started working as an artist in the 1980’s in Spain, creating paintings, sculptures, photography and installations. Since then he shows his work regularly in public and commercial galleries worldwide. In 1989 he presented a group of installations at the Sao Paulo Biennale, and in 1990 he took part in Artificial Nature, curated by Jeffrey Deitch at the Deste Foundation in Athens. Since 1995 he works mainly in video art and media installations. In 1998 he moved to London where he produced Video Hacking, a work that received an honourable mention in Hamburger Short Film Festival. In 2005 he produced Specialized technicians Required: Being Luis Porcar, which was shown widely and got the first Prize in the Winterthur Kurtztfilm Festival and a special mention at Transmediale 06. His installations have been shown in Intercommunication Center (Tokyo), Transmediale (Berlin), Whitechapel Gallery (London), ICA (London), HMKV (Dortmund) among other international venues. His latest main project, One True Art in 2013, was a thorough research on the nature of art, commissioned by the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid. He has curated artist’s projects as Art Summer University (Tate Modern London), Communicating Vessels (Hara Museum Tokyo), 25hrs (El Raval Barcelona) or videoDictionary (multiple venues), involving internationally known media artists. He has published several books, such as 101 Excuses: How Art Legitimizes Itself, 101 Art Key Ideas, Tit for Tat, Colossal Blog, and For Me, for All My Friends, and for Me First of All (2016).
Keith Sanborn is a New York-based theorist and media artist. He has been investigating the field of tension between public image and personal perception with film, photography, video and digital media since the late 1970s. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions and has been included in art biennials and festivals. Sanborn has also been teaching at Princeton University and The New School, USA.
One of the principal metaphors Sanborn uses to describe the gamut of his activities is translation: the strategic shift of media from one context to another. The greater part of his work has been involved with the use of pre-existing media. By shifting those media images from their original context and juxtaposing them with other images, or by re-configuring their structures using simple strategies, meanings emerge from below the surface in ways not intended by their original creators—meanings that speak to social relations of power.
Linda Stupart is an artist, writer, and educator from Cape Town, South Africa. They completed their PhD at Goldsmiths in 2016, with a project engaged in new considerations of objectification and abjection. Their current work consists of writing, performance, curation, sculpture, drawing, and installation and engages with queer theory, science fiction, environmental crises, magic, language, desire, and revenge.
Jenna Sutela works with words, sounds, and other living materials. Her installations and performances seek to identify and react to precarious social and material moments, often in relation to technology. Based between Berlin and Helsinki, Sutela's artwork has been presented at Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, Serpentine Marathon in London, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, and The Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. Last year, she edited Orgs: From Slime Mold to Silicon Valley and Beyond (Garret Publications 2017), an experimental survey of decentralized organisms and organizations, expanding on her collaboration with Physarum polycephalum, the single-celled yet “many-headed” slime mold.
Nina Trivedi was awarded a BFA from Parsons School of Design and an MFA from Goldsmiths College. She is currently completing a PhD at the Royal College of Art and her research focuses on feminist new materialisms, critical race theory and video installations. Nina is the Managing Editor for the Journal of Visual Culture and on the advisory board for Princeton Choose, an organisation that advocates for including racial intersectional literacy in U.S high schools. Nina has taught at the RCA, Goldsmiths and the Camden Art Centre. She currently teaches visual culture at Syracuse University, London and works with her colleague on a project called, Robot Futures, with its first event held at the Science Museum in July 2017.
Cooper Battersby and Emily Vey Duke have been working collaboratively since June 1994. Their work has been broadcast and exhibited around the world. Duke and Battersby are currently teaching at Syracuse University in Central New York. In 2010 they were shortlisted for the Sobey Art Award. Their work is distributed by Video Data Bank in Chicago, Argos in Brussels, Vtape in Toronto and Video Out in Vancouver. In 2012, a book about their work, titled The Beauty is Relentless, was published by Coach House Press. In the fall of 2015, Duke’s book The Illuminations, a collaboration with Shary Boyle, was published by Oakville Galleries.
Douglas Waterman, born in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia March 4, 1952, died 1991. Waterman graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design in 1973, one of the first and most memorable students to concentrate his work in video. He later pursued graduate study at California Institute of the Arts and returned to Nova Scotia in 1978. He exhibited his work at NSCAD'S Anna Leonowens Gallery and Mezzanine Gallery, the Centre For Art Tapes, A Space Gallery in Toronto, Ian Murray's Fourth Floor Gallery and on Halifax Cablevision. There is a work that Waterman produced for an exhibition at the Fourth Floor Gallery in 1971 that speaks eloquently of the sensibility that he brought to his work in video. The exhibition was titled, simply, "Room Temperature Adjusted to Body Temperature." For the duration of the exhibition, the temperature of the gallery was maintained at 98.7°F. In a black and white photograph that survives as a document of this work, Waterman stands with a thermometer in his mouth while he adjusts the thermostat in the gallery.
Anna Zett is an artist, author, director of films and radio plays, born in Leipzig and living in Berlin. Using image, sound, text and performance Zett addresses the integration of knowledge and emotion through language and movement. Her work draws on the history of science and media, post-communist discourse and present-day conflicts around gender, violence, care, memory. The playful confrontation with modernist, masculinist and imperial infrastructures has been a recurring motive in her art practice. Zett's work has been presented at museums, galleries, festivals among them Serpentine Gallery Extinction Marathon in London, Whitney Museum New York, CAC Vilnius, National Gallery Prague, Sonic Acts Festival Amsterdam, I:projectspace Beijing. Since the publication of her first major video works in 2014 Zett has written and directed two experimental radio dramas for the German public radio, and (co-)hosted various participatory formats of movement practice and story telling.
contact [at] erik-martinson [dot] com
Strain Andromeda The, Anne McGuire, 1992, 126:00.
Stretto, Serena Lee, 2016, 6:45.
Shuffle, Douglas Waterman, 1971, 4:00 (excerpt).
This is Living, Ghislaine Leung, 2011, 4:01.
Per Se, Deirdre Logue, 2005, 4:12.
Wrong then, wrong today, Katie Hare, 2016, 7:17.
Writing Culture, Karen Cunningham, 2013, 1:50.
She Who Sees The Unknown: Huma, Morehshin Allahyari, 2016, 6:04.
Ask the Insects, Steve Reinke, 2005, 7:19.
Nothing Comes from Talking (But Sound), Sara Magenheimer, 2012, 1:43.
Wawa, Sky Hopinka, 2014, 6:00.
Toxic, Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz, 2012, 13:00.
Blind Understanding, Saskia Holmkvist, 2009, 11:55.
Ceibas: Shannon’s Entropy, Evan Meany, 2008, 5:54.
Owed to (C)ode, Hannah Catherine Jones, 2014, 4:39.
Seven Signs That Mean Silence, Sara Magenheimer, 2013, 10:48.
My Mind is My Own, Liz Magic Laser, 2015, 8:05.
Attention Public, Emily Vey Duke & Cooper Battersby, 2004, 10:00.6, 6:45.
Loneliness will be my greatest treasure, Ieva Kraule, 2014, 3:01 (silent).
Quantum Identity Politics, Miko Revereza, 2017, 8:48.
Versions, Oliver Laric, 2010, 9:06.
Classified Digits, Christine Sun Kim & Thomas Mader, 2016, 5:28 (silent).
Object Cinema, Darren Banks, 2016, 5:26.
My Twilight Zone Thing, Sondra Perry, 2014, 1:04 (Work in progress).
We Know We Are Just Pixels, Laure Prouvost, 2015, 4:44.
Specialized Technicians Required: Being Luis Porcar, Manuel Saiz, 2005, 1:47.
Wow and Flutter, Jenny Brady, 2013, 13:03.
Amethyst, Linda Stupart, 2016, 0:56 (silent).
Blade Runner – Autoencoded (Side by side comparison of the opening 5 minutes), Terence Broad, 2016, 4:46.
HELLO OLIVER LARIC :0), Gabrielle de la Puente & Zarina Muhammad, 2016, 1:58.
The Artwork in the Age of Its Mechanical Reproducibility by Walter Benjamin as told to Keith Sanborn, Keith Sanborn, 1996, 3:38.
In the Cinema No One Speaks Unless They Have Something to Say While in Real Life It’s Just the Opposite, Mike Hoolboom, 1992, 0:40.
Object Cinema, Darren Banks, 2016, 5:26.
This essay will respond to some of the ideas that are present in the screening series, Its origins are indeterminate. I will consider the ideas surrounding this four part series as a whole, instead of focusing on the individual artists' moving image works. This text aims to explore the layers present in the foundation of the screenings, which more broadly look at mutations, viruses, language communication faults or breakdowns and the relationship between the human and the non-human. I noticed in the formation of this series, a mixture of philosophies of language with materialisms, materiality and meaning that are emerging or jutting out of each other.
I was thinking about how this screening series considers different aspects of language and its communicative patterns. This led me to David Markson’s novel, Wittgenstein’s Mistress. Published in 1988, it is a work of experimental fiction in which Wittgenstein, who is invoked in the title of the novel, is an influence for the role of language in the story. The novel employs a repetitive reference to the first sentence of Wittgenstein’s, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus: The world is all that is the case. In addition to this, Markson also mimics the overall style and format of Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, which is comprised of compact paragraphs.1
In Markson’s novel, Kate, the main protagonist or its nomadic narrator, continually writes declarative statements on her typewriter, as she believes she is the last woman alive in a post-apocalyptic world. Kate is a writer ensnared inside her own mind, and also inside her own recurrent re-constructed world.2 Wittgenstein, in some of his later work, writes about the idea that language is a place where we are alongside others, we might be trapped in the world but we are trapped together – within and surrounded by the grounds of language. As James Ryerson says, “The meaning of words is their use; the use of words is a matter of following rules; and following rules is entirely a social affair. There cannot be thought apart from the use of language—and language can operate only within a set of social practices. Thus there is no private thought without a corresponding public reality.”3 An “inner process,” according to Wittgenstein, “stands in need of outward criteria.”4 David Foster Wallace who referred to Markson's novel as a “a kind of philosophical sci-fi,”5 said that “unfortunately we're still stuck with the idea that there's this world of referents out there that we can never really join or know because we're stuck in here, in language, even if we're at least all in here together.”6
Moving on from the philosophies of language, I have noticed in this series of screenings, the impact of various meanings emerging out of materialisms and its questions of nature, matter and the place of humans within a material world. There are rapid transformations in the ways we currently produce, reproduce and consume our material environment. There are contemporary shifts in bio and eco spheres, as well as changes in global economic structures and technologies. The analysis of our daily interactions with material objects and the natural environment is also core to current materialist philosophies. This initiates a debate about new materialisms while leaving future possibilities relatively open.
In Michael Serres’, Parasite, the parasitic relation is at the crux of all interactions as entities communicate, or breakdown, or interrupt each other or other things. Things circulate through the material components of the parasitic or through the parasite of linguistic representation.7 Serres argues that communication is not just a two way process and that channels have aspects of interference - which relentlessly disrupts the signal. These disruptions, according to Serres, can be catalytic because they give way to the emergence and development of a “new system.”8 Serres continues to write about interruptions or disruptions, saying “Noise calls for decipherment; it makes a reading of the message more difficult. And yet without it, there would be no message. There is, in short, no message without resistance.”9
When I was thinking about materialism and this screening series I thought about how the writing of feminist new materialists act as a provocation to the normative sense of the human and its beliefs about human agency. Their writing is, in part, concerned with material practices including interactions with nature. In Stacy Alaimo’s, Bodily Natures: Science, Environment, and the Material Self, she uses the concept of "trans-corporeality" to indicate the porosity of the bodies and inseparability of bodies and the environment.10 Alaimo theorises that with trans-corporeality, human bodies and non-human natures are open to one another. Therefore, what we do to the environment—we do to ourselves—whether through or with pollution of water, soil or air. From Alaimo’s standpoint, bodies cannot be reduced to discursive constructions, or essentialist beings.11 Alaimo uses examples of everyday objects, such as plastics, and writes about how they enter our bodies, especially in the case of people with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS). Other cases she mentions are environmental justice problems or persons exposed to minerals and uranium in mining. She says: “one of the central problematics of trans-corporeality is contending with dangerous, often imperceptible material agencies.”12 Alaimo’s aim is to erase the boundary between inside and outside through these real-world examples. She cautions against the divisions and distinctions between human and non-human natures, contending that bodies don't “exist before or beyond the material relations with their environments.”13
Towards the end of her book, Alaimo performs a literary analysis of Greg Bear’s science fiction novels, Darwin’s Radio and Darwin’s Children. Alaimo refers to Bear’s writing as a “post-human environmental ethics” and she considers how science fictional tropes can offer a pathway into how we may re-think our shared relationships with the non-human.14 In Bear’s narratives, the role of non-human bacteria in creating life is questioned, as an endogenous retrovirus called SHEVA mutates and creates a new post-human species called, “virus children,” through female human bodies. According to Alaimo, if we want the post-human to matter, then we have to make matter matter and we need to dispel the idea of our being alone in the universe.15
I think this screening series responds in varying ways, across varying theoretical entry points, to the manifestations of materialist shifts—whether as a reference to language, to technology, to networks or the body.
There is nobody at the window in the painting of the house, by the way.
I have now concluded that what I believed to be a person is a shadow.
If it is not a shadow, it is perhaps a curtain.
As a matter of fact it could actually be nothing more than an attempt to imply depths, within the room.
Although in a manner of speaking all that is really in the window is burnt sienna pigment. And some yellow ochre.
In fact there is no window either, in that same manner of speaking, but only shape.
So that any few speculations I may have made about the person at the window would therefore now appear to be rendered meaningless, obviously.
Unless of course I subsequently become convinced that there is somebody at the window all over again.
I have put that badly.
— Wittgenstein's Mistress (54-55)