T H E  U N S E E N  F E S T I V A L  2018

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Join us on Sunday, September 2, 7:30pm for night 2 of the Unseen Festival. We will screen work by Gloria Chung, Karissa Hahn, Stephanie Barber, Nicole Rayburn, Sarah Paul, Janelle VanderKelen, Evanthia Afstralou, Allison Nguyen, and Jennifer Proctor. Preceding the screening will be a reading by Jessica Lawson and dance by Olivia Dwyer, with Vivian Kim and Alex Tomassian.

Dogs Over One Hundred Fire Doors Gloria Chung – USA – 2018 – 7 min

To see something once is better than to hear of it one hundred times.
To repeat a lie one hundred times is to turn it into the truth.

This age of ‘post-truth’ is marked by the denial and outright rejection of observable facts. From the recent atrocities of police shootings in the U.S. to the Trump administration’s inane yet telling claims on crowd size, the observable facts do not matter. Aided by information manipulation and overload, falsehoods are repeated and become entrenched. Repetition – as the history of propaganda demonstrates – is a powerful tool in molding, inverting and inventing truth. The inspiration for this work was a trip to the exquisitely implausible city of Venezia, and the title of this work is based on an old Chinese adage: “To see something once is better than to hear of it one hundred times”- true of a city like Venezia. An online translation service’s imperfect algorithm interpreted the Korean spelling/pronunciation alternately as “Seeing is believing” and “Dogs over one hundred fire doors.” 

Gloria Chung lives in New York.  Her works are travelogues of places real and imagined, examinations of landscape and place. They have screened at galleries and festivals in the U.S. and internationally.

Please Step Out of the FrameKarissa Hahn – USA – 2018 – 4 min

from your desk(top)
mistrust the manufactured image
distrust the assembled picture
give no credence to the massed account
discredit the aggregate narrative
defame the corporate chronicle
denigrate the collective annals
doubt the constructed copy
– consider the clone.

accept the dismantled vision
exalt the forged now brain
subscribe to the ditto
fuel the doodad delusion
nourish the gizmo nightmare
incite the idiot box prophecy
inflame the dingbat phantasm
a film burn becoming pixels as band-aid
a manufactured reinforcement
in the empire of computer and you
feeding machine-vision
the partition of screen

Karissa Hahn is a visual artist who works between film and video; accumulating a storm of spectral ephemera. Hahn has shown around the planet Earth in various cinemas, galleries, and institutions.

The Parent TrapStephanie Barber – USA – 2017 – 4 min

“Another in a series of sculptural pieces I’m currently building. this one is a short 16mm film made as a memorial for my grandmother who passed away this spring, her voice can be heard singing a bit of song. What goes when the body goes? How many parents have we got stacked upon us into eternity like ladders to the afterlife?” – SB

Stephanie Barber is a multidisciplinary artist whose work has been focused on an expanded poetics that results in the creation of movies, books, installations and songs. This work sits between essay and story, cinema and literature, science and spirituality. It moves beyond allegiance to media and works hard at defying classification. Barber’s work considers the most basic existential questions of human existence; its morbidity, profundity and banality, with the unexpected tools of play and humor. She approaches these questions rigorously while sidestepping the oppressive, class-bound implications of academic form and language. Major museums and festivals in the US and abroad have hosted solo exhibitions of these films and videos and books, essays and poetry have been widely published. The past five years have seen the release of two feature films which focus on an imaginative approach to poetic essay represented in dialog, radio play and song (in DAREDEVILS) and lecture, song and monologue (in In The Jungle.) as well as other projects.

Like Evenly Spaced PlantsNicole Rayburn – Canada – 2018 – 3 min

a dreadful war of organic beings. going on in the quiet woods. & smiling fields; when plants engage in battle, widely & perfectly spaced; when plastic is more real than real; when the struggle for existence is both brutal & beautiful; when we all play the fuckedup game.

Nicole Rayburn‘s artistic practice is a blundering convergence of video, text, and still imagery. Often via appropriation and obsessive repetition, my projects address ideas around ‘the other’, human/non-human relations, and concepts of boundary and transgression through the lens of history, religion, sci-fi, and popular culture. I hold an MFA from the University of Western Ontario and am currently a faculty instructor at the Yukon School of Visual Art. I am the founder and producer of Cold Cuts Video Festival, and currently live and work between Dawson City, Yukon, Canada, and Mexico.

Golden BallsSarah Paul – USA – 2017 – 7 min

Situated on Lake Erie, Golden Balls loosely follows the story of a scandalous beauty queen, Little Miss Cleveland, and her seduction of the golden balls of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The video is lush and psychedelic, accompanied by a haunting soundtrack of fuzzy distortion and ethereal female voice. Underneath the hypnotic visuals and sound lies a mysterious but tangible rejection of social constructs as this Amazonian hyper-feminine siren unabashedly romances a glittering golden basketball. The formal qualities of the video resemble computer animation and modeling, though the footage is shot entirely on a phone using a meticulously hand woven mirrored mylar textile in physical space to create the illusion of digital effects.

Born on the edge of the Berkshire Mountains in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Sarah Paul is now a transdisciplinary artist based in Cleveland, Ohio. She received her BS in Mathematics from the University at Albany, and MFA in Visual Studies from the University at Buffalo, before swimming west along the southern coast of Lake Erie. After stopping to rest, mesmerized by the flaming smokestacks, she wandered inland and fell in love and lust with the steelyards, the city, and the lake. In the form of video art, installations, live art, sound, and photography, Sarah is making work that explores the multifaceted identity of this lush rusty belt. Sarah is presently an Associate Professor and Chair of Sculpture and Expanded Media at the Cleveland Institute of Art. http://www.sarahpaul.org/

When the Rabbit’s Nose TwitchesJanelle VanderKelen – USA – 2018 – 10 min

Elaine de Kooning’s musings from the other side.

Janelle VanderKelen’s videos and sculptural installations situate the telling and marking of time within the body as mutable monument. Her work has been included in exhibitions at various institutions including San Diego Underground Film Festival, IC DOCS, Athens International Film + Video Festival, Antimatter [Media Art], and Anthology Film Archives. She currently co-curates a non-profit screening series called aCinema and teaches film and video at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee where she received both her MFA in Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres and her MA in Intermedia Art.

All the Colours of FutilityEvanthia Afstralou – Germany – 2018 – 3 min

All the Colours of Futility is an image vocabulary that unfolds as an arbitrary juxtaposition of movements and colours. From ASMR massage videos to crushing a watermelon and elephant toothpaste experiments, the seemingly incoherent collaged video excerpts of self indulgence, unproductiveness and distraction endorse the generic aesthetics of advertisement. Forming a visual poem in the flow of digitally distributed entertainment and the social tendencies of the online culture. The split screen asserts a view on the world from the google window where the underlying voyeuristic joy accelerates the sense of guilty satisfaction.

Evanthia Afstralou: After finishing my sculpture degree in the university of the Arts in London I relocated in Berlin where I am based for the last three years. Using the ready made and the moving image, through my work I re-enact fragmented narratives of trivial moments whose artificial nature emphasises the way that social cliches, habits and social norms form our realities. My work has been shown in selected festivals like the new Media festival in Santa Fe, Festival Miden in Greece, the Heure Exquise festival in France and the London Greek film festival. I have also worked as an assistant editor for Winter on kithara which premiered in Sydney and was part of the Cannes short film festival

Dessert DisasterAlison Nguyen – USA – 2018 – 4 min

A found footage work which compares the parallel cinematic language of dessert commercials with that of ‘disaster porn’ found in the news and on the Internet. The sound, pulled from pedestrian-produced videos of demolitions, disasters, and storms, expresses the contradictions of the contemporary crowd; its insatiable appetite for destruction and arousal; its inattention, its inability to look away; its anxiety and its ecstasy.

Alison Nguyen is a New York-based artist working in video, film, and installation. She received her B.A from Brown University, Providence, RI. Nguyen’s work has been featured in exhibitions and screenings at Microscope Gallery, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Crossroads presented by SF MoMA, Marfa Film Festival, San Diego Underground Film Festival, Traverse Vidéo, True/False Film Festival,Transient Visions, Palace Film Festival, Outpost Artists, Zumzeig Cine, BOSI Contemporary, and Satellite Art Show, Miami. She has participated in group performances at The Whitney Museum of Art: Dreamlands Expanded, The Parrish Museum, and Mana Contemporary (in collaboration with Optipus). Nguyen has received residencies and fellowships from The Institute of Electronic Arts, BRIC, Signal Culture, Vermont Studio Center, and Flux Factory. She has been awarded grants from NYSCA and The New York Community Trust. www.alisonnguyen.com

Nothing a Little Soap and Water Can’t Fix – Jennifer Proctor – USA  – 2018 – 12 min

In films, as in life, the bathtub is often considered a private space for women – a place not only to groom, but to relax, to think, to grieve, to be alone, to find sanctuary. For Hollywood, though, it’s also a place of naked vulnerability, where women narratively placed in harm’s way have no escape. Using appropriated movies, this experimental found footage work deconstructs the representations of women in this domestic space as historically framed in popular film.

Jennifer Proctor is a filmmaker and media artist originally from San Rafael, California, and now in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Her award-winning found footage work examines the history of experimental film, Hollywood tropes, and the representation of women in cinema, and has screened around the world, including the Edinburgh Film Festival, Antimatter Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, LA FilmForum, South by Southwest, and Anthology Film Archives. She is an Associate Professor of Journalism and Screen Studies at University of Michigan-Dearborn.

Performers

Jessica Lawson is a Pushcart-nominated poet whose work has appeared in The FanzineYes, PoetryCosmonauts AvenueThe Wanderer; FLAG + VOID; Dream Pop and elsewhere. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Smith College, a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, and an MFA from CU-Boulder, where she served as an editor for Timber Journal. Her chapbook Rot Contracts was a finalist for the New Delta Review 2017-2018 Chapbook Contest. She teaches classes on creative writing and LGBT literature in Colorado, and has just completed a manuscript about the downfalls of trying to power bottom the patriarchy.

Vivian Kim is a Nebraska native who is currently based out of Boulder, CO by leeway of Cincinnati, OH.  Vivian received her B.A. in Dance from the University of Nebraska Lincoln under the instruction of Susan Levine-Orada, and her MFA in Performance and Choreography for Dance from CU Boulder.  Vivian is a teaching artist, freelance choreographer. Vivian is currently performing and training with Rennie Harris and the Rennie Harris Grass Roots Projects in Denver, CO.
Alex Tomassian graduated from The University of Colorado at Boulder with degrees in Dance, Journalism and Art Practices. She is interested in weight and texture within movement and focuses on exploring her relationship with gravity and space. She believes dance has the power to transcend human boundaries spiritually, culturally and physically.
Olivia Dwyer received her B.A. in Dance and Sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder under the guidance of artists such as Michelle Ellsworth, Erika Randall, and Donna Mejia. Dwyer has worked for a wide range of artists including Faye Driscoll, Sidra Bell, and Rennie Harris, as well as premiered work nationally at several acclaimed venues and festivals such as Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema and Gibney Dance in New York City. As a social justice practitioner, Dwyer is interested in creating work which grapples, complicates, and challenges codified social interaction while adopting an interdisciplinary approach to creating work which blends the world of dance with technology, film, and performance art. She currently teaches, creates and resides in Boulder, Colorado USA.