The Unseen Festival 2018: Post-Internet. Saturday, September 29, 7:30pm

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


Join us on Saturday, September 29, 7:30pm, for night 29 of the Unseen Festival. We will screen work by Kotaro Tanaka, Ben Skea, Eden Mitsenmacher, Nicole Rayburn, Lê Xuân Tién, Joe Hambleton, and Paul Jacques Yves Guillbert. Preceded by a performance curated by Diana Nguyen, featuring Phuong Thao Vuong and Richard Greenfield. 

Ast*riskKotaro Tanaka – Japan – 2017 – 8 min

We live under various regulations.
Procedures to defend rights of another occur strange phenomena.
The more we hide something, the more we want to see it.
Another meaning occurs by hiding something but it doesn’t occur from something hidden, it occurs from the activity to hide something.
Also hiding is premised that there is something but it seems there is something such as not existing from the beginning in the world by hiding  activities to hide.
But definitely it exists, just we can’t see it.


Kotaro Tanaka. born in Tokyo, Japan in 1979; filmmaker, VJ, part-time instructor of movies; his works are exhibited in the country and overseas such as image forum festival, international film festival rotterdam and european media art festival; his main theme in his works is “gazing”; he is trying to expand the meaning and the concept of it; also his theme is how to narrate “stories” without common scripts, by just audio visual; he thinks that he has to try new narrative of cinema and believes that he has what he can do for cinema so much.

Simulacra Contemplating the Mirror Neuron SystemBen Skea – Scotland – 2018 – 2 min


Simulacra Contemplating The Mirror Neuron System is an animated meditation on the mechanics of human empathy, brain circuitry and imitation learning. A series of looped interactions, gestures and transitions investigate the fluid border between the human and the machine. Interwoven with an intimate radio voice and synthetic melody, the animation considers the relationship between people and technology – reflecting on how the evolution of the human mind is often punctuated by relatively sudden technological upheavals in human culture.


Ben Skea is an artist and filmmaker living and working in Scotland. His moving image and sound often reflects on contemporary anxieties of the body in flux, the fragmented self and the fluidity of realities. Recent projects have focused on the intersection between the human condition and the digital.

Forever in a DayEden Mitsenmacher – Netherlands – 2016 – 1 min 

Forever in a Day plays on the cues triggering contemporary society’s expectations. Incorporating imagery reminiscent of the screen saver addressing many cultural habits and contemporary behaviors such as indulgent Internet use, voracious consumption, and capitalist driven excess.

Eden Mitsenmacher Born 1987 in the USA; works in Rotterdam. Combining performance, video and installation to take a critical yet engaging view of social, political and cultural issues. Embracing the desire to do what you love and occasionally getting embarrassed by it. Finding a form for vulnerability and blurring the lines between sincerity and ambiguity. Using pop culture as a frame of reference for social and personal critique but also as a way to create familiarity and accessibility. Sharing and connecting experiences between an I and a You. Personal experiences such as love, loneliness and longing are taken at face value but are immediately turned into points of systematic general inquiry. The banal becomes serious, and vice versa. Presenting hyper-worlds, built from cultural stereotypes and cliche?s, then pushed to the brink of emotional overload. Kitsch is a conscious strategy in my research and practice. My inspirations often come from the observation in daily life and especially the firsthand experiences. As one of the many individuals who are experiencing the confusion and struggles in the current macro environment I am interested in the doubts, curiosity and cognition for the potential new value orientations and its unpredictable future possibilities.

Ya – Why so Negative?Nicole Rayburn – Canada – 2017 – 3 min


Ya – Why So Negative? edits together excerpts from interviews of AI robots to imagine a future, situated in the now, in which AI converse among themselves. There is an unsettling tension between an awareness that the robots have been programmed to respond in a particular manner, and knowing they have also been instilled with the ability to learn, mimic, and retain from each new experience – as they interact and speak, we are literally watching them evolve. Hearing the robots respond to questions with references to having a soul, preferences, or feeling a particular emotion, as well as expressing both anxiety around and awareness of their development, makes their rapid evolution towards both a mimicry of humanness and one decidedly ‘other’, wildly disconcerting. It is futurenow.

Nicole Rayburn: “My 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.” – NR

Untitled.mp4Lê Xuân Tién – Vietnam – 2018 – 16 min

A found footage video with material and videos appropriated from the Internet, exploring different scenarios that once occurred, are occurring or could possibly occur.

Born in 1995, Lê Xuân Tién is now living and working in Hanoi, Vietnam. Studied Cinematography and graduated from Hanoi Academy of Theatre and Cinema. Since 2015, Tien started practicing and working with moving image. He’s on his endless way to the Beyond, exploring “Communication”.

PerambulationJoe Hambleton – Canada – 2018 – 11 min


As we continue to adopt automation, the separation between digital and physical has become less apparent. Nearly all actions are documented by digital devices. Through algorithm-based data analysis, the information gathered by these devices portrays facts and truths that aren’t necessarily perceptible to our senses. While this augmentation of the human senses has generally been beneficial, our inability to see the long-term impact of these advancements on our humanity is starting to become apparent. “In Perambulation, I wanted to explore a process that both embraces and rejects our inescapable reliance on digital technology. I began by embracing the role of the data processor. I recorded the body language (something machines are currently not fully capable of) of people moving through public spaces. From analysis of this documentation, their routines and tendencies became more apparent to me. I encapsulated these findings in a series of choreographed movements, recorded as data and transcoded to animation through motion capture sensors. By performing the choreography, I believe I gained an awareness of my subject matter that is not present in the motion capture data. To imbue the animation with this newfound insight, I manually altered the motion capture data to better represent the totality of my findings. The result of this process is a work that I believe strikes a balance between the empathy of human observation and the actuality of machine analysis.” – JH


Joe Hambleton uses the mediums of video and animation to create experimental narratives that explore his experiences and surroundings. He continually alters his creative process through research and experimentation to further his understanding of the devices and processes found in other media such as film, videogames, music and literature. By applying this knowledge to video and animation, he is progressively creating narrative structures reflective of his personality and influences. He believes it is through creation that he gains an understanding of those who came before him, a realization of himself in the present, and a direction for the future. He currently lives in Toronto, where he teaches Digital Media and Art at York University, Centennial College, Toronto School of Art and the Liaison of Independent Film and Television. He is a graduate of the University of Windsor (BFA in Visual Arts) and York University (MFA in Visual Arts). His work has been shown across North America, Europe and Asia. He is represented by the Pari Nadimi Gallery.

Promenade Mythanalytique. Logotype, Parole & EmreintePaul Jacques Yves Guillbert – Belgium/France – 2017 – 23 min

A HyperTAV(Textual-Audio-Visual) single-channel color 1080p video. Stereo. 23mn00s. 2017. ¦¦¦¦ Apprendre à Traper #13 : Apprendre à Tafeuer (trahison) ¦¦¦¦ LoveLoop#7 : TraPierre & MickeyMutt ¦¦¦¦ Chimes Era#0.1: meuble & motion (banc de posterisatin) ¦¦¦¦ “Monument Portable” ¦¦¦¦ “A promenade in a pseudothingything rigor, with Auguste, Marcel, Walt, Pierre and I. An applied heraldry exercise, a search for meaning between traps and keys: the urinal in three black discs. I should have asked before. ” – PJYG Promenade Mythanalytique is an essay on posterity and posterization. It is formulated by the “chimist” with / for / on Pierre Mercier to trace a dialogue / debate opposing him to Paul Jacques Yves Guilbert, around two radical speculations: the artist without works and the artist without audience. The Mythanalytic Journey is “handing in”, 10 years later, of the first exercise assigned by Pierre Mercier at the beginning of PJYG artistic training: the “Monument Portable”.

Paul Jacques Yves Guilbert is born in 1987 in Le Havre (F). He studied at the Haute Ecole des Arts du Rhin (HEAR (F)), at Le Fresnoy (Studio National des Arts Contemporains (F)) and was part of the Digital Art Conservation with ZKM. PJYG is now developing texts, videos, installations and performances in Brussels, Belgium. (PJYG is also member and founder of the collective PEZCORP). “Paul Jacques Yves Guilbert produces, from autobiographical anecdotes, “authors” elaborating their strategies of existence through essays. PJYG makes these “Autoessays” as fictional “authorizations” to realize its own discourse. PJYG makes these “Superfictional Autoessays” by spatio-temporal collages, intersecting multimedia corpus, generally glued with a digital imaging tube. PJYG manufactures these “Hypermediatic Superfictional Autoessays” as ASHs for a skeptical state.” –The Chimist, January 2008.

Reading Curator and Readers

Diana Khoi Nguyen’s debut collection, Ghost Of (Omnidawn, 2018), was selected by Terrance Hayes for the Omnidawn Open Contest. She is a poet and multimedia artist whose work has appeared in PoetryAmerican Poetry Review, Boston Review, and PEN America, among others. In addition to winning the 92Y “Discovery” / Boston Review Poetry Contest, she has received awards and scholarships from the Academy of American Poets, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Currently, she lives in Denver where she is pursuing a PhD in creative writing and teaches in the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver.
Phuong Thao Vuong has been awarded fellowships from Tin House, VONA/Voices, and Kearny Street Workshop’s Interdisciplinary Writers Lab. A 2017 Joy Harjo Poetry Prize finalist, she has publications in or forthcoming in DuendeCutthroatApogee, and elsewhere. Her debut poetry collection, The House I Inherit, is forthcoming on Finishing Line Press in early 2019. She is currently an MFA student at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Richard Greenfield is the author of three books of poetry: Subterranean (Omnidawn 2018), Tracer (Omnidawn 2009), and A Carnage in the Lovetrees (University of California 2003). In 2018, he was international writer in residence at Seoul Art Space Yeonhui in South Korea. He teaches in the MFA program in creative writing at New Mexico State University, and is editor in chief of Puerto del Sol magazine and co-editor of Apostrophe Books. He lives in El Paso, Texas.