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

Pre-Internet

Join us on Saturday, September 22, 7:30pm, for night 22 of the Unseen Festival. We will screen work by Alison Nguyen, Lili White, Jean-Michel Rolland, Wenhua Shi, Morgen Christie, Anabela Costa, Sara Bonaventura, and Yuri Yefanov. Preceded by a reading by Diana Nguyen and dance by Rick Manayan.

You Can’t Plan a Perfect Day Sometimes it Just HappensAlison Nguyen – USA – 2018 – 9 min

A banal epic comprised of appropriated footage of lens flare from contemporary American advertisements. Sequences of people in seemingly endless outdoor leisure environments are illuminated and obscured by the glow of lens flare. Draining the symbol of its meaning by using it over and over again, the piece at once critiques and eerily meditates on visual codes for authenticity and spirituality used in white-dominated mass media.

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

#63 CompletionLili White – USA – 2018 – 4 min

The I Ching aka THE CHINESE BOOK OF CHANGES is an ancient augury of 64 hexagrams, which describe different, yet archetypal forms of life’s conditions. It uses 64 numerals in its most basic presentation. The I CHING oracle builds its communication with 8 trigrams named after elements of nature to describe particular qualities of energy. Example: water’s quality is “danger”, thunder is “shocking” or “shaking”, and mountain is “bound” or “keeping still”. Each hexagram is formed using 2 trigrams, stacked one on top of the other. #63 is water over fire; and it can be titled COMPLETION. The I CHING also has 8 HOUSES named after the primal trigrams. The first hexagram in any house is a double of the same trigram (ex-water over water). The HOUSE describes the transformation of the initial energy. As the HOUSE begins to change, it forms 8 different hexagrams, and #63 belongs in THE HOUSE OF WATER. THE HOUSE OF WATER begins with a dangerous chaos; that finally transforms into a discipline control of passion, armed with reason, which allows for accomplishments of what is just and right. #63 says that even though you think that a certain situation is finished, this is not the time to relax. The whole situation has reached its pinnacle, and therefore, there’s nowhere else to go except down. As indifference is the root of all evil, it advises to stay alert and ward off any disaster that might be coming around the bend. In #63 the trigram of water occurs over that of fire. Caution is the essence here, although everything seems to have reached completion. But, like water boiling over and putting out the flames beneath it, the competing balance between water and fire cannot be maintained: they act as equals and are forever unstable. Most interestingly, this is the only hexagram whose nuclear trigrams (that’s another story) form a reverse order, a criss-crossing where fire is placed over water. Water’s energy flows down, and fire’s follows up. The triangles from the costume echo this direction, and black and white are the colors of these 2 forms. The character manipulates this dynamic, as they take turns flipping and flopping back and forth thru eternity.

Lili White works across disciplines, laying impressions, based on personal and collective dreams. She delves into liminal, borderline space, describing the inter-connectedness and elusiveness of living change, found under the surface of things. Her imagery draws from mental projections residing in the fluctuating movements of spirit which are the ceaseless dynamisms of evolution. Delineating intuitive feeling-meanings, viewers are coaxed into contemplation, rendering a deeper capacity of self-awareness. Lili White studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, while also making Super 8 films. Her edits span between the personal, history, and society’s collective memory, connecting stories tangentially, presenting a dream-like logic. FOOL’s GOLD: CALIFORNIA ROADTRIP in an ELECTION YEAR, a feature film essay from 2014, “painted” a tableau portrait of American “greed”. It received a NYSCA finishing funds award. In 2010 she founded ANOTHER EXPERIMENT by WOMEN FILM FESTIVAL in NYC, (http://axwff.com) which screens experimental film by women (and some men) at Anthology Film Archives, through NEW FILMMAKERS NY. Its online streaming web-site (http://axwonline.com), presents these works and pays the filmmakers immediately upon purchase. It also functions as an archive of women’s endeavors. From 2012 to 2015 she served as an elected Board Member to Millennium Film Workshop, and was chairperson of the Archive Committee, which eventually sold to NY’s MoMA Museum.

The Partisan Jean-Michel Rolland – France – 2017 – 2 min

 

Sci-Fi video artwork where Leonard Cohen’s “The Partisan” lyrics are spoken by a machine. The words “Germans” are changed to “Humans” and “France” to “Internet”, turning this war song into an unlikely computer resistance complaint where trouble and humour come together for better or for worse.

 

Jean-Michel Rolland is a French artist born in 1972. A musician and a painter for a long time, he’s been mixing his two passions – sound and image – in digital arts since 2010. At the origin of each of his creations, musicality plays a role as important as image does and each one influences the other in a co-presence relationship. The result is a series of experimental videos, audiovisual performances, generative art, interactive installations and VJ sets where sound and image are so inseparable that the one without the other would lose its meaning. This formal research is guided by the desire to reveal the intrinsic nature of our perceptual environment and to twist it to better give new realities to the world around us. His works, always very experimental, are a reflection of the sometimes unexpected inner world of their author and are nevertheless the object of an important international diffusion. Several of them have been rewarded for their originality, by Digital Graffiti in Miami (USA), Multimatograf (Russia), dokumentART (Germany and Poland), North Carolina University (USA), Artaq (France) and The International Video Art Review (Poland). Convinced that dematerialization of video art is a strength and not a weakness, he allows anybody to access most of his productions on his website : http://franetjim.free.fr

Walking Cycle Wenhua Shi – China/USA – 2016 – 9 min

 

Walking Cycle is an abstract audiovisual piece that celebrates the line, its quality, and its movements.

Wenhua Shi is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art at UMass Boston. Originally trained as a doctor in China, Wenhua departed from the medical field and began working in radio and TV in his hometown of Wuhan. In 2009 he graduated with an MFA from Art Practice at the University of California at Berkeley. Wenhua Shi pursues a poetic approach to moving image making, and investigates conceptual depth in film, video, interactive installations and sound sculptures. His works have been screened or exhibited at Pacific Film Archive,, Smithsonian Freer Gallery of Art, and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, The National Museum of Film, Photography and Television (UK), Experiments in Cinema, Albuquerque, Denver Contemporary Museum of Art, Shanghai Ray Art Center, Beijing Film Academy, Berlin International Directors Lounge, The Jack Kerouac School of Naropa University, and dozens of international film and art festivals, including Rotterdam (IFFR), Osnabrück (EMAF), Black Maria Film Festival, Hamburg, Bradford, Clermont-Ferrand, Ithaca (FLEFF), Ann Arbor, Athens (AIFVF) and Mexico City, West Bund 2013: a Biennale of Architecture and Contemporary art, Shanghai, Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism, International Arte Laguna Prize, Finalists Exhibition, The Arsenale of Venice in Italy. Recently he presented a solo show, A Year from Monday, at Squeaky Wheel Film and Media Art Center in Buffalo, NY and a solo screening, Autumn Air, at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, MA.

Flow Morgen Christie – USA – 2018 – 3 min

 

Flow, is an exploration in movement and color. The swirling colors move in and out of frame. Aqua is the main color of the video. It is used to draw the eye in from left to right. The forms appear to be vibrating outwards. Towards the middle of the video, the vibrations change and abstract lines begin to follow a new pattern. The ambient sounds add to the separated visuals.

 

Morgen Christie is a Chester County based artist whose work is exhibited nationally and internationally.  She studied Visual Arts, with a concentration in Video & Film Arts at Maryland Institute College of Art, in Baltimore, MD.  Her videos have been screened at MOMA’s Pop Rally in New York, Usurp Zone 5 Film Festival in London, UK, and Palazzo Jules Maidoff in Florence, Italy.  In addition, to gallery and theater screenings, she also projects videos onto structural surfaces – on the wall of an abandoned building, on the hubcap of a tire, or the base of a water fountain, to name a few.  Projection art, is just as much a part of her work as video is.

JailbirdAnabela Costa – France – 2018 – 6 min

Behind bars. “For some years i work with experimental software ARTIE with which i generate image and sequences of animate moving images. This software was not designed to animation, anyway i could turn it and i make a fully exploitation of its possibilities.” – AC

Anabela Costa is a visual artist, her work were subject of several solo exhibitions. From the eighties she became interested and moving progressively towards the digital image. Since 2000 she has been conducting research in the field of experimental film, based on two axes: the moving image – the aesthetics of representation of movement, and the formalization of thematic and scientific concepts. She made a few experimental animations combining these two research areas: Web, TIME, LIQST_liquid state, and Landscape, which were programmed and awarded in international festivals devoted to avant-garde cinema, animation and video art. She is also involved in international conferences where she presents these movies or articles about the image and its contemporary transformations. Living in Paris since 2010, she has continued her artistic research and technology by working with experimental software in the generation of images -still images or moving image.

StakraSara Bonaventura – Italy/USA – 2017 – 5 min

 

It’s a mystical and hallucinatory journey of a resilient subject, not yet completely seduced by the machines; entangled in their challenging system, but radiating dynamism while struggling for self determination. Getting lost, falling apart, splitting, vanishing and resetting. Finding balance in between. The performer is Annamaria Ajmone. Soundtrack by Von Tesla. A choreography processed with analog synths and a wobbulator, a modified monitor known as Paik Raster Manipulation Unit, at Signal Culture.

Sara Bonaventura is an Italian visual artist currently based in Singapore. As independent videomaker she has been collaborating with performers and musicians, such as Carla Bozulich and the Canadian Constellation Records, vjing, directing clips, adv. She curated visuals in clubs and festivals. Her works have been screened in Italy and abroad; recently, at the Anthology Film Archives, NewFilmmakers NY series, and for Other Cinema at San Francisco ATA Gallery; she won the Veneto Region Award at the 10th Lago Film Fest in 2014, she has been selected for several residencies, ie in 2016 by Joan Jonas at Fundacion Botin (Spain). She is currently working on her first feature film, Forest Hymn for Little Girls.

NiheliousYuri Yefanov – Ukraine – 2017 – 11 min

The work is made of videos designed for wedding films. Angels, hearts, roses – all this 3d graphics created specifically for wedding videos in the early 2000’s which was used as a design, an extra entourage for wedding films to enhance their aesthetic appeal. Working with kitsch implies the presence of artist’s irony. In this case I tried to go over this line and make the film completely unfunny. However, it is impossible to run away from irony. It works as a filter when we try to talk about such things as “love” or “beauty” where the first is represented as vulgarity and the second is perceived the best in inversed form. Nihelious – a film about nihilism. “Ious” is a Latin derivative of the suffix, which forms adjectives, which indicate completeness, the highest degree of designated quality (in this case, nihilism). Archetypal characters are woven and encrypted in the film flow but by and large they have no meaning. Their sense was killed by nihilist of the past, ironically adopted by nihilist of the present. Instead a new aesthetics seems to me as a symptom of decadence, helplessness, where the strongest thing a person can do is to joke, to be witty.

 

Yuri Yefanov. Born in 1990 in Zaporizhia, Ukraine. Grew up in Crimea. In 2012 graduated from Kyiv National University of Culture and Arts, Film Direction Faculty. Artist, film director, actor and musician. Works predominantly with video. Participant of exhibitions, film festivals, music projects in Ukraine and abroad.

Reader and Dancer

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. www.dianakhoinguyen.com

rick h m is a QTPOC, anti-disciplinary artist based in Boulder, CO. They are a current MFA (Choreography) candidate at University of Colorado Boulder, and a Center for Humanities & the Arts Fellow for the 2018-19 school year. rick received their BA (Dance & Sociology) from Wesleyan University, concentrating in performance studies and choreography as a means of ascribing a creative process rooted in imagining queer utopia(s). Their scholarly research on queer utopia has further led to community building via various artistic/life pursuits, including their performing under the stage name, umami goddess™. rick has collaborated with and studied under noted dance artists/scholars including Darrell Jones, Bebe Miller, Eiko Otake, Nicole Stanton, and Katja Kolcio. Through written and embodied forms of creative research, rick calls for a dismantling of the systems that enforce control over our abilities to liberate our social bodies.