The Unseen Festival 2018: Separated by the Sea. Monday, September 17, 7:30pm

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

Separated by the Sea

Join us on Monday, September 17, 7:30pm, for night 17 of the Unseen Festival. We will screen work by Michael Lyons, Salar Niknafs, Eric Ko, Alessia Cecchet, Lorenzo Gattorna, Stefano Miraglia, and James Edmonds. Preceded by a performance curated by Marcia Douglas, featuring Davidas (Bird) Marathe.

KatagamiMichael Lyons – Japan – 2016 – 4 min

This stop-motion animation was made by photographing and re-photographing antique kimono resist-dyeing stencils in positive and negative. A joyful play with optical illusions, small variations in the repeating pattern elements generate apparent motion. Photographed on Super 8 and hand-developed using matcha (powdered green tea).

Michael Lyons (Canada, UK) is a researcher and artist based in Kyoto, Japan. He works as Professor of Image Arts and Sciences at Ritsumeikan University.

DisplacedSalar Niknafs – Australia – 2017 – 6 min


“That is how I explained myself to the strange impression I had of being odd man out, a kind of intruder.” – Albert Camus, The Outsider. Unlike objects, memories can coexist in multiple locations at the same time. Displaced is sparked by this feeling of psychological coexistence in two places at the same time and attempts to navigate their overlapping currents of narration. “I migrated to Australia when I was 24 years old and the conspicuous disjunction between my intuitions and immediate environment has naturally become the main theme in this work. Here, unscripted voice messages on my mobile phone are juxtaposed on the scenery of my daily commune. The asynchronicity between the voices heard and the visions seen aims to create a perceptual shift that transmits the experience through.” – SN


Salar Niknafs (Ph.D.) is a multidisciplinary artist and researcher currently based in Melbourne. Working with photography, video, sound and music, in his art he primarily engages with experimental aesthetic forms. Salar often focuses on abstract perceptions of self and its relation to spaces it occupies to open up a discussion about identity. Salar’s work is presented internationally in the context of conferences, workshops, music venues and exhibitions including FILE Electronic Language International Festival (Rio De Janeiro), Life Framer (Rome), Society for Photographic Education media festival and national conference (Orlando) and Incinerator Art Award for Social Change finalists exhibition (Melbourne).

Divided by BlueEric Ko – USA – 2016-17 – 9 min

Separation as an aside of life and love. “A fish in a bottle. Distances, nostalgia, silent love notes. The boundary that join several points also define a separation. Two people searching each other, in melancholy. The soft and round-shaped stroke of the animation work, gives outlines and borders a bodily substance. A story about annulment of distances. The desire of returning back to each other, of being inseparable.” – Laterale Film Festival 2018 “Divided by Blue is a visual poem about separation, loss, and being in-between the two. Began as a piece about divorce, diaspora, and my inability to confront these things because of inter-generational gap and language barrier, it coalesced into a piece about division and distance in a more general sense.” “The ambiguous setting is based on my faint memories of a post-industrial northeastern New Jersey from my childhood. This film also behaves also as a love letter to this illusory and rapidly disappearing place in my memory and heart that I call home.” – EK


Eric Ko is an independent animator, filmmaker, and artist from New York. He is engaged with emotional distillation through textural and visceral atmosphere. He is interested in visual poetry by way of both abstraction and objective imagery.

WWW {The Whale Who Wasn’t}Alessia Cecchet – USA – 2018 – 11 min. World premiere!


WWW {The Whale Who Wasn’t} is a tale of conquest and destruction. Utilizing fragments of early educational films and animation, the piece develops a sci-fi counter-narrative of subjugation and annihilation told from a non-human perspective.

Alessia Cecchet is a maker of moving images. Originally from Italy, she makes hybrid films that incorporate live action film, stop motion animation, fibers and sculpture. Her work explores matters of loss, grief and memory. More recently she has been engaging with the way we look at animals and specifically animal death. Alessia holds an MFA in Film from Syracuse University and is currently pursuing a PhD in Film and Digital Media at the University of California Santa Cruz. Alessia’s work has been shown at Slamdance Film Festival, Torino Film Festival and Nashville Film Festival and it has been screened in several countries such as Australia, Germany, the UK, Egypt, Spain, Republic of Kosovo, Romania and Iran.

way of the godsLorenzo Gattorna – China/Taiwan/Japan/USA – 2016 – 11 min

“The mysterious stirs a reaction: an ah! This ah! is not an ah ha! or Eureka—that is, an exclamation of discovering an answer. The ah! response to mystery is more a dumbfounded recognition and appreciation of an inexplicable power or presence … For Shinto, though, the point is to accept the awesome as part of the world in which we live. To deny or try to eradicate the wondrous mystery is no less than to run away from home.?” – ?Shinto: The Way Home, Thomas? P. Kasulis?, 2004?

Lorenzo Gattorna is a filmmaker and programmer from New York. He holds a BFA in Film and Television Production from NYU and an MFA in Moving Image from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Recently, his cinematic work engages with extended temporality, eludes narrative causality and embodies the confluence of lived experiences and embellished counterparts. He also attempts to capture flawed, fleeting scenarios, and the bittersweet sentiments that accompany their passing. His short films have screened in association with ARKIPEL, Balagan, CCNY, Chicago Filmmakers, Concrete Dream, CUFF, Echo Park Film Center, EMP Collective, FOVEA, FRACTO, Galerie Myrtis, Howard County Center for the Arts, Image Forum, Les Rencontres Internationales, LMAKprojects, LOOP Festival, Maryland Film Festival, MICA, Microlights, Microscope Gallery, Milwaukee Underground Film Festival, Montreal Underground Film Festival, Moviate Underground Film Festival, NYFF, Onion City, Open City Cinema, PLUG Projects, Regional Support Network, Sonic Circuits, Tabor Film Festival, That One Film Festival, The Nightingale, Transient Visions, TULCA, UNEXPOSED and VIDEOMEDEJA. He has programmed screenings for American Medium, Anthology Film Archives, Antimatter, Maysles Cinema, Spectacle Theater, The Nightingale and UnionDocs. From 2012 to 2014, he was the co-director of Sight Unseen in Baltimore.

RodezStefano Miraglia – France – 2017 – 3 min


An exploration of the Rodez Cathedral. A study on colour, repetition and flickering, composed of 292 photographs.

Stefano Miraglia (b. 1988 in Ma?laga) is an Italian-Spanish visual artist based in France. Merging digital video, analog photographs, archival documents and autobiographical elements, his moving image work stands at the intersection between abstract art, experimental animation and diaristic cinema. His works have been screened at numerous international film festivals, including Transient Visions, Festival des Cine?mas Diffe?rents et Expe?rimentaux de Paris, Fracto and Montreal Underground Film Festival. Stefano Miraglia is the founder and main curator of The Moving Image Catalog (

A ReturnJames Edmonds – Germany – 2018 – 6 min

To return again. To re-align is the object of these visits, perhaps. Geography of origin becoming catalyst for an inner re-alignment with the secret, private, unspoken work of one’s being. Peering into layers, sliding planes of windows and time, the fragmentary gesture of the dance. A series of rapid contrasts, a synthesis of elemental and everyday experience. Structures shift and intermingle, two worlds become one. “A Return consists of two reels of 16mm film shot on a visit to my home village in the South of England. The footage begins in Berlin, in the location I was working with Robert Beavers on the restoration of Gregory J. Markopoulos epic film cycle Eniaios. Following on from this starting point, I continued to shoot people and locations from my everyday life – returning to England during the Christmas holidays, a gathering of old friends, the house of my parents, and glimpses of ancient folk traditions they are involved in.” “The two reels of film negative were then spliced together, interweaving the two locations and time frames in which they were exposed, so that we experience a constant flux of alternation between places and times, aesthetics and weather conditions, eventually, both reels settling in a similar atmosphere.” “All this was done, simply by observing the negatives with the hand, without any form of work-print being made, or even an editing table, but simply the relationship between the material and my intuitive reading of it’s structures, and memory of its locations and colours.” “The sound was mostly recorded in the films final location: where a river, which has its source near my home village, finally meets the sea.” – JE


James Edmonds is an artist and filmmaker from the UK living in Berlin. His practice centres on a personal poetics in which the nature of recording, particularly when approached from the materiality of a medium, offers a tangible yet ultimately paradoxical surface for what is intangible and fleeting – our personal experience, inner worlds, thoughts and reflections. His work manifests in analogue films, painted gestures and long-form soundworks, occasionally combined along with found materials to create immersive environments. He has presented his work at festivals and venues such as A?ge d’Or Festival Brussels, Process Festival Latvia, Fronteira Festival Brasil, 3 137 Athens, Cinema Parenthe?se Brussels, Macao Milan, Ausland Berlin, and Another Vacant Space Berlin. He recently contributed to the book on filmmaker Jeannette Mun?oz – The Landscape As a Sea, (Revista Lumiere 2017) and since 2015 curates the film series Light Movement in Berlin.

Reading Curator and Readers

Marcia Douglas is the author of the novels The Marvellous Equations of the Dread, Madam Fate, and Notes from a Writer’s Book of Cures and Spells, as well as a poetry collection, Electricity Comes to Cocoa Bottom.  Her awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and she is an Associate Professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Bird Marathe. Ex-wrangler of feral cats from NY, NY. Graduate of CU Boulder’s MFA in Creative Writing program. Teacher of creative writing, literature, science fiction, public speaking, and the LSAT. Has performed one-man shows including Grow Fat in Far Pastures, The Spider Will Die, and Recipe for Banana Almond Cake. Currently writing and voice acting for interactive talking dolls.