The Unseen Festival 2019: Slipping Away. Monday, September 23, 7:30pm

Join us on Monday, September 23, 7:30pm, at Counterpath (7935 East 14th Ave., Denver) for night 4 of the Unseen Festival 2019!


Ahja Fox (aefoxx) can be found around Denver, Colorado reading at various events, cheering on her community, or co-hosting Art of Storytelling. She is an assistant poetry editor for Copper Nickel and Homology Lit and publishes in online and print journals like Five:2:One, LEVELER, Driftwood Press, Rigorous, Okay Donkey, The Perch (Yale), and more. She has also been included in the 2018 Punch Drunk Anthology, YANYR Anthology, and Reclaim: An Anthology of Women’s Poetry. Ahja’s poems and prose are manifested through extreme recurrence of body-centric imagery and paronomasia which reflect her tag ‘Suicide by writing’. It’s her way of saying that the death and autopsy of themes and concepts is the key to understanding the truth about them. 


A Maine girl at heart, Kate Speer is a dancer, choreographer, and organizer based in Denver, CO. Speer has had residencies at RedLine (CO), PlatteForum (CO), Middlebury College (VT), Swarthmore College (PA), and Mascher Space Cooperative (PA), all of which emphasize community engagement that is inherent in her dancemaking. Often self-producing in DIY spaces, her own choreography has been supported by National Performance Network, Colorado Creative Industries Career Advancement Grant, the Puffin Foundation and the Community Education Center’s New Edge Artist Mix Series (PA), and has been presented at Performatica (Cholula, Mexico), Boulder International Fringe Festival (CO), Philly Fringe (PA), ETC Performance Series (PA), and FAB Dance Showcase (ME). In 2018, Speer was selected for Control Group Productions’ inaugural Guest Artist Presenting Initiative, which produced [Colony 933], an immersive mystery dance-theatre, directed by Speer and conceived of and created collectively with 20 different artists in visual, performance, and music. Always seeking collaborative performance projects, she has had the pleasure to perform in work by Gesel Mason Performance Projects, Claudia Lavista, Ondine Geary, Raja Feather Kelly, Tania Isaac, Patrick Mueller, and Willi Dorner. She holds an MFA in Dance from the University of Colorado Boulder and a BA in Dance and Biology from Swarthmore College.

Photo credit: Heather Gray Photography


Slip Away Mikey Peterson – USA – 2014 – 3 min

Memories diverge from the experiences they intend to mirror. They emerge as an alternate reality we create and revise over time. These visions skew, as our minds focus on fragments of the original experiences – sometimes these visions warp the event to the point where they no longer represent the event but create an alternative version, a dream-like new reality that can influence our present selves. Maybe our selves and our lives are built upon this process of useful mis-remembering.

In this one-shot video, buildings hide behind a natural impressionistic haze. The imagery is familiar, but it’s always at a distance, as movement, light, and sound reinforces its surrealism. What we see is in constant flux, and the same can be said of what we view as Truth and Self.

Mikey Peterson’s meditative images merge with dissolves and jolts via extended real-time shots and jump cuts. Light contrasts through darkened backgrounds, and classical elements—water, fire, air and earth—create abstracted spaces. These distortions, equally influenced by pre-CGI science fiction films, experimental cinema, and sound collage aim to disturb the viewer’s self-perception and sense of place. Subtle events appear dramatic and nature’s movements become surreal transformations as they reside within the boundary between the physical and the virtual. Footage is manipulated and taken out of its original context in order to relay other truths about the world that it is from – unveiling themes of memory, evolution, destruction, disorientation, and fear. To advance this process of displacement, Peterson manipulates the ambient sound from the source recordings to compose a cohesive soundtrack, moving the viewer into dream-like meditations, chaos, and dark surreal spaces that paradoxically envelop rhythms of tone and light.

The Stream IXHiroya Sakurai – Japan – 2019 – 6 min

This work is a ballet using the sound and the movement of the algae and water. With the waterway as the theater, I filmed the choreography of the algae that flows in the water.

Hiroya Sakurai. Born in Yokohama, Japan. Professor, Seian University of Art and Design. Sakurai’s work can be found in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada and J.Paul Getty Trust. Sakurai was awarded at the 35th Asolo Art Film Festival (2016) Italy, the 39th Tokyo Video Festival, 18th FILE 2017 in São Paulo (2017) and 56th Ann Arbor Film Festival (2018).

Gaia MamaLaura Bouza – USA – 2019 – 19 min

This experimental documentary highlights the musical collaboration of Florence Riggs and Kabbalah Bach, two sound healers working in creative partnership as they compose healing music. Set in a sunny Southern California suburb, an ordinary backyard is transformed through light and sound, giving insight into their creative process and demonstrating the experience of sound healing. High-speed 16mm cinematography is utilized, allowing visual access to sound vibrations inside healing bowls at speeds over 2,000 frames-per-second.

LAURA BOUZA is a Los Angeles based filmmaker whose work considers the intersections of documentary, narrative and experimental film traditions. Her films have screened internationally including Edinburgh International Film Festival, Antimatter Film Festival, and the Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Film/Video from the California Institute of the Arts and teaches film in the Cinema and Television Program at Fullerton College.

AbidingUgo Petronin – Netherlands – 2019 – 5 min

Abiding is a short film created from a single 35mm photograph. Taken from a train window between Dordrecht and Rotterdam, the artist has pulled the film manually in a shutterless camera. The movement of the film and the continuous influx of light dissolved both the center of perspective and the spaces between frames. The work leans on the notions of fluidity and continuity to question the sequential recording and the frame by frame ideology in photographic and cinematographic processes. In this attempt to record without division, trees and houses lose their solidity and oscillate between abstraction and figuration. The piece evokes a filmic matter in flux in which the movements of the body, the apparatus and the sensitive surface coexist.

Ugo Petronin (b1985, FR) is a visual artist and filmmaker based in Rotterdam. His current research focuses on the question of continuity in photographic and cinematographic processes. His latest work Abiding (2019) is a film made of a single 35mm photograph taken in a shutterless camera.

Cactus RaptusMaxime Hot – France – 2018 – 5 min

Raptus (rapture in Latin) is a strong disturbance of consciousness provoking a sudden impulse urging the subject to act violently in a reflex way.

Cactus is a spiny plant whose certain species contain psychoactive substances.

Cactus Raptus combines these two elements.

Cactus used as a plastic and dynamic pattern is growing up on the screen.

It progressively disturbs the space around us, entering our bodies up to the brain.

Crisis is coming. We’re about to feel the compulsive energy of raptus.

Maxime Hot. Enthusiastic moviegoer, He’s interested in experimental, arthouse, bis, documentary and underground cinemas. He studied cinema at the University of Lyon (France) and wrote about scientific photography of the 19th century and experimental movies. At the same time he organized several screenings (hallucinogenic cinema, movies-concert…). He’s involved in several festival (Les Inattendus) and collectives (Les Enthousiastes, Météorites). He makes short experimental videos (especially from chosen footage) since 2016.

Driving DinosaursEmma Piper-Burket – USA – 2019 – 5 min

An 89 year old marketing gimmick subliminally resurfaces on a lonely road in the American west.

Emma Piper-Burket is a visual artist, filmmaker, and writer using fiction, non-fiction, and collected media to investigate interactions between nature, society, and the human spirit. Her work is process-based and research driven, incorporating social trends, ancient history, science, politics, ephemera, and the natural world into her creative practice. Emma has received support from Light Cone, Visual Studies Workshop, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Sundance, Marble House Project, among others for her creative works. Her short films have been exhibited nationally and internationally, including screenings at Ann Arbor Film Festival, Sharjah Film Platform, Anthology Film Archives, Winnipeg Underground Film Festival, ULTRACinema MX, and Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival. She holds an MFA in Cinema and Digital Media from FAMU in Prague, and a BA in Arabic and Classical Studies from Georgetown University.

Circulacíon en la CortezaFrancisco Álvarez Ríos – Ecuador – 2019 – 6 min

The elevated stillness breathes

on the path that being fades. 

Chiaroscuro silence, 

my face falls like a leaf.

Francisco Álvarez Ríos, Bachelor of Cinema and Audiovisual graduated from the University of Cuenca. Director and programmer of the Lucid Chamber – Cinematographic Meetings and Co-director of the editorial platform specialized in GOD / ART cinema. As a director, he stands out for his short-films Ernesto (2012 – 30`), Store (2015 – 31`) and Lost Paradise (commissioned for the 2016 Biennial Foundation of Cuenca – 34`). He is currently continuing to develop new single-person experimental film processes.

The Hearing of the Eye Alessia Cecchet – Italy – 2017 – 6 min

The Hearing of  the Eye is an experimental piece that explores death through a post-humanist lens. 

Our understanding of the animal other changes once it has died. We look away, no longer in awe and the wonder becomes abject. The film re-centers the animal in its passing, compelling the viewer to linger on death, reconsidering its value and opening the possibility for empathy.

Originally from Italy, Alessia Cecchet is maker of moving images. In her films she explores matters of loss and grief through the mix of different mediums; stop motion, fibers and live action film (both digital and analog). Alessia holds and MFA from Syracuse University as well as an MA in Film Studies from the University of Bologna (Italy) where she graduated with a thesis about the American animated cinema during WWII. Her thesis won the Future Film Festival award in 2013 and is now in the process of being published. Her thesis MFA thesis film Onikuma premiered in Italy during the 34th Torino Film Festival in the fall of 2016. Onikuma is an experimental narrative piece that follows the journey of two women through their memories and dreams using both live action film and stop motion animation. Alessia is currently pursuing a Phd in Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her films have been shown in several countries such as the United States, Australia, Spain, Egypt, Italy, Republic of Kosovo, and the UK. 

When it is Still Anna Kipervaser – USA – 2018 – 10 min

An enactment of transmutation, of the animation of the previously inanimate, the dead, the unborn. A rebirth of the self.

A response film to AND BY THE NIGHT.

Anna Kipervaser is a Ukrainian-born multimedia artist. Her work spans multiple disciplines including experimental and documentary moving image works in both 16mm film and video. Her moving image work has screened at festivals internationally at Crossroads Film Festival, Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, Antimatter, Fracto Experimental Film Encounter, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Milwaukee Underground Film Festival, Chicago Underground Film Festival, Athens International Film and Video Festival, Indie Grits Film Festival, Montreal Underground Film Festival, Haverhill Experimental Film Festival, Muestra Internacional Documental de Bogota among others. Anna’s work also screens in classrooms, galleries, microcinemas, basements, and school houses! She is also painter, printmaker, curator of exhibitions, programmer of screenings. She currently lives and works in Sharjah.

Gathering Moss Erin Espelie – USA – 2018 – 5 min – FILMMAKER IN PERSON!

Humans have used moss for at 1,000 years to help heal their injuries. –Smithsonian Magazine, 2017. Mosses and other small beings issue an invitation to dwell for a time right at the limits of ordinary perception. –Robin Wall Kimmerer, 2003. The world now sacrifices everything to speed. Quiet seems to be regarded as a detestable condition to be expurgated by any means which applied science can devise.–F. Percy Smith (dir. Gathering Moss, 1933)

Erin Espelie‘s films have shown at the NYFF, the British Film Institute, CPH:DOX, the Full Frame Film Festival, and more. She co-directs NEST (Nature, Environment, Science & Technology) Studio for the Arts at the University of Colorado – Boulder. 

Meridian – Calum Walter – USA/Italy – 2019 – 15 min – FILMMAKER IN PERSON!

Meridian follows the last unit in a fleet of autonomous machines sent to deliver an emergency vaccine. The film shows footage transmitted by the machine before its disappearance, tracing a path that seems to stray further and further from its objective.

Meridian is inspired by a real event that occurred in Washington, DC on July 17, 2017, where an automated security robot from the company Knightscope was found floating in a fountain at the building it patrolled. It had plunged into the water while on a routine patrol, spurring speculation about whether the machine had chosen to end its life or if this was just a glitch in an otherwise reliable new technology. Perhaps more interesting than the fate of the machine, was the desire to see its death within a human context. With this story in mind Meridian looks for parallels between automation and purgatory, depression and malfunction.

Calum Walter is an artist working in sound and moving image. His work looks at memory, anxiety, and the cultural moment as seen through emerging and consumer technologies. His films have screened at the Berlinale, Toronto International Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, FIC Valdivia, Vienna Independent Shorts, Images Festival, Slamdance and the Hong Kong Arts Centre. He is a 2018 MacDowell Fellow and has received awards from the Harpo Foundation and the Illinois Arts Council. His work has been covered by Filmmaker Magazine, Fandor, Reverse Shot, and Cinema Scope Magazine. He lives in Chicago and teaches in the Department of Radio, Television and Film at Northwestern University.