An experimental documentary comprised of regional vignettes about faith, force, technology and exodus. Eleven parables relay histories of settlement, removal, technological breakthrough, violence, messianism and resistance, all occurring somewhere in the state of Illinois. The state is a convenient structural ruse, allowing its histories to become allegories that explore how we’re shaped by conviction and ideology.
"A chamber drama set in the confines of an apartment’s sun room, this video further explores visual themes and obsessions found in my earlier works and adds in a few new ones for good measure. Earlier motifs seen here are lightbulbs in pendulum movement, tabletop antics with simple household objects, Christo-like fleshy textures, sketchbook pages torn from their binders, book pages, bookshelves, and flowers. I play a vaguely Walter Mitty-ish figure, who imagines himself as a conductor, as Orpheus, and as conflicted characters in a Greta Garbo movie.
The Waiãpi videomaker Kasiripinã decides to show white people the documentation he did on his people in Amapo. He presents and comments on three celebrations that represent episodes of the myth-cycle of the creation of the universe. The theme of the Tamoko celebration is war, and it presents the death of a cannibal monster. In the second celebration, Pikyry, the dancers act out the spawning of fish. The last is the Turé, the dance of the flutes, in which the Waiãpi reenact the death of the tapir in honor of the creator, Janejar.
A woman survives a clinical death in 1988 and wakes up hearing voices in her head. Samuel, a spirit, has started to speak through her. People identify her as a medium. Samuel proclaims a mission to save the world before the year 2012. The entity's name soon changes from Samuel to EN K1, a Sumerian God who claims to be the father of the human race.
The personal odyssey recorded in The Laughing Alligator combines methods of anthropological research with diaristic essay, mixing objective and subjective vision. Recorded while Downey and his family were living among the Yanomami people of Venezuela, this compelling series of anecdotes tracks his search for an indegenous cultural identity.
This video is related to Seven Years of Living Art (a seven-year performance of personal endurance Montano began in December of 1984) and adopts the Zen Chakra system of seven centers as a structuring device. The adoption of the Chakra system arises from Montano’s commitment to the study of Eastern culture and religion.
Jake Wells, a professional tattooist, DIY drone builder, FPV (First Person View) flight hobbyist, and possibly the world’s first RC (Remote Control) Christian Minister, shares some of his stories and ideas regarding the connection between religion, drone technology and his personal struggles.
“To take back the gold that was stolen from us – this is the object of our actions.”
Lettres du Voyant is a documentary-fiction about spiritism and technology in contemporary Ghana, which attempts to uncover some truths about a mysterious practice called "Sakawa" — internet scams mixed with voodoo magic. Tracing back the scammers’ stories to the times of Ghanaian independence, the film proposes Sakawa as a form of anti-neocolonial resistance.
The work of Dani Leventhal explores the complicated space that exists between decay and renewal, intimacy and disconnection and the sacred and mundane. The six pieces that comprise Dani Leventhal Videoworks: Volume 1 each examine these ambiguous emotional and psychic spaces through a use of montage that is at once both unstructured and dispassionate and lyrically sentimental.
Linda Montano is interviewed by Janet Dees, Curator at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum, Northwestern University.
Since the 1960s, Linda Montano has aimed to blur the distinction between art and life with her performance and video work. Delving deep into subjects like death, spirituality and personal trauma, she is seen as an influential figure in feminist performance art.
Sixteen-year-old guru Marahaj Ji attempts to levitate the Houston Astrodome in this 1973 DuPont award winning documentary. Follow the guru from his New York mansion to limousines in Houston and listen to his followers—celebrities and non-celebrities alike—extol his virtues. TVTV's creative use of graphics, live music, and wide-angle-lens shots to conveys the desperate efforts of these lost children to find a leader.
"If this guy is God, then this is the God the United States of America deserves." —Abbie Hoffman
A surreal vision of one man's endeavor to contact the spirit world and come to terms with nightmares of a mysterious death. A séance is orchestrated according to instructions written in 1920 by revered parapsychologist Hereward Carrington, voiced here by novelist Lynne Tillman. Roses, seen as light by spirits, are placed in the room but these flowers are plastic; a requisite round table is surrounded by wooden chairs that remain empty despite stern warnings to never sit alone.
Combining collage and animation with an Asian-influenced soundtrack, images of women dancing sensually and devotional imagery, Matsushima Ondo compares religious devotion with sexual representation. The viewer is invited to make connections and recognize the irony in some of the similarities.
Performance artist/sculptor Ana Mendieta used the raw materials of nature: water, mud, fire, rock, and grass. The consciousness of her politics and the poetics of her expression fill her work with an emotionally charged vision that is powerfully conveyed in this posthumous video profile. Drawing upon the raw spiritual power of Afro-Cuban religion, Mendieta used her art as a ritualistic and symbolic activity to celebrate the forces of life and the continuum of change.