State, The

2015
Akula Dreams

An old Russian Akula submarine, armed with ballistic nuclear missiles, is assigned a new captain. But Captain Pavel seems to care very little for Navy protocol. In fact, he feels the crew’s jobs are a waste of time, preferring to lead discussions about spiritual matters. The Captain dresses in a cassock and grows a long beard. His favorite pastime is shamanic drumming, which even the confused American’s can hear from the ship.

2012
Paul Bush, Babeldom

Babeldom is a city so massive and growing at such a speed that soon, it is said, light itself will not escape its gravitational pull. How can two lovers communicate, one from inside the city and one outside? This is an elegy to urban life, against the backdrop of a city of the future, a portrait assembled from film shot in modern cities all around the world and collected from the most recent research in science, technology and architecture.

"It’s a complex architectural vision equal parts awesome and terrifying… This is a film – and city – to get lost in."

2019
Cassils: An Interview

In conversation with David Getsy — an art historian focusing on queer and transgender methodologies in sculpture theory and performance history — Cassils discusses their monumental performance artworks and inspirations.

2015

Little Radek, the step-dancing Bolshevik; Machera, the Andean Robin Hood, and Maria Spiridonova, the Russian socialist assassin are your guides for Past Leftist Life Regression therapy. In this third Inner Trotsky Child video, narrator Lois Severin— a former Trotskyite turned suburban housewife—attempts to radicalize the personal fulfillment and self-help scene.

2020
Citadel, John Smith

Filmed from the artist’s window during lockdown, Citadel combines short fragments from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s speeches relating to coronavirus with views of the London skyline recorded in a variety of weather conditions. Recognizing the government’s decision to place business interests before public health, it relocates the centre of power from Parliament to the financial district of the City of London.

2020
Covid Messages, John Smith

Covid Messages is a video in six parts, based around broadcasts of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s COVID-19 press conferences. The work focuses on the British government’s attempts to eliminate the virus through the use of magic spells and rituals. While the pandemic spreads and the death toll rises, the Prime Minister makes repeated errors of judgement. Exasperated by his many mistakes, the spirits of the dead rise up and intervene.

2013
The Freestone Drone

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles — drones — have become an everyday feature of contemporary military activity, replacing humans in reconnaissance flights, small-scale combat missions and covert operations. The U.S. Army operates some ten thousands UAVs — a six-fold increase during Obama's term — deploying them over locations like Pakistan and Yemen.

2004
Brian Holmes: An Interview

In this interview, Brian Holmes, an influential art critic, activist and translator, discusses social forms of alienation, human ecologies of power, and the impact of technology on geopolitical social networks. Holmes reflects on his ongoing study of the ways in which the rhetoric of revolution has been institutionalized, as well as artists’ resistance to such cooption. For him, artists working in collectives have the potential to create a new artistic milieu that is not aligned with the dominant model of production. This argument is born out in his published collection of essays, Hieroglyphics of the Future (2003).

1990
How to Live in the FRG

The author assembles a genre picture of the contemporary FRG with shots of scenes where life is rehearsed, ability/durability is tested. Wherever one looks, people appear as actors playing themselves; they take on roles. A play in the theater of life made up of training courses, fitness tests for things and people. Be it in birth preparation classes for expectant parents or in practice runs for sales talks, on the military training ground or during role-plays for educational purposes. Everywhere the incessant effort to be prepared for the emergency of "reality" can be felt.

1988
Man with a Video Camera

After an all-night session of editing Free Society, Garrin headed home with video-8 camera in-hand, only to happen upon the Tompkins Square riots. As police tried to enforce a curfew aimed at removing homeless people from the park, Garrin began gathering footage of cops beating up protesters. He was then attacked by police himself, as the camera continued to roll. The footage was subsequently incorporated into Free Society, in which the military myth of "protect and serve" is dismantled by first-hand experience.

1971

As a verite documentation of the May 1, 1971 demonstration against the Vietnam War staged in Washington, D.C., Mayday Realtime presents a largely unedited flow of events from the point of view of participants on the street. Cort's camera captures the random, disorienting incidents that marked the day - demonstrators holding up traffic in the Capitol, skirmishes with police, on-the-scene interviews with onlookers. The camera impulsively responds to shouting and movement on the street.

1971
Miami Drive, Draft Counsel, Superman in the Grove , Videofreex

This surprisingly candid tape between two men looking to avoid the draft and a draft counselor offers unique entry into conversations that often only took place behind closed doors during the Vietnam War. The Videofreex capture the length of a discussion, set in an office room piled high with stacks of records and forms, during which a counselor guides two college-age men through a series of questions that they must manage and address in order to carefully navigate the legal system.

2014

Natural Life is a feature-length experimental documentary challenging inequities in the U.S. juvenile justice system by depicting, through documentation and reenactment, the stories of five individuals who were sentenced to Life Without Parole (Natural Life) for crimes they committed as youth.

The youthful status and/or lesser culpability of these youths, their backgrounds, and their potential for rehabilitation were not taken into account at any point in the charging and sentencing process. The five will never be evaluated for change, difference or growth. They will remain in prison till they die.

1990
On Our Own

As recent state cut-backs force many mental patients out into the real world, Tony Oursler and Joe Gibbons team up to address psychiatric deinstitutionalization from a comic angle. After years of being cared for, Tony, Joe and their dog Woody leave the cuckoo’s nest and reluctantly face the prospect of finding jobs and cooking their own meals. Their darkly comic adventures include a comatose Tony tuning in to daytime TV, and Joe fantasizing about death while strolling in the park.

2008
One Bright Day

While out shooting for a different project altogether, I encountered two sleeping men on a Manhattan street. A short time later, I was standing in front of Pennsylvania Train Station with the camera on a tripod, when one of the men suddenly reappeared. He stepped in front of my camera and began to speak, about his path in the U.S. military, from Panama to Afghanistan to Iraq, about his life. I decided to limit the piece to what I shot in that area in those few hours, with one key addition: the text from a classic children's rhyme.

–Jem Cohen