Architecture

"Superimposing the stories of two women—the filmmaker’s late grandmother and the amateur filmmaker Joan Thurber Baldwin—Home When You Return explores the psychogeographies of mourning through a variety of modes, from documentary to melodrama. Emptied and put up for sale following its matriarch’s passing, the family home becomes the site of a winding tour through polymorphic representations of the past in media and memory." - NYFF Currents

Hub, 2001

Hub proposes that the idea of home is today perhaps better expressed as a sense of being between places. Within the dalectical interplay between global processes and local environments, Hub suggests that displacement and mobility itself might be thought of as a new way of belonging. Hub uses the transitory space of the airport—defined by its arrivals and departures—to introduce the notion of disappearance to articulate new ideas on belonging and identity.

In this video, MICA-TV interprets the dark spaces of architect Peter Eisenman’s Wexner Center for the Visual Arts at Ohio State University through a fractured narrative of psychological perspectives. Eisenman’s pastiche of historical and contemporary architectural motifs, a characteristic of the postmodern style he pioneered, finds a parallel in this tale of haunted castles and a disappearing golem, told through a correspondence back through time.

"Bricks are the resonating fundamentals of society. Bricks are layers of clay that sound like records, just simply too thick. Like records they appear in series, but every brick is slightly different – not just another brick in the wall. Bricks create spaces, organize social relations and store knowledge on social structures. They resonate in a way that tells us if they are good enough or not. Bricks form the fundamental sound of our societies, but we haven't learned to listen to them.

An uncompromising look at the ways privacy, safety, convenience and surveillance determine our environment. Shot entirely at night, the film confronts the hermetic nature of white-collar communities, dissecting the fear behind contemporary suburban design. An isolation-based fear (protect us from people not like us). A fear of irregularity (eat at McDonalds, you know what to expect). A fear of thought (turn on the television). A fear of self (don’t stop moving).

In his New York City landscape, Cohen finds inspiration in disturbance. Looking to life for rhythm and to architecture for state of mind, he locates simple mysteries. Just Hold Still is comprised of an interconnected series of short works and collaborations that explore the gray area between documentary, narrative, and experimental genres.

Whether they inhabit the desert or are lost in it, three men are clearly confronted to the ruins of modern times. They are explorers or players or performers of times past. Their encounters, their moves, their assessment of location take the form of an acoustic sounding of space. Filmed in Shaabiyat al Ghurayfah in Sharjah, a repertoire of simple gestures playfully engages with structure, space, movement, threshold, surveillance and perspective.

A collaboration with writer Luc Sante made in Tangier, Morocco, a city where neither of us had ever been. En route from the airport to the city center, we found ourselves amazed by the landscape outside of the car windows; a massive construction project under way in all directions. While not in itself unusual, we were by struck dumb by the epic scale and seemingly incomprehensible plan of the development and were drawn to return together to this puzzling zone.

-- Jem Cohen

Lost Sound documents fragments of discarded audio tape found by the artists within a small area of East London, combining the sound retrieved from each piece of tape with images of the place where it was found. The work explores the potential of chance, creating portraits of particular places by building formal, narrative, and musical connections between images and sounds, linked by the random discoveries of the tape samples.

Awarded a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship in 2014, Rick Lowe is a leading practitioner of social practice art. His Row Houses project is a highly lauded example of relational aesthetics successfully deployed. This interview focuses particularly on that work and the artist’s entrance into social practice.

Using the opening of Godard's film Alphaville as a foundation, Lord constructs a vision of the evolving global city during the last years of the 20th Century. Structured as a series of repetitions, the montage of the changing city is offset by shots of corporate Silicon Valley facades. The result is a dialectical contrast between urban and suburban space, body and mind, chaos and order, and the postmodern and the modern. Shot in Hi-8 video in Tokyo, Fukuoka City, Mexico City, Rome, San Francisco, Naples, and Los Angeles.

"I brought live reptiles, birds of prey and exotic flowers to a very stereotyped and neglected section of the city of St. Louis, Missouri which suffers from from severe abandonment and despair, but also has many tranquil vacant lots where nature flourishes. I chose these birds of prey for their symbolic meaning- The bald eagle a symbol of the United States, hawks and owls are messengers.  But this is not a film about St. Louis, It's about an anonymous archetype more than a specific locale. St.

This is not a sight-seeing film, but a poetic journey through light and darkness reflected on the city of New York, where I often found empty spaces and times like Ma in Japanese.  You do not often see the people walking on the streets or in the buildings, but you may feel the air and the light coming and going.  It's not a deserted city, but a city full of energy that is there even without the people.  You see the wind is blowing as the bubbles are floating over Wall Street, then up, up to the sky.  The Sun sets under the Washington Bridge, where all the cars are running slowly like ants s

A montage of architecture and cabaret, juxtaposing a second hand view of New York as refracted through this artist's eyes.

This title is also available on Half-Lies: The Videoworks of Ximena Cuevas.

No Damage, 2002

No Damage is a composition made out of fragments from over 80 different feature and documentary films that show the architecture of New York City — its architectural presence as captured on film over eight decades. Lifted out of their original context and juxtaposed in groups, these scenes reveal their emotional implications: grandeur, glamour, the wake of modernism, post-modernism and, most recently, post 9/11 sentimentalism. A number of particular clips that resonate such emotions enter into a non-verbal discourse on age, status, functionality and aesthetics.

Nocturne, 2002

Nocturne is a 5-minute film shot entirely at night in deserted streets of London. The film attempts to find images of the city that reveal the presence of the past, or the presence of the dead, hinting at a concealed history. The deserted streets around the east end of London and Docklands reflect an echoic city filled with shadows. Nocturne is composed of long static viewpoints, each shot slowly unfolding in time as though by looking long enough the city's secrets will be revealed.

A watchful dog in a confusion of reflected chairs begins and ends Cohen’s finely tuned observational portrait of London’s Essex Street, and the inhabitants who work the shops and throng the pavement there. People hurrying, pausing, waiting or simply standing, intermingled with worn statues of historic peerage in the slanted light of late afternoon. A man holds a copy of The Law of Privacy and the Media as though testing its resilience against the quiet onslaught of an average work day.

Take a joyride through comfortable suburbia—a landscape molded by seductive television and corporate America (and keep in mind: disaster is another logo for your consumption...). This is the age of the "culture jammed" consumer preened with Friends hair, Survivor courage, and CNN awareness. A generation emptying their wallets for the most important corporate product of all: lifestyle. The psychological road trip across a slightly battered America travels at One Mile per Minute.

"Persistence was shot in 1991-92 in Berlin, and edited with films by U.S. Signal Corps cameramen in 1945-46, obtained from Department of Defense archives. Interspersed through these materials are filmic quotations from Rossellini's Germany Year Zero (1946). A meditation on the time just after a great historical event, about what is common to moments such as these—the continuous and discontinuous threads of history—and our attachment to cinematic modes of observation that, by necessity, shape our view of events.

Applying the same economy used in César's other films — one shot which uses the duration of an entire 16mm film reel — Porto 1975 is a tracking shot that unfolds at the social housing complex Cooperativa das Águas Férreas da Bouça, designed by Álvaro Siza Vieira as an integral part of the Ambulatory Service of Social Support (SAAL, 1972–76). The work's construction was initiated in 1975, but only completed in 2006.

Public Discourse is an in-depth study of illegal installation art. The primary focus is on the painting of street signs, advertising manipulation, metal welding, postering and guerrilla art, all performed illegally. Public Discourse is about passionate artists who want their work to be seen by a wide range of people rather than be confined to the systemic structures of galleries and museums.

Public Discourse is an in-depth study of illegal installation art. The primary focus is on the painting of street signs, advertising manipulation, metal welding, postering and guerrilla art, all performed illegally. Public Discourse is about passionate artists who want their work to be seen by a wide range of people rather than be confined to the systemic structures of galleries and museums.

Public Discourse is an in-depth study of illegal installation art. The primary focus is on the painting of street signs, advertising manipulation, metal welding, postering and guerrilla art, all performed illegally. Public Discourse is about passionate artists who want their work to be seen by a wide range of people rather than be confined to the systemic structures of galleries and museums.

Rong Xiang is a work on architectural replicas, piracy and its consequences. It is a comparison of LeCorbusier's chapel Notre Dame Du Hautin Ronchamp, France with its exact replica in Zhengzhou, Henan province East China. The work further compares LeCorbusier's human-scale informed "Modulor" concept with ancient Tao philosophy of Confucius and master builders of the Han dynasty. The Ronchamp replica in Zhengzhou is now a legend--it was short lived, erected in 1994 and demolished in 2006 after a three-year long dispute with the "Foundation LeCorbusier" in Paris.

"Three months in an architects’ firm in Berlin. From the architecture down to the tiniest door handle, a questioning of matter and the verb."

— Harun Farocki