Landscape

In a broken near future, a band of listless vagabonds ambles across a war-torn coastal territory, supervised and sorted by a group of idle soldiers. Rummaging, stuttering, and smashing through the leftovers of Western culture, these ragged souls conjure an unstable magic, fueled by their own apathy and the poisonous histories imbedded in their unearthed junk. Suspicion, boredom, garbage, and glamour conspire in the languid pageantry of ruin. Feel the breeze in your hair, and the world crumbling through your fingers.

C.L.U.E. (color location ultimate experience), Part 1 is a collaborative video and performance work by artists A.L. Steiner and robbinschilds, with AJ Blandford and Seattle-based band Kinski. Inhabiting the intersection of human movement and architecture, A.L. Steiner and robbinschilds (Sonya Robbins and Layla Childs) present a full-spectrum video, set to a score by rock quartet Kinski.

A poetic meditation on distance, Come Closer is a short and peripatetic film, casting an affective web between the locations of Lisbon, San Francisco and Brazil. Focusing on Brazilian-Algerian filmmaker Karim Aïnouz, musician Derrick Green –– the filmmaker’s brother and lead singer of Brazilian band Sepultura –– and her own work produced in Lisbon since 1992, Come Closer can be thought as a meditation on friendship and saudade.

Matthew Coolidge is a founder and director of The Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI), an organization dedicated to raising awareness about how land is apportioned, used and perceived by its inhabitants. Through exhibitions, publications, and guided tours, Coolidge and the CLUI seek to foster and encourage a heightened sense of awareness of natural surroundings. In this interview, Coolidge defines a ‘land art spillover effect,’ in which the perceived significance of the landscape seems to increase the closer people get to a piece of environmental art.

Blue skies, babbling brooks, and a big book in a field full of flowers is the departure point for this video.

A hypnosis-inducing pan-geographic shuttle built on brainwave-generating binaural beats, Deep Sleep takes us on a journey through the sound waves of Gaza to travel between different sights of modern ruin. Restricted from travel to Palestine, I learned auto-hypnosis for the purpose of bi-locating. What results is a journey, recorded on Super 8mm film, to the ruins of ancient civilizations embedded in modern civilization in ruins, to a site ruined beyond evidence of civilization.

In the midst of the 2011 revolution in Cairo, a few beduins listen to their car's radio near Jericho, a place which looks like the end of the world. Within moments this desolated landscape transfers into a busy tourist attraction as a bus full of Polish Pilgrims enter the landscape.

Note: This title is intended by the artist to be viewed in High Definition. While DVD format is available to enable accessibility, VDB recommends presentation on Blu-ray or HD digital file.

An incomplete and imperfect portrait of reflections from Standing Rock. Cleo Keahna recounts his experiences entering, being at, and leaving the camp and the difficulties and the reluctance in looking back with a clear and critical eye. Terry Running Wild describes what his camp is like, and what he hopes it will become.

Rosa Barba’s work Disseminate and Hold investigates man-made geographies and landscapes, and how these are often deeply enmeshed with political agendas and utopian visions.

Rackstraw Downes’s “observation” paintings, executed on-site at ponds, intersections, and baseball parks, began as a mischievous response to the dogma of style and modernist criticism.

“There was a tremendous intellectual back-up, essentially against a lot of the figurative painting being done in the ’60s,” Downes says in this interview with Robert Storr. “If I show my slides in an art school I’ll get, 'Your paintings are very nice but how can you go backwards from Cézanne?’”

Draft 9, 2003

"This movie was collected for four years before being sprayed scattershot over 28 minutes of psychic mayhem. The line between living and dead is a frontier crossed and re-crossed here. The living are dead while the dead are animated, breathing, swimming, giving birth. Consumed by the animal life of the city, the artist undertakes a first person journey, producing diary notes from one of the most skilled lens masters of the new generation. The camera is her company in this duet of death, the instrument that permits her to see the impossible, the unbearable, the invisible."

Earthmoves is a continuation of Semiconductor's exploration into how unseen forces affect the fabric of our world.  The limits of human perception are exposed, revealing a world which is unstable and in a constant state of animation as the forces of acoustic waves come into play on our surroundings.    

"Living on the slopes of the volcano Vesuvius is a strange contradiction: always in stress and yet also sleepy, waiting for what might happen. In close cooperation with the Osservatorio Vesuviano and several inhabitants of the 'Red Zone' of the volcano, Rosa Barba constructs a lyrical portrait of this area, which shelters Mafia members and illegal Chinese immigrants. Historic footage, measurements, maps, and aerial shots try to capture what is always uncertain."

Endless Dreams and Water Between is a feature film with four fictitious characters sustaining an epistolary exchange in which their “planetary thought” is woven with the physical locations they inhabit, visual and aural characters in themselves: the island of Manhattan, the island of Majorca, in Spain, and the islands and peninsula that form the San Francisco Bay Area. The characters’ reflections and dreams enact what could be described as “an archipelagic mind,” linking worlds, time, and space.

The frenzied detritus of trading floors, smart weaponry and the religious right are woven through the petrochemical landscapes of Southeast Texas. This short video harangue questions land use policy as it serves the oil industry, patriotism as it absolves foreign aggression, and fundamentalism as it calcifies thinking.

In this interview, African American filmmaker and DJ Ephraim Asili (b. 1979) discusses his upbringing, education, and creative process. Born and raised around the city limit of Philadelphia, Asili’s childhood and adolescence were imbued with hip hop music, Hollywood movies and television. He studied film at Temple University where he finished his thesis project, the documentary Points on a Space Age (2007) with the Sun Ra Arkestra.

It’s a delight; not fragile yet.

It’s not hockey bashing and blades.

Not the escapades, or a snake.

It’s an expanded definition of drawing.

Everglades is a project Levy began while a resident artist in Florida's Everglades National Park. The unique natural environment of the Everglades has been devastated by decades of wetlands drainage for purposes of industrial and residential development, and today it is threatened by fracking and deep water drilling. At the same time, efforts have been made to restore some of the original ecosystems through a process of re-flooding, not unlike the restoration of Lake Hula in the north of Israel.

A woman recounts her story of the mass exodus of Palestinians from Jerusalem. Beginning with the arrival and ending with the departure, the tale moves backwards in time and through various landscapes. The events are neither undone nor is the story untold; instead, Farther than the eye can see traces a decaying experience to a place that no longer exists.

Fifeville, 2005

Fifeville is a film about a neighborhood in Charlottesville, Virginia. It focuses on the details, gestures, and material life of the citizens of Fifeville as they communicate their understandings of the neighborhood’s changing landscape. Although Fifeville is set in Charlottesville, it could be Any Black Community Experiencing Gentrification, USA, 21st Century.

Co-director: Corey D.B. Walker. Crew: bh103a.

This video captures the playfulness of the Videofreex as they frolic in the first snow of 1971. With joyful excitement, David, Bart, Chuck, Nancy and Skip pass the camera back and forth to explore the possibilities for video under the new weather condition offered by flurries. While Nancy tapes, David and Bart create fictional characters stranded after a plane crash. Annie, Francis and the resident dog, Mushroom, join the group for further snowy shenanigans. Later, Bart tries to interview the local snowplow driver for an episode of Lanesville TV, but without success.

A two-part study of the self-sustaining lifestyle of a communal farm in Vermont. 

A Yosemite gargoyle climbs two gothic arches.

This title is also available on Sympathetic Vibrations: The Videoworks of Paul Kos.

 

Mono Lake and Yosemite Valley, in California, highlight this excursion into the constipated crevices of once highly-active fumeroles that splatttered magma and chunks of hot rock onto the Western landscape. Now the vents are blocked by eating disorders that rob our nation of its free-flowing and fertilizing heritage. We follow a woman as she sinks into a dark, inland sea of great natural beauty, unable to deposit her own organic pile into the rich mineral build-up that reaches skyward toward the creator who dreamt up this exquisite landscape.

The fear of bridges.

The Situated Cinema Commission Project for WNDX - Winnipeg’s Festival of Film and Video art

Director of photography: Eric Cinq-Mars

Consultant: Daniel Watchorn

Music: Frères Lumières

Design: Sébastien Aubin

This title is only available on the compilation What Was Always Yours and Never Lost.