Located on the Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway, Acoustic Ocean sets out to explore the sonic ecology of marine life. The scientist as an explorer and important mediator of the contemporary understanding of our planetary ecosystems is a central figure in this video. She makes her appearance in the person of a Sami (indigenous of northern Scandinavia) biologist-diver who is using all sorts of hydrophones, parabolic mics and recording devices. Her task is to sense the submarine space for acoustic and other biological forms of expression.
For over two years we made it our business to document abandoned working gloves on the streets of NYC. The feelings and thoughts that surrounded this activity connected to the ways his family relates to Gregor Samsa as a cockroach, or whatever Franz Kafka intended him to be in The Metamorphosis after his transformation from a productive citizen to a useless insect. When Gregor can't grant them a comfortable life-style any longer, his family starts to resent and hate the once loved and respected provider, finds him disgusting.
Animal Attraction is a documentary about the relationship between people and animals that questions the way we project our hopes and desires onto our pets, and ascribe human qualities and attributes to their gestures. The video was inspired by the plight of the filmmaker who was frustrated by the obnoxious behavior of her cat, Ernie. As a last resort, she gave in to a friend's suggestion to contact an animal communicator. This is her journey with interspecies telepathic communicator, Dawn Hayman, from Spring Farm CARES, an animal sanctuary in upstate New York.
"I just can't resist trying to empathize with animals and plants. I think that in the process of attempting to learn what it's like to be an animal or plant, I learn more about what it means to be human."
"We Utopians are happy / This will last forever"
Loosely framed by Plato's invocation of the lost continent of Atlantis in 360 BC and its re-re-resurrection via a 1970s science fiction pulp novel, Atlantis is a documentary portrait of Utopia -- an island that has never / forever existed beneath our too-mortal feet. Herein is folk song and pagan rite, religious march and reflected temple, the sea that surrounds us all. Even though we are slowly sinking, we are happy and content.
A quickie side trip to the Virginia Film Festival highlights some nice, fall foliage and a few fleeting faces as the camera probes a sculptural artifact or two before abruptly shutting down.
Andries Botha (b.1952) creates sculptural forms made of found objects and natural materials which serve to interrogate the natural and social order. His work has been exhibited extensively throughout Africa and Europe. Botha lives and works in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Burrow-Cams features footage from cameras that have been placed inside underground animal habitats (dens, burrows, etc.). Animals showcased include: burrowing owl, black-footed ferret, porcupine, badger, prairie vole, swift fox, deer mouse, and black tailed prairie dog.
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.
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.
Water and oil form the undercurrents of all narrations as they activate profound changes in the planetary ecology. After the oil peak, ever dirtier, remote and deeper layers of fossil resources are being accessed. Aerial recording of the devastated crust in Alberta opens the view into dark lubricant geologies. Climate change, exasperated by projects such as the Canadian tar sands, puts the life of large world populations in danger.
A short documentary about life in the Everglades National Park with its few male residents. Living in the midst of a national park, they learn to exist with the wild. As a female moving image artist, Dana Levy takes on the role of an anthropologist, observing the men and how they interact with their surroundings. Apart from Levy, the only women that appear in Eden Without Eve are in erotic photographs taken by a resident named Lucky, who believes that women like having themselves put in romantic, exotic, and dangerous settings to be photographed.
"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.
Phalloi Phaerie emerges from the wood. Forest nymphs with carnivorous flowers begin their mating rituals in a playful, polymorphously perverse return to arcadia. A meeting of Jack Smith and Sid and Marty Krofft in an early Kate Bush music video on a sylvan summer day in southwestern Pennsylvania.
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.
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.
Forest Law underlines the persistent fact that we are yet to learn to live otherwise in an age defined by the colossal consequences of a new socio-geological order we ourselves have created through irresponsible interactions with Earth’s systems.
A two-part study of the self-sustaining lifestyle of a communal farm in Vermont.
Set between Swaziland and South Africa, in a region still struggling with the divisions produced by an apartheid government, Greetings to the Ancestors documents the dream lives of the territory’s inhabitants as the borders of consciousness dissolve and expand. Equal parts documentary, ethnography and dream cinema, herein is a world whose borders are constantly dematerializing.
A chance encounter with a sober student reveals the mystery of a woodland wonder that has left a mark on his youthful psyche just as it leaves huge footprints on the forest floor. A short meditation on a tall terror in the trees that shade shadowy giants from the glare of sanity.
“A soldier’s trip to Syria is complicated when he accidentally impregnates a friend. Meanwhile, a horse breeder from Ohio is driven away from home by her own desire to become pregnant. In Hard as Opal the lines between truth and fiction, fact and fantasy, are reined in and treated not as fixed, divisive markers but as malleable threads of narrative potential. Buckhiester and Leventhal perform alongside other non-actors who are filmed in their own varying domestic and professional environments.
This final weather diary travels through some rough inner and outer domains. Social interactions blend more smoothly than the clash of air masses which threaten to clobber a prairie town in a vortex of violence.
Flashbacks and flashpoints flare-up along with thunderheads that loom and boom with vibrations of doom, their every move charted with vivid vibrancy on videographic maps which detail developing devastation.
Desire and death are in the air along with some aromatic wisps of ethnic edibles, so be sure to sniff it all.
"Nature on a rampage in a land gone mad!!", quotes this fake promo.
-- Mike Kuchar
Lesser Apes tells the story of a love affair between a primatologist, Farrah, and a female bonobo ape, Meema. Bonobos are the species with which humans share the most DNA, but unlike our species, they are matriarchal, live without conflict, and are unabashedly sexual. A paean to perversion, the film combines animation, live action and song to challenge attitudes about sex, language and our relationship to nature.
"We are happy. (Silence.) What do we do now, now that we are happy?"
-- Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot