"My first digital recording and my first and only recording with Don McArthur's "Spatial and Intensity Digitizer". The digitizer was not working properly. I had no idea. The shift I saw was stunning. Digitalization of luminosity, strange notion, wonderful light and early digital embodiment. Image/signal in digitized state/space, noise field. I always thought of this to be 100 seconds of very beautiful digital light noise."
– Peer Bode
A huge isolated rock in the midst of the desert in Australia: Ayers Rock. I produced two contrasting films around this rock: Moments at the Rock was shot with an amateur video camera, amazing color changes, and time-lapsed compressed sequences; A Rock in the Light, edited with the music of Haruyuki Suzuki, is more visually structured, following the passing of time from the sunrise to the sunset.
"Takahiko iimura's Air's Rock is an ultimate landscape film."
--Katsuhiro Yamagucki, artist and author
American sculptor and land artist Robert Smithson made art as a meditation on transition and change. Perhaps best known for his Spiral Jetty, an earthen berm that sits, occasionally submerged, in the Great Salt Lake of northern Utah, Smithson understood that his earthworks would be subject to natural and human forces and processes: erosion, rising water tables, and changing land use.
The Diaspora Suite
Oscillating between a street festival in Philadelphia, the slave forts and capitol city of Ghana, and the New Jersey shore, American Hunger explores the relationship between personal experience and collective histories. American fantasies confront African realities. African realities confront America fantasies.
Big_Sleep™ explores problems in our archival urges. Via a single-channel desktop screencast, informatic elements ebb and flow—creating and relating interface absences. These gaps suggest that no amount of hard drive space can defy mortality. The only way to fully prepare our media for the future is to prepare ourselves for a future apart. The piece presents material from the late William Birch, one of the most important Fox Movietone cinematographers. Examining his now-decaying body of work—we find an argument for access in the present, not cold storage for a potential future.
Set in Medellín, Colombia, Como crece la sombra cuando el sol declina (Like Shadows Growing as the Sun Goes Down) features tireless car traffic, jugglers at intersections, and employees on breaks, focusing on precise movements marking the repetitive flow of time.
Turning an ordinary object into a mystical experience, Life Saver Mandala is a short meditation on disintegration. This piece was made in collaboration with Peter Ivers.
Partially Buried explores a web of genealogical traces. In this work the artist probes the notion of sites of memory as well as site-specific work by focusing on the location of Kent, Ohio. Partially Buried references the year 1970 during which the artist Robert Smithson produced his site-specific work, Partially Buried Woodshed at Kent State University. By chance the mother of the child in the video was present also in Kent State in May of that year, studying experimental music. In May of 1970, four students were shot while attending a rally protesting the U.S.
Part Two of Secret Spaces. A sensitive soul with skin receptive to the World's natural elements and who has a mind open for expansive contemplation, embarks on an 'inner journey' towar the New Age of awareness.
"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.
“I could do wonders if I didn't have a body. But the body grabs me, it slows me, it enslaves me.”
-- Ponce de Léon
Space Ghost compares the experiences of astronauts and prisoners, using popular depictions of space travel to illustrate the physical and existential aspects of incarceration: sensory deprivation, the perception of time as chaotic and indistinguishable, the displacement of losing face-to-face contact, and the sense of existing in a different but parallel universe with family and loved ones.
Physical comparisons such as the close living quarters, the intensity of the immediate environment, and sensory deprivation, soon give way to psychological ones: the isolation, the changing sense of time, and the experience of earth as distant, inaccessible, and desirable. The analogy extends to media representations that hold astronauts and prisoners in an inverse relationship: the super citizen vs. the super-predator. Astronauts, ceaselessly publicized, are frozen in time and memory whereas prisoners, anonymous and ignored, age without being remembered.
Part One of Secret Spaces. This outdoor meditation is drenched with sunlight, carressed by breezes and blessed with a young man who discovers his special 'role' in Time's dimention.
At the age of twenty-four, Taiwanese artist Tehching Hsieh (b.1950), moved to New York, where he has created and documented time-specific, conceptual art performances since the 1970s. In this interview, Hsieh discusses his formative years and philosophical moorings. This dialogue includes description of the artist’s early period of painting, his military service in Taiwan, and the cultural atmosphere of a country then undergoing massive political change. Much of the discussion focuses specifically on Hsieh’s understanding of the relationship of art and life, his investment in “free thinking,” and the politics of documentation. For Hsieh, the ability to think freely is art’s bottom line—he believes the essence of his work lies in human communication. To this end, Hsieh insists that his work, though incredibly personal, is not autobiographical, but philosophical.
"In The Very Very End, Barber points to his medium's plastic possibility by somehow traveling into the future and the past, nodding to Neville Shute's apocalyptic 1957 novel On The Beach, while setting an end-of-days story in a 21st Century holiday resort.
It is TIME at a street corner in London... A collaboration between filmmaker Roderick Coover and writer Deb Unferth, this short marks the textual disintegration of the speaking clock in an unnerving portrait of technology, power, and the urban environment.
An intense conversation between two people one evening leads to a pictorial love story about loss and longing. An homage to Eric Rohmer and the attention he paid to the tiny details of everyday life. An eternal story of love and separation.
A man returns, after fifty years, to Chinatown to care for his dying mother. He is a librarian, a re-cataloguer, a gay man, a watcher, an impersonator. He passes his time collecting images that he puts before us – his witnesses and collaborators. Sitting in the dark, we share his cloak of invisibility, both a benefit and a curse.
The time is now! The present can be replaced in real time. Not quite yet by the future, but very easily by the past? eteam's video Track One is a replay of such time disjuncture. As they keep following the memory of a yellow cab that keeps driving through the now deserted streets of Taipei, their pastime augments itself with a mesmerizing sense of reality.
Originating from personal affection toward Seoul, Twelve Scenes portrays the spectacles in daily life by juxtaposing urban space in a twelve month sequence. As the individual particles in a kaleidoscope create splendid illusions by being reflected on a mirror, Twelve Scenes shows our individual life, seemingly separated by time and space, actually composes the scenery in the kaleidoscope of Seoul. Twelve Scenes represents a 'moment for self-reflection' or 'small, but precious enlightenment on life'.
The artist follows the British government's advice while self-isolating at home during the COVID-19 lockdown.
A silent 16mm film shot in Nebraska during the total solar eclipse in 2017. The work was shot on film to capture this light-based phenomenon on a light reactive medium, as opposed to on digital video. Meditating on the metaphysical, in the work we observe the slow alignment of the moon eclipsing the sun, super-imposed onto the open landscape where it was shot. Wind, insects and plants all become active receptors for this phenomenological shift from mid-day to mid-night, as the sun transforms from a primary source of life into a fugitive void.
A cross-generational binding of three filmmakers seeking alternative possibilities to the power structures they are inherently part of. Each woman extends her reach to a subject she is outside of. Vever grew out of the abandoned film projects of Maya Deren and Barbara Hammer. Shot at the furthest point of a motorcycle trip Hammer took to Guatemala in 1975, and laced through with Deren’s reflections of failure, encounter and initiation in 1950s Haiti.
A vever is a symbolic drawing used in Haitian Voodoo to invoke Loa, or god.
Repurposing an ancient confessional video diary made about 40 years ago, this 11-minute narrative creates a poignant and humorous conversation where both ‘selves’ question, enlighten, and warn one another about things in life that really matter.
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.