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This Week at EPFC North: Cinematic Summer Camp

EPFC | May 26th, 2020

We’re dreaming about the possibility of an EPFC North Social Distance Summer Camp at Moberly Fieldhouse for kids of all ages… If wishes come true, what kinds of activities are on YOUR wish list that we can offer?

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Marvelous Movie Mondays: Robert Seidel’s _grau

EPFC | May 19th, 2020

MARVELOUS MOVIE MONDAYS
guest curator: Michael Woods

Hope everyone has had a great week! I’ve been binge-watching 66th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen Online when I can!

THEME: Body Politics / Digital Phenomenology

I’m going to keep this week’s edition short and sweet. Robert Seidel’s _grau is an exploration of digital phenomenology – “a personal reflection on memories coming up during a car accident, where past events emerge, fuse, erode and finally vanish ethereally … various real sources where distorted, filtered and fitted into a sculptural structure to create not a plain abstract, but a very private snapshot of a whole life within its last seconds …”

I came across this piece when I was 16, and I’m still in love with this car crash in digital space. The crystalline perfection of CG spectacle is destroyed/pierced, projecting/ejecting a time-suspended after-image as the broken body sorts its damage and recollections and media images. Shards of cartoons and once-familiar objects lose value in a purgatory of nameless shifting energies. Equally revelatory is the score by Heiko Tippelt and Philipp Hirsch.

https://vimeo.com/2669327 – _grau

Other movies – recently showcased at Oberhausen! – that pertain to our theme.
I am the people_I – Li Xiaofei
Untitled #2 – Nguyen Anh Tu Pham
16mm Selfie – Karan Suri Talwar & Sofia Thenmozhi Ashraf
The Falling Sky – Peggy Ahwesh
Labor of Love – Sylvia Schedelbauer

This Week at EPFC North: Be-Leafing

EPFC | May 19th, 2020

This week, inspired by the wonderful VANCOUVER TREE BOOK by David Tracey, we’re thinking about LEAVES. It’s May, everything is green, and have you ever stopped to look at all the different leaf shapes, textures and shades the trees of our city are showing off right now? On our walks around Moberly Fieldhouse this week, we’ll be keeping an eye out for fallen leaves and collecting some for close up observation and future art projects like printmaking, cyanotypes, eco-processing, phytograms, animations and projections. What are some things you’re noticing about the leaves in your neighbourhood right now?

Vancouver Tree Book

Marvelous Movie Mondays: Karissa Hahn

EPFC | May 13th, 2020

Just a reminder! My name is Michael Woods aka M. Woods aka Disassociative Productions and I’m guest curating for the month – bringing you radical work in the times of corona.

Just a reminder, the theme for this month’s work is Body Politics + Digital Phenomenology. Please check out last week’s artist Xiaoer Liu

This week I’m breaking the rules and I’ll be showing multiple videos & highlighting awesome sounds – like DJ Activist Omjpg Yara aka I-VYE aka I-VYE ZYU GAWA. https://soundcloud.com/yaralaurine/tracks Check her work out for consciousness raising mixes. Dope shit for quarantine dancing and creativity building.

MOVIE TIME!!
I have gotten the privilege to curate my friend Karissa Hahn‘s work for years. Her work is already a fixture of Echo Park Film Center and LA and she is the perfect representative for that diverse and extraordinary scene, which includes LACDA Los Angeles Center for Digital ArtThe VAST Lab, and Los Angeles Filmforum – a network that has helped exhibit Karissa’s ‘spectra ephemera’, what she terms the ever-expanding universe of her work in multiple media.

Often, but not always, Hahn’s work begins with the use of super-8, a perfect mechanomorphic semi-automated apparatus for the depiction of a mundane digital world in semi-simulated, semi-mechanical, semi-broken disarray.

The movie I’m highlighting is Cataract Churning Grey – https://vimeo.com/416508335 – a horror film set in a transitory dream/wake state that begins with Hahn’s regular character, herself, in a larval state, wrapped in bed sheets. From the first image, Hahn evokes her own work – a wormhole connection to the movie ___________ https://vimeo.com/191743012 in which the horrors of the Trump administration lowly murmur in the background as she attempts to flatten her body until it is nothing but a line. A form of physical escape.

But in Cataract Churning Grey, Hahn falls into a mediated dream where she is forced into a Sisyphean loop, continually trying to ease the tension of a tea kettle propped against a desert backdrop that Hahn must continually traverse – portraying her struggle with a self-aware despair that borders on irony and actual exhaustion. She runs in slow motion, both mocking and acknowledging the prison of mundane suspense and time-space. She is both action hero and stuck in a molasses suspension of grey silvers that have sublimated into pixel meat that billows like the water vapor trying to escape. The kettle calls out like a siren, which draws Hahn’s Sisyphus out of fear of over-boiling, to alleviate the increasing pressure to become stranded in the rocks. (In this sequence, Hahn’s work reminds me of the way we compromise politically, trying to set the hot issues aside until they become catastrophic; until there is no way to stop them from boiling over.)

The key image of the movie occurs on Hahn’s third attempt – mocking and perfectly demonstrating the Hollywood rule of threes – the tea kettle is revealed to be propped precariously upon a mobile hot-plate next to an anonymous nowhere ocean.

The tension reaches its height as the threats to Hahn’s character’s body outweigh the fear of over-boiling. A new set of fears dominate – being drowned, electrified, abraded, and bruised, while Hahn calmly sets the kettle off the hot plate and finds herself back in the horrors of the mundane to continue the same task endlessly.

(The grey cataract of the title also reflects Hahn’s tendency to selectively and completely erase the identity of landscapes and objects. The cataract apparatus allows her to render all mis-en-scene in a hypnogogic micro-narrative. Her main character is almost a caricature of self. The super-8 and other analog/digital hybrid techniques she utilizes help to create this transitory state that functionally reflects the void between sleep and dream states in a world over-boiling in its own stew of physical reality/hyperreality/entropy/hypermundaneness.)

Cataract Churning Grey is genius in the way it serves to tie together pieces of the spectra ephemera. Other examples: it recalls the stranded mermaid that must abrade herself to be seen by the camera in Before the Portrait: https://vimeo.com/85898529

It recalls Hahn’s analog/digital trip-escapes like Please Step Out of the Frame https://vimeo.com/251074549 which connects to Open Window https://vimeo.com/190027404 which then connects to pieces like Thank You https://vimeo.com/415003964 in the way they interrogate and corrupt hybrid analog/digital technologies. Another essential part of her artmaking is her daily instagram experimentation using ink-jet printers, automated vacuum cleaners, slow-scan video sources, motion detectors, and all sorts of consumer instruments to further degrade the integrity of the mundane illusion.

Hahn’s work is radical, imaginative, unique, ever-expanding, and deserving of further critical examination for its complexity. Her place is already solidified amongst the best avant-garde filmmakers in history.

Last thing – I know I know tl;dr
A little shameless self-promotion, Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen is this week. My movie Body Prop: Movement 2 [SOLAR NEMESIS] is playing in the Muvi International Section. CHECK IT OUT

Also, AGITATE:21C is our international avant-garde. Karissa has been one of the artists we’ve exhibited in the past. We’re open to anyone who is avant-garde. Totally inclusive except to haters and abusers. Promoting all voices – not just those that are white and male.

Signing off – stay safe and healthy and I’ll see you next week with a selection from Robert Seidel WHICH IS AMAZING. & don’t worry, before the month is out I’m gonna drop a bunch more than 4 movies. THANK YOU Kate Lain once again for letting me hijack.

Archive Deep Dive

EPFC | May 13th, 2020

It’s May and everything is in bloom so this week we’re celebrating Cinema Organica, EPFC’s Super 8 workshop series that invites participants of all-ages to make films in/about community gardens and process the film using fruit, leaves and flowers from the garden itself! This image is from a session with the amazing Global Girls GLOW back in 2017 at La Tierra de la Culebra in Highland Park, CA.

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