// aDifferent festival // Program 3 //
// Framed in the Nest of the Mind //
Saturday, February 3rd, 2018
Woodland Pattern Book Center
720 E Locust St. Milwaukee, WI
Story Problems (2017), Meredith Drum
1 minute 53 seconds, 3D digital animation
STORY PROBLEMS is an episodic, oneiric animation installation. The animation’s cyborg-characters meet on a yacht: one pukes gold into the sea, another shops for new teeth, another orgasms like Saint Teresa. The work is one in my series of animation projects that blend concepts, icons and narratives from feminism, gender studies, environmental science and multi-species anthropology into narratives that also feature pop-cultural iconography, such as science fiction’s hybrid animal/human/machines. As I employ 3D animation, I turn a critical eye on the commercial world of digital and virtual objects and experiences. I intend to critique these as part of our larger capitalist system that obfuscates pathways of access, connection and resistance . I reshape icons and patterns that normally separate us from other people and animals, plants, landscapes in order to point back to our bodies in place, and open more compassionate technical imaginaries. I am inspired by Donna Haraway’s writing around cyborgs and the Chthulucene (her non-anthropocentric term for our era of climate change). And I am motivated by Fredric Jameson’s perspective on the utopian imagination in science fiction as “the rattling of the bars and an intense spiritual concentration and preparation for another stage which has not yet arrived.”
Jameson, Fredric. Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions. New York: Verso, 2005. Page 233.
Meredith Drum creates videos and animations, interactive installations, printed books, mobile media and place-based initiatives. Her work has been supported by grants and residencies from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, iLand, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Wassaic Project, the Experimental Television Center, Wave Farm Transmission Arts and ISSUE Project Room, among others. Meredith frequently exhibits in New York City but also in Manziales, Colombia; Dubai; Mexico City; Rio de Janeiro; Brighton, UK; Paris; Copenhagen; and Valencia, ES.
Welcome to My Home (2017), Sarah Beckwith
3 minutes 14 seconds, video
In the summer of 2016, following a series of traumatic incidents, I decided to leave New York and move to Honduras to live with my missionary parents. As I adjusted to life in Central America, I experienced a feeling of alienation so intense it began to author alternate-reality versions of me, including Baleada Queen, a mentally-ill telenovela actress struggling to stabilize while clinging to the remnants of stardom. This project is about her. It’s about isolation, mental illness, voyeurism and the the meaning of beauty and celebrity in the digital age.
I chose to tell her story on Instagram because the site encourages the same kind of obsessive self-focus which isolation provokes. I began by posting
self-portraits taken with flash photography. I wanted to create a stark but beautiful otherworld: one in which Baleada Queen appeared hopelessly
trapped. With its built-in catalogue of filters, Instagram is also conducive to conversations about the way we manipulate images to create the illusion of beauty, which I explore through airbrushed portraits that distort my (her) features into a grotesque notion of perfection. As time went on, I began to incorporate external elements, cloning and collaging airbrushed limbs, my dog and a “home-sweet-home” painting over the portraits to convey a sense of imprisonment and suffocation.
Eventually, I began posting short videos in which Baleada Queen shares disconcerting insights and outbursts in a crystalline deadpan. In one, her disembodied head floats around her as she recites a poem about discarded wisdom. Her posts have become increasingly complex and bizarre, raising the question: is the cure sometimes worse than the illness itself? Her journey to recovery is inextricably tied up in my own, as she continually detaches from and reattaches to herself, discovering new means of expression and ways of relating to her illness, her projected image and the world at large.
Baleada Queen is a fallen Telenovela Star, an adult child who has been relegated to live alone inside her Central American McMansion. Her only friends exists on the internet. In this video, she gives her friends a tour of her home.
The Bridge (2015), Meike Redeker
4 minutes, video
The film introduces an adult’s look through a toy camera as a whimsical performative act, doomed to failure. Starting off with a „Hello Kitty“-camera, the film presents the innocent perspective of a child, as well as the environment, through a variety of cheap consumer products.
The filmmaker extracts her story from her direct surroundings: Relentlessly and naively, she approaches random people in the inner city, asking for help on her quest to save the animal world. The narrative unfolds through these spontaneous encounters.
The protagonist’s absurd attempts to save the animals prove to be as irrational as the way in which the world of adults handles environmental issues. Consuming amounts of plastic-packed ice cream seems the best solution to obtain the natural resource of wood, hidden inside each treat, and necessary to build the bridge which is so urgently needed. It is so difficult to built a bridge when no one has time to help. And the ice keeps melting and melting.
Born in 1983, Meike Redeker studied Communication Design and Fine Arts in Braunschweig, Istanbul and Bandung, Indonesia and graduated, as a Meisterschüler, from the Braunschweig University of Art in 2016. Her video works use performative, at times narrative elements, the role of the camera always in mind, reflecting the act of seeing in various contexts. Thus, the public sphere and its particular configurations and regulations come often into focus.
2013 ISAP Travel Grant of the DAAD, 2017 Project Grant at Künstlerhaus Meinersen and 2017/2018 Artist Residency KSN Northeim.
Dream Boy (2017), Philip Rabalais
22 minute 41 seconds, video
It’s just problem after problem for this young man...who are these mysterious characters causing him all this trouble, stealing and breaking his things?
Philip Rabalais is a filmmaker and musician. He is currently an MFA candidate in the Department of Cinematic Arts at the University of Iowa.
Drone Strike (2016), Holly Lay
7 minutes 24 seconds, video
In 2001 following the 911 Terrorist attack, an unmanned aircraft called a Predator flew over Afghanistan. With a camera attached, it watched a convoy of jihadi leaders. Across the ocean, over 7,000 miles away, a trigger was pushed at the CIA headquarters releasing a missile. After this successful mission drone warfare went on its way to become a favorable utility by the U.S. military.
Today, it is believed by some that drone warfare is a more humane form of war and a way to keep America safe. This statement is perpetuated by government but the ethics of drone strikes is debated in philosophy as well as among citizens. The fact that often strikes kill many innocent civilians is cause for concern. In this piece, Drone Strike, we see the contrast between actual drone footage next to a drone strike in the video game Call of Duty. The blending of audio creates confusion to what is real and what is fictional. The human dissociation with a drone strike is like killing people in a video game. How long will it be until machines are programmed to seek and kill the enemy without the need for a person to press a button?
Holly Lay is an amateur cyber anthropologist who collects and sources from the internet and found physical objects. She curates a new way of looking at the relationship of materials and subject matter. This concern with objects and their intentionality leads to an archive of seemingly different items that actually have a commonality. Digital archiving is not only important to select series, but also to the way she finds inspiration. She tends to collect references to memes, cyberculture, representation, appropriation, circulation, femininity, craft and kitsch. When not digitally archiving Holly is working towards earning her MFA from UNLV.
Walkalong (2017), Jason Robinson
8 minutes 39 seconds, video
Walkalong is an experimental observational documentary that follows a police officer on his Friday night shift and into the next morning as his leisure time and work life begin to blur together.
Jason Robinson makes films, videos, sounds, prints, performances and gifs about family, friends, and the materiality of analog video signals. His work has screened at festivals and galleries both nationally and internationally including The Virginia Film Festival (Charlottesville, VA), Luxus (Corning, NY), The Asheville Art Museum (NC), and the Transmission Art Festival (Athens, Greece).
He is an assistant professor of Digital Art at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA.
Emergence (2017), Jason Bernagozzi
2 minutes 50 seconds, HD video
Emergence is a video that explores the tension between violence and intimacy at a small town pro wrestling match in Johnson City, NY. As the wrestlers engage in their dramatic struggle for dominance, the frame difference processing analyzes and exposes the intricate details of their movements, expressions and interactions. Paired with the song “Crying” by Roy Orbison, the artist frames the archetype of the pro wrestling match as a tension between consensual physicality and the performance of masculinity.
Jason Bernagozzi is a video, sound and new media artist living and working in Fort Collins, Colorado and is the co-founder of the experimental media arts non-profit Signal Culture. His work has been featured nationally and internationally at venues such as the European Media Arts Festival in Osnabruk, Germany, the LOOP Video Art Festival in Barcelona, Spain, the Beyond/In Western NY Biennial in Buffalo, NY, and the Yan Gerber International Arts Festival in Hebei Province, China. His work has received several awards including grants from the New York State Council for the Arts, Wavefarm and the ARTS Council for the Southern Finger Lakes.