The Projection Room // Archive

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Tim Miller 'Interview in Progress'

15th October - 15th November 2014

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Tim Miller's work explores a process of re-scripting and commodification of reality. Through analysing and re-performing behavioural systems, he aims to highlight multiple possibilities, informing, contributing towards and reflecting upon the construction of individual realities.

'Interview in Progress' is the first part of a larger project 'Professional Practice' that explores the creation and use of narrative in professional environments. Through a forum theatre role-play event, narrative is explored to construct effective personal narratives as a response to standard job interview questions. Through a process of re-scripting, individuals are aided by a panel of screen-writers, each narrative developed being acted out on stage by two actors allowing participants the opportunity to reflect upon possible professional performances. The methodology of 're-scripting' presented may also be utilised by the participants to re-construct their own narratives in a variety of other professional or social scenarios.

Tim Miller

Watch Exerpt of 'Interview in Progress'

Tim Miller's Website

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Stephen Broomer 'Christ Church - Saint James'

15th September - 15th October 2014

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The Chance of Resurrection.

In the spring of 1998, Christ Church – Saint James, an historic black church in Toronto’s Little Italy, was destroyed by arson. All that remained were walls and a pit, and over subsequent years, the site was overtaken with graffiti. This film has taken on the layered form of the site itself, the space and its surfaces becoming tangled and multiple, the grid of a stone-filled window giving geometric form to simultaneously occurring images of concrete, nature, waste, paint, and sky.

This is the statement that I have used to introduce this film since its completion in late 2011. It is a mysterious statement, in a sense; it suggests a deeper narrative of the ruins, but it primarily describes the film by surface terms, its central aesthetic one of simultaneous perspective.

The church was discovered ablaze at 4:40 a.m. on the morning of April 16, 1998. The ensuing arson investigation led to the scene of a murder at the University of Toronto medical science lab. An employee, Bob Ivens, had been beaten to death, stuffed inside of a body bag, and left among the other cadavers. Absent from the scene was his coworker of twenty-seven years, Stephen Toussaint. Police had come seeking Toussaint because of his key access to the church. Toussaint was a middle-aged family man with no history of violence, with considerable personal devotion to the Caribbean-Canadian congregation of Christ Church – Saint James, a British Methodist Episcopalian (BME) church with its roots in the African Methodist Episcopal ministries.(1) There, Toussaint was a trustee, treasurer, and board member. He would later be described as “a pillar of the church.”(2) Limited information was released about the case, partly out of respect for the privacy of the families involved, but also to preserve the course of justice should the suspect have been apprehended and tried. Later, an article detailing the case would recount interviews with Toussaint’s coworkers who revealed his final months on the job as a descent into Inferno, corpses piled up like a scene from Bosch’s hell. Toussaint’s erratic behaviour and disorganization, arising from an implied alcoholism and mental deterioration, gave way to formal reprimands; counter to this, his family and friends spoke to the press of his good character.(3) Stephen Toussaint’s guilt or innocence was never debated in court, for after a year-long manhunt, his skeletal remains were discovered at the Scarborough Bluffs in the city’s east end.(4) Whether Toussaint did or did not commit the arson has come under speculation; on the same night, two other fires were started in Toronto churches, albeit at Catholic churches, and in those cases the suspect was identified as a white male.(5) But if Toussaint did commit both the murder and the arson, in a sudden and total decline into madness, then his actions on the night of April 15 were of profound annihilation, directed at all that defined him.

I was fourteen years old when these events took place. When I turned to them a few years later as source material for a novel (yet unfinished), I was stunned by the modulations that this story had undergone. One particularly dramatic retelling characterized Stephen Toussaint as a professor, rather than a lab technician, a practitioner of Voodoo rather than a Protestant, and claimed that he had absconded with research funding intended for a study of the scientific possibilities of resurrection.(6) A similar account claimed that rather than steal research funding, it was the treasury holdings of the church that he had stolen, and that the fire was to conceal his crime.(7) Almost all of these stories concluded that a fictional criminal partner had murdered Toussaint, though the press had implied suicide. The story’s propensity for mystery had inspired tall tales aimed at enhancing that mystery by their own constructions. But most storytellers simply mistook facts, swapping seasons, changing minor details, offering motives whose only basis in reality was the dreamer who imagined them.

It was at this time, in 2005, that I videotaped the site with the intention of making a film. I assembled the material together into the crude form of long static takes joined by hard cuts. Soon after I would begin to layer the footage digitally. At the core of this work was that simultaneity of perspective, of figurative perspective that would allow for the coexistence of Toussaint’s unresolved dualities, as family man and monster, but also, of literal perspective, layering images as a means of expressing the fragmented experience of being there. A later modulation of the film would screen at the Diagonal Film Archive in Seoul, South Korea, in 2010, and in short order, from that point through to 2011, the materials would be reshaped and finally take on their present form. In this form, the film bears explicit debts to Stan Brakhage, in particular, his Visions in Meditation #2: Mesa Verde (1989). Brakhage had written of that film as an act of coming to see Mesa Verde “as a Time rather than any such solidity as Place.”(8) This was the impetus for the final version of Christ Church – Saint James. It helped me realize that the instant of the ruin was a path to its history, and considered would be a truer representation than any record of the place. I could no longer see the subject in strictly architectural terms. I began to interfere with the image in more aggressive ways, to build rhythms and superimpositions that subverted its architectural, spatial reality, and to construct mattes that would obscure and give violent expression to the images. The shape of the place became only a base, an undercurrent, a giver of geometric form, and this film, now breathing, could finally reflect the instant of the ruin’s becoming. It ultimately became through several generations of rephotography, from digital video to film, back and forth, finally settling as a 16mm film.

The film’s soundtrack originates on John Butcher’s album The Geometry of Sentiment (Emanem, 2007). The piece is entitled “A Short Time to Sing,” with Butcher on soprano saxophone, manipulating his amplified signal, here crediting his instrument as ‘feedback soprano saxophone’. Butcher’s percussive fingerings resonate, cycling and varying, his performance stretching to the tremulous heights of a shakuhachi’s pitch. But it is always filtered through the electric, in a balance between sustained tones and sudden percussive caesura. The image, manipulated by both photographic and digital means, comes to echo Butcher’s process. And like Butcher’s music, the film is structured as breathing, drifting from respiration to a sudden gasp. The music, as a point of inspiration, helped the work to finally bear its own time. In its final form, Christ Church – Saint James is a record of the decimation of the physical church and, in a sense, the fragmentation of its community. It is also a tribute to the ambiguities surrounding its ruin. But its aesthetics come from felt improvisation, from an impression gathered from the space itself and its own sense of time, and from actions upon actions summoning the moment of its ruin, gathered slowly by a long interval.

Because my films do not bear thanks, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge those without whose support I would not have been able to complete this film: Karl Reinsalu, Gareth Jasper, and Ben Donoghue of the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto; Sebastjan Henrickson of Niagara Custom Lab; Lianna Hillerup of Frame Discreet; Ray Cook and Dean Allen of Skylight Studios; and Adam Jackson, a friend not seen now for many years who accompanied me when I first filmed the ruins nine years ago. My thanks are also owed to Andréa Picard, who premiered the film at the TIFF Cinematheque; to John Butcher, whose enthusiasm for the work was and remains a point of tremendous pride for me; and to R. Bruce Elder and Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof, who encouraged me to not abandon the film too soon.

Stephen Broomer, April 15, 2014

Notes

1. In Canada, the British Methodist Episcopal movement played a role in the Underground Railroad, their churches serving as a haven for freed slaves.

2. “Morgue colleague killed, suspect nowhere to be found,” Toronto Star, January 2, 1998, A8.

3. Dale Brazao, “What ever happened to Steve Toussaint?” Toronto Star, October 18, 1998, A1.

4. Dale Brazao, “Murder suspect’s remains identified.” Toronto Star, July 23, 1999, A1.

5. Despite the strangeness of these circumstances, it is worth noting that the Toronto Police did believe in Toussaint’s guilt enough to name him as a person of interest, that either something unannounced or the circumstantial evidence of the murder had caused them to distinguish this arson from the others. The other fires had also failed to consume the churches, but had caused considerable damage at St. Nicola di Bari and St. Clare’s Catholic Church.

6. Surely his family name – Toussaint, for the Haitian revolutionary leader Toussaint Louverture – furthered this association between Grenadian émigré Stephen Toussaint and Haitian voodoo.

7. The Reverend Maurice Hicks reassured the congregation in the days following the fire that Toussaint had committed no financial fraud against the church. Michelle Shephard and Jim Rankin, “Hundreds mourn lab worker while hunt for colleague continues,” Toronto Star, April 21, 1998, C5.

8. Brakhage’s remarks, which continue as a discussion of the resonance of terror at Mesa Verde, and that terror as something that lingered for Brakhage in the days that followed filming, were published in distributor’s catalogs, for example, that of Canyon Cinema, from which P. Adams Sitney cites it as such: Canyon Cinema Film/Video Catalog 7, p. 57.

Stephen Broomer

Watch 'Christ Church - Saint James'

stephenbroomer.tumblr.com

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Sandra Fruebing 'The Individual's Pursuit'

15th August - 15th September 2014

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Sandra Fruebing’s work involves the development of narration to explore and reflect upon the relation between individual politics and contemporary society. Mostly her work involves deeper research within the fields of film, literature and the everyday social interaction. The outcomes are presented in various media from objects that are involved in the storytelling till the creation of a filmed spectacle. Sandra Fruebing is currently based in London and just finished her MA Design Products at the Royal College of Art.

"The Individual’s Pursuit by Sandra Fruebing is the creation of a narrative based on a character whose quest is to inhabit an in--‐between space as an exploration of borders and boundaries. The personal desire to walk along the edge of water and earth, where both elements meet, is becoming a strong desire- almost an obsession. Specially designed apparatus and physical training exercises will be employed in an attempt to fulfil the desire. The project challenges our perception of what is accepted as normal and questions common sense. It looks at how borders in a physical and philosophical way create our definition of identity and reality.

Within the process of creating the storytelling around this rather odd quest the questions of the relationship between the individual belief and society will be explored as well as the longing for a creation of a personal space where one is almost attempting to disconnect oneself from reality and therefore add another layer to the “real real”.

Partly it is about questioning common sense all the time and designing the moment of unlocking normality as well as trigger situation in which you explore the in- between. On the one hand I investigate into the relationship between the individual and society to see how one person is still able to fulfil what he or she is aiming for. On the other hand the inhabitation of new spaces plays a key role. Looking at examples of exploration in all their variety (climbing, artic exploration, space travel) I wonder where the culture of exploration will take us. Basically, we are creating very specialized Super–Humans and skills.

“One characteristic of Western Society is to develop systems, which run perfectly for everybody. But with the elimination of failure will there be place for the odds? Will there be the ambition to go beyond what is here? Will this still be possible or will the individual investigation be destroyed?” (quote from the voice over) Or will we interpret everything as grey zones and use it in odd ways? How much standardization is good and not stopping us from going further and challenge reality?
Sometimes it is necessary to create space for individuality, to find the possibility to set yourself aside the normal and not be normal. It is about defining yourself through a search that is driven by your own quest.

The narration of the film follows the Individual in its preparation for the walk at various stages. The training of one leg to become stronger, the training for a possible failure, the rearrangement of the bedroom for training purposes – are all layers that are woven together to create the reality of the character but also discuss wider themes like failure and what does it mean to fail?
 
As a designer I do not just look at the in-between or one individual’s desire, I also design and craft the culture around it as carefully.
"

Sandra Fruebing

Watch 'The Individual's Pursuit'

Sandra Fruebing's Website

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Ocusonic 'A Diamond Forms Under Pressure'

15th July - 15th August 2014

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A Diamond Forms Under Pressure, is an anomaly existing somewhere between experimental film and music video. An improvised electronic soundtrack drives proprietary software, which analyses the audio’s frequency content and generates a cogent synchronous image in real-time. Frequencies push and pull against each other stabilising or agitating the central image.

Paul O'Donoghue aka Ocusonic is an Irish composer/ audio visual artist based in Dublin, Ireland. He has released music under a number of pseudonyms for a variety of labels and produced music for television and radio. To date his audio visual work has screened internationally at more than 200 festivals and galleries in 45 countries. His current work is entirely audio visual and explores a disparate collection of methods and techniques for the creation of visual music. Underpinning all of these disciplines is Ocusonics, the real-time generation of synchronous audio and visual material.

Ocusonic

Watch A Diamond Forms Under Pressure

www.ocusonic.com

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Illich Castillo 'TOUCH-Auto-Glitch'

15th Jume - 15th July 2014

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TOUCH-Auto-Glitch is a part of a series that explore an automatic/machinic corruption of a film frame - in the video a singular gesture of a finger pressing down is looped, lifted from the original context of the film narrative; isolated, it becomes a gesture of a mechanic destruction, a corruption of its own image. Manipulated by another gesture of the artist pressing down a pause button on a remote control, this mirroring effect of a mechanic and a manual gesture renders the image unrecognizable, in a sense cancelling them both by transforming figurative into abstract which perverts its own image to completely alter its figurative nature. This ends up becoming something unrecognizable.

Illich Castillo

Watch 'TOUCH-Auto-Glitch'

Blog

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Matthew Williamson 'Everything is Cool'

15th May - 15th June 2014

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Described once as "epiphanic", Matthew Williamson makes work about the cohesion between the internet and the stuff that used to be called 'real life'. While working mostly with video and animation gifs, his work is focused on the humorous relationships we forge with our machines. A graduate of the Ontario College of Art & Design and Syracuse University, his work has appeared online and offline at various galleries and websites.

Watch 'Everything is Cool'

Website

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Dakota Gearhart 'Laundry Day'

15th April - 15th May 2014

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"By blurring lines between reality and illusion, my work examines natural phenomena through the lens of material, landscape, and language. Elements, creatures, and molecules morph into playful and otherworldly scenes of sentience through narratives I create with accessible technology. Taking form in video, photography, and sculptural installation, my work constructs an experience that ponders the collapse of psychic distance between living beings. Working with diverse objects, such as laser prints, borrowed microscopes, and discarded houseplants, I find visual methods to invoke the intelligence of intuition, the infinite in the banal, and the ability to understand things on different terms. My inspiration for making this kind of work began as a child, when I would talk to overlooked plants and animals and feel strangely connected to them. Specifically, I remember chatting with the rows of potted plants at Walmart and the unwanted cats at the Humane Society. I felt all of them to be perceptive beings with rich personalities. I felt how supernatural their presences seemed and simultaneously, how ethereal my own presence was. I remember feeling I wasn’t that different from them in some fundamental way."

Dakota Gearhart, also known as Tiffany Peters and Tiff Mich, is an artist working in video, performance, sculpture, and multi-media installation. Dakota has exhibited work both nationally and internationally in venues such as Interstitial Theater, Seattle; Elsewhere Studios, Greensboro; Launchpad Gallery, Portland; Core Art Space, Denver; Artgrease, Buffalo; Purdue University Gallery, West Lafayette; Universitat de Barcelona, Spain; and Taiyuan University Gallery, China. Her work has been published in Trifecta Magazine, Carpaccio Magazine, and Open to Interpretation Books. She is the recipient of the Julaine Martin Scholarship, the Jane & David Davis Fellowship, and the Cultural Ambassador Scholarship from the Spanish Ministry of Education. She is the organizer of the experimental garage space, The Royal Box, which showcases artists, writers, and musicians of the Pacific Northwest. Dakota was born in Arizona, raised in Florida and lives and works in Portland, OR and Seattle, WA, where she recently graduated with her MFA from the University of Washington.

Watch 'Laundry Day'

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Silvia Dal Dosso 'The 1 Up Fever'

15th March - 15th April 2014

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"In the Berlin city everyone is going crazy for a viral new app. Anyone with a smartphone can play a sort of Super Mario Bros arcade game in Augmented Reality and win Bitcoins by playing. One coin corresponds to 0.01 Bitcoins. Citizens' habits are tainted by the game. Coins are hidden all over the city, you can spot them just scanning around with your device, not always they are easy to grab. People started to leave their jobs in order to collect Coins in the streets. All over the city people are jumping and running around with their smartphones, trying to grab as many virtual coins as they can, while the App developers identity remain covered. The 14 minutes movie is divided in chapters or "levels" which follows the 8bit vintage graphic and introduce to the following events with a small 8 bit animations. Peculiar elements of the Berlin city become part the Super Mario Land landscape, see those pink or blue tubes that run everywhere in the city, those climber plants popping out from wild abandoned place like old factories, longlines, gardens, those those east side building made with old red bricks, and the brige Oberbaumbrucke on the Spree river which seem the exact copy of the Super Mario's final boss castle.  In these scenery there are now people chasing coins by jumping around the city, people sailing on small boats on rivers, people losing their job and falling from bridges… and so on, while nobody knows who is giving them all that money and why. During the movie, acknowledged bloggers, hackers, game developers, financial expert are interviewed.  The shooting itself appear to be a game in the game: all the interviewees are asked to imagine the city as the app release happened for real and to answer thereby, sometimes they are even asked to play with it, but their skills and knowledge in the field allows to raise important questions on the actual use of internet, social networks and virtual currencies. Part of the work is dedicated to the Bitcoinkiez, a small Berlin district where local owners started to sell their products in Bitcoins through the Bitcoin Wallet App, which would be the "real" app to whom the Super Mario app is corresponding and who holds a world record: no other neighborhood in the world is so densely populated with commercial activities that accept the Bitcoin as a valid currency. Once that the film was completed, it was uploaded on the internet where it become a proper social experiment. There were collected chats and comments about the movie and of the people reaction to this mockery: in Poland, Portugal and Japan the news about the 1 Up Fever app was posted as this was a real app, now in commerce. On reddit, blogs and BTC chats there were discussions about the feasibility of the app, and about the conspiracy behind the movie. Many where writing from all over the world to get this new phantomatic application which kind of awakened the old Klondike Gold Rush. German, French and American magazines, blogs or tvchannels were finally dismantled the mock, and bringing the readers to a more qualitative consideration: to this day, most of the Internet's users have no idea about the huge earnings that big search engines and social networks make out of their private informations, data roaming, from the tracking of their buying, selling, talking. For those users, the usage of apps, social networks and so on is nothing more than a game."

Watch 'The 1 Up Fever'

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Toby Tatum 'The Secluded Grove'

15th February - 15th March 2014

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Toby Tatum is an artist living and working in Hastings on the English south-coast, who makes films.

"I basically make films on my own, shooting digitally and editing at home. For the last few years I’ve worked with a composer, Abi Fry from the band British Sea Power. The films cost almost nothing to make. Each film, for me, addresses a series of ideas that I’d have been mulling over for several months, although not all of those may come over to the viewer. Central to the whole practice is the idea of an artist being able to create worlds of their own, self contained universes that abide by their own limits and rules, that exist to some degree independent from the wider world."

Watch 'The Secluded Grove'

www.tobytatum.com

'The Lost World Of Toby Tatum' Video Statement

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Dawn Nye 'American Love Story: A Landscape in Sequence'

15th January - 15th February 2014

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Part of an ongoing collaboration between artists Dawn Nye and Katrazyna Randall, this is a true story told from memory and visually investigated through the lens of one very far removed. Looking through the idyllic frame of the rural American landscape, the narrator leads tells the story of a culture where death is the mundane thread of daily existence and comfort food marks the limited boundaries of hope. Throughout the centuries the landscape has been imbued with the hope, fear, honor, righteousness, delicacy, power and the faith of man. This video investigates that history through a contemporary lens and seeks to find a relationship between the romantic, the tragic and the everyday.

Watch 'An American Love Story'

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FUTURE DEATH TOLL 'PRISONASACORPORATION'

15 December 2013 - 15 January 2014

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FUTURE DEATH TOLL (F-DT) is a multidisciplinary collective creating work that circumvent the normal bounds that geographic locations and physical media impose on an art form. In a society where choice and personal privacy are increasingly under attack, the struggle for personal empowerment has become the pulled lynchpin to the derailment of human evolution. By confronting and harnessing technology we hope to create tools to orientate our post-evolutionary selves. F-DT is a throbbing mess of noise.

FUTUREDEATHTOLL

Watch 'PRISONASACORORATION'

F-DT Website

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Mladen Stropnik 'Fat and Virtual'

15 November - 15 December 2013

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Solo exhibitions:
2002 Square, Velenje Gallery, Velenje, SLO
2002 2+1 exhibition, Mladinski center Velenje, Velenje, SLO
2003 Open Art 2003, Galerie Jaspers, München, GER
2003 Tab, Atelje 2050, Ljubljana, SLO
2004 e.g., phase 4, München, GER
2006 Persone, P74 Gallery, Ljubljana, SLO
2009 Fuckin' Hanging, Galerija Gregor Podnar, Ljubljana, SLO
2012 SOFA, International Center of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, SLO
2013 Galerija Gregor Podnar, LET GO, Ljubljana, Slovenija

Mladen Stropnik

Watch 'Fat and Virtual'

Mladen Stropnik's Website

Stropnik's Youtube Channel

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Rebecca La Marre & Jaakko Pallasvuo 'Full Disclosure'

15 October - 15 November 2013

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'Full Disclosure' Interview

Based on your experience, how does it feel to become one, or more than two?

Rebecca La Marre with Jaakko Pallasvuo: When I think of two becoming one I am at first reminded of my early love of the Spice Girls, with the Biblical sense of the phrase floating around in the background.
The process of becoming one—as part of Full Disclosure—required a great deal of trust and negotiation; it was an experiment that was mutually entered into with, on my part, little thought about where it might take us both.* It also took a certain amount of commitment to sharing my experience of the process, and having to accept and stay with the parts that were uncomfortable. The project has probably been more successful than most of my romantic relationships in this sense. It also felt oddly sexual in the way the phrase “two become one” intimates, odd in a queer sense that involved my body but only to the extent that it was working and work can be pleasurable, and also odd because it was completely a-romantic.
The sexual component and the religious component are linked for me, and recently when Jaakko and I gave a lecture at Kingston University, without consulting each other we somehow both ended up talking about the way language interferes with communicating love—a theme that is very bound up with religious and mystic traditions, and more recently, linguistic theory.
I apprenticed under a shaman in Vancouver. I can say with the benefit of hindsight that even though the project was framed as a critical investigation or experiment, effectively Jaakko was asking me to use his energy. When this kind of exchange is unethical, or imbalanced in some way, it can be called a possession, so I was somewhat aware of the level of risk involved in his request. A shamanic view is that all relations are founded on some kind of agreement that in turn produces material conditions.
This is matched by the questions I was inquiring into about the way the Internet is talked about as something immaterial with no supposed connection to bodies. I also wanted to interrogate exactly how writing produces value for artists: what the relation is between a name, or a word, and the material existence of what that name is attached to, and how manipulating that relation produces effects.
The unfortunate outcome of our experiment, or game, is that we both applied to a residency that I was accepted to and Jaakko was not. I didn’t find out that the selectors didn’t believe in Jaakko’s existence until I arrived, and it was too late to address the situation.
In effect, I was using Jaakko as a material in my practice and to extend my capabilities to exist in multiple places at once. I would make jokes about omnipotence and omnipresence, and the project conveniently made it look as though I was able to produce work at the speed of the Internet, which is physically impossible for one person who barely gets paid to do. I deeply suspect that our appetite for images on the Internet comes from the same impulse as the worship of religious icons and images.

* Full Disclosure was an online collaboration between Jaakko Pallasvuo and Rebecca La Marre, which existed on the Internet between July 29 and August 23, 2012. In a video diary, La Marre claimed to have been making work as Pallasvuo since 2011, and the artists’ websites were interchanged.


Watch 'Full Disclosure'

New Degrees of Freedom

www.rebecca-lamarre.com

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Dawn Woolley 'Encounters' and 'Homo Bulla'

15 September - 15 October 2013

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"My artistic practice encompasses photography, video, installation and performance. I use photographs of objects and people to question issues of artificiality and idealisation.
The artwork forms an enquiry into the act of looking and being looked at. Referring to psychoanalysis, phenomenology and feminism I examine my own experience of becoming an object of sight and also consider the experience the viewer has when looking at me as a female, and a photographic object. Voyeurism and exhibitionism intertwine as I attempt to disrupt relationships of power in purposefully provocative scenes."

Homobulla

Watch 'Encounters 1-6'

Watch 'Homo Bulla'

www.dawnwoolley.com

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The Unstitute 'Radical Atheism: An Approach'

1 August - 15 September 2013

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'Radical Atheism' is a virtual lecture series which constitutes a coordinated effort to dispense with the metaphysics underpinned by the existence of God. In this video, which is addressed to the atheist, three impediments to traditional atheism are highlighted which are essential to address in an approach to the position and the new necessity of a radical atheism.

Watch 'Radical Atheism'

www.theunstitute.org

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