With over 2,000 online visitors every month, The Projection Room at The Unstitute is a place for creative experiments and self-empowerment over archaic creative institutions.
See the incredibly diverse range of what was selected in past months by our machines, and visit the creators' websites to find out more about our Participants, and apply to the Participation programme.
15th April - 15th May 2017
Wayshrines I, II, & III (an avatar manifesto) is a combination of appropriated media, screen recordings, and performance in digital environments in which the avatar exists as a replacement for the physical being. Wayshrines attempts to overturn power structures that exist within a web-based reality by appropriating and reinterpreting virtual representations. The work calls into question the alternative moral code that exists when confronting the immortal digital body.
INTERVIEW WITH KARA GUT
Your video 'Wayshrines I, II, & III (an avatar manifesto)' frequently contrasts familiar digital appearances or 'avatars' with cyborg theory, emotional intelligence and even hints at techno-romanticism, all of which suggest a conflict, a deepening of the feeling of the digital self as opposed to a flattening of experience or a simplification of reality. Could you say something about the sort of conflicts you have encountered through your research and development of the Manifesto and how the 'user' or 'player' - if that is the Self - finds itself adapting under these conditions of conflict?
As I researched and constructed the skeleton for Wayshrines, I found constant contradiction. If the digital world is truly a smaller mirror of the real, it contains all of the same issues of human nature, however, with infinite bounds.
Wayshrines begins by imagining a dystopian future in which humans have lost all instinct, fear, and knowledge of a physical world. It alludes to the banality of violence within a virtual space, where death is imitated as a canned experience or an absurd exercise.
In a space where there is no death—a space where narrative has no merit without the passage of time and time has no urgency without the eventuality of death—we must recreate death to instill meaning into our virtual experiences. This death-dilemma continually arose in each field of my digital research. I noticed that there is a constant play between the knowledge of immortality of an avatar, that it will always respawn, but also an element of immersion, or a suspension of disbelief: a sense of loss, and perhaps a processing of one’s own eventual demise.
Wayshrines features the newest iteration of Lara Croft of the Tomb Raider series. She has typically stood as the idol of male sexuality within video game culture since its inception. She represents a fissure between feminism and the patriarchal appropriation of feminism into entertainment and commodity. This was the basis of the final section of Wayshrines. The stark white background suggests a nirvana or heaven the female avatar has reached but cannot leave. One woman asks, "How can I feel despair when I'm in such a beautiful place?” The woman-as-adventurer, scientist, and action hero would at first seem a triumph for feminism, however, she has of course been fetishized. Her power has become an object of sexual fantasy just the same, which begs the question: are women and femme persons accepted by mainstream patriarchy only when they’ve been successfully fetishized to the point of acceptability?
It seems that human nature will always be at odds with the environment of the virtual, as we compulsively invent more realities to further complicate with human emotion. However, the avatar serves as our digital counterpart, a successful survivor of each digital trend. It’s no wonder that the avatar has persisted through years of technological innovation. It is now the phoenix rising from a world of gimmickry, duplicity, and heteronormative fantasy, using transmutation as survival strategy.
The Wayshrines world is peppered with references to the chauvinist and colonial constructions in which online gaming and social encounters take place; from the appropriation of the Wild West myth into numerous virtual sites of permanent online violence and adventure, to the manga party girls who exist for the up-skirt photograph opportunity and are consigned to repeat mono-roles ad infinitum as virtual sex servants in a male playground. Would a feminist gaming experience consist in hacking the pre-existent chauvinist amphitheatres of online gaming, or in the construction of different environments which challenge or escape this baggage?
I find that appropriating as a tool is still underutilized, that there is already too much information we have not yet fully digested, to merit the construction of new environments. The careful combing and redistribution of the mess we’ve made could take 8 times as long as we’ve been a conscious species. I find power in reclamation. To turn something on its head is to change perspective.
However, to be careful and calculated has never been a trait of the human condition. In her essay “Too Much World: is the Internet Dead?” Hito Steyerl asks the question: “Why not slowly withdraw from an undead internet to build a few others next to it?” This could mean freedom from the burdens of the current network: the spam, malware and viruses, the racism and sexism, but these are themes that persist with or without the internet, all the digital realm seems to do is exacerbate these issues. My hesitation in creating new environments is not a fear of the unknown but a fear of human nature in tandem with the dismissive unshocked-shock culture of the internet, the constant barrage of information, and the infinite scroll.
We currently seem to be standing at an extremely fertile period in the future of digital art production - something we endeavour to reflect in our programming at The Unstitute. How do you see your own practice developing after the fact of the 'Manifesto', and what projects do you have coming up?
Before and after creating Wayshrines I’ve never considered my work as “digital art” although it deals with our digital experiences. At this point in time, society has seamlessly migrated to the digital, and continues to live as a hybrid creature, existing in both physical and virtual reality. My work is a reaction to the state in which we find ourselves: as divided between and intertwined within two simultaneous realities. My newest projects involve this notion of hybridity, of translation between worlds.
Recently, I created a series called Gamut Performance which involved the 3D printing of popular LAB colorspace models such as sRGB and Adobe RGB 1998. Each gamut performance takes the shape of a nearly-geometric object, born out of a loss in translation from digital to physical. The result is an incomplete version of what was intended—an artifact of the digital realm, partially realized. The resulting objects are sharp, awkward, and unsound, akin to a geode, bismuth, or some geological anomaly that holds an unexpected geometry. This summer, I’ll be showing my videos and sculptural work at The Muted Horn in Cleveland, Ohio, ROY G BIV gallery in my hometown of Columbus, as well as a group show DEMO Project in Springfield, Illinois. I'm also currently working on a mock mail-order catalog of "internet-derived objects."
15th March - 15th April 2017
Life is a Bitch: a sci-fi video-novel which tries to interrogate the nature of borders, freedom and resistance. The action of the short-film finds its set in a possible future where the Left has the opportunity to build its project on Europa, moon of planet Jupiter, and follows the struggle of a left-minded couple which couldn’t afford the flight to the “Socialist Moon”.
S.A.B.A (Silvia Amancei & Bogdan Armanu) is an artist couple living and activating in the city of Iasi, Romania. They graduated BA (2013) and MA (2015) studies at “George Enescu” University of Arts (Faculty of Visual Art and Design) in Iasi and have participated in several international alternative education programs: “Summer School for Engaged Art”, project developed by “Chto Delat?” artistic group at Rosa-Luxemburg Foundation (2015, Berlin, Germany), “Autumn School. The 3 s: the space, the social and the sensorium” at University of Applied Arts (2016, Vienna, Austria). Working within the conceptual framework of new-media and having at the same time a background in fine arts, respectively mural art (Silvia) and painting (Bogdan). In their practice they are attempting to transgress the physical and discursive borders of the object (and the labour inscribed in it), searching for methods through which art and artistic means can be instrumentalized in order to overexcite the ability to look beyond capitalism and create a (common) future.
INTERVIEW WITH S.A.B.A
How did SABA get started, and how has working together effected your practice?
We started collaborating, exchanging ideas and debating since our first year at faculty. From the first day we met we felt that we were gravitating around the same interest, more exactly, the meaning and even futility of our practice and lives. Even though at times it may be challenging to overcome subjectivity, we consider that the fact that there are two of us, two brains, two sets of eyes, two souls, helps us in our research and saves us from complacent.
In your film 'Life is a bitch' you recall a lot of Soviet era imagery and ideals. How do you see those influences entering contemporary consciousness and what effect might this have?
It is true that we tried and we did instrumentalize a number of discursive and visual tools. We used them because, first of all, they are already imbedded in our consciousness through their museification and ongoing recuperation and, secondly, maybe we miss those unlived times when people used to live for a common future ideal. Unfortunately, their content is diluted and so their potentiality. Today, these imageries have become another consumption object along other lifestyle imagery.
Where did the science fiction element of the film originate from, and what do you feel the relationship is between Socialism and science fiction?
We used this framework mainly because our interest in poetry. We understood that in order to politicize your art practice and not scare the possible audience with you radicality, one should recuperate aesthetics. The attraction towards aesthetic instruments is so rooted in the western cultural construction that it feels almost futile if you want to change it. Especially when this is not your priority. We want to share political ideas and questions, and in this process, poetry/ aesthetics could be a tool. And for a long time art was understood for its capacity to be an instrument, to be part of the machine, critically engaging the collective imagination. Today, we assist at another form of political engagement of art and culture; diversity. Culture today, in opposition with the discursive approach of modernity, has the purpose of fragmenting the social landscape.
At this juncture of time many artists might question the validity of art whatsoever - perhaps due to economic restraints, or from the sheer oversaturation of media already out there. How do you see art surviving as a necessary practice in the current and future ages?
We believe that for the sake of the future, art should continue to exist as a mirror to our existence. Because we have to adapt to the new rhythm of life and digest information at different, more accelerated pace, art can become that oasis of reflection upon life with all of its earthly implications. In this situation where everyone is constantly producing and consuming visual information, art may seem to be outdated and in some cases, it really is, but we shouldn’t overlook its potential in creating dreams, future realities or translating the world for those who don’t have the time to investigate. Art must adapt itself to the needs of the present in order to survive and in order to do that is not enough to merge with technology but to commit to be true.
15th February - 15th March 2017
From outer space to the gutter, Your Special Island (YSI) is a three-part video project concerning consciousness and the mental states of shame and fear. An additional theme in the project is the quest of neuroscience to locate and understand these states, or affects, through screen-based imaging. The title is taken from the 1958 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical film, South Pacific. Set against the backdrop of World War II, South Pacific's 'your special island' is a lyric in the song 'Bali Ha'i' that beckons the listener to a place of exoticized pleasure, a measure to combat dissociation and dis-connection.
The title points to the island of any state of being, manifested in the island-like nature of the screen. YSI (yellow, central) concerns uncertainties of mind and matter, fear related phenomena such as fear of emptiness: stuffing the space between celestial bodies in the expanding universe with 'junk'; fear of dying; fear response of violence including fantasy weapons fashioned from artifacts of global conflict. YSI (red, on the left) concerns desire and longing in relation to inner and outer voices, and virtual synapse imaging. YSI (blue, left) focuses on the enigma of shame and fear through implied violence in relation to screen-based experience, and fMRI imaging looking around for the center of empathy.
Laurel Beckman Attending to themes at the crossroads of consciousness + social conditions, meta-physics + science, my work investigates perceptual phenomena, stage and screen space, and affect. Through the use of unconventional structure, absurdity and humor, the projects are playfully layered, giving equal weight to conceptual and visual richness. My video works have been presented/screened in festivals, museums, and public spaces throughout the United States, and abroad in roughly 30 countries including Canada, Peru, Palestine, Australia, India, China, Switzerland, Italy, Iran, Netherlands, Brazil, the UK and France. I am restless and curious and a professor of art at the University of California Santa Barbara.
15th January - 15th February 2017
What We Talk About When We Talk About Abortion? is focusing on China’s issue around birth control. I set up a post-abortion support group to illustrate how patriarchal mentality in culture consciously and unconsciously influences women. By means of interviews and researches, I created five characters with different social backgrounds to introduce problems and conflicts associated with women’s rights and identities. Through the conversation about their abortion experiences, I address how women submit to and blindly follow the patriarchal social standards. This work not only responds to the gender inequality, but also evokes women’s self-awareness on issues of being women in the current society. Z. Song
Zihui Song is a multimedia artist and photographer from Xi'an, China. Influenced by the Second Wave feminist theorists, her practice questions the construction of femininity in the contemporary society. She is particularly concerned that women in China unconsciously follow the stereotypical gender expectations through the socio-political culture and with the power of social class differences and how it has divided women into different groups. Educated at Xi'an Academy of Fine Arts, Xi'an, Shaanxi, Zihui has received MFA in Photographic and Electronic Media, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD. China. The artist is currently based in Los Angeles, CA.
15th December 2016 - 15th January 2017
Fragments of a relationship frozen in cold night-time frames are related and re-related in a story which deconstructs its own logic, releasing the need for intimacy but paradoxically repelling the actors convulsed by the impulse to be together. Drawing from the ‘Hedgehog’s Dilemma’, Capuzzi and Dainotti explore the parallel needs of complex human impulses which draw us together and drive us apart.
"A number of porcupines huddled together for warmth on a cold day in winter; but, as they began to prick one another with their quills, they were obliged to disperse. However the cold drove them together again, when just the same thing happened. At last, after many turns of huddling and dispersing, they discovered that they would be best off by remaining at a little distance from one another. In the same way the need of society drives the human porcupines together, only to be mutually repelled by the many prickly and disagreeable qualities of their nature." Arthur Schopenhauer
Hedgehog's Dilemma / Il dillemma dell'istrice, Italy, 2016
Starring: A.G. Capuzzi, Mai Nakazato
Music: Terry Bill
Production: Sette Secondi Circa
15th November -15th December 2016
"The poor image is a copy in motion. Its quality is bad, its resolution substandard. As it accelerates, it deteriorates. It is a ghost of an image, a preview, a thumbnail, an errant idea, an itinerant image distributed for free, squeezed through slow digital connections, compressed, reproduced, ripped, remixed, as well as copied and pasted into other channels of distribution." - Hito Steyerl 'In Defense of the Poor Image' 2009
Autocidal After Image is a digital video animation that explores video and video infrastructures in the context of online networks, systems and databases. In the work, multiple found online videos compose a 3D space – rendering each image as virtual objects to examined. Exploring John Berger’s idea of flattened media forms, the work plays with ideas of online video framing, fragmentation, and casual directionless surfing. Exploring the role of the artist as a filter, Rosati employs the metadata generated through users, networks and infrastructures to frame and organize information that privileges the often-privatized usage of online services.
Colin Rosati is a Toronto based multimedia artist who creates videos and installations exploring digital space and the extensions of the physical body. Colin works with 3D modeling, Max MSP, single and multi channel video and interactive installations. Colin has studied Integrated Media at OCADU 2013-2015 and at Ottawa School of Art.
15th October -15th November 2016
In the third installment of the 1989 adult-oriented computer series Leisure Suit Larry, the eponymous Larry wanders the jungle of a colonized village searching for love, which he finds, after a multitude of failed romantic interactions, with Passionate Patti, a perfect and unattainable woman. In an act of cathexis, Larry's energies concentrate on Patti in a complex of libido, love, and gender expression that leads Larry/Patti on an investigation of duality. bell hooks' meditations on love and relationships attempt to guide them, but are often rejected by the game's instinct. Larry's explorations are anti-cathected--counter-charged in the language of Freud--and blocked by his own ego and the misogynistic, hetero-normative constructs of the game in which he wanders, his desires continually repressed.
Alex Hovet is a New York City-based artist. Working across multiple platforms and using various lens- and screen-based methods, her work navigates cultural and personal memory, often engaging her own experiences as a woman. She reclaims early computer gameplay to create visible, alternative experiences of gender and sexuality in male-designed spaces. She is currently an MFA candidate in Photography, Video and Related Media at the School of Visual Arts.
15th September -15th October 2016
LEAVE STH IN YOUR WAKE: As the wave of demolition and construction continues its unrelenting sweep across Sydney, its population, wise to the shenanigans of politicians and developers, knows too well that this physical transformation is the measure of a society increasingly polarised racially, religiously and economically. To stake a claim in the midst of change is to seize fragments of and piece together moving imagery that responds to the visual clutter disseminated by a city in transmutation.
David Anthony Sant: Vimeo Channel and Facebook Page
EXPLICATE: is the 9th video in M T Walker's Econasia series. This video art project explores political philosophy in the moving image, with particular emphasis on the so-called Asian Century. While viewing Explicate, the audience is entranced by a jarring synthesised soundtrack. Simultaneously, the 3 channels of the work are bombarded by images of abandoned housing flats in Kuala Lumpur. The video typifies those buried in the undercurrent of poverty that accompanies the economic and industrial rise of Asia in the 21st Century. Explicate is also a pictorial interpretation of a dystopian outcome of this unsurpassed growth.
15th August -15th September 2016
INSTALGIA: feeling of restlessness and insatiability for attractions ecloses to be nothing more than general indifference, which the protagonists of the movie experience as boredom. They go sightseeing, eat fast food, fight, take pictures and get lost in the tumult of the city. They move through streets and alleys with gardens and statues, museums and galleries with a more or less lethargic lack of interest. Their fingers never leave the camera thus to periodically create a digital impression of reality. Equipped with a smartphone they prey upon predictable pictures. The apparatus situated between subject and object insidiously becomes part of their perception.
VICTOR BRIM: is a filmmaker and media artist, mainly concerned with the medium film. His works are equally infused with strategies and aesthetics of the fictional and the documentary. They focus on glances, gestures and actions in regard to urban and transitory spaces. In Viktor Brim's films, space appears as a metaphor-creating process due to its liminal status between subject and object.
15th July - 15th August 2016
AfterVal is something like an advertisement for something like an after-life, the product of my compulsively distracted downloading; a journey through my collection of save-as junk, pirated from various online digital model archives, washed in the rhetorical infinity of deep-space desktop backgrounds and the infinite zoom of the mouse wheel. As digital objects multiply in perpetual copies of an irrelevant original, divorced both material scarcity and the labor of their production, they approach a condition of post-value. Through an exclusive, limited trial release, AfterVal is offering you a personalized ascension into this post-value realm, where too much, or not enough, dissolves into the rejuvenating permanence of maybe.
Curtis Roth (b. 1986, Portland) is an Assistant Professor at the Knowlton School of Architecture at the Ohio State University and a 2015-2017 resident fellow of the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart. He holds a Master of Architecture degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He investigates architecture processes of cultural, economic and juridical valuation post-internet through diverse media productions including movies, video games, internet micro-economies, drawings, texts and irl stuff.
15th June - 15th July 2016
My work exposes the sliver of magic that can be found in the everyday and turning it into a fantastical and raucous journey through symbolism. Informed by an interest in cinema and theater, these multimedia narratives are told through video, sculpture, drawing, and impromptu performance. A television becomes a portal, a wig becomes a curse, and a queer youth becomes a zebra as unnamed characters navigate from reality into fictional landscapes. The sculptures I make are almost exclusively interactive and based in the language of craft, utilizing fibers, cardboard constructions and copious amounts of glitter glue. The objects invite viewers to become part of a story, breaking the wall that cinema or theater sets up between the audience and the microcosm presented. The end goal is to prove that maybe we are not so alone after all, that the human experience is in fact a shared one. zach-hill.com
In 2015 Zach curated [dis]Corporate Bodies #10
THE OMELET MANIFESTO
15th May - 15th June 2016
Curated in conjunction with [dis]Corporate Bodies #14
The Omelet Manifesto: the video is the result of our (poor) attempt to articulate a contemporary socialist manifesto starting from which we could coagulate the productive forces of humankind and change the world.
S.A.B.A (Silvia Amancei and Bogdan Armanu) are an artistic couple living and activating in the city of Iasi, Romania.
We were born in 1991, after the fall of Romanian Communism, therefore we have never had a direct relation with the communist ideology and way of organization. During our childhood, like many others, we have been exposed to diverse forms of nostalgia triggered by the precarious condition of life during the so called transition towards the complete democratic / free market.
When we developed a political identity we already knew that the promises of capitalism are unfounded and that the future of too many is darkened by instability and minimal subsistence.
Both unemployed, at least not in the form that we would like to be, we activate as independent artists, working with the issues triggered by the new paradigm of life exploitation. We feel the need of change and would like to put a shoulder to the materialization of this much needed movement, at least through the means available for us, i.e. questioning, underlining, sharing, so on and so forth. Unfortunately, most of the time we come to a negative conclusion regarding our future, both as individuals and society / community.
15th April - 15th May 2016
On April 9th 2009, maverick video-maker and self-professed ‘outsider’ Arkhip Ippolitov failed in his bid to commit suicide. The investigation that followed revealed a man on the fringes of sanity who had all but erased his identity in favour of living out his life as a fictional character; a character doomed from the outset. Most curious however is that the process of his breakdown was documented and released in the form of the award-winning motion picture ‘Goliadkin’.
This documentary, produced in association with The Institute of Film and Video Studies, Copenhagen, attempts to discern fact from myth and make sensible the question: ‘Who is Arkhip Ippolitov?’
“It is ironic that he [Ippolitov] chose to appropriate the character of Dostoevsky’s Goliadkin as his own, for this is a character driven to desperation by the strange and sudden appearance of his Doppelganger. It is doubly curious when we consider the circumstances of his suicide, his towering resentment toward the success of his movie and the tragic codicil he sought to execute against himself. But what is by far most uncanny is that this movie is a record of his self-destruction and that we, the audience, are capable of taking pleasure in the spectacle.”Tomas Blauveldt, Video-Critic and Lecturer, Department of Unscientific Research, The Institute of Film and Video Studies, Copenhagen
15th March - 15th April 2016
The Projection Room at the Unstitute is pleased to present the fast paced, steam powered 'Iron Horse of the Studio' (2015) video by UK artist Tim Neath. Forming a part of an ongoing exploration of the Western genre of cinema, its tropes, conventions and cliches, Tim expertly and wittily manipulates found footage with handmade balsa model miniatures and sets created in his studio at Two Queens, Leicester, UK.
These new digitised hybrid environments, where narrative and linear coincidences and surreal juxtapositions, remythologised in the video frame, create an uncanny clash of visual/narrative fields and cinematic symbols on this Wild West journey of the artist's studio.
15th February - 15th March 2016
Dadaloop is a a surrealist wedding cake, a futurist banquet, a baroque orgy of colors and flavors, a ratatouille of images in which food becomes a dream - or nightmare - and the reflection of schizophrenic diets in the claustrophobic frame of a self-portrait.
Francesca Fini is an interdisciplinary artist mainly focused on video art projects and performance art. With a deep training as a digital artist, she worked for 15 years in the field of television authoring and production.
In 2000 she met American artist Kristin Jones and they started a very long collaboration on the project “Tevereterno”, creating installations for the city of Rome. With Kristin Jones, Kiki Smith and other artists she attended the 2008 River to River Festival in New York, projecting her animation “Moon Loop” on the trees of the Hudson River.
In 2014 she has been selected for the Margaret Guthman Musical Instrument Competition, organized by the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. She was also invited in Kolkata, India, where she lectured and performed at the Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute.
15th January - 15th February 2016
After Mental Wealth 2013 takes as its launching point Chris Cunningham's 1999 Playstation commercial, "Mental Wealth." The artist becomes an analogue Fi-Fi, distorted and reconstituted through a decade of internet and social media normalization. The future of Cunningham's technological futurism has become our present, and it is not what we had expected. Nu-goths, Chun Li, space lazers, Pokemon, Grimes and Ben Lerner make their appearance in a melange of Tumblr earnestness and net- and 90s- nostalgia. Cunningham's Fi-Fi told us to land on our own moon. The artist as Fi-Fi tells you to do it in a skylit room, surrounded by your friends.
Catalina Ouyang is the recipient of the 2011 Esther Arthur Proetz Scholarship, the 2011 Elizabeth Greenshields Grant and the 2014 Caroline Risque Janis Prize in Sculpture. Her work has been exhibited in Los Angeles, Annapolis, Baltimore, Florence and St. Louis, including at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts and the Contemporary Art Museum. In 2011, her work was included in Manifest Gallery's International Drawing Annual 6. Ouyang received her BFA from Washington University in St. Louis in May 2015.
15th December 2015- 15th January 2016
Modulate A Thousand Times Moreis a natural expression of coded language where imagination tangles with constraints of syntactical possibility and limitation to create a moment of poetry. The process of writing is just as much about exploring the possibilities of computer programming as it is about conveying a meaning through words and imagery. There are many layers to code that hide beneath desktops and web browsers. Layers of potential space and meaning that can be explored through subverting the functionality of coded language and the perspective of how it is written, viewed and read.
Peter Wildman is a media artist who has been messing around with technology ever since he was 12 and he successfully wired up a telephone line in his bedroom using sticky tape and al-foil. Since then he has been building interactive installations, teaching others to mess with technology and hacking his way around the world in code.
Zach Kurth-Nelson nothings_nomeanings
nothings_nomeanings is a collage of found media, video and sound. I harvest media, extracting snippets / clips to use as part of a collage. I collect tens of thousands of these clips, which I refer to as samples following in the tradition of pop music and hip-hop sampling. I meld these samples together to create new and unique multimedia entities - gestalts. I am bewitched by the inherent beauty of each found-object, and in their potential for existing together in synthesis, so I do not distort or pervert them. Hundreds or thousands of samples are churned together, each providing their own distinct identity. The exact quality of every recording - the hiss, the static, the color - is kept intact. The samples represent exactly themselves, snippets of recorded media, no more and no less. A video sample is not a directreference to the subject material. It contains within it the subject material, but it also contains all of the minutia of recording - the perspective (physical and cultural) of the author, the equipment, and the uniqueness of the conditions of the recording, with the arm positioned exactly thus, or the singer holding the note for an extra 1/100th of a second. All of these details comprise the character of the sample, and the amalgamation of these characters can be startling and beautiful. Yet, at the same time, they also often overwhelm me with nostalgia that I have trouble explaining.
15th November - 15th December 2015
From Inside a Beehive and Back Again invites us as viewers to peer in through a piece of garden décor to bare witness to a possibly female alien humanoid's experience in an undefined moment in time. Each environment she exists in holds its own sense of artificiality and malleability, almost like going deeper into a virtual subconscious. Who holds the power over these spaces, these things? Where did she come from and where is she going? Is she an abstraction of the contemporary suburban woman or just a figment of our imagination?
Kayle Karbowski is a human being, artist, writer, curator, Scorpio and self-informed cultural critic that was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago and currently lives and works in Milwaukee, WI. She actively traverses the line between DIY and institutional art scenes through participating in and organizing a diverse set of exhibitions and events. In her personal practice, Karbowski utilizes the language and tools of film, video and theater to highlight the value placed upon masking, refining and performing as a way of existing in mainstream American culture. Sculptures present themselves as performance props or surrogates for a portal into another world, characters are always seen as avatars or actors (no matter how sincere they may be), and familiar places become foreign as they take the shape and feel of a digital landscape or dream. Science fiction, queerness and satire take center stage as she navigates these malleable modes of representation. “It is only through happening upon the parallel of your homeland, meeting your doppelgänger, or knowingly engaging with déjà vu, that we can really confront who we are and where we come from.
Watch Kayle Karbowski's videos 'Rainbow Road' and 'Zagreenoboofia' at The Unstitute's [dis]Corporate Bodies Project
15th October - 15th November 2015
#### was made in collaboration between contemporary artist Mark Tholander and a former film producer Sam Lomberg (1920–2014). They made this video as a reflection on how the world has changed into a hybrid reality where the space between the physical and the virtual is fluid.
Mark Tholander is a contemporary artist who works and lives in Denmark, and has studied in St. Petersburg, Russia. His video art explores how we perceive the world, and how this perception has changed with the advent of the digital. He has exhibited his videos in various countries, including USA, England, Egypt, Romania, Sweden and Switzerland. Today he is a student at the Jutland Art Academy, Denmark.
The Bourgeoise Agony of Travel If travel is defined as being disconnected from a place, how exactly can we represent it? Set against today's age of ephemeral network flows, travel (or from the Western perspective, cosmopolitanism) becomes even more difficult to map. More than ever we are set between the infinite images of places and the quest to find our personal experience within that.The Bourgeois Agony of Travel is both a critique of postmodern cosmopolitanism and a testament to travel as a philosophical and emotional state of exploration.
Filament 2014, explores temporality and phenomena within moving image and sound. Central to the work is an engagement with subjectivity and mediation to approach notions of the sublime. This processed work combines responses to passages within Lacan's IX Seminar (1961 - 62) that question amongst other things, interiority and exteriority.
Grant Petrey is a Senior Lecturer at the University for the Creative Arts, UK, teaching theory and practice on a range of Fine Art and Media programmes. He has worked extensively with Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK, and as a visiting consultant lecturer at Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, USA. He has presented his research and work internationally, with early work being part of the National Collection of Great Britain Northern Ireland. His fine art practice explores temporality via the triangulation of the still and moving image with the sonic. Recent screenings include L’Alternativa at the Barcelona Centre for Contemporary Art, Spain; Crane Arts Projects Space Philadelphia, USA and SIGGRAPH, Los Angeles Convention Centre, USA.
15th September - 15th October 2015
UN REALITY presents video works by 6 international artists selected to represent the first major group screening at the Projection Room to celebrate 5 years since The Unstitute dug its first hole underground.
Selected from many unspecified open submissions, (and starting with Harold Charre's video 'In between',) over time a distinct body of work evolved that independently render existential subject matter rich in symbolism, dream imagery and innovative videography techniques.
This group presentation seeks to invite some of the less conscious recesses of the human psyche to the fore in this screening with a selection of excellent works that make this subject area so paradoxical and complex. We hope there are areas of resonance within our group of loyal followers...YOU!
VHS | GLASS | METAL | PLASTIC | PAPER
15th August - 15th September 2015
Mongo n. slang. object thrown away and then recovered
Cape Mongo follows the stories of five characters as they journey through the city of Cape Town. Each Mongo character is made from the city's discarded waste', mythical trash creatures, which have emerged from the growing dumps of consumer culture. In five short films, the creatures revisit the spaces of their imagined pasts, the locations associated with their material existence and the constitution of their social relations, as if walking against the consumer-driven currents of city. From postmodern shopping malls to the bustling streets of the Bo Kaap to leafy suburbia and desolate shipping-container yards, these characters' journeys conjure up imagery that touches on some of the historical trajectories that have lead up to the endemic inequality and social alienation which characterises present day Cape Town.
Francois Knoetze has constructed six wearable sculptures entirely out of waste. Rather than merely disposable items which are purged from our lives, as soon as the garbage truck disappears around the bend or which lie dormant in an ever-widening layer in the crust of the earth for future archaeologists to marvel at Cape Mongo imagines trash objects specifically, the packaging of domestic consumables and the electronic devices used to record every-day life as mnemonic vestiges of the activities that shaped them. Performing all over the city of Cape Town for a period of two years, Cape Mongo is the documentation of these performances but also pulls together found footage relating to various issues around housing, food security, inequality and racial segregation.
Francois Knoetze is a Cape Town based artist. He obtained a BFA at Rhodes University in 2012 and recently completed his MFA at Michaelis School of Fine Art. Knoetze's work investigates the relationship between the aesthetics of waste and the glossy facade of consumerism. Through public performance, sculpture and film, his practice explores the nuanced lives of discarded objects and the powerful scope that the indeterminacy of trash allows for reorganisation and redefinition.
15th July - 15th August 2015
High-resolution photographs of low-resolution encounters, offer a surprisingly intimate reading of a contemporary loneliness. Live streaming video projections of the one-shot-per-second progression of web cameras result in a fireworks-display of light signals as if trying to communicate in some unknown code, some unknown message. Voyeurism and self-induced surveillance through constant online exposure are the desperate desires of participation in the online world, which fails in the colloquial boredom of chat-rooms. News photographs turn the faces of individuals into abstract dots, and the identities of witnesses to wonders are erased through censorship.
Jenny Vogel My work explores subjective themes as they are experienced in the age of information. I examine the anxiety of alienation, the desires of communication and a sense of be-longing in a virtual world. These traits, attributed to Romanticism, are dealt with in my work through the lenses of contemporary communication technology, the media and historical preconceptions. I am particularly interested in the depiction of the individual and individuality through media technology, with its resulting misrepresentations and miscommunications. Through this juxtaposition of technology and Romanticism I attempt to challenge the image of the Internet as the “global village,” objectivism in the news and the ideology of science."
You can view Jenny Vogel's Everything Must Be In Flames' at The Unstitute's [dis]Corporate Bodies Project
15th June - 15th July 2015
On Thames is a short film that follows Sergei Rudenko, a Ukrainian national who believes the City of London Corporation has been secretly transforming the entire Square Mile into a vehicle capable of intercontinental flight.
Oskar Johanson is an artist and writer based in London. He graduated from Goldsmiths with a BA in Fine Art & the History of Art (Dual Honours) in 2013. He is currently studying architecture at the Architectural Association, and is co-editor of the weekly periodical PNYX.
15th May - 15th June 2015
Seagull Personal experiences such as love, loneliness and longing are taken at face value but are immediately turned into points of systematic general inquiry. The banal becomes serious, and vice versa. Presenting hyper-worlds, built from cultural stereotypes and clichés, then pushed to the brink of emotional overload. Kitsch is a conscious strategy in my research and practice. My inspirations often come from the observation in daily life and especially the firsthand experiences. As one of the many individuals who are experiencing the confusion and struggles in the current macro environment I am interested in the doubts, curiosity and cognition for the potential new value orientations and its unpredictable future possibilities.
Eden Mitsenmacher: Born 1987 in the USA; works in London and Tel Aviv. Combining performance, video and installation to take a critical yet engaging view of social, political and cultural issues. Embracing the desire to do what you love and occasionally getting embarrassed by it. Finding a form for vulnerability and blurring the lines between sincerity and ambiguity. Using pop culture as a frame of reference for social and personal critique but also as a way to create familiarity and accessibility. Sharing and connecting experiences between an I and a You.
Saturn Fishing: A former neighbor inspired the yellow mask I wear in this video. I invented it to perform ceremonial physical actions in his stead as he struggled with a life ending sickness. The character is an avatar exploring a contrived personal mythology flavored with gratuitous violence. The form is an inverted mask, a cover to wear when you are alone, a mask only revealed in isolation. I live and work in Florida, a fully realized material and conceptual wilderness wonderland."
Patrik Moser: "I make paintings, drawings and experimental performance videos. I am excited by physical and emotional spaces that are simultaneously heavy and light, something like the experience of one’s own child, a conflation of deep love and profound fear. I find the intentional misuse of tools thrilling, seeding new outcomes, shaping fantasy, melancholy and futility.Lives and works in St Augustine, Florida.
CIRCUMstance I believe that my film resonates quite deeply with visualising and thinking through everyday images of protest. In that the film is an attempt to understand the digital platforms which dominate our popular and common modes of communication. This can be seen by it’s narrative tactic of using GOOGLE’s programmes to demonstrate their truly global spread and influence. I guess that I created this work to express annoyance toward the fact that technology can accurately map and portray this world so accurately. However, this does seemingly not aid in affective changes in our daily attempt’s to understand why the system’s we live by often fail us as individuals.
I have been more sensitive recently to the ways in which external influences are consumed, digested, and incorporated into my demeanor and personal affectations. If I spend time with someone over the course of days or weeks, I start to notice that I selectively, yet inadvertently, begin to adopt their mannerisms, modes of expression, particular colloquialisms, even their distinctive gait… vestiges of their person which can and do reverberate through time, and which start to exist independently of the individual which set them in motion. They are ripples in the fabric of my personality where it has been touched by another. Some of them last for a time and fade away, others take root and change shape as they find a permanent nest in that thing which constitutes the affectable and effectible me.
Blood Let is an attempt to localize this phenomenon of change within the irreducible immediacy of physical being. By extracting my own blood, exposing it to external action and substance - making it into a blood sausage - and then consuming it, this process of change is run from start to finish in a closed system. How will this action change the blood itself? Will it alter the constitution of my physical or personal body? Will this be a product of the action, the physical substance, or both? Where, exactly, does the change occur? Or, phrased differently, will this particular series of events have any real consequence outside of its abstraction via critical thought?
Hill of Crosses is film that blindly guides you through a space between solitude and the feverish discovery of the self. Two wanderers imprisoned by their silence discover movement as a means of finding their voice. It is a trans-Atlantic collaboration meeting at an in between place. This experimental film documents a journey through the Baltic's discovering abandoned and sacred places and delving into the freedom of loneliness. A series of performance rituals of the body in response to space are played out to a dreamlike and eerie sound score. Locations include: Hill of Crosses, Siauliai, Lithuania; Patarei Prison, Tallinn, Estonia and Linnahall, Tallinn, Estonia.
Paul Remund works out of Brooklyn, New York in a variety of media including film, sound, sculpture, performance and paint.
Hollie Miller is a performance artist from London, UK interested in the moving body and creating site specific work for film.
Flabzilla subverts the concept of the monstrous fatty and plays with common perceptions of an ‘othered’ physique. A morbidly obese behemoth rises from the sea and uses her body mass to attack the city of London, which is built entirely from cardboard and packaging tape. Treading a fine line between grotesque and sex, weighty flesh and physical power clash with intricately crafted landmarks until all is destroyed.'
Kayleigh O'Keefe is a contemporary artist engaging with themes of body confidence, identity and alienation through performance and film. She has collaborated with artists, filmmakers and non-performers, produced and directed immersive live art events for the Pink Bear Club and distributed her performance art videos to an online audience.
Developing Nation presents a montage of living vignettes, of pasted-together subworlds and rejects, derelicts and conflagrations, as though an irruption/flourishing in the southern heart of Santiago had engulfed this modern, high-tech city, accelerated the rate of entropy in the interconnecting neighbourhoods. Catoni's observations are highly sensitive, both everyday and unimpressive like the bulk of our everyday lives, yet they inflict resonant images on the retina - a sort of video-graffiti or poetic economy of means.
Duty to Act shows a hobbyist’s response to the world of broadcast television and past cinematic techniques married with a domesticated DIY pursuit that reflects on today’s implosion of socially mediated news casting. We are witness to a confused interpretation of the production and consumption of personal and mass media, forming a cyclical and closed system in an anonymous living room. The historically loaded script becomes a document that examines the role of rhetoric and political speeches as a form of linguistic technology, something which aids the design of ideologies, emotions and culture.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 finished her MA in Design Products at the Royal College of Art.
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.
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.
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.
Laundry Day 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.
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. 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.
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.
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"
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.
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.
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.
Dawn Woolley: 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.