Monday February 17, 7pm
Short films & videos by Baltimore moving image artists
curated by Kate Ewald, Lorenzo Gattorna & Meg Rorison
of Sight Unseen
admission $6 – curators in attendance

Still from Alan Resnick’s “8===>~~~~( . )( . )” (2012) © courtesy of the artist

This week we turn the spotlight on Baltimore, inviting the nomadic moving image organization Sight Unseen to present a night of works from their home city.  BALTIMORE-BASED, curated by Kate Ewald, Lorenzo Gattorna, and Meg Rorison features 18 artists currently living and making work in Baltimore, continuing the tradition and community of its independent film scene. The wide cross-section of artists in the program includes internationally recognized artists, long-time local fixtures as well as recent transplants and new discoveries. The range of mediums and approaches is equally diverse: from  celluloid to digital, found to fabricated, the material to the sublime.

Sight Unseen is a nomadic organization established in Baltimore, Maryland, showcasing experimental film, video, and expanded cinema since June 2012. Part of Sight Unseen‘s model thus far has been to bring practitioners to Baltimore from the outside-in, thereby enriching its cinematic landscape. This time they are focusing on Baltimore’s own cadre of audiovisual artists.


for w.g. sebald (travel without travel)
Stephanie Barber, 2011, Digital, color, sound, 4.5 min
A collection of titles from a honeymoon trip around the world in the early 1950’s. The poetics of the words assert themselves, diminish the images which are tethered, physically and as regards our understanding of place, to the names of the sights. The entirety becomes a moving and concrete poem.

The Human Body Part 1
Jon Bevers, 2012, Digital, b/w, sound, 3 min
The short film explores the human body. A narrator leads the viewer through a serious of visuals that depict individual people, as well as groups of people, participating in various basic human behaviors. As the monologue unfolds we learn that we can do anything with our bodies. The body can be a singular, individual body but it can also be a unified body of people. Either way there should be some kind of mind body connection or bad things happen.

Catherine Borg, 2010, Digital, color, sound, 4 min
Self-tending is a stop-motion animation in which clear blocks, cast by the artist, stack and unstack themselves. Pointing to the role of contemporary architecture as spectacle in places like Las Vegas and Dubai, as well as rapidly transforming cities like New York, the animation playfully suggests the next development in architecture…reinvention minus the mess.

Discuss Winter
Mark Brown, 2009, Digital, color, sound, 6 min
Discuss Winter was created as collaboration with former Baltimore experimental music outfit WZT Hearts featuring Jason Urick, Shaun Flynn, & Jeff Donaldson.

Centralia, PA
Nick Clasing, 2013, Digital, color, sound, 4 min
In 1962, a fire started in a coal mine underneath the town of Centralia, PA ultimately leading to the town being abandoned and then demolished. All that remains are a few roads and the smoke that rises from the earth from the underground fire that is still burning to this day. This beautiful yet eerie film shifts from the artificial to the natural as the omnipresent smoke echoes tragedies past.

Skizz Cyzyk, 1990, Digital, color, sound, 3 min
If it is illegal to copy a videotape, is it illegal to copy the warning that says it’s illegal to copy a videotape? What would the punishment be if you were to copy ten to fifteen different warnings per second for three minutes straight? This piece was made in 1990, on a cuts-only (AKA linear) analog ½” video system.

Play Nice
Liz Donadio, 2010, Digital, color, sound, 3 min
It’s a dog’s world.

Belson Blues
Max Eilbacher, 2013, Digital, color, sound, 3 min
Belson Blues is a short narrative about two artists contacted by higher powers. It was made in November of 2013. Staring Isa Gonzales and Zoe Burke, narration by Carly Ptak. Animation+Music by Max Eilbacher.

Kate Ewald, 2013, 16mm, Nail polish, Mascara, Eye Shadow, Eye liner, Blush, Concealer, color, silent, 2 min
A handmade film created with materials given to me by my mother from adolescence onward and never used on my body.

The Enchanted Forest
Lorenzo Gattorna, 2011, 16mm-to-digital, color, sound, 6.5 min
A cinematic portrait made in memory of the theme park that still remains in Baltimore County. The film weaves together the beauty of both the abandoned and restored landscapes. Subtle superimpositions of the vibrant attractions amidst the forgotten forest present the possibility of a nostalgic return to a former glory. The imagery that unfolds is set to the Ave Maria as performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra under the direction of Leopold Stokowski. A special thanks goes out to Clark’s Elioak Farm for their cooperation in the production of this film.

Smoke & Fire
Dina Kelberman, 2013, Digital, color, sound, 30 min (loop)
Smoke & Fire is a piece commissioned by the New Museum for their online exhibition series, First Look. The work consists of a continuously growing array of animated gifs made by the artist and arranged in order from smoke to fire. As of this writing there are approximately 900 gifs in the collection.

Nascar study 1
Justin Kelly, 2011, Digital, color, sound, 5 min
Nascar study 1 is an act of brevity in the form of a video exploring the spirituality in Americas largest spectator sport.

8===>~~~~( . )( . )
Alan Resnick, 2012, Digital, color, sound, 5.5 min
8===>~~~~( . )( . ) explores hollywood special effects techniques and the artist personal connection with internet chat services like G-chat.

Beam Splitter
Jimmy Joe Roche, 2011, Digital, b/w & color, sound, 1 min
The contemporary artist is like yesterday’s alchemist, an innovator and provocateur both in the physical realm as well as the metaphysical. Like the ancient pursuit of transforming the base substances of the earth into gold (or gold into shit), my works explore the transmutation of the body and psyche toward both enlightenment and destruction. I’ve made a long study of noise within systems of order.

Gowanus Haze
Meg Rorison, 2012, 16mm, b/w, sound, 5.5 min
The filmmaker returns to her old neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. The footage captures a landscape known as The Gowanus Canal, an area of Brooklyn, which was once inhabited by a productive port and industrial compound. The film’s soundtrack incorporates recordings of the filmmaker’s demented grandfather who recalls his own memories of New York City. Additional sounds include the recordings of the projector projecting the film itself.

Branden Rush, 2012, Digital, color, sound, 7.5 min
Entropy is a video-graphic exploration through the found footage of science fiction media. This piece references and utilizes temporal, special, and spatial effects with regard to contemporary physics, film art, and photographic history through auditory, hallucinatory, and visual transitions of montage. It explores the literal control and dissemination of information as light captured by a lens, compressed and transmitted, and reappeared onscreen for consumption while audiences experience the passage of real time in a nostalgic film-time remix. Entropy aims to re-present this media, urging the audience to define for themselves what it means to exist in their own relative space-time.

All or Nothing
Fred Worden, 2013, Digital, color, sound, 8 min
When it comes to motion pictures, I’ve always been a lot more interested in the motion than the pictures. Images, in fact, have always been for me primarily a medium through which motion (or energy) can manifest. In All or Nothing abstract images are made dynamic by an infusion of energy imposed by me from outside. I’m tempted to describe this as a conversion of biological energy (mine) into cinematic energy. The individual frames collide and new things appear. It’s almost like a jerry-rigged, homemade version of the Large Hadron Collider. On the web page for the Large Hadron Collider it describes the Hadron Collider’s mission as “tunneling to the beginning of time.” A no-nonsense mission, I’d say. The mission of All or Nothing might also be described as a kind of tunneling, but for the life of me, I can’t say exactly where its tunneling to.

Life is an Opinion, Fire a Fact
Karen Yasinsky, 2013, Digital, color, sound, 10 min
Life is an Opinion, Fire a Fact is structured with narrative fragments, sequenced without transitions that would place them together in time or story. The point was to go from acts of despair towards some suggestion of serenity. What goes on when we watch horrific events and specifically the horror of suicide that we only watch on tv or film? The act just shows the result but not the ideas and feelings that lead to it. The first image shows a woman who just jumped to her death (from A Gentle Woman by Robert Bresson). The animated scene of self immolation is shot in reverse so narrative buildup of tension is denied. The character places himself atop a statue of Marcus Aurelius from whom the quote, Life is an Opinion, comes. We end in a place, through sound or image, that suggest diverse definitions of serenity (an opinion).

TRT: approx. 80 min


Still from Meg Rorison’s “Gowanus Haze” (2012) © courtesy of the artist

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