Monday October 12, 7:30pm
YES: Process as Image
Works by Josh Lewis and Simon Liu
admission $7 – artists in person


Stills from Josh Lewis’ “Chorus” (left) and Simon Liu’s “Sneyd Green” (right) – images courtesy of the artists

We are very pleased to present as the first 2015-16 installment of YES, our emerging artist series, a night of silent 16mm hand-processed films for single and dual projection by Josh Lewis and Simon Liu, including several premieres as well as recent works.

While often the practice of hand-processing film with chemicals or other substances, coloring, inverting, et cetera are used as a means to alter pre-existing images, the nine works in “Process as Image” by Lewis’ and Liu’s seem to reverse that paradigm. The images, in the sense of what the viewer tends to focus on, are the alterations, while the filmed footage almost becomes secondary, or serves as a visual starting point for their investigation.

The two artists’ bodies of work are otherwise quite different: Lewis’ shows predominantly abstractions obtained through a carefully distributed mix of exposed film strips, chemicals and time; Liu’s films presents the viewer with a wall-of-TVs-like bombardment of heavily and variously treated footage gathered during his travels and other moments of his personal life.

All the works in the program were made at Negativland Motion Picture Lab in Ridgewood founded by Lewis, a new artist-run film lab in Brooklyn. More info at

$7 – general admission
$5 – students 29 & under and seniors 65 & over with a valid ID

JOSH LEWIS is a New York-based artist and experimental filmmaker working at a fluid intersection between abstraction, documentary, and narrative forms. Coming from a background working in film processing labs, Lewis’s handmade films explore the boundaries of manual knowledge, bodily struggle, and the persisting enigma of material potential. His work has shown at venues such as Anthology Film Archives, Microscope Gallery, Uniondocs, Sight Unseen, and festivals including Antimatter Film Festival, New Orleans Film Festival, Onion City, Haverhill Experimental Film Festival, Milwaukee Underground Film Festival, Mono No Aware, the Australian International Experimental Film Festival, EDOC: Encuentros del otro cine festival internacional de cine documental. Lewis is the founder of Negativland MPL, an artist-run film lab and work space that facilitates creative explorations in photochemical filmmaking. He is a 2015 recipient of a NYFA Film/Video Fellowship for his collaboration with MM Serra, Enduring Ornament.

SIMON LIU lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Born in Hong Kong and raised in both Hong Kong and Stoke-On-Trent, England, he moved to New York in 2006 and received his B.F.A. Degree in Film and Television Production from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. His work has been exhibited internationally and throughout New York. Selected screenings and exhibitions include: Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Werkstatt Der Kulturen, Berlin, Germany; Rio De Janeiro Film Festival, Brazil;  WNDX: Winnipeg Festival of the Moving Image, Winnipeg, Canada; Marfa Film Festival, Texas.


12.16.10: Dirt Dev
Josh Lewis, 2010, 16mm, b/w, silent, single projection, 3 minutes
“One of several 100ft roll films made in a basement of Pac Lab (NY) during the month of December, 2010.  Portions from these sessions were used to make my film “Pillager,” each session involving 100 feet of film laid out on the basement’s dirt floor then applying reversal chemicals directly to the emulsion.  Working in this manner eventually caused small red lesions to form in the back of my throat, and I couldn’t get out of bed for about two weeks.  Since then, I’ve never been able to see these rolls as anything other than moving sickness.” – JL

Doubt #9
Josh Lewis, 2013, single projection, 16mm, color, silent, 3 minutes
“Vertical exposures follow the natural trajectory of the film strip, various chemicals are applied in tight quarters by hand under red light. Under these conditions, the struggle to maintain control quickly gives way to a kind of desperate religion. The last of the “Doubt” series.” – JL

The Past is in the Past [but there is something now that I regret like I was about to do it]
Josh Lewis, 2015, dual projection, 16mm, b/w, silent, 6 minutes
“The past is in the past, but there is something now that I regret like I was about to do it.” – JL
Footpath (WIP) (premiere)
Josh Lewis, 2015, 16mm, b/w, silent, single projection 6 minutes
“A familiar path archived variously.” – JL

Josh Lewis, 2015, 16mm, color, silent, single projection, 17 minutes
“TO THE ACCUSER, WHO IS THE GOD OF THIS WORLD. In any photographic process there are essentially two opposing forces at work: one, the developer, aims to turn silver salts to black; the other, the fixer, wants to dissolve those salts. Normally, these are done in sequence so as to remove any potential ugliness between the two. In Chorus, dry granular forms of both are added to the film stock simultaneously. When water is introduced, each begins a struggle for its intended conclusion. The film bears witness to the conflict, an ecstatic sum of individual grains asserting and succumbing.” – JL

Re-Lease (WIP, premiere)
Simon Liu, 2015, 16mm, Single Projection, Color & b/w, Silent, 3 minutes
“With a focus on my affinity for the ephemeral, this is a remix of left over footage shot on two now defunct and sorely missed Kodak film stocks that record my trudging foray into Step-Printing with a JK Optical Printer.” – SL

The Gray Line
Simon Liu, 2015, 16mm, Dual Projection, Color, Silent, 7 minutes
“Harmony (n.) a consistent, orderly, or pleasing arrangement of parts; congruity.
Forgive my nerves— rattling of my subjective coloring and inverted subjects! I applied the techniques of Richard Tuohy’s Chromaflex process to weld together then shred apart film scraps guided by an electric pleasure for a visual clash and at moments, harmony.” – SL

Harbour City
Simon Liu, 2015, 16mm, Dual Projection, Color, Silent, 12 minutes
“Incited by the airy weight of digital platforms and its approaches, I imagined ironing flat potentially conflicting negatives through double exposure and re-reprinting via an industrial 16mm contact printer; a density of information reserved for the modern cloud. A view through cracks between fish markets and high-rise buildings; urban imagery of Hong Kong and the indulgence of domestic life. Massage parlors, dim sum parlors, nail parlors —its Parlor City, baby! Hyperactivity: a sausage dog chews on a rib-eye bone while a Filipino family prepares a dinner of three to four different ethnic cuisines.” – SL

Sneyd Green
Simon Liu, 2015, 16mm, Color, Silent, 15 minutes
It’s any day, any year in the house of Alan and Vera in their Post-Industrial English conurbation formerly known for their world renown pottery industry, yet on this week they are interrupted by their camera toting grandson. This May is one of moving, dancing, and gliding more softly and with greater awareness. They might be stars, they could have been famous!

Alan: What am I having for m’ dinner V?
Vera: You going down to Newcastle?
Al: Is there any garlic? …swore there was garlic last time.
V: You won’t eat garlic. Get us some oatcakes for Simon in Castle.
Al: Y’ sure there’s no garlic? Was hoping for sandwiches…
V: There’s kipper. Could have a few biscuits if you feel up for it.
Al: I’ll go down Castle now. Is me scooter charged?
V: I’ll get that Shepherd’s pie heated.

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