about the program

CHANNELING is a film and video program curated by Latham Zearfoss and Ethan White.

SHORT/PRESS DESCRIPTION:

CHANNELING is an entryway into the spirit realm and the queer body politic: a program of experimental moving image work that calls up the ghosts of the past and the specters of the future. The intent of the program is to re-imagine film and video as occult technologies that allow us to connect with the bodies, experiences, and emotions that are often invisible– ghostly, even–in everyday life. The works in the program take a personal approach in dealing with the political and historical problems that haunt the queer experience: the AIDS pandemic (Renwick, DiStefano), the body in transition (Montague),the idealized nuclear family (Pena, Robinson), and the narrow cultural standards of desirability (EMR, Moulton). CHANNELING presents emerging and established artists critically engaging with these concerns on their own campy, poetic, sexual,humorous, and even utopian terms, using a variety of aesthetic approaches such as digital video, homemade effects, saturated 8mm, home movies, animation, green screen, and more.

RUNNING ORDER:

Vanessa Renwick – 9 is a Secret (2002, 6:00, video)

Elliot Montague – Well Dressed (2006, 10:00, Super 8mm on video)

Shana Moulton – Whispering Pines #7 (2006, 5:00, video)

Michael Robinson – Carol Anne is Dead (2008, 7:30, video)

EMR (Math Bass & Dylan Mira) – Somethings Gonna Soon (2008, 4:00, video)

Aay Preston-Myint – Some Ghosts (2007, 2:00, video)

Jillian Pena – Compromise (2005, 10:00, video)

John Di Stefano – (tell me why): The Epistemology of Disco (1990, 24:00, video)

Total Running Time: ~68 min.

PROGRAM NOTES

CHANNELING is an entryway into the spirit realm and the queer body politic: a program of experimental moving image work that summons the ghosts of the past and the specters of the future. If we imagine the technologies of film and video as occult mediums rather than technological ones, then perhaps we can make a kind of spiritual contact with the emotional and physical realities that are often invisible (ghostly) in everyday life. In this sense, both the camera and the ghost stories it captures can serve as powerful instruments in the act of queer worldmaking.

The artists in this program use their bodies and stories as conduits that channel the political and historical dramas that haunt the queer experience: the AIDS pandemic (Renwick, DiStefano), the body in transition (Montague), the idealized nuclear family (Pena, Robinson), and the cultural conventions that shape desire and desirability (EMR, Moulton).

CHANNELING is more than communing with the dead: it is a method of accessing the living. The stories we share together in the flickering light are not disembodied records of the past, but rather, bewitching presences that speak to us here, in this very darkened room. In using moving images to propose the phantom as a fundamentally queer body—a liminal manifestation, floating between two worlds—we open the possibility of entering into a spiritual dialogue from which queerness is often excluded. Like the process of filmmaking itself, CHANNELING is a reinterpretation of light and shadow; a new form of alchemy that can guide us through sorrow, pronounce our desires when we lack the language to do so, and conjure utopias that re-vision – and therefore reshape – the political present. The future is bright. Come into the light, Carol Anne!

WORKS + ARTIST BIOS

9 Is a Secret – Vanessa Renwick (2002, 6 min)

Renwick recounts a sad time in her life, when a friend was dying and she suddenly became aware of the presence of crows…[Renwick] craft[s] a lyrical and moving essay that works its magic through poetic accretion rather than narrative logic. -Holly Willis, L.A. Weekly

Vanessa Renwick is a prolific film, video and installation artist living and working in Portland, Oregon. Her work has shown at Rotterdam, MixNYC, True/False and Vancouver International Film Festival. Her video work is self-distributed and appears on various compilations put out by Other Cinema and Peripheral Produce. http://www.odoka.org

Well Dressed – Elliot Montague (2006, 10 min)

This experimental documentary meditates on the space between two bodies and explores three key bodies in transition: the erotic “cruising” body, the transgender body, and the pregnant body. In depicting moments of change or redefinition for these physical bodies, Well Dressed imagines unexpected points of convergence. –Elliot Montague

Elliot Montague is a California and New York-based filmmaker exploring representations of the genderqueer and transgender body within social, medical, and personal spaces. He has shown at The Walker Art Center, Anthology Film Archives, and the Paris Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival. Montague recently received the prestigious Princess Grace Award. His work is distributed by Women Make Movies.

Whispering Pines #7 – Shana Moulton (2006, 5 min)

In this episode of the Whispering Pines series, Moulton’s character Cynthia is confronted with a distorted mirror image that slips between the grotesque and the exotic, depending on her posture. While Cynthia performs her nose-pore cleaning routine in front of the mirror, a sphinx appears and sings a song from the animated movie “The Last Unicorn,” which laments becoming a woman. –Electronic Arts Intermix

Shana Moulton is a Brooklyn-based artist working in video and performance. Her videos have shown at The Armory Show Art Fair, Oberhausen and Bellwether Gallery in New York. Her Whispering Pines series is distributed by Electronic Arts Intermix.

Carol Anne Is Dead – Michael Robinson (2008, 7 min)

“Robinson recycles his family’s home movie version of Poltergeist, made when he was ten, into a raw look at the performative.” – Onion City

Since the year 2000, Michael Robinson has created a body of film, video and photography work exploring the poetics of loss and the dangers of mediated experience. His work has screened in both solo and group shows at a variety of festivals, cinematheques and galleries around the world. Originally from upstate NY, he holds a BFA from Ithaca College, and a MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Michael currently teaches filmmaking at Binghamton University.

don’t do as i do : do as i say – Liz Rosenfeld (2008, 15 min)

Two separate visits to two separate graves present the filmmaker with questions about redefining emotional support and family structure. This video pairs her personally significant journey to the grave site of queer French writer Jean Genet in Morocco with her visit to the largest Jewish graveyard in New Jersey where she and her father pay their respects on the second anniversary of her mother’s death.

Liz Rosenfeld is a Berlin-based artist and writer working in video and performance. Her videos have shown around the United States, and internationally. Some of these venues include The Kitchen, The Hammer Museum, The Impakt Organization, The Boston Museum of Fine Arts, The Auara Picture Show, The National Museum for Women In The Arts and Chicago Filmmakers.

Somethings Gonna Soon – EMR (Math Bass & Dylan Mira) (2008, 4 min)

EMR has created a sigil, a magic sex symbol abstracted from the words TRUST ME (NOT) TO HURT YOU that is spread across rituals of the beast. Discordant sound and psychic image imagine a cross formation, speak from the hole, say nothing. Untie the knot and let down the pony, somethings gonna soon. –EMR

EMR is a new collaborative entity, formed between interdisciplinary, San Francisco-based artists Dylan Mira, and Math Bass (formerly of the duo Marriage). They have previously collaborated on the Pilot TV Chicago convergence, and have shown individually at Mix NYC, Documenta12, and in collaboration with LTTR.

Some Ghosts – Aay Preston-Myint (2006, 2 min)

Some Ghosts incorporates embroidery and stop-motion animation techniques to create a colorful dreamscape in which an unwitting spaceman looses angry spirits from a haunted medicine cabinet. Audio production was done in collaboration with Alexis Gideon. –Aay Preston-Myint.

Chicago-based artist Aay Preston-Myint works across a multitude of mediums, primarily fiber-based installations, printmaking and drawing. Some Ghosts is his first foray into video and animation, and has screened as part of The Chicago Short Film Brigade.

Compromise – Jillian Peña (2005, 10 min)

I locate my video-based work within the dance community with the proposition that dance is an embodied shift that can exist without a represented body as its location. Casting the audience as subject and performer, I desire to generate a hyper-self-awareness in the viewers, who join the performance by gazing at their selves. –Jillian Peña

Jillian Peña is a New York and London-based artist working in performance, dance and video. Her work has shown at Reeling, and she has performed at the Kitchen in New York. She is currently seeking a PhD at Goldsmith’s in London.

(tell me why): The Epistemology of Disco – John Di Stefano (1991, 24 min)

(tell me why) The Epistemology Of Disco is an often humorous, at times sarcastic and poignant look at the role that disco music has played in the formation of gay male identity. The tape challenges the notion of disco as merely a “leisure activity” by positing disco as an important cultural space created as an expression of gay sexuality. –Vtape

John Di Stefano is an interdisciplinary visual artist/videomaker, writer, curator, currently living and working in Wellington, New Zealand. His work has shown at The Wexner Center, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, and Images Festival in Toronto. (tell me why) The Epistemology of Disco is distributed by Vtape in Canada.

++++++++++++++++++++

note: early screenings of CHANNELING included this piece.

don’t do as i do : do as i say – Liz Rosenfeld (2008, 15 min)

Two separate visits to two separate graves present the filmmaker with questions about redefining emotional support and family structure. This video pairs her personally significant journey to the grave site of queer French writer Jean Genet in Morocco with her visit to the largest Jewish graveyard in New Jersey where she and her father pay their respects on the second anniversary of her mother’s death.

Liz Rosenfeld is a Berlin-based artist and writer working in video and performance. Her videos have shown around the United States, and internationally. Some of these venues include The Kitchen, The Hammer Museum, The Impakt Organization, The Boston Museum of Fine Arts, The Auara Picture Show, The National Museum for Women In The Arts and Chicago Filmmakers.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: