Festival of (In)Appropriation
Curated by Jaimie Baron, Lauren Berliner and Greg Cohen
Thursday, Mar 05 at 08:00PM
Whether you call it collage, compilation, found footage, détournement, or recycled cinema, the incorporation of already existing media into new artworks is a practice that generates novel juxtapositions and new meanings and ideas, often in ways entirely unrelated to the intentions of the original makers. Such new works are, in other words, "inappropriate."
This act of (in)appropriation may even produce revelations about the relationship between past and present, here and there, intention and subversion, artist and critic, not to mention the "producer" and "consumer" of visual culture itself. Fortunately for our purposes, the past decade has witnessed the emergence of a wealth of new audiovisual elements available for appropriation into new works. In addition to official state and commercial archives, resources like vernacular collections, home movie repositories, and digital archives now also provide fascinating material to repurpose in ways that lend it new meaning and resonance.
Founded in 2009, the Festival of (In)appropriation is a yearly showcase of contemporary, short (20 minutes or less), audiovisual works that appropriate existing film, video, or other media and repurpose it in "inappropriate" and inventive ways.
Astro Black: Race for Space by Soda_Jerk
(Australia, digital video, color, sound, 2010, 6:06)
Astro Black is a multi-channel video cycle that traces a speculative history of Afrofuturist sonic culture. The episode "Race for Space" considers the alien origins of Sun Ra's Afrofuturist mythology and the impact of his intergalactic jazz on the cultural politics of the space race. While working as a piano man in Chicago in 1943, Sun Ra is contacted by Morpheus, who offers him a choice of two destinies.
Demolished Every Second by John Davis
(US/Tajikistan, 16mm on digital video, color, sound, 2014, 4:25)
This short work utilizes imprints from Soviet-era film leader, culled from dozens of films viewed while working as an artist in residence in Dushanbe, Tajikistan in 2014. The material was largely 1980s-era educational and propaganda films that contained a broad range of content, but had only subtle variations on more or less the same leader. Foregrounding the often ignored hand-written or machine-printed artifacts found on leader, the imprints become the primary source material for this psychotronic audio/visual salvo, set to an original score.
Sara Nokomis Weir by Brian L. Frye
(US, digital video, color, sound, 2014, 20:00)
This video consists of the victim impact video introduced in the penalty phase of the trial of Douglas Oliver Kelly, accompanied by an audio recording of the California Supreme Court hearing oral argument as to the admissibility of the video. In the guilt phase of the trial, the jury convicted Kelly of murdering Sara Nokomis Weir, and in the penalty phase sentenced Kelly to death. The California Supreme Court denied Kelly's appeal, and the United States Supreme Court denied his petition for certiorari, over the dissent of Justices Breyer, Souter and Stevens. Kelly remains on death row.
Lexicon by Celeste Fichter
(US, digital video, color, silent, 2014, 2:36)
Much like a dictionary, 'Lexicon' is an alphabetical arrangement of words and their meanings. In this case however the definitions aren't words, but found images from the Internet. The result is an abridged pictionary that takes liberties with meaning.
The Bags, Probably 1971 by Joshua Yates
(US, hand-processed 16mm film on video, black & white and color, sound, 5:11)
A southern family of four is reincarnated during this hand-processed assemblage of their previously unearthed audio/visual keepsakes.
No Signal Detected by Péter Lichter
(Hungary, digital video, color, sound, 2013, 2:33)
Rhythmical combat of digital and chemical decay.
TOHO by Sellotape Cinema
(UK, digital video, color, sound, 2013, 9:30)
TOHO derives its title from the name of a tape cassette player purchased at a flea market by Sellotape Cinema. On a cassette in the player was an audio letter from a family in Australia to Aunties in England. Nothing is known about the families. From clues in the audio it is know that the recording was made late November 1977. As much as possible the recording has been left as originally intended. Sellotape Cinema create films on sticky tape (sellotape) that are played through specially adapted projectors. TOHO is a handmade film, projected, performed and re-photographed.
Nothing by LJ Frezza
(US, digital video, color, sound, 2014, 6:27)
Every shot from Seinfeld (1989-1998) where nothing happens. A video about buildings, walls, and doorsand a response to everyone I met in New York who said they'd love the city if only there weren't so many people in it.
Array by Ben Balcom
(US, digital video, color, sound, 2013, 7:18)
Wandering through the city, wondering about the potentialities of space. Wishing and wanting a full experience of the virtual. These thoughts are rooted to the same city, the same spaces on the outskirts that have been rendered without detail. Listen to the code. An indecipherable alphabet floods the brain. "Space" is really a bad metaphor for the Internet.
My clothes were dragging me back by Maria Magnusson
(Sweden, digital video, color, sound, 2012, 4:53)
In My clothes were dragging me back, Magnusson continues to work with Delia Derbyshire's radioshow for BBC "Inventions for Radio: Dreams" 1964.The stories, which are about being chased and to be in awkward situations, are combined with a found footage material, from a Teaching Aid Dep-film about a school in Toronto from 1968, of children schooled in society with various kinds of pedagogy. Short edits that consists of portraits of the children in different states of mind are repeated, like a pickup on a turntable that is stuck on a track. A superimposed image, a kaleidoscope moves fast, and serves as a white noise on the portraits.
Falling in Lovewith Chris and Greg: Work of Art! Reality TV Special by Chris E. Vargas and Greg Youmans
(US, digital video, color, sound, 2012, 14:00)
In this installment of the video collaboration Falling in Lovewith Chris and Greg, the characters compete on a reality television show to be The Next Great Artist. The challenge: "Create a successful piece of queer art about failure." But can they make it through a double elimination?
Iterations by Gregg Biermann
(US, digital video, color, sound, 2014, 5:37)
"In Iterations (2014), a sequence from Hitchcock's Rear Window (1954) is sliced into nineteen columns, each moving at a slightly different speed, getting progressively faster from left to right. Only at one instant do all nineteen columns briefly align. This film invites us to experience different instants of the scene simultaneously, invoking our desire for time to cohere into a single instant but only briefly allowing for this satisfaction." Jaimie Baron
Northwest Film Forum (View)
1515 12th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122