FEBRUARY 28, 2011. 7PMTHE KITCHEN 512 West 19th Street, New York, NY 10011 (212) 255-5793
It is my great honor to present a program of films and videos at The Kitchen in conjunction with my show installed there, REMOTE VIEWING and Other Ways of Seeing. The show was a long time coming with Rashida Bumbray, the curator and I meeting up almost three years ago to explore working together and culminating what we’re presenting now. But what’s useful to know in relation to the microcinema is that the Glossolalia 5.0 collection of films and videos are all linked either directly or circuitously to the making of the digital films mounted at The Kitchen. So this is definitely the most personally probing program I’ve had the pleasure of assembling for Carousel Microcinema. I am in the process of writing about all of the works now, so please check back in a couple of days, but I share the conceptual pillars erecting this program now.
“Glossolalia, of course, does not “make sense” to those who hear it spoken. It is put together from sounds familiar to the speaker, but once these sounds are incorporated into this idiosyncratic tongue, their meaning is lost. Even though there is a linguistic source for the sounds, there is no interpretive community for the speech that emerges. Yet forms of glossolalia speech – such as speaking in tongues – do not depend on translation to convey affective intensity.” Jill Bennett. Empathic Vision: Affect, Trauma, and Contemporary art. Pg. 131.
Glossolalia 5.o tangles the products of disparate practices and contexts into the nest that nurtures and informs the series of videos entitled REMOTE VIEWING and Other Ways of Seeing that’s currently installed at The Kitchen. I can comfortably nest these affinities into three distinct spheres of influence: works by artists with whom I converse, works by artists past and present upon whom I relay, and works fished out of the YouTube® pond which shaped and guided my research with a potent inevitability that I still do not fully understand.
In the filmmaking community, the contributions of all labors are acknowledged and factored into the presentation of any work. Even consultants and advisors are sometimes graced with credits like associate producer or executive producer as a way of recognizing the ways in which guidance and facilitation are invaluable contributions to the production of time-based media. While this understanding of collaboration and the etiquette of formalizing credit are less well understood as essential components of a work in the art world (indeed, the credits for all of the Remote Viewing films are only recorded in the book.) my conversations with fellow filmmakers and artists deeply inform my research and work and how it is made. This community of ideas and the way in which some of us freely and generously acknowledge the ways in which our concerns inform, influence, and sometimes even infect each other’s work determined the selection of works by my friends, Pamela Phatsimo-Suntrum, Ishmael Randall Weeks, Carrie Schneider, Wura-Natasha Ogunji and Lauren Kelley. While the intensity and frequency of our dialogs does wax and wane, my dependency on the things they create never diminishes. I need their work (and their critical insights) in order to make my own, and so this sampling of their interventions into time-based media serves as my credit roll to them. and there are two works include in the program form artists whom I’ve nver met, and yet the works I show are constant companions. Music videos that I visist every few months, empatically share with friends, and wish I’d made. Wendy Morgan’s Gnarls Barkley video, Going On, is one such piece. Maybe it’s the romance of it, I don’t know, but I rarely go more than a couple of months without watching it, or making my students watch it, and feeling satisfied that these images exist in the realm of pop. Plucked from YouTube© and delivered to me by one of my students is a video by a group of filmmakers and dancers called Yak Films. They specialize in street dance on a global level. I love many of their videos, and they way they make them, but the one I share, Dancing In The Rain, is the one I actually had to add to my bookmark toolbar.
This program also mines the past as well as contemporary makers whose early works informed my own with the inclusion of a mesmerizing clip from a Sergei Parajonov masterwork, the precious and astounding fieldwork films of Zora Neale Hurston, and a recent piece from the consistently influential and generative experimental video artists, Ulysses Jenkins.
The third strand samples a less methodical aspect of research in which I methodically use the Google® search engine as an oracle, my 8-ball for global navigation, my world-wide-web of wishes and curiosities–: Google® window: “buried school house” – result: “Subterranean School House Blues” Minneapolis, MN Star-Tribune.com. Not all of these works, however come to me through digital-dowsing. Hanna Kim and Addee Kim, the niece and daughter of artist, Byron Kim, produced their video after visiting my studio while I was editing RV, and deciding that you shouldn’t need a fifty thousand dollar camera (I shot on the RedCam)to make something cool. How correct they are! They posted their work on YouTube® and then kindly shared it with me. However, Jan-Joseph Stok’s startling document, did spring from the oracle as I investigated other iterations of school house obliteration, as did the disturbing and confusing piece credited to UNICprod. And then there is the completely stunning — and brutal piece by Reggie Thomas, that I tripped over while trying to show my students YouTube® clips from Shirley Clarke’s A Portrait of Jason. Disturbed by the way in which Clarke’s film ends in a dart-storm of antipathy, we decided to search for redemptive fare and found instead Being Black, a nearly anonymous two year old video-post by Reggie Thomas, an artist who does not answer my admiring emails.
My hope for this braid of short works, all of which are under 8 minutes some barely breaking one minute, is an affective journey that is well rooted in the understanding that there are indeed many different ways of seeing. Stop-motion, puppetry, green screen, flat tableau, journalism, documentary, anthropology, surreality, afro-futurism, collage, spirituality, appropriation, homage, reenactment, and fashion and pop visions are all pointing to and responding to similar sets of challenges and questions.
The more these strategies vacillate, overlap, and intermingle, the more likely it is that we, the viewers, may loose any ability to coherently describe the sum of what we have seen. My hope is that the sense of things returns to our bodies even while the meaning eludes naming and comprehension. Can you feel me?
Please come back in a couple of days for discussion and descriptions of the following films and videos.
Hanna Kim and Addee Kim
The Bulldozer and the Schoolhouse. 2010.
Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum
A Short History: Starring Asme as Herself. 2007
Lil Big Hed. 2006.
An excerpt from The Color of Pomegranates. 1969.
Ishmael Randall Weeks
Pukusana-Tractor (after C. Smith). 2010.
Darfur: Life in the Bush with the SLA. 2009.
Zora Neale Hurston
Florida Fieldwork Films 1928-1929.
Turf Feinz Dancing in the Rain. Oakland.
Slow Dance. 2009.
Being Black. 2009.
Going On. 2008
My Father and I Dance In Outer Space. 2011.
Planet X. 2006
Wild Seed. 2008.
T Minus Two. 2010.
More coming soon!
Thanks for visiting, please come again.