- ISSN 2039-800X
Trimestrale online di cultura cinematografica
Diretto e fondato da Luigi Abiusi
anno VIII | UZAK 28/29 | autunno 2017 / inverno 2018

A moon or a hole punch

Karissa Hahn

The pending barrier as all our films are being rendered as we’re all here conjuring up apparitions to make sense or make new from found footage – to alter chemistry – to conceptually, – destroy and give birth to a new knowledge… everything already captured….the fire burning briefly, acting as the opening and closing lens flare... What are the fences thinking? The monitors are powering up on the daily and the first-hand accounts through live-stream appear as phantoms in once parchment motion & through every social media outlet’s “stories”... through our palms & thumbs guiding all informative and uselessness along, – the unreal contemporary.

Jem Cohen’s Birth Of A Nation presented the all too familiar familiar images in a different window. We were there when the cameras were rolling, iPhones capturing and uploaded and ready for our scrolling. What had been composed by Cohen is playing on all the other web-browser tabs yet his articulate observations lend a glimpse into an unreal event. The images, - each image, - each action of witness by Cohen manage to birth more weight in pixel than any other in regards to the variables: viewing from my apartment, on my computer, from my macbook monitor, in the chair, in the chair that I watch all the news from. All of these variables are steady and in the same context but have here been altered. Birth Of A Nation having been presented at an underground festival… having been presented at SFMOMA... from a man that I do not know but know of. Viewing a man that I do not know but know of. The time-stamp as first image reading January 19th and 20th, 2017 - marks this film as a relevant/current/contemporary/ a recently-recent entity. The other tabs throwing off a blue-white glow, - filtered through media outlets, reposted, liked, loved, reported or ignored. A man with a sign reading RESIST and a man displaying a Trump sign backwards. His face overlapping in the flag folding into itself… The character of him is never displayed in person... just him through large monitors, movie screens - the celebrity.  The day ends and the White House lights are dim, - but illuminated so. Robert Todd’s Restless picks up as this sinks in and some movement behind the fences continues. «Changing winds, shivering moods. stirring, awaiting…» he says. It seems to be fall now or autumn or a stormy evening or nearing a storm night. And Jamilah Sabur’s Playing Possum comes back as a thought, as an echo in Todd’s sometimes black and white compositions. His merging to maintain the extraordinary of the real - a reality of Cohen’s surveil. The threshold… What is the fence thinking?
Micheal A. Morris teases the aforementioned notion with Blue Movie - the film strip shown as whole, exposed and offering the image of the image and the text of the text, a tribute... Fell fully and deeply into this threshold when Laida Lertxundi’s 025 Sunset Red extended intimacy beyond the frame, unlike any filmic viewing experience - experienced. Watching alone from my apartment on my laptop with all the variables already stated, I fell in heart-first... her slight movements behind the frame - feeling kin to that and all at once seeing her emerge in image to travel with us along - to take objects - photos- fragments and explore, - as the assemblage gains momentum and births curiosity interweaving and connecting… and falling through the monitor into Jesse McLean’s See A Dog, Hear A Dog. Anticipating and looking forward to the image of the finger-printed laptop screen - to being still tricked and reaching out at each instance to wipe the monitor clean. This phenomena acting as a literal - toying with the threshold, of immediately being brought back to the moment in the apartment, in the chair, in the chair that the films were watched from. There is the lamp and there is the mouse and there is the screen, the screen with all the windows….reaching out to tap it for confirmation. As in the first action in Zachary Epcar’s Return To Forms and as in the finale with the image of the plant smashing through the iPad screen as something only we could picture as a CG image… yet there it is and with it an ardent agency. Epcar made the trophy and tombstone of our time with that plant going through that iPad object.  

Steve Polta starts a haunting with Traces in program 7 as something like the first obscure moment before a full poltergeist event gains full momentum. When a dish is thrown across the room after a string of curious events which marks the event tangible, after having had some glimpses of paranormal activity… be it a shadow, reflection, a lens flare, a sprocket emerging from the left in the frame. Traces by Erin Weisgerber - the melody… the ghosts conjured and unknown from how or from what, they lapse and roll without border besides frame, without apology for recreation (birth) becoming multiplied and (mirrored) into the satisfying symmetry… her soundscape giving way to Jamilah Sabur’s Moon Tendon when the haunting returns, and peaking again Emmanuel Piton’s Space. Spent some time debating whether the entity was a moon or a hole punch and settled on settling on neither and falling into those precisely ambiguous abstractions. The screen in Jem Cohen’s Birth Of A Nation alongside the real - it is the intention, the news received that leeches on. What you hear from an event after the event and circumstance and that which follows… The haunting recurs eloquently with This Bogeyman by Pere Ginard… like the false holiday which occurs after Halloween called Bouyensance where all the ghosts dress as humans and haunt us. And the fantasy of holiday and myth is dressed and teased up and offered by a hypnotizing soundtrack - one that materializes and seeps into the image with conceptual exactitude. And Emmanuel Piton returns at the end with Les Eaux Dormantes to remind us of the revolt, - and we continue to conjure up phantoms. And we continue to render, alter, the pending barrier… to a mutiny in which the palisades will dissolve… considering the film screen, the monitor, the devices; we delve into and swim amongst the grain for a moment through these portals - we notice the entity, we summon something new to which we wonder: what are the fences thinking, where are the frame-lines, the houses for our phantoms to dwell? The alchemy is seemingly so to suggest a passages of sorts and used here to disrupt the image, splice together vertical moving structures - the unleashed phantoms from Crossroads… seeping into and unto and through the screen, and Zachary Epcar’s object of plant and iPad as the ultimate effigy.

Ho visto cose


Speciale Crossroads 2017

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