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in the loop nov 20: other media, other worlds

otherfilm festival, brisbane, melbourne


Takahiko Iimura, Observer/Observed/Observer Takahiko Iimura, Observer/Observed/Observer
courtesy the artist
THE OTHERFILM FESTIVAL HAS ALWAYS BEEN, WELL, ‘OTHER.’ AT THE HEIGHT OF NEW MEDIA HYPE THE TEAM OF SALLY GOLDING, JOEL STERN AND DANNI ZUVELA DECIDED TO LAUNCH A FESTIVAL THAT WAS ALL ABOUT OLD MEDIA, EXPLORING EXPANDED CINEMA WITH ROOTS IN THE 1960S.

Eight years on and new media as a term and genre has lost some of its glamour, integrated as it is into everyday life, and it seems the OtherFilm Festival curators are questioning their ties to the old forms. Their festival 2012 curatorial statement reads: "…for us, privileging film has become problematic. While initially our commitment to film allowed us to develop critical tools and assert our distinct interests, we are now pressing up against the limitations of our critique…As an organisation, we no longer consider it prudent to fetishise film—but nor do we consent to indiscriminate platform promiscuity. We want to deal with mediums in more nuanced, less dogmatic, ways. We are moving on."

So in 2012 Otherfilm moves on to include a range of ‘other’ media-driven performances, but there is still a familiar air of historicity, not to mention a strong waft of theoretical rumination in the selection of works. For example one of the special international guests is Takahiko Iimura who has been working in the area of conceptual video and performance since the 1960s. The Video Semiology screening is a retrospective of his works focusing on a range of his experiments into identity, speech and the phenomological loop formed by video.

Bruce McLure Bruce McLure
courtesy the artist
On the opposite end of the scale but with no less rigour is the work of Bruce McClure who will be performing his work The Fiercer the Fire the Longer the Spoon comprising several smaller recent pieces. McLure works with a 16mm projector but a seemingly blank frame, exploring the very mechanism of the apparatus to create an audiovisual assault of strobing light and manipulated sound artifacts; however the curators assure us that the “performances expand and extend from the initial blast into long-form investigations of spatial and temporal re-orientation” (program).

Peter Burr, Future TV Peter Burr, Future TV
courtesy the artist
Third international guest Pete Burr will present a kind of live cartoon show, showing works from his network of US underground animators and cartoonists but interacting with the works, appearing in them as a live host using green screen technology. While the format sounds laugh-a-minute, all of the animations are inspired by the Zone in Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1971 sci-fi film Stalker, suggesting a more contemplative experience than a cartoon caper.

Co-curator Sally Golding will return from the UK where she has been experimenting with darkroom techniques: “printing, reprinting and manipulating waveform images on the optical soundtrack of 16mm celluloid take her work to a new level of photo-chemical nonsensitude” (program).

It’s an ambitious program that will take manifest in various combinations in several cities. In Brisbane the bulk of the festival resides at the Institute of Modern Art (IMA) which is also a key presenting partner, but the opening night will take place on an old naval ship, the HMAS Diamantina, moored at the Queensland Maritime Museum. The ship will be filled with audiovisual and performative experiments from a range of national artists such as Danny Wild, Audrey Lam and Caitlin Franzman, Sarah Byrne, Jason, Bonnie Hart, Vijay Thillamullu, Joe Musgrove and Patrick King.

In Melbourne, New Low, a relatively recent artist-run-space will play host and the international guests will be complemented by local artists Richard Tuohy and Matthew Brown, Jarrod Factor, Kit Webster, Marcia Jane and gallery founder Tara Cook. Then there’s an all nighter at the Meredith Music Festival (a three-day event in rural Victoria) where the psychedelic nature of many of these performances should be well appreciated. The festival wraps up with a one-night-only show in Adelaide in partnership with Lost City at the Tuxedo Cat!


Otherfilm 2012 presented by OtherFilm, IMA, Screen Queensland: curators Sally Golding, Joel Stern, Danni Zuvela, Brisbane: Queensland Maritime Museum and Institute of Modern Art, Nov 29-Dec 1; Melbourne: New Low Gallery, Dec 5-6; Meredith: Ecoplex Cinema, Dec 7-8; Adelaide: Lost City, Dec 10; http://otherfilm.org/

RealTime issue #111 Oct-Nov 2012 pg. web

© RealTime ; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

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