Artist: Margaret Tait
Duration: 4 min
“The kind of cinema I care about is at the level of poetry—in fact, it has been my life’s work making film poems.” – Margaret Tait
Drawing from Tait’s interest in scientific matters, Aerial touches on elemental images: air, water (and snow), earth, fire (and smoke). The soundtrack consists of a drawn out musical sound, single piano notes and some neutral sounds.
Margaret Tait (Kirkwall, Scotland 1918–1999). Studies Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, and Film at Centro Sperimentale di Photographia. 30+ films since 1952; screenings at National Film Theatre (London), Centre for Contemporary Art (Warsaw), EXPRMNTL (Knokke le Zoute), etc. Established Ancona Films (1956), and published three books of poetry, origins and elements, The Hen and the Bees, and Subjects and Sequences. Tait was accorded a retrospective at the 1970 Edinburgh Film Festival. Died 1999 in the Orkney Islands, Scotland.
Lessons in Semaphore
Artist: Cauleen Smith
Format: 16mm > digital
Duration: 16 min
“…Dancer Taisha Paggett dipping herself into a vibrant green pond of tall grasses that is an abandoned lot in urban Chicago. With two red and blue flags she signals the plenitude of her breathing life to a young boy, who mimes for her in semaphore.”
– Noura Wedell
Cauleen Smith (Riverside CA, 1967) Serves as faculty for the Vermont College of Fine Arts. 30+ films and digital artworks since 1989; screenings and exhibitions at New Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, Studio Museum of Harlem, and Flaherty Film Seminar (New York), Kunsthaus Bregenz (Austria), D21 Leipzig (Germany). Rockefeller Fellowship (1994), Creative Capital Grant (2009), Herb Alpert Award (2016). First appearance at Media City. Lives in Chicago, Illinois.
Bad mama, who cares
Artist: Brigid McCaffrey
Format: 16mm > 35mm
Duration: 12 min
Geologist Ren Lallatin has moved into a small housing complex located between a rail yard and the interstate. Desert vistas are replaced with an arsenal of tactile pursuits, while the situation of the house becomes unstable. Free falling from a fixed point, the perimeter is ornamented for security. Desert winds animate aluminum mobiles and seismic vibrations serenade the home.
Brigid McCaffrey (Washington DC, 1978). Studies at Bard College and California Institute of the Arts. 6+ films since 2006; screenings and exhibitions at Kinodot (St. Petersburg), Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), International Film Festival Rotterdam, Torino International Film Festival, Harvard Film Archive (Cambridge), “Projections” at NYFF, etc. Marian McMahon Award winner (2014), featured artist Flaherty Seminar (2016). First appearance at Media City. Lives in Los Angeles, California.
Artist: Jennifer Saparzadeh
Duration: 9 min
Nu Dem traces the freshly closed borders of the Balkan Route in Spring 2016, arriving at an anarchist camp in Idomeni, Greece, where a vision of freedom and the fact of its denial confront each other. The film is recorded at the border of Greece and Macedonia where those who have escaped war and inhumanity wait with hopes of reaching Western Europe.
Jennifer Saparzadeh (Los Angeles CA, 1989) Studies at École Cantonale d’art de Lausanne. Works in film since 2007; exhibitions and screenings at Cinema Sao Jorge (Lisboa), Das Weisse Haus (Vienna),12gates Video Art Festival (Philadelphia), etc. First appearance at Media City. Lives in Los Angeles, California.
Artist: Pablo Mazzolo
Duration: 2.5 min
NN reanimates archival news footage from the Argentine coup d’état (1976). The film reflects on anonymity of subject, and the specter of thousands of disappeared civilians during the dictatorship.
Pablo Mazzolo (Buenos Aires, Argentina 1976). Studies Image and Sound Design at the University of Buenos Aires. 10+ films since 1998; screenings at VideoEx (Zürich), International Film Festival Rotterdam, BAFICI (Buenos Aires), Hamburg Short Film Festival, “Views from the Avant-Garde” at the NYFF, etc. Third appearance at Media City, Grand Prize Winner (2014). Lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Bending to Earth
Artist: Rosa Barba
Duration: 15 min
Bending to Earth is an investigation into inscriptions and transformations of society, manifest in the landscape. The camera circles several radioactive fields from the vantage point of a helicopter, while a voice-over offers meditations on order, systems and landscape archives.
“It is a whole language, a kind of alphabet of an image engineered in the earth. I am an observer of this document, I suppose I am interested in what a document is, how it relates to reality.” – Rosa Barba
Rosa Barba (Sicily, Italy 1972). Studies Fine Arts at the Malmö Art Academy. 70+ films and artworks since 2000; screenings and exhibitions at Museum of Modern Art (New York), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Liverpool Biennial, TATE Modern (London), Hangar Biccoca (Milan), National Art Museum of China (Beijing), International Film Festival Rotterdam, etc. Second appearance at Media City. Lives in Berlin, Germany.
Artist: Sky Hopinka
Country: Ho-Chunk Nation
Duration: 17 min
An incomplete and imperfect portrait of reflections from Standing Rock.
Sky Hopinka (Bellingham WA, 1984). Studies at Portland State University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. 9+ films since 2010; screenings at TIFF, Courtisane (Ghent), imagineNATIVE (Toronto), “Projections” at NYFF, Whitney Biennial (2017), etc. Media City Prize Winner (2015). Lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.