BAMcinématek's Migrating Forms (December 17, 2013)

BAMcinématek, Migrating Forms, December 17, 2013
by Kristen Bisson, Social Media Assistant, The Living Gallery

(originally posted on The Living Gallery Blog)

Last Tuesday was the last night of Migrating Forms. Closing off the evening were two films: "Lo que el fuego me trajo" ("What the Fire Brought Me") by director Adrián Villar Rojas (43 minutes, 2013) and "Sequence 0" by directors João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva (35 minutes, 2013). (For more information on the films themselves, click here.) Tonight, I went with my friend and colleague Brandi Martin.

The first film, "Lo que el fuego me trajo," is a thing of beauty. The composition is extremely well done; the lighting and the colors are so incredibly vibrant and rich; the sounds were poetic, simple and mesmerizing. The depth of field was shallow. It was slowly paced and meditative. There was very little dialogue, and what little there was couldn't be heard very clearly at all. In the film, men and women are found to be working extremely hard building and collecting various objects and structures, deep into night and next morning. The film was shot at the Casa de Vidro (1951, Lina Bo Bardi) in Morumbi, São Paulo.

Brandi and I talked a little bit about the themes this film was addressing: modernism and voyeurism. These themes can be found in: the glass house, where everybody can see you and you can see them; the actions the characters went through in their projects; the way it all was filmed in general; the ending, where a character looks you, the audience, directly in the eyes (which is no where else in the film); the credits themselves, which went on for so long that many in the audience could help but laugh, and I don't think they left anyone out of their list; even the font chosen for the credits, and oh man... that kerning; and then, to top it all off, there was a segment, which felt like forever, where two black circles adjacent to each other would spin at center and leave their mark every few millimeters, so that eventually it became a larger, opaque, black dot. Yep. But seriously, such a great film. Definitely see it if you get the chance!

The description for the second film, "Sequence 0," is as as follows (pulled from BAMcinématek's website):

These 14 short films were created by the Portuguese filmmaking duo João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva, whose poetic philosophical fiction explore and interpret the uncanny through acts of magnetism, transference, and material transformation.

Some of these shorts were poetic, sentimental, and others were absolutely hilarious. Many, if not all, were done with extreme slow motion, which brought about either a painful how-long-do-we-have-to-sit-through-this kind of experience or a fun and pleasurable experience. These shorts didn't really have sound, and usually consisted of the overlapping of shots with different opacities. The various films included: a close up shot of someone getting the very top of their head shaved; the same landscape at different times of day so that three suns were overlapping and slowly shifting; three men at a campfire apparently having a hilarious conversation; three egg yolks moving around together, again overlapping; lots of eggs shorts, actually; a couple of emu-bird-things wandering around in front of a painted backdrop, blocking the camera, investigating the backdrop itself, and being funny overall; a number of other shorts; and my favorite short from the series that night was a close of up of the top of a table with an elephant's trunk trying really what seems like desperately hard to grab a few peanuts.

Overall, I found the films of the night to be interesting, funny, beautiful, and weird. I enjoyed the various films I got to see at Migrating Forms. You can read my two previous reviews on this blog from December 13 and December 15.

Let us know in the comments if you saw anything awesome at BAMcinématek and/or Migrating Forms!

BAMcinématek's Migrating Forms (December 15, 2013)

BAMcinématek, Migrating Forms, December 15, 2013
by Kristen Bisson, Social Media Assistant, The Living Gallery

(originally posted on The Living Gallery Blog)

Last night I went to see both Migrating Forms Program 3 (7:00pm) and Migrating Forms Program 4 (9:30pm). It was absolutely fantastic. Here's a list of the films that were presented:

Migrating Forms Program 3 (Information Source)

  • "45 7 Broadway" (Directed by Tomonari Nishikawa) 2013, 5min An analog portrait of Times Square’s LED present.
  • "Mount Song" (Directed by Shambhavi Kaul) 2013, 9min Half-forgotten spaces are reconstituted into an eerily familiar cinematic new world.
  • "A Third Version of the Imaginary" (Directed by Benjamin Tiven) 2013, 12min An exploration of the material facts of video and film at the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation.
  • "Juan Gris Dream House & Popova-Lissitztky Office Complex" (Directed by Jon Rafman) 2013, 2min each New York premiere. Two entries from Rafman’s Brand New Paint Job project, which uses famous paintings to wallpaper 3D models of houses and offices.
  • "Amuse-gueule #1: Digital Destinies" (Directed by Gina Telaroli) 2012, 12min New York premiere. “An experiment in superimposition and cinematic mediums that ebbs and flows through a fractured layering of images” (MUBI).
  • "El Adios Largos" (Directed by Andrew Lampert) 2013, 11min Archivist and artist Lambert presents a speculative restoration of Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye.
  • "Pepper's Ghost" (Directed by Stephen Broomer) 2013, 19min New York premiere. Inspired in equal parts by Michael Snow and your local haunted house.

Migrating Forms Program 4 (Information Source)

  • "Warm, Warm, Warm Spring Mouths" (Directed by Ed Atkins) 2013, 13min “…Pictures the digitalization of existence from the inside, in all its cold alienating surrogacy” (Art Agenda).
  • "bbrraattss" (Directed by Ian Cheng) 2013, 3min Ian Cheng dissolves and re-choreographs a rabbit fight into an abstract motion study.
  • "Even Pricks" (Directed by Ed Atkins) 2013, 8min “… The culmination of a series connected with depression, in both the psychological and the physical sense of the word” (Lyon).
  • "Swallow" (Directed by Laure Prouvost) 2013, 12min Inspired by the artistic and sensuous traditions of Italy, Laure Prouvost presents a collage of a recent Mediterranean idyll, syncopated to the rhythm of her own breath.
  • "Critical Mass" (Directed by Kerry Tribe) 2012, 25min Continuing her career-long investigation into personal and historic memory, Kerry Tribe presents a restaging of Hollis Frampton’s groundbreaking experimental film Critical Mass. Tribe’s reinvention features a single virtuoso take of two actors delivering the lines originally edited by Frampton into a rhythmic, disjointed pattern.

A number of my favorites from the night included: "Mount Song" (Directed by Shambhavi Kaul), "A Third Version of the Imaginary" (Directed by Benjamin Tiven), "El Adios Largos" (Directed by Andrew Lampert), "Warm, Warm, Warm Spring Mouths" (Directed by Ed Atkins), and "Even Pricks" (Directed by Ed Atkins).

The set and fog in "Mount Song" reminded me a lot of The NeverEnding Story's set and aesthetic, with a little Lord of the Rings thrown in there. I thought that was awesome. It had that dark, starry, fantasy, hidden-in-the-forest landscape and feel to it, and there was a little village, a full moon, and no humans in sight. No creatures really of any kind. Unless you count the fog as creatures. In "Mount Song," the fog felt activated, as if they were the characters of this short story. They moved, we followed, they traveled, and there was even what looked like an epic dark/light fog battle at one point. There were other possible characters, which took the form of little shining lights traveling at fast speeds across the landscape. The explosions, quick cuts, and set, as I said, reminded me a lot of the fantasy movies of the mid-80s, like The NeverEnding Story. I could have sworn that at one point, in one particular scene from "Mount Song," we might surely see Falkor dip over top the thick fog bank under the starry sky. Loved that this short film, "Mount Song," was done in 2013 and accomplished that aesthetic extremely well.

"A Third Version of the Imaginary" (Directed by Benjamin Tiven) was extremely interesting. It featured a library of VHS tapes, the covers all black with white labels, with a man looking through them, apparently trying to find something specific. From listening to the narration, you would learn about different concepts of video, image, memory, and meaning, including such ideas like "video is an amnesic medium." The narrator spoke about how when film is recorded, how much time, production, money, etc, goes into it, and then it appears on an inexpensive and ephemeral piece of technology like a VHS, stored, and that even the original film is not saved because it is used to make the next film. The narrator explained that in Swahili, words like "video" are inherently attached to a medium, and understood this way, but that there is no "naturally occurring word" for "image" since that word is so detached from any specific medium. The film is an interesting introduction and investigation regarding how technology and language changes and informs each other, simultaneously changing ideas and concepts about the world around us, and ourselves.

I had never seen The Long Goodbye, so my experience with Andrew Lampert's film "El Adios Largos" would probably be very different had I seen the original. The opening credits still showed the original people for The Long Goodbye, but then for certain credits, Lampert had added his own right next to the originals, so that there were two directors, instead of one, etc. (All part of the humor!) The part of the film Lampert used was the beginning scene, where the main character is feeding his cat, trying to give it human food, then going out at 3:00am to buy it cat food, then trying to fool it into thinking it's eating its favorite brand, etc, but this cat knows better. The main character also interacts with his female neighbors, who are apparently baking brownies and cookies and whatever at 3:00am. (Why not.) This version of the film, which Lampert had found and used, had been dubbed in Spanish. So, he had it subtitled back into English. And, since the film had been in black and white, Lampert added color to it, often in blocks, shapes, with shifting and imprecise borders, moving, warping, etc. In his talk after the screening, he said had researched to figure out what colors kitchens, etc, were in the 70s, and worked with those color schemes in this piece. Overall, his film, and his talk, were both hilarious, interesting, and lots of fun.

For both of Ed Atkins' pieces, I was intrigued and captivated by the poetry, the visuals, and the sounds. I was very interested in how he manipulated the 3D animated characters and objects, the repetition of themes with variations each time, the text (in various fonts, colors, styles, etc) and the poetry, the still images mixed in with animated elements and narration, etc. Sometimes, the text, the poetry, had the same font, style, and sound of an epic movie trailer, with all the emphasis and energy that comes with it. His films were amusing, thought-provoking, and inspiring. Definitely worthy of multiple viewings. Anybody interested in animation, either as a viewer and a maker or both, should see these films by Ed Atkins. Quite amazing!

Overall, a really great night with really great short films!

I will be going to the following film screening:

Conor O’Brien, also of The Living Gallery, will be going to this screening:

Please, go check out BAMcinématek’s film series, Migrating Forms!
Let us know in the comments about what you’ve seen or plan to see.

BAMcinématek’s Migrating Forms (December 13, 2013)

BAMcinématek, Migrating Forms, December 13, 2013
by Kristen Bisson, Social Media Assistant, The Living Gallery

(originally posted on The Living Gallery Blog)

I returned from a night at BAMcinématek just moments ago. I had joined my friend Andrea Chen for screening of “The Unity of All Things” (2013). (She is one of the actresses in the film.) We enjoyed viewing the film and chatting about her experiences in the filming of it, and subsequently her viewing of it in its entirety. Sometimes, even for the actors, this is the first time they’ve seen the films they star in.

The film itself was surreal, dreamlike, bizarre, funny, sentimental, philosophical, and an interesting take on the idea of science fiction. The directors, Daniel Schmidt and Alexander Carver, spoke after the screening, and discussed how they went about the idea of science fiction as a genre in terms of this film. Rather than the construction of a whole new world or a whole new society in order to talk about certain issues, which can be typical of science fiction, they decided to take what was already existing as structures and shift it slightly, taking what we already know as reality and dipping it into the unusual.

The description from the website states:

In their debut feature, Daniel Schmidt and Alexander Carver crafted this utopian science fiction allegory about the development of a massive particle collider intended to probe the origin of the universe. Taking the instability of everything from identity to gender to history to the image itself as a starting point, the film follows two teenage boys as they visit their mother, an expatriated Chinese physicist, in the US. As their journey spans from Jiuzhai Valley in China to the Sonoran desert, it reveals the alienation and otherness beneath the surface of all things.

I stayed for the second screening of the night, Migrating Forms Program 2. The films that were shown included: “Birds” (2012) 17 Minutes (Directed by Gabriel Abrantes), “Utskor: Either/Or” (2013) 8 Minutes (Directed by Laida Lertxundi), “Not Blacking Out, Just Turning the Lights Off” (2012) 16 Minutes (Directed by James Richards), and:

“A Breakdown and After the Mental Hospital” (1982)
26 Minutes (Directed by Anne Charlotte Robertson)
In this harrowing self-portrait, Super-8 master Anne Charlotte Robertson lucidly narrates footage of the daily routines and rituals that governed her last breakdown. - BAMcinématek

“Emily Died” (1994)
27 Minutes (Directed by Anne Charlotte Robertson)
Possibly Anne Charlotte Robertson’s most devastating film, Emily Died chronicles the death of her young niece. Set in the spring, Robertson seeks solace in her garden as Emily’s death sends her spinning toward another breakdown. - BAMcinématek

I scribbled some notes in the dark as I was viewing the above short films. Ultimately, of those five films, I think I was struck most by both of Anne Charlotte Robertson’s creations. My rambling reflection will be for the both of these films:

There were simultaneous dialogues happening in the films, and one could pick up pieces of both, but one was obviously louder and clearer than the other, and you had to struggle to get small sections of the second overlapping dialogue. The video shifted, often quickly, amongst different moments in time, going from self-reflection, to family portrait, to environmental observations, to philosophical and metaphorical inquiries, and the experience of a range of emotion from joy, to curiosity, to anger, to helplessness, to fear, to obsession, etc. The fragments of her life, the people in it, her environment, her situation, all of which pointed to and revealed something very raw and very real about the human experience and in particular her mental experience.

In Emily Died, she said things like, “All we have are pictures now,” and “I hope there is a heaven,” “I hope I believe in God, and I hope I believe in heaven.” She then talked about how she wished to help children, to care for them, to be pregnant, but that her age, medications, and mental states wouldn’t allow her to experience the things that she longed for. She was distraught over Emily’s death. She expressed guilt for thinking about other things, rather than thinking about Emily’s death. She would wonder why she thought she herself was allowed to think about food, or her weight, or her own problems, when something so tragic had happened to someone she cared about.

“Significance” was a frequently heard word. We’re invited to contemplate along with her as she thought out loud, narrating her mind and the events in her life. Her train of thought seemed fluid and unhindered. Moments in the films were funny, poetic, thought-provoking, sentimental, troubling, sweet, serious, philosophical, uncomfortable, etc.

The night’s films gave me a lot to chew on.

I will be going to the following film screenings:

Conor O’Brien, also of The Living Gallery, will be going to these screenings:

Please, go check out BAMcinématek’s film series, Migrating Forms!
Let us know in the comments about what you’ve seen or plan to see.

About Then / About Now - Group Art Exhibition - Join me on Wednesday!

Join me for the opening of

About Then / About Now

at the UMF Art Gallery and Emery Community Arts Center

in Farmington, Maine

Opening Night: October 9th at 5:00pm

Running: October 4th through November 18th

Featured Artists: Katherine Steward, Annah Mueller, Rebecca Stevenson, Kristen Bisson, Christy Carle, Stephanie Small, Tim Berry, Giselle Scherle, Emily Baer, Joshua DeMello, Nicole Phillips, Andrew Thompson, Markeith Chavous, Other Various Artists

RSVP on the Facebook Event!

Part of the UMF Charter Day Celebration (150 Years!)



An Artist's Statement

Daily, women like myself are attacked on (at least) two fronts: by visual representation and by our roles within society. The internet and information technology are powerful tools for feminism and progressive ideas, but with influence from the media, pop culture, advertisements, the entertainment industry, and contemporary politics, the image of a beautiful, sexy woman has been reduced to wide hips, long legs, large breasts, big butts, and tiny waists, and the roles for women are continuously reinforced to be submissive, passive, overemotional, weak, incapable of intellect, etc. Our patriarchal society desires to control “woman.” I am interested in how individuals and society are involved in the construction of contemporary identity through visual representations and roles. I am interested in how society views, interacts with, uses, and transforms women, and also how it doesn’t. I myself, both purposefully and inescapably, participate in the world and certain structures which I also criticize. I live and make in contradictions.

I also live in the internet. I live in the real world, too, but so much of my life has also involved living in the internet. I have a digital self that rarely resembles my physical self and only occasionally represents my mental self (or so it would seem). I am as much my online aliases as I am otherwise. At the same time, I am also reacting to the world around me, as a young woman and as a feminist, in a society that continues to suppress and oppress women. Like most people, my identity is a construction and an interpretation, pluralistic and complicated, transformed by my experiences within both the digital and physical worlds.

Concepts/subjects that inform my work include, but are not limited to: feminism (particularly third wave and cyborg feminism), the contemporary roles and representations of women, the virtual/physical world/border, the male gaze, internet and video gaming culture, politics and current events, chatrooms and forums, animations and cartooning, characters and their development, and so forth. Specifically, these influences include: Donna Haraway, Cindy Sherman, Hayao Miyazaki, Naoko Takeuchi, Hoogerbrugge, et al.

Some of my concerns include: 1) How both technology and the internet play a role in Feminism; how it tends to reinforce sexism while also being an opportunity for liberation and progressive thought. 2) The visual representation of women in entertainment animation, video games, comics, and within society. 3) The interactions with and treatment of women in the entertainment industry, in politics, at the individual level, within society, and in the digital world.

I would like (hope) to communicate (illustrate): the hypocrisies; the representation and roles of women; the mis/treatment and/or mis/representation of women; the changing definition of women; the current struggles, challenges, and injustices facing women/feminism today in both the physical and virtual realms. My motivations include: observations and experiences within and between the physical/digital world(s), sexism/patriarchy/capitalism/militarism/corporatism, the potential of technology, the inequalities and injustices here and abroad, etc.

Art, for me, is the exploration and the journey: ideas in progress. It invites and provokes conversation. When I make art, I sometimes feels like I’m participating in a form of activism, and I’d like to believe that I am making a difference in the world through what I make as an artist. I am interested in how it prompts us to contemplate and question societal structures, producing and influencing an increased sense of awareness and maybe even inspiring action. I want to be a storyteller.

Neil Gaiman Quote: Mistakes

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're doing something.

So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make new mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: Art, or love, or work, or family life.

Whatever it is you're scared of doing, do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.

Neil Gaiman


Gage Academy of Art - Drawing Jam 2012

Yesterday, Olivia and I went to the Gage Academy of Art - Drawing Jam 2012. It was a lot of fun! It felt like an art-making festival. We got those pseudo-paper bracelets for "tickets." They had loads of supplies available for people to use, free of charge. There was music happening in the rooms and around the building. We checked out the different studios, i.e. sculpture with clay, painting, drawing, etc. We joined in on a couple of drawing sessions. I really enjoyed it. The first model was wearing a medieval costume, and the second was in a very colorful outfit with fake dreadlocks. Later at the event, I enjoyed a piece of chocolate cake, and Olivia ate lots of Goldfish Snacks. Here are some photos of my adventure at the Drawing Jam:

My Drawing of the Medieval Model

My Drawing of the Colorful Model (Sketch)

My Drawing of the Colorful Model (With Color)

Olivia's Drawing of the Colorful Model

Fish in the Mouth of the Skeleton

"Cinemed" — Some Reviews, Part 2

I'm not going to review too much in this one, but I generally liked the Panorama no. 2 selection. My favorite piece was "Cœur Léger" (Light Heart) by Marco Gianfreda (Italy, 2011, 15 minutes), which was very emotional and ended poetically. In brief, it involved a young boy spending a lot of time with his friends, probably because of his estranged relationship with his father; and his father, who wanted to kill himself, seemed very sad, quiet, and did not pay much attention to his family it seemed (unless he was directly spoken to)... In the end, the young boy secretly climbs into the back of his father's truck, and his father begins driving. His father attempts to drive himself off into the river but is stopped because his son in the back bangs on the window and gets his attention, "It's me, Luca!" — he said. His father's eyes light up, and he stops the car. Then, after a short conversation, they begin walking and arrive upon a carnival. The young boy asks his father which ride he would like to try. The father, still quiet and strange, says, after looking around, "That one." They climb aboard the ride, and it begins to go. The father tenses up (much like the tension when he's in his car, attempting suicide), but then sees his son in the seat in front of him with his arms spread. "It's like flying!" — his son said (paraphrased). Eventually, the father smiles, and seems to be actually enjoying himself, as if he's just rediscovered life. It was very sweet. The other film I liked was "Laszio" by Nicolas Lemée (France, 2010, 4 minutes). It was an animation, which looked much like paper cut-outs (mostly because they were, and then manipulated). It was the story about not really belonging anywhere, always being considered an illegal immigrant just because of the way you look or where you are, thinking you've finally found home and then being pulled away by police or unknown forces, etc. It was very beautifully animated, and I got a chance to speak a little with that animator afterwords.

In fact, it was a little bizarre. I was hoping to just talk with him briefly, but the announcer (Michelle) ended up inviting me and a few others to dinner at the restaurant just inside the building. It was sort of awkward at first, I think, because I didn't expect to be swept up in the evening out, but I had a lot of fun! I talked mostly with a young French woman who worked there, and was a filmmaker—I forgot her name at the moment, but when I think of it, I'll share her first name— and she actually sat next to me for the previous presentation (and I borrowed her pen). It was a funny coincidence that we ended up at dinner together. Anyways, I also talked with Ela, from Poland, who I believe works there as well, and a young French man of Spanish origin, who's name starts with an M (but I forgot the rest)—he works at the Film Festival and also is a filmmaker. I spent most of the time talking with him, and it was actually great fun. We talked about various things, weather, travel, studies, art/film, etc. He's apparently going to Canada (near Vancouver) in January. I warned him about the cold weather. I think I made him nervous about how cold it gets in the north!

And then before you know it, it's almost 1am and the trams are no longer running! Well, by the time M and I got there, my tramway had stopped running, so we both took the blue ligne to the same stop. I was considering walking the rest of the way, but M gave me a lift, which made the whole process a bit easier. Instead of a 40 minute walk, I had about a 10 minute walk. Yay for kindness!

Long story short, I had a lot of fun going to the Film Festival today, and I hope to go back later in the week, and I had a great time with the impromptu dinner with 5 folks, and making 3 new friends! Like I said, too, before, I feel less sick today. Today has been a good day!

"Cinemed" — Some Reviews, Part 1

I just got back from watching a few "experimental" shorts. I'm putting the word experimental in quotes not because I have a thing against it, because I in fact love and participate in experimental work, but because I think the film festival just puts miscellaneous films under the "experimental" title. The announcer even said that the reason they were considered "experimental" was because they didn't fit the categories of documentary or narrative film. Sorry, Mr. Announcer! I don't think "experimental" means "miscellaneous." Experimental is a whole other can of worms. Nevertheless, let's get on with the reviews of some of the shorts. For Burning Emina by Bennet Pimpinella (Italy, 2010, 16 minutes), we see a man (though not his face) without a shirt, and he places thick, black tape vertically on his torso and places another piece horizontally over his nipples, forming a cross. He then takes a marker, and begins to trace the cross. As he draws, you can see animated white lines appearing on the path traced by the marker. The texture of those white lines is much like ripped paper. The whole scene seems filmed in a way to make it feel old and as if made through a home video camera from the early 80s. So, this man has traced the cross onto himself. Many of the following scenes are him tracing such a cross on the tops of many different women. In the end, we see a woman tracing the cross onto a man. This theme persisted for all 16 minutes. I'm not sure if I liked the fact that you can tell that the subjects were aware of their being filmed, but at the same time, it added to it in the sense that you then knew that they were pretty much innocent bystanders who probably don't know the artist at all. You can even see their reactions when the tape was pulled off their breasts. After the film, and when the lights went up in the room, an audience member said, "Buuf, c'est fini!" really loudly. I guess he didn't care much to see so many topless people(women). I thought this film was interesting in the way that you started to get a little anxious with the repetitious imagery, and then something new would happen or something would change. In terms of content, I feel that the repeated use of the cross on the body, particularly the female body, as drawn by (usually) the same man, might indicate some commentary on gender roles in religion. At the same time, when you could tell that these were just random people on the streets, it then connected me with religion and the masses. It's an interesting take, too, on consent: to be drawn on, filmed, (usually publicly) nude, etc, by people you do not know.

For Transformance by Nina Kurtela (Croatia/Germany, 2010, 10 minutes), there is a woman, sometimes sitting (on a couch), sometimes standing, and she stays still while a time lapse behind her occurs. The same is transforming around her from a warehouse for trams and buses to a dance studio. This time lapse occurs over 100 days. She changes, though, with the time, ever so slightly. Her movements are jagged, but she generally wears the same thing, though a scarf or her hairstyle may change. Some humorous things happen: people react to her every now and then, or she may be sitting on the couch while somebody is welding a beam in front of her. Then, when the area below her must change, and get lower, she then appears standing on top of a ladder (to keep her in the same place). Then, eventually, she's on a stack of pallets. I thought it was very funny, and very neat to watch the space change over time, and to see her so meticulously in the same place each day for each lapse of time, and the various ways they problem-solved to keep her in roughly the same place. I really enjoyed the piece.

For Paysage vectoriel no. 1 by Avi Rosen (Israel, 2010, 5 minutes), I feel like the audience just didn't know what to make of this. I found it very intriguing though! It was a vector landscape. At first you saw short red lines in various patterns seemingly reacting to the sounds. Then, sometimes you would see blurry images of somebody getting ready for the morning (it seemed). Sometimes, you would just see a grid of colored dots in squares, or a just a plain grid, or the grid with those red lines again, and everything seems to be reacting with the sound, and sometimes those patterns were overtop the blurred imagery. You could sometimes catch moments where those lines and dots formed the bowl and spoon, and you had a small "aha!" moment. The sounds helped you figure out what the grids, lines and dots might be forming. And then, I thought, well what if this landscape was in fact done the same way but with nature? —and then I thought that that couldn't work, because the vectorial landscape needed to be in the manmade landscape, at least for this piece, and then informs the conversation about what landscape is and could be.

Still Lives by Vincent Ducarne (France, 2010, 7 minutes) was very cool. Though it uses many film conventions I've seen before, I liked the pseudo-narrative it implied. You saw many different scenes, different emotions, different people, all "frozen" in time. They weren't truly frozen, and the part I liked was the fact that you could see this man holding so incredibly still, but the slight twitches in his hand and the slight breeze under the newspaper, made it very poetic. Also, on top of that, one of my favorite features of this piece was the use of sound, because the sound was at "normal" speed while everyone was frozen. You saw the person frozen, seemingly pouring coffee into a cup, but you heard the coffee being poured, you did not truly see it. You could capture the could-be conversation between the two people who have made eye-contact, even though they are not saying or doing anything. It was very interesting, though most of its features are conventions of film.

Back by Vicent Gisbert (Spain, 2011, 6 minutes) features silhouettes of a hooded figure, legs slightly spread, standing in a rocky field. You see wind turbines (sometimes with 6 or more blades) in the background, foreground, etc, varying transparencies. The hooded figures eventually seem to move or dance, and react slightly to sound. I'm not quite sure how to describe this one. It was very simple, and I think that's making it more difficult to figure out, or maybe it's not in fact that complex. Visually, it was very cool, because it had high contrast and was monochromatic. Not quite sure what to say other than, "it looked cool."

I'm going back tonight to see more films. I'll let you know in Part 2 what I think of some of those!

Senior Thesis Exhibition:"Line" (Mar 31, 2011 12:00 am) ‘Line’ UMF exhibit features works of three senior art majors

FARMINGTON -- University of Maine at Farmington showcases the work of graduating art majors in the upcoming 2011 Senior Art Exhibit entitled “Line.” This exhibit is free and open to the public and runs from Thursday, April 7 through Sunday, May 15, at the UMF Art Gallery. An opening reception welcomes the public from 5 to 7 p.m., April 7.

This eagerly-anticipated senior capstone exhibit features the work of UMF seniors Kristen Bisson of Farmington, Annah Mueller of Oakland and Giselle Scherle, of Farmington. A dynamic and inventive digital media installation, “Line” alludes to the artists’ use of both drawn and written lines in their work.

Kristen Bisson’s work is concerned with the formation of personal identity through media, and explores the idea of the “virtual self” in a way that is both immediately appealing and thought provoking. Her animations are fresh, fanciful, sharp and insightful.

Annah Mueller’s work—large scale typographic installations and video works—concerns itself with the peculiar contradictions inherent in contemporary design language and the culture of advertising. Dense, elegant and strangely compelling, these pieces have a resonance that transcends their apparent simplicity.

Giselle Scherle has created a world unto itself, and a cast of animated characters to populate it. Her works are sometimes melancholy, often tragic, and always infused with a strangely poetic atmosphere. Scherle’s gestural painterly, highly evocative drawings are united into poignant explorations of universal human emotions.

The UMF Art Gallery is located at 246 Main St. in Farmington, immediately behind the Admissions Office. The gallery is open noon to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday, during the UMF academic year and by appointment. For more information, or to make special arrangements, please call 778-7002, or email Elizabeth Olbert, director of the UMF Art Gallery, at

Sakky Art

So, my online friend showed me this website:  Sakky draws and crafts all sorts of different things, apparently.  I watched her today draw the human version of Queen Beryl from the Sailor Moon anime series.  I'm a huge fan of Sailor Moon, and of drawing, so it was really fun to watch her.  It also inspired me a bit to get back into my drawings.  I never seem to find the time; but I love it, and feel the need to improve.  Also, it makes me want to buy the highest-quantity package of Prismacolor markers.  It's on the wish list. is her DeviantArt account which also has her commission policy.  Enjoy!