Amie Siegel DDR/DDR

Monday, November 15, 2010 - 7:30 pm

Programmed by Amy Kazymerchyk
Amie Siegel in attendance

American artist Amie Siegel continues to probe the psychological architecture of her adopted home, Germany, in her 2008 essay film DDR/DDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republik/ East Germany).  DDR/DDR excavates the psychic trauma and its residual endurance associated with the former socialist state and reunification. The social manifestations of this trauma unfold into “cine-constellations,” a term that refers to Siegel’s search for “more accumulative and architectural modes of structuring films.” In DDR/DDR, the constellation is comprised of German Indian hobbyists, Psychoanalysts, a Stasi surveillance equipment collector, a Stasi spy, and a National Film Production sound recordist.  Their stories enfold around a survey of socialist architecture, Stasi training films, an urban tightrope walker and Siegel’s narrative reflections.

Cinema’s collusion with Stasi surveillance strategy and technology, Communist propaganda, German ethno-mythology, and Psychoanalysis is reflexively embedded within the film’s exposition.  Siegel’s camera and its prying lens figure as variable mechanisms for witnessing and being witnessed–for exposing and being exposed. Situated on both sides of the camera, Siegel implicates herself in her inquiry into the conflation of performance and disclosure, construction and objectivity, submission and omission, memory and history.

DDR/DDR. 2008, 135mins, HD, USA/Germany.


Amie Siegel Artist Talk
Monday November 15th
12.30 pm, SFU World Art Studio at Woodward's
149 West Hastings, entrance through the Cordova courtyard


Amie Siegel uses the cinematic image as material means to a conceptual end.  Her film, video and installation work mines the voyeuristic gaze, direct address and interview to consider how these repetitions shape cultural memory. Siegel’s other works on Germany include Empathy (2003), Berlin Remake (2005), Deathstar / Todesstern (2006), and Deutsche Menschen / German People (2007). Exhibitions and screenings include the 2008 Whitney Biennial; The Walker Arts Centre; Andy Warhol Museum; BFI Southbank; and Austrian Film Museum. Siegel teaches in the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University. 


Alex MacKenzie | the wooden lightbox: a secret art of seeing

Monday, October 18, 2010 - 8:30 pm

Programmed by Amy Kazymerchyk

the wooden lightbox: a secret art of seeing is an exploration and reconfiguration of cinematic apparatus and emulsion. Using the early development of cinema as a marker for cultural, technological and economic change, these film cycles draw from turn of the century cinematic prototypes and long forgotten ideas surrounding the moving image and its early promise. At the core of this approach is the use of a homebuilt hand-cranked projector in an expanded cinema format to present a striking array of handmade and processed emulsion. The vast potential of the film frame is drawn out through imagery both archaic and contemporary in shape and form. Hypnosis, panorama, motion studies, expectation, magic, the dream world and sleight of eye conspire in this intimate and immersive framework.

 “...[MacKenzie’s] work often has an otherworldly quality, as if we were seeing images for the first time...his process allows for the re-entry of a sense of wonder, what theorist Walter Benjamin once referred to as the promesse de bonheur, or the utopian promise of technology that can only be reproduced through an artistic reinvestment in the hidden possibilities of a medium. Through his rediscoveries, MacKenzie takes us back to the birth of the moving image...”  -Chris Kennedy, Strategies of the Medium III: In the Dark, Toronto (LIFT/Pleasuredome).

Alex MacKenzie is an experimental film artist working primarily with relic analog film equipment and hand-processed imagery to create works of expanded cinema, light projection installation, and performance. His live media works have screened at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, the EXiS Festival of Experimental Film in Seoul, Lightcone in Paris, Kino Arsenal in Berlin and others. Alex was the founder and curator of the Edison Electric Gallery of Moving Images, the Blinding Light!! Cinema and the Vancouver Underground Film Festival. He was an artist in residence at Atelier MTK in Grenobles, France and Struts Gallery/Faucet Media in New Brunswick. Alex co-edited Damp: Contemporary Vancouver Media Art (Anvil Press 2008), and interviewed David Rimmer for Loop, Print, Fade + Flicker: David Rimmer's Moving Images (Anvil Press 2009). 


From Aniconism to Bliss: Media Art shows its Islamic roots

Monday, September 20, 2010 - 8:30 pm

Programmed by Laura U. Marks

Particle bursts, mystical abstraction, and an intelligent suspicion of figurative images—qualities of some of the most thrilling media art works have deep origins in the great arts of Islam. Film, video, and digital works from the 1960s to the present celebrate, knowingly or not, their Islamic origins. Mounir Fatmi and Peggy Ahwesh propose a sober aniconism in response to a contemporary image-world of pornography and murder. In works by Takeshi Murata and Cory Arcangel a giddy iconoclasm takes over. Doug Richardson’s analog vector experiments, Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries’ insistent jazzy textualism, and Usama Alshaibi’s shimmying geometries celebrate the liberation from image making. The pixelline universe twinkles in the works of Walid Ra’ad, Paul Sharits, and Gheith Al-Amine, and finally Eric Siegel’s analog abstractions take us into the blissful beyond of the image. 


Mounir Fatmi, Dieu me pardonne. 2001, 8:02mins, DV, Morocco/France.
Peggy Ahwesh, She Puppet. 2000, 17:00mins, DV, USA.
Takeshi Murata , Untitled (Pink Dot). 2007, 5:00mins, DV, USA.         
Cory Arcangel and Radical Software Group, Low Level All-Stars: Video Graffiti from the Commodore 64 Computer, 2003, 21:03mins [6:00excerpt], DV, USA.
Doug Richardson, “Abstractions" from Visual Piano, 1972, 6:00mins, Video [silent], Australia.
Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, Lotus Blossom. 2001, 6:07mins, Web Video, South Korea/USA.
Usama Alshaibi, Allahu Akbar. 2003, 5:10mins, DV, USA.   
Paul Sharits, Analytic Studies IV: Blank Color Frames, 1976, 14:00mins, 16mm [silent], USA.                       
Walid Ra’ad, Miraculous Beginnings and No, Illness Is Neither Here Nor There, 1999, 2:00mins, Video, Lebanon/USA.
Gheith al-Amine, Ungrateful Ode to Adel Fakhoury and Brion Gysin, 2008, 7:40mins, Video, Lebanon.
Eric Siegel, Tomorrow Never Knows, 1968, 3:10mins, Video, USA.


Presented in conjunction with the launch of Laura U. Marks’ book Enfoldment and Infinity: An Islamic Genealogy of New Media Art, on Tuesday September 21 from 5-7 p.m. at the Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre, SFU Woodward’s, 149 W. Hastings St.

Laura U. Marks is the author of The Skin of the Film: Intercultural Cinema, Embodiment, and the Senses (2000), Touch: Sensuous Theory and Multisensory Media (2002), and Enfoldment and Infinity: An Islamic Genealogy of New Media Art (MIT Press, 2010). Dr. Marks is the Dena Wosk University Professor in Art and Culture Studies at Simon Fraser University. 

Image from: Allahu Akbar, Usama Alshaibi (5:10, 2003, DV, USA)    


PRESS: Granville Online 'Secret City' Blog features DIM Cinema

Monday, August 30, 2010 - 8:31 pm

DIM Cinema illuminates Canadian film
Deanne Beattie, Sad Mag  |   8/27/2010

Monthly experimental film event at Pacific Cinémathequè strives to keep Canadian film alive in Vancouver
“You probably couldn’t name 10 Canadian filmmakers,” Amy Lynn Kazymerchyk challenges me. “That aren’t Atom Egoyan, I mean. Most people on the street, I don’t think, could name 10 Canadian filmmakers.”
Kazymerchyk is the founder of DIM Cinema, the Pacific Cinémathequè’s monthly experimental film event. She estimates that in the two years the program has been running, DIM Cinema has built up a steady attendance of 20 to 40 people per screening—more if the event is screening an international work. She has noticed that in Canada’s contemporary arts climate, it is more common that film fanatics will recognize an international filmmaker over a Canadian filmmaker, but that hasn’t diminished her resolve to screen important Canadian cinema.
DIM Cinema
Pacific Cinémathequè, 1131 Howe St., Vancouver | Map
Third Monday of every month.
Tickets $9.50, $8 for students (plus membership to Pacific Cinémathequè, $3)
“Even if people don’t know 10 Canadian experimental filmmakers, there are actually quite a few of them,” she says. “If you were to look at the way that some of them have contributed to an international film movement, I would say that people internationally would be more familiar with Canadian filmmakers.”
Arts funding cuts and the Canadian film industry
“We just don’t have the same industry for it,” says Kazymerchyk. “In Canada, I don’t think we approach cinema culture the same way they do in America, or in Europe for that matter.”
Against the entertainment mega-industry of the United States and the cultural legacies of European countries, Canada’s film industry can’t quite compare—especially after drastic cuts to government funding for the arts.
Cinémathequès, she explains, along with cultural institutions such as the Canada Council for the Arts and the National Film Board, were founded in the 1960s to support creation of Canadian culture, and by extension, the core of the Canadian identity.
“The Cinematheque doesn’t make money off of the night that I do, that’s for sure—they definitely lose money,” says Kazymerchyk, “But the importance of why they choose to support it is the importance of screening national work, and the importance continuing to support a cinematic practice that is artistically and materially focused.”
Vancouver venue closures stunt local arts and culture
“I started this because I had seen there really wasn’t an experimental cinema centre after the Blinding Light shut down. For me, I really just wanted to see a space where it could happen,” she says. The Blinding Light!! was an underground cinema in Vancouver that, like many artist-run centres, thrived for only five short years.
“In the city of no space, how can we use the spaces that we have?” asks Kazymerchyk. Herself a filmmaker as well as a staff member at VIVO, Kazymerchyk can count dozens of venue closures that have impacted the arts community here and prevent any real, continued cultural development in the city.
“It’s not how much money you are making or how many people are going that’s determining its worth,” she says of DIM Cinema, and more broadly, of artistic initiatives in Vancouver. “It’s the committed community of people who are in a deep engagement with the conversation.
“How are they determining the meaning of it?”
IMAGE BY: Brandon Gaukel
Amy Lynn Kazymerchyk of DIM Cinema.

Death by VHS: New Cinematic Discoveries from Winnipeg, MB

Monday, August 30, 2010 - 8:30 pm

Programmed by Clint Enns and Leslie Supnet (in attendance)

A long, rich history of lo-budget inventiveness is woven into the civic consciousness of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the birthplace of K-Tel, Hunky Bill’s Perogie Maker, and the Green Garbage Bag.  Countless Winnipeg artists have utilized the same Do-It-Yourself spirit in their practice, speaking to tradition as well as environmental necessity. Enriched with strange humour, hand-crafted experimentation and lo-fi/high-tec conundrums, the films and videos in this program are testaments to an aesthetic movement that is wholeheartedly Winnipeg's own.

We are proud to present films from our beloved bargain-hungry municipality.


Mike Maryniuk & Matthew Rankin, Cattle Call (2008, 4min)
Walter Forsberg, Thunder at the Track (2005, 4min)
Darryl Nepinak, Zwei Indianer Aus Winnipeg (2009, 2.5min)
Leslie Supnet, How to Care For Introverts (2010, 1.5min)
Damien Ferland, Death by VHS (2010, 5min)
Sandee Moore, I'm BoHUNKy-Dory With It (My Nose) (2007, 2.5min)
Jaimz Asmundson, Drawing Genesis (2007, 3min)
Divya Mehra, Pants (2007, 2min)
Heidi Phillips, Discovering Compositions in Art (2008, 2min)
Clint Enns, The Death of Natural Language (2007, 2.5min)
Robert Pasternak, Traffiiiik (2007, 1.5min)
Gwen Trutnau, Brodeo in leather (2008, 3.5min)
Simon Hughes, Cold Satie (2007, 2min)
Andrew Milne, Mechanical Film Studies (3D Jesus/Yard/Architect's Table/2X4/Phantom) (2010, 5.5min)
Hope Peterson, In the Drugs (2006, 4.5min)

Luminous Poetics: Three Films by Nathaniel Dorsky

Monday, July 19, 2010 - 8:30 pm

Programmed by Ben Donoghue

“It is the direct connection of light and audience that interests me. The screen continually shifts dimensionally from being an image-window, to a floating energy field, to simply light on the wall. In my films, the black space surrounding the screen is as significant as the square itself. Silence allows these articulations, which are both poetic and sculptural at the same time, to be revealed and appreciated.” — Nathaniel Dorsky

Since the mid-1960s San Francisco-based Nathaniel Dorsky has explored the poetics of cinematic images, creating new potentials for seeing and experiencing through film. Working exclusively with 16mm film — and since 1980 with silent film projected at 18 frames per second (standard sound film is shown at 24 fps) — Dorsky has created a stunning body of work that presents a rigorous and unique perspective on cinema’s potential. The flicker of the slower projection speed and Dorsky’s method of cutting are integral elements of films that wash over the viewer and saturate the experience with sensuality rather than concrete memory.


Sarabande — “Dark and stately is the warm, graceful tenderness of the Sarabande” (N.D.). 2008. 16mm, colour/silent, 18 fps. 15 mins.

Song and Solitude — Conceived and photographed with the loving collaboration of Susan Vigil during the last year of her life, Song and Solitudeis balanced more toward an expression of inner landscape, or what it feels like to be, rather than an exploration of the external visual world as such. 2005/2006. 16mm, colour/silent, 18 fps. 21 mins.

Winter — “San Francisco's winter is a season unto itself. Fleeting, rain-soaked, verdant, a brief period of shadows and renewal” (N.D.). 2008. 16mm, colour/silent, 18 fps. 22 mins.

Ben Donoghue is executive director of the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT). He previously curated “Cinema and Disjunction,” presented at DIM in February 2009.

Programmed by Amy Kazymerchyk
Ben Rivers in attendance

Ben Rivers' films picture a young human world in the early morning of time. A world where the clamour of human invention echoes in the deep mountain passes of geological evolution. Rivers' recent films are portraits of people in the interstices of society and their relationship to insular, hermetic spaces. Curator and writer Mark Waugh observes that Rivers' films are, “a documentary series, a eulogy and evocation of a dream of the wilderness. The post apocalyptic hallucinogenic world beyond the noise of the market place.” Waugh describes Rivers' ways of world making as a “psychic return to an elaborate universe made up of imaginary possibility…”

Through Rivers' cinematic time travels into the past and the future, temporality and perception collapse. The pandemonium of cosmic becoming rattles through auto scrap yards and tin can compost heaps. In these worlds, there is a seamless lineage between a lone horse tumbling in a snowy landscape and children driving race carts around a detritus strewn homestead. The imaginary possibility that has existed since the beginning of time is palpable in every natural and human invention and incidence of destruction.

Origin of the Species. 2008, 16mm, color, 15mins.
This is My Land. 2006, 16mm, b/w, sound (optical), 14mins.
Ah Liberty!. 2008, 16mm, b/w, scope, 19mins.
A World Rattled of Habit. 2008, 16mm, colour, sound (optical), 10mins.
Sordal. 2008, 16mm, colour, silent, 8mins.
I Know Where I'm Going. 2009, 16mm, color, scope, 30mins.


Wednesday June 30 2010 | Firemaking 7pm, Conversation 8pm
Spanish Banks Beach Google Map Directions (go a little further west to the blue line on this map)

Circuitous fireside chat touching on journeying, drifting,  art making, wonder and potentiality with filmmaker Ben Rivers, visual artist Michael Drebert, filmmaker Chris Welsby and writer Bob Kull.
At the very end of Spanish Banks beach before the road goes up the hill towards UBC and the beach turns into Towers Beach.  BYOB, food if you like, and dry wood if you can gather and transport it.
* Weather dependent. Please check this website on the 30th for confirmation or details of location change.

Ben Rivers: Much of my work concerns ‘ways of world-making’ – my own, the characters, and the viewers. In part, they are investigations into the real, the imagined, and the space between. This has inspired me to combine documentary and fictional methods. The films often begin with ‘documentary’ images, but they are not beholden to a set of facts. They are allowed to transform into something more slippery and elusive in the edit, where the work is really made. My work often evolves out of a response to places – actual places that I have found on travels, or constructed spaces such as model worlds or film sets. In recent years my interest in hermetic spaces has developed into an investigation of people and their relationship to specific, often sealed, surroundings and landscapes.

Michael Drebert's practice investigates quotidian actions and objects through subtle gestures of hope and sabotage. Potentiality figures strongly in his work: "An answer is not found before something is made. It isn’t even found once something is supposedly finished. The answer to a situation is to begin. "I am interested... in the radical potential of performative gestures as an agent for cultural investigation and positive change… identifying unorthodox solutions to seemingly unsolvable issues, such as injustice, hopelessness and dismal democratic standards."

Chris Welsby: In my single screen films and single channel videos the mechanics of film and video interact with the landscape in such a way that elemental processes—such as changes in light, the rise and fall of the tide or changes in wind direction—are given the space and time to participate in the process of representation. The resulting sequences of images make it possible to envisage a relationship between technology and nature based on principles other than exploitation and domination."

Bob Kull:  In 2001 I traveled to a remote uninhabited island on the rainy, wind-swept coast of southern Chile. More than one hundred miles from other people, I built a shelter and lived alone for a year to explore the physical, emotional and spiritual effects of deep wilderness solitude. Here, through words, photographs, and videos, you can experience what it's like to live alone in the wilderness. Solitude is sometimes dark and difficult, but there is deep joy abiding in the flickering stillness. Moments when, as unexpected gift, boundaries and buffers dissolve and All is, as it always was, sacred and alive. Solitude can remind us there is no true spiritual freedom except through surrender to our own lives just as they are - here and now - in each moment.

Images: (top) I Know Where I'm Going, (middle) This is My Land, (nottom) Origin of the Species.


The Future Trilogy + AXIS XS

Sunday, May 30, 2010 - 8:30 pm
Programmed by cheyanne turions
Part of the Signal & Noise Media Arts Festival May 27-30
at VIVO Media Arts Centre, 1965 Main St. www.signalandnoise.ca
In November 2005, IKEA announced a new store opening in Edmonton, London to be accompanied by an offer of a significant price reduction on leather sofas. When 6000 people arrived to compete for the discount, a riot ensued, injuring 16 shoppers. The Future Trilogy takes this event as the starting point for a speculative history of a fictional future. The Future for Less imagines the consumer riot as the foundation of a new totalitarian state religion imposing the tenets of modernism on the masses. In Better Future, Wolf-Shaped a rural cult perverts this official creed through pagan rituals of architectural worship performed at Celtic burial sites in Cornwall. The Future is Now, stages the triumphant conquest of the industrial wasteland surrounding IKEA Edmonton, London as a popular uprising, revisiting the original riot as a future reenactment.
AXIS XS is an improvisation vocal-noise performance piece and digital opera, merging computer animation and shadow artworks to create a surrealist landscape of light and sound.  Hall’s vocal improvisations mimic a montage of vocal traditions, landscapes and machines to create new abstract narrative forms. 
Lief Hall, AXIS XS. 2010, 20min, Performance, Canada.
Pil & Galia Kollectiv, The Future for Less. 2006, 10 mins, DV, UK.
Pil & Galia Kollectiv, Better Future, Wolf-Shaped. 2008, 15 min, DV, UK.
Pil & Galia Kollectiv, The Future is Now. 2009, 23min, DV, UK.

Saturday May 29, 2010 at 1pm
VIVO Media Art Centre 1965 Main St.

Lief Hall will be participating on an artist's panel titled "Unpacking My Records", at VIVO on Saturday May 29th at 1pm.


Monday May 31, 2010 at 6pm
Cineworks [1131 Howe, back lane entrance]

A monthly reading + discussion group that  aims to promote critical thought around film product and practice through community-based discussion. Thought on Film fosters the close reading of texts confronting issues in contemporary, cutting-edge cinematic practice and philosophy. Provoked by the presentation of Pil & Galia’s The Future Trilogy, May’s gathering will feature Paolo Virno’s essay “Virtuosity and Revolution.”


The Pil and Galia Kollectiv are London based artists, writers and curators working in collaboration. Their work addresses the legacy of modernism and explores avant garde discourses of the twentieth century and the way they operate in the context of a changing landscape of creative work and instrumentalized leisure.  They are contributing editors at Art Papers and have written for many publications including Art Monthly and Mute. They have presented live work at the 2nd Herzliya Biennial, the 5th Berlin Biennial and the 5th Montreal Biennial, as well as at Late at Tate Britain. They have had solo shows at The Showroom, London and S1 Artspace, Sheffield, and their work has been exhibited in Apocatopia, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester and Roll it to Me, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh. They work as lecturers in Fine Art at the University of Kent.

Lief Hall, born 1981 in Nelson B.C. Canada, is an audio-visual artist, musician and curator living and working in Vancouver B.C.  Hall graduated from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in 2005 with a Bachelors Degree in Integrated Media majoring in animation. Since then she has exhibited her video and performance works at such galleries as VIVO, Access Artist Run Centre, The Western Front, Helen Pitt and Truck Gallery.  Her latest film 25/27 was part of the Cartune Xprez DVD compilation which toured the United States and Canada. She was the curator of Lucky's Gallery from 2006-2008 and continues to organize art and music exhibitions independently.  Hall's current musical projects include improvisational sound art trio Glaciers, dark electro duo MYTHS and her self titled solo voice works.

Co-presented with the Signal & Noise Media Arts Festival, VIVO Media Arts Centre and Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society.