block of experimental ﬁlms / 2017 – 2018 / Slovakia / 52 min.
Someone’s looking with what could be considered an objective eye: sometimes it soars and other times stands firmly. An observant eye similar to ours, but also not quite, because it doesn’t focus on faces, figures or movement. The evolutionary fitting of this creature does not recognize man as danger. We could even say that it is indifferent towards the presence of humanity. It is not the camera itself, because it is moved by somebody. However, there’s clearly a motivation behind it. What is it? Is it some kind of a research?
The selected video works for this year’s Other Visions are connected by a view on the world that is neither a mechanical camera, nor a subjective human perspective.
We see the world through the eyes of an entity that is mechanical but does not occupy space. It is intelligent, even though that, which is dead, interests it just as much as that, which is living. The videos depict figures (or maybe just bodies) that appear and leave. What they do is sometimes very important and other times insignificant. In some moments, these images could be considered post-apocalyptic – images of an era after another forthcoming major extinction of creatures on Earth. I wonder whose perspective that is. Who will keep looking after we, humans, are no more? What sort of intelligence swims and soars in the space with concern and motivation? As I watch another film, I realize that this view does not exclusively exist only after we leave this place. It is here right now. The frames contain people and objects, which are often at the same level. Hybrids, object-living creatures together with caterpillars, a sea of plastic, an engineering machinery or animated pandas.
This view has captured my attention, because an objective eye of an uninvolved 17th century scientific experimenter and an uninvolved eye of documentary camera that usually conceals a justification for anthropocentrism are followed by a new, subjective and yet not quite anthropocentric view (still rather metaphorical) that enables us to think and imagine a different kind of thought, a different fantasy. Unlike the objective camera, it doesn’t uncover the truth that reached the lens, underlining the firmness of facts. Quite the opposite – it portrays fragile facts living as relationships. If there’s a will to see them, they’re there. As long as people are interested in categorizing the world, the categories remain real. But is it the only way to categorize? What comes after us? I’m not trying to say that it is possible to get rid of anthropocentrism, but those films do reveal something, we can suspect something… is it mechanical vision? Or is it something utterly different? I don’t know.
Director: Vladimír Havrilla / 2018 / 4 min.
Brush, ink, paper, Pollock, dripping.
Dream / Sen
Director: Martina Štammová / 2018 / 4 min.
Matthew has a mysterious dream about a beautiful forest. When he wakes up, he is baffled, because at that time, nature is no more. On his way to school, he considers trying to go look for it. He is very conflicted, as he is not allowed to break rules and must maintain his school attendance, but he eventually decides to give it a try. After miles of walking and getting lost a few times, he reaches his goal. He looks right and sees a dead forest full of dry flowers and broken trees. He goes home, disappointed.
Aula: Area of Universal Latency / Aula: Areál univerzálnej latencie
Director: Michal Žilinský / 2018 / 22 min.
The Area of Universal Latency (Aula) belongs to an intertwined system of specific sites rooted in the historical reality of the environment located in Northwestern Slovakia. Its dominant feature is a building – the House, a sort of family monument for the author, a formerly romantic spot that is now a miasmic and deserted ruin surrounded by a rotting apple orchard. Uncoordinated and external human or natural intervention organically transform Aula and constantly update it. Aula thus functions within its own, strange, post-human, latently apocalyptic biosphere. The reality of the cycle of birth and decay, which are always under way at the Aula, means utopia – utopia not in the sense of an impossible future, but utopia as the present that we live in.
Model Situations I. – XIII. The Art of Documentation
Director: Katarína Karafová, Michal Huštaty / 2018 / 14 min.
Performance is an art of documentation.
It would be a mistake to think that performance starts and ends with an authentic experience. Performance is a process connecting a live event with its publicizing and retrospective reflection. An original performance thus isn’t a definitive product – it is replaced by its representation. A reflection on a performance is usually not brought about by a live event, but by its archival remains that instigate the process of interpretation and reconstruction.
We examine this process through thirteen model situations. We also work with the assumption that a photographic capture of a performance is not solely a representation of the original event. Photography models the performance and that is why it cannot be seen as a mere secondary representation of the original event, but as the performance itself. In this case, the used photographs become a performative source of knowledge that give way to performative interpretation as an original representation of that which exists no more.
Performance is an art of documentation.
My Nanomachines or Secret Rules on the Nature of Private Thoughts / Moje nanostroje alebo Tajné pravidlá o povahe súkromných úvah
Director: Pavlína Fichta Čierna / 2017 / 8 min.
The video is loosely based on current research and pushes the boundaries of controllability and efficiency of imaginary machines in association with the „well–adjusted“ or „well-used“ body, all in the context of postmodern reflections on functionality, aesthetics and the dissimilitude of bodies. In view of the fact that in some theoretical works of third-wave feminism (cyberfeminism), a cyborg’s attributes are perceived as specifically female, communication as a principle shifts towards the intimate space of a body.