2020 – Porto Screenings

SESSION 1Watch on YouTube

The scar of the earth
Macha Ovtchinnikova, France, 2020, 10’57

I follow the tracks of my great-great-aunt in Kiev. My mother tells her story, her tragic death and reveals a dramatic part of the history of the Holocaust.

Rui Mourão, Portugal, 2020, 40’34

A shamanic journey is presented in an oneiric succession of double images between reality and fiction. From darkness, poetic layers of meaning are evoked through different spaces, times, relations, contexts, actions, and beings. This happens in a field of experimentation between art as ritual and ritual as art: doing dumpster diving, creating enigmatic computer games, connecting with Huni Kuin aesthetics in Amazonia, dancing in a museum to resignify Amerindian mummified bodies, emptying house walls at a farewell party in Lisbon, playing with a child in Sweden, following two ex-boyfriends traveling in Italy or walking around an artist’s studio.

SESSION 2Watch on YouTube

Daniel Pinheiro, Portugal, 2020, 16’

Performed in front of a computer, the work aims to use the body and a measuring tool to create movement within the screen. The implications of movement allow for a displacement that is a perceptional folding of the screen onto the physical space, juxtaposing the ‘psychological squeeze’ with the ‘physical assault on the mechanism’ to comment on both from within. Considered a ‘virtual window’ that expresses the way we interact and perform ourselves in contemporary society the screen becomes the intermediary of a situation between the self and its extension within the digital sphere.

Guardians of the Night
Eleonora Diamanti & Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier, Italy, 2020, 15’

Guardians of the Night is an experimental and sensorial short-length ethnographic film about the cyclical and spontaneous life activities that emerge at nighttime in Guantánamo, Cuba. The film engages with the synesthetic aspect of practices associated with the night in Cuba, from the post-revolutionary guardia sessions of neighborhood night watching, to nocturnal activities related to technology, media infrastructure, and nighttime economy. The senses are at the center of the night experience along with reduction of visibility. This creates a perfect focus to reinvigorate discussion and promote an innovative approach around sensory visual ethnography, in a time when audio-visual methods generally remain marginal within social sciences, and the idea of multisensorial anthropological film is often criticized for not being able to fully capture the sensorial world.

Snakes & Ladders
Daniel & Clara, UK, 2019, 32’

The latest instalment in Daniel & Clara’s ongoing Studio Diary Series, which so far consists of 103 experimental short films exploring the possibilities of moving image as an art form, SNAKES & LADDERS is an experimental video essay responding to the films and writing of Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen.

Initially inspired by a visit to an exhibition at the Peltz Gallery which gathered together archive materials relating to Mulvey/Wollen’s work, this film focuses on the relationship between theory and practice and how theory informs the strategies and structures of their films. A particular focus on the relationship between camera, subject, spoken word, text and dialogue is explored. Favouring formal experimentation over conventional essay and documentary formats, Daniel & Clara employ many of the ideas and filmmaking techniques of Mulvey/Wollen but reconfigured through the lens of their own practice.

SESSION 3Watch on YouTube

Long Distance
Richard O’Sullivan, UK, 2017, 17’37

Long Distance is a 17-minute autobiographical essay piece, describing the end of a relationship. It consists chiefly of still photographs taken through the windows of a train traveling from San Francisco to Chicago, during which this relationship came to an end. At least two strands unwind as the film progresses: the line of images itself, and the first-person voice-over unfurling over it (which is sometimes shown onscreen as text). The image and the voice do not always align precisely in meaning or tone, and they often keep only a general – and not precise – pace with each other.

Rusty Odyssey – I
Yeon Sung, Korea, 2020, 14’25

Rusty Odyssey depicts the colonial faces of three copper coins (VOC Duit, Japanese Sen, and Euro coin) tracing their guilty chronicle from the 18th century till the present day in the Netherlands, Japan, and Korea.  Transcending time and territories, the film cuts the temporal dimension of the geographies where the coins were born and follows the transformation of the monetary material as vitalized by capital. Rusty Odyssey reveals the colonial phantom behind the faces of the coins through the sites in which history is staged. The fluctuating heartbeat of copper—an inheritor of colonial capitalism—still lives on.

Tom & Thelma
Piotr Piasta, Poland, 2015, 13’02

Tom & Thelma comes from the series The Realm of Forgotten Existence, about aging in rural communities in the Scottish-English border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed, nearby areas, and Lindisfarne Island, combining oral history interviews with archive material and new film footage. The installation unveils an unexpected point of convergence in which different human experiences share a consistent existence. While the images in the videos reveal a landscape that often seems unchanged, the narrative reveals fragments of forgotten stories and traditions, skills and working lives no longer of value today. By deconstructing the historical gaze on the reality, Piotr Piasta recontextualizes not only memory and present experience, but also questions the ephemeral nature of our perceptual process.

SESSION 4Watch on YouTube

ARTIFACT (circa 2006)
Kirk Tougas, Canada, 2020, 64’

Consider a world where all human communications are represented by numbers, a digital world. Imagine a future archaeologist finding a DV cassette from hundreds of years ago (a real found object, circa 2006, full length and uncut). Imagine trying to decode this ancient digital object, codecs unknown, obsolete, hardware long lost. Crack the code? Available algorithms scan, databases compare, construct, deconstruct, reconstruct the artifact. 2006, the dawn of self-by-numbers, digitized identity. What human fragments, fugitive narratives, remain?

Do we have a future history?

What will the algorithms decide?


V[R]ignettes: A Microstory Series
Mez Breeze, VR microstories, 2019

Incertezas_caminhada (2020)
Coletivo Telemusik, audiovisual installation, 2020

Light and Shadow
Tiago Cruz, audiovisual installation, 2020

Double Agent
Simon Biggs, interactive augmented environment, 2018

Robalo em Prato Inflamado
Dudu Tsuda, sound installation, 2019

They built the widened coral reef
Mark Tholander, audiovisual installation, 2020

Digital Fossil_Corrupt Galatian
Milos Peskir, video installation, 2020