Chris Kennedy

“Liquid Metal.” June 20, 2012

Liquid Metal

Arriving in theatres on the cusp of the digital transition which would soon sweep through our culture, Terminator 2: Judgment Day (screening July 14) offered the perfect embodiment of that sea change in the “person” of the villainous T-1000, whose “liquid metal” constitution grants it seemingly limitless shape-shifting abilities. That simultaneous fear and pleasure— that the world is no longer solid—permeates the works in this programme.

Takeshi Murata’s Untitled (Silver) uses digital compression to distort Mario Bava’s 1960 film The Mask of Satan, sliding us, as if dream-induced, between recognizable moments and abstract pixellation. Light Work I finds Jennifer Reeves, a stalwart celluloid filmmaker, testing her relationship to high-definition video to luxuriant effect, magnifying hand-processed film into rich burning plasma. Local video artist Tasman Richardson’s Matt:15:9 breaks a video of the pope into the ASCII text language, linking the democratization of digital culture all the way back to the Gutenberg press.

In the lush Après le feu, Jacques Perconte rides a railway into the Corsican countryside after a devastating fire and then manipulates the codec of the HD video, creating a landscape that smears image and time. Noted for her intricate use of found footage, Sylvia Schedelbaur ups the ante with her most recent piece, Sounding Glass, which creates an almost subliminal articulation of memory, each digital cut balanced somewhere between the stroboscopic and the psychological. Richard Kerr’s Collage d’Hollywood barrages us with an overwhelming web of discarded 35mm sci-fi film trailers (including a couple of Schwarzenegger classics), amping up the theatre of the ridiculous that precedes the modern movie palace experience.

Tasman Richardson will conclude the programme with a live performance of his new piece Firing Squad, which edits the dying lights of analogue TV sets into a digital barrage of rapid-fire image and sound, catching the audience some- where between a paparazzi press scrum and a gunfight.

Viewer advisory: Strobe effects in use during this screening.

untitled (Silver) dir. Takeshi Murata | USA 2006 | 11 min. | video
Light work I dir. Jennifer Reeves | USA 2006 | 8 min. | video
Matt:15:9 dir. Tasman Richardson | Canada 2000 | 4 min. | video
Après le feu dir. Jacques Perconte | France 2010 | 7 min. | video
Sounding Glass dir. Sylvia Schedelbaur | Germany 2011 | 10 min. | video
Collage d’Hollywood dir. Richard Kerr w/ Brett Kashmere, Michael Rollo & Tim Horlor | Canada 2003 | 8.5 min. | 35mm
Firing Squad dir. Tasman Richardson | Canada 2011 | 18 min. | live video performance

Tasman Richardson in person.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.