February 15 – Binaural: New Media Art from the Nodar Artist Residency Center in Portugal

Sunday February 15, 2009, 7:00 pm

Los Angeles Filmforum presents
Binaural: New Media Art from the Nodar Artist Residency Center in Portugal
At the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd. at Las Palmas
With Maile Colbert and Rui Costa in person!

Binaural - Nodar, Portugal

Binaural - Nodar, Portugal

Binaural is a Portuguese media arts collective that promotes the exploration and research in sound, visual and new media arts, focusing on the crossing of media and languages and on the articulation between artistic production and the surrounding context, particularly through its activities in the rural space of Nodar.

Binaural runs Nodar Artist Residency Center, located in an ancestral rural mountain community of northern Portugal. Through an annual program of residencies, are organized and produced the development of media arts projects from international artists, followed by public presentations in the surrounding villages. The resident artists are encouraged to establish interactions with the place, its inhabitants, geographic space and memory.

“Contos do Paiva”  by Martin Clarke and Alicja Rogalska (England, Poland)[2007, 23’, DVD]

Los Angeles Premiere!

Martin’s sound work involves travel and the capturing of specific sonic spaces, and he is particularly interested in catching and reproducing a kind of “distilled” sense of place”.

Contos do Paiva

Contos do Paiva

Alicja’s photographic practice is to a great extent participatory, which is to say that she likes to involve her subjects as much as possible in the creative process.

Joining these two work perspectives, the artists during their residency in Nodar produced a series of audio-visual plateaus based on video footage and sound recordings taken from the surrounding area and of local people.

Each as a staged imaged with an emphasis on the creation of magical atmosphere in order to represent and create a set of alternative mythologies of the place and its people.

Martin Clarke is a sound artist, recordist and filmmaker, based in Birmingham since 2003. His work makes use of environmental material to create semi abstract non-representational spaces where sounds are treated as though filmed, with varying depths of field and images are treated as sounds, layered and composed. Recent projects include participation in The Sound of Snow and Ice for Gruenrekorder, The Urban Lighthouse for Architecture Week 2006, and Voyager, a large-scale sound and video work.

Alicja Rogalska is an artist from Poland, based in the UK since 2006. Her work utilises participation, photography and installation but she is currently planning projects that involve use of performance and video. Alicja has been working internationally for a number of years, managing and delivering arts projects in Poland, Sweden and the UK. One of her current projects includes collaborations with women from diverse backgrounds across the West Midlands to create self-portraits.

“Souvenirs de Carmella” by Vered Dror (Israel) [2007, 11’, DVD]  Los Angeles premiere!

Souvenirs de Carmella

Souvenirs de Carmella

A fiction character of an Israeli merchant arriving in the village, opening a small souvenir stand in the center of the village, selling souvenirs- postcards, key holders, little flags. The images on the souvenirs are of the village itself, of people living there and different moments that were captured in the eye of the camera. The Israeli merchant speaks to her clients in her own mother tongue, which is Hebrew, a language, that is a kind of Gibberish to the people of the village. The public does not know the merchant is an actor.

In my work I wish to touch the people of Nodar, to question and express the fear of loosing their tradition and the will and need to preserve it.

By placing a non-Nodar, non-Portuguese, non-European merchant to sell memories of Nodar, I wish to create a space of extreme expression of the situation and conflict the inhabitants of Nodar are experiencing. The character – a very out going sales woman, represents both the immigrant who does not belong and does not speak the language of the area and of the intruder, the one that enters the private space of the village and threatens its known orders.

Vered Dror is a visual artist using a range of artistic mediums, combining performing arts. She was born in Tel Aviv, studied and lived in Jerusalem and now have returned to Tel Aviv. In her work Vered Dror explores the relationship between the Public Sphere and the Private people acting their life within it, by playing with the borders between the two and with the way they feed each other.

She often chooses to focus on the ’simple’ people, whose life lie on the ever changing border, which moves between private and socio-political spheres. Their identity is constantly forming and reforming through resistance and acceptance.

These themes can be found in her works, from the latest “Private Home” in which she stamps 3D Brielle graffiti naming and marking “private ” sleeping areas of homeless people, to “Street Tales” (Neighborhood Projects, Train Theater, Jerusalem, 2006) were different places in a neighborhood were newly named according to inhabitants private stories and memories of the area. In “Balcony Tales” (San Salvario mon Amour, Torino, 2005) Inhabitants of one building, were being connected through their balconies by laundry lines and baskets, and were invited to exchange memories, foods etc.

“Over the Eyes”  by Maile Colbert (Portugal, US) [2007, 20’, DVD]

Our sense of identity, of who we are and what we have done, is tied to our life of memory. But a vivid and detailed memory may be based upon inaccurate reconstruction of facts, or self-created impressions that appear to have actually occurred. Continuity of memory is no guarantee of truth; disruption of memory is no guarantee of falsity. Memory is believed to be a reconstructed phenomenon, and so can be strongly influenced by expectation, emotions, the implied beliefs of others, inappropriate interpretation, or desired outcome. Is the measure of a life well lived based on the quality of memories?

Over the Eyes

Over the Eyes

Then what of missing memory? Of a trauma that forces the memory into repression, or forces a disassociation, or a false memory…invented memories taken as true due to gaps in memory.

“Over The Eyes”, inspired by the old saying…”to pull the wool over the eyes”, is a multimedia installation made in October 2007 for a residency based in Nodar, Portugal.

My desire was to create an environment that, using all of the senses, provokes the viewer into thought and contemplation about the mystery of memory. One of Nodar’s main industries is wool. I talked talk with local people about the process of sheep shearing and weaving, recording the conversations. This was incorporated into the sound design of the installation, along with field recordings of the area, and text on physiological, biological, and psychological aspects to memory creation and destruction in humans. For the environment, I used local wool which I wove and felt to create a structure of “gray matter”, much like our minds.

Within these passages I projected images of found home movies, discarded recorded “memories” from thrift stores and junk yards, methodically being erased by a super-imposed act of sheep shearing.

Maile Colbert is a filmmaker, video, and sound artist recently relocated from Los Angeles, US to Lisbon, Portugal. She is currently working for the art organization Binaural. She holds a BFA in The Studio for Interrelated Media from Massachusetts College of Art, and a MFA in Integrated Media/Film and Video from the California Institute of the Arts. She has had multiple screenings, exhibits, and shows, including The New York Film Festival, LACE Gallery, MOMA New York, Los Angeles CountyMuseum of Art, the REDCAT Theater in Los Angeles, The Portland International Documentary and Experimental Film Festival, the Störung Festival in Barcelona, the Teatra Municipal in Guarda, the Observitori Festival in Valencia, and has performed and screened widely in Japan, Europe, Mexico, and the States.

“Nodar Flowlines : Sonzo-Paiva Conflux”  by John Grzinich (US, Estonia) [2008, 16’, DVD]

My interest was to carry out a sonic and visual survey of the landscape around Nodar through a series of site-specific recording sessions. In particular I attempted to compare and contrast the geographic lines caused by the natural water flows towards the river at the bottom of the valley versus the man-made aqueduct that transverses the vertical lines and brings water into the village. Both of these phenomena actually rely on natural forces yet one was created for a specific purpose for the local inhabitants.

Using this theme of natural flow lines, I constructed two distinct audio-visual “narratives” based on the two types of landscapes shaped by water and humans. The surveys include recording methods that stem from the types of flow, that is, I drew inspiration from the behavior patterns of how the flows shape the landscape.

The base sound material relies on the use of ambient sounds, found objects, (natural and man-made materials), and human intervention (improvisation and performance). The visual material focuses on still shots of micro and macro materials and forms in conjunction with the location based activity. These sound and video documents were catalogued and edited afterwards into two part video work that reflects and shows the “flowlines” locations and process. The screening will include one of these two films (“Sonzo – Paiva Conflux”).

John Grzinich is a mixed-media artist who has worked primarily with sound composition, performance and installation since the early 1990s. He has performed and worked on projects extensively throughout Europe and the US and has published a number of CDs of his compositions on such labels as Staalplaat (NL), Edition Sonoro (UK), SIRR (PT), CUT (CH), CMR (NZ), erewhon (BE), Intransitive Recordings (US), Orogenetics (US), Elevator Bath (US), Pale-Disc (JP), Digital Narcis (JP), and Cloud of Statics (CH).

Currently John is a project and media lab coordinator for MoKS – Center for Art and Social Practice, an artist-run international residency center and project space in southeast Estonia.

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2 responses to “February 15 – Binaural: New Media Art from the Nodar Artist Residency Center in Portugal

  1. Pingback: martin clarke » Blog Archive » Contos do Paiva LA premiere

  2. Pingback: alicja rogalska » Blog Archive » Contos do Paiva - Los Angeles premiere!

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