Landscape

2002
John Smith: Program 1

"The films of John Smith conduct a serious investigation into the combination of sound and image, but with a sense of humour that reaches out beyond the traditional avant-garde audience. His films and videos move between narrative and absurdity, constantly undermining the traditional relationship between the visual and the aural. By blurring the perceived boundaries of experimental film, fiction and documentary, Smith never delivers what he has led the spectator to expect."

—Mark Webber, Leeds International Film Festival catalogue 2000

2002
John Smith: Program 2

"The films of John Smith conduct a serious investigation into the combination of sound and image, but with a sense of humour that reaches out beyond the traditional avant-garde audience. His films and videos move between narrative and absurdity, constantly undermining the traditional relationship between the visual and the aural. By blurring the perceived boundaries of experimental film, fiction and documentary, Smith never delivers what he has led the spectator to expect."

—Mark Webber, Leeds International Film Festival catalogue 2000

2011
Rosa Barba, Somnium

Rosa Barba produced a science fiction film based on interviews with local residents and individuals involved in the land suppletion project for Maasvlakte 2. Barba asked the interviewees to imagine what this new land could look like in the future. While we see images of the new land, the slufter: a storage reservoir for heavily contaminated sludge from the new Meuse river, the construction of the huge docksides, basalt blocks, empty containers and the mechanical movements of the transhipment process, we listen to a story apparently taking place in the future.

2015

The sale of a plot of land marks the kick off of an unlikely road trip in this strange American odyssey. When eteam buys an acre of the Southwestern desert on eBay, the deed fails to arrive and the pair attempt to track down the phantom seller. Children in tow, the artists embark on a noir-inspired search through Colorado, Arizona and the American West to locate the shadowy land-owner and claim their portion of the vast desert.

2008
stammering forward backward GIANT

stammering forward backward GIANT is a re-edit of George Stevens' 1956 film Giant - an epic story of Texas, oil and racism. Condensed to 17 minutes and beginning in the middle, stammering forward backward GIANT implements improvisational percussive frame by frame editing structures to simultaneously unwind the film to the conclusion of beginning and end.

2010
Stardust

Stardust is the second part of the trilogy where Nicolas Provost investigates the boundaries of fiction and reality by filming everyday life with a hidden high resolution camera and turning the cinematic images into a fiction film by using cinematographic and narrative codes from the Hollywood film language. The first part of the trilogy was the award winning Plot Point (2007) that was shot entirely with a hidden camera and turned everyday life around Times Square, New York into a thriller film.

1986
Storm and Stress

Displays of violent weather conditions, electrical storms, tornados, floods, fires and other eruptions are contrasted and equated with equally awe-inspiring images of technology that harnesses or mimics nature. Pitting the spectre of nature against technology in time-lapsed images, this thoughtful and stirring tape paints a portrait of the encounter between the man-made and the natural—between man’s controlling power and that which eludes man’s control.

2010
Storyteller

Storyteller recomposes aerial shots from the Las Vegas casino skyline to create a slick, artificial world, reminiscent of science fiction. At first glance, the viewer might think of jewelry-like space ships floating slowly through the universe. When the camera zooms in on buildings and architecture, the detailed glitter and kitsch of the city hypnotically reveals something of pure beauty and madness.

2015
Subatlantic

Appealing concurrently in this video essay to various meanings of the term “Subatlantic” — a climatic phase beginning 2,500 years ago, as well as the submerged regions of the Atlantic — Biemann immerses her camera deep in oceanic waters to ponder upon the entanglements of geological time with that of human history.

1982
Summer Salt

This tape is part of a larger work entitled Southwestern Landscapes, a series exploring the landscape surrounding the Vasulkas’ New Mexico home, manipulating space and time through various recording methods. Experimenting with a video camera, microphone and mirrored ball, this dizzying tape demonstrates Steina’s use of video as a direct experience, the camera acting not only as a surrogate eye, but an “independent” body (and mind), occupying space in the world.

 

2008
Flatform, Sunday 6th April 11:42 a.m.

Sunday, 6th April 11:42 a.m. is a video about landscape as a complex network of connections that guide relationships between people. It is a video that focuses on the relationships between actions and places, movements and the environment as well as the trajectories which the place itself creates. The video underlines the reciprocal connection between environment and its inhabitants, because territory plays an inevitable role in its anthropomorphic transformations.

-- Flatform

2003
super-max

I drove around the U.S. filming these super maximum-security prison buildings the spring and summer after the World Trade Center bombing. I knew that counties within various states had been frantically outbidding each other to get these high-tech gulags to replace the farming and manufacturing jobs that have been lost over the last 25 years. The timing seemed right to remind everyone what we have been doing with our public funding and to draw parallels with the neo-liberal economic policies espoused with variations by the Reagan, Clinton and both Bush administrations.

2016
Sympathetic Vibrations: The Videoworks of Paul Kos

Video Data Bank is proud to present the poetic work of West Coast conceptual artist Paul Kos. This two-disc box set features 25 video works that reveal how Kos mines humble materials for their physical properties and metaphorical possibilities. Included is a 50-page monograph containing specially commissioned essays that expand upon Kos’ five-decade long practice by art scholar Constance Lewallen and SFMOMA’s Curator of Media Arts Rudolf Frieling. 

2019
Still from American Hunger

Ephraim Asili’s five-part series The Diaspora Suite is both a personal and global study of the African diaspora. Created over the course of seven years, every film in the series has a unique rhythm built around a specific amalgam of footage shot in American and international locations — each an important site within the African diaspora.

2006
The General Returns from One Place to Another

Through a concurrently indulgent and skeptical experience of the beautiful, the video draws an uneasy balance between the romantic and the horrid. A nihilistic monologue (from Frank O’Hara’s play of the same title) attempts to undercut the sincerity of the landscape, but there are stronger forces surfacing.

— Michael Robinson