European Film/Video

2010
Jem Cohen, Crossing Paths with Luce Vigo

A portrait of Luce Vigo, film critic, educator, and the daughter of pivotal French filmmaker Jean Vigo. Commissioned by the Spanish documentary festival, Punto de Vista, the film incorporates Luce's memories of her extraordinary life, reflections on her father, and images of Northern Spain.

2004
Double Dummy

Four dummies, two cats, and a portal to bliss inside their attempts at symmetry. A hairball, and a mess of twigs, whose love has died and who are sad.

2010
The Empirical Effect

"Living on the slopes of the volcano Vesuvius is a strange contradiction: always in stress and yet also sleepy, waiting for what might happen. In close cooperation with the Osservatorio Vesuviano and several inhabitants of the 'Red Zone' of the volcano, Rosa Barba constructs a lyrical portrait of this area, which shelters Mafia members and illegal Chinese immigrants. Historic footage, measurements, maps, and aerial shots try to capture what is always uncertain."

2001
Eye/Machine I

The film centers on the images of the Gulf War, which caused worldwide outrage in 1991. In the shots taken from projectiles homing in on their targets, bomb and reporter were identical, according to a theory put forward by the philosopher Klaus Theweleit. At the same time it was impossible to distinguish between the photographed and the (computer) simulated images. The loss of the 'genuine picture' means the eye no longer has a role as historical witness. It has been said that what was brought into play in the Gulf War was not new weaponry, but rather a new policy on images.

2003
Eye/Machine I, II and III

Harun Farocki utilizes a vast collection of image sequences from laboratories, archives and production facilities to explore modern weapons technology. This trilogy examines "intelligent" image processing techniques such as electronic surveillance, mapping and object recognition, in order to take a closer look at the relationship between man, machine, and modern warfare.

2002
Eye/Machine II

"How can the distinction between "man" and "machine" still be made given today's technology? In modern weapons technology the categories are on the move: intelligence is no longer limited to humans. In Eye/Machine II, Farocki has brought together visual material from both military and civilian sectors, showing machines operating intelligently and what it is they see when working on the basis of image processing programs. The traditional man-machine distinction becomes reduced to "eye/machine", where cameras are implanted into the machines as eyes.

2003
Eye/Machine III

“The third part of the Eye/Machine cycle structures the material around the concept of the operational image. These are images which do not portray a process, but are themselves part of a process. As early as the Eighties, cruise missiles used a stored image of a real landscape, then took an actual image during flight; the software compared the two images, resulting in a comparison between idea and reality, a confrontation between pure war and the impurity of the actual. This confrontation is also a montage, and montage is always about similarity and difference.

1998
Fishtank

An alcoholic, emaciated father; a grossly obese, tattooed mother; a goofy, hormone-addled brother—all together in a claustrophobic council flat. Welcome to the Billinghams'. Richard Billingham wowed the art scene with his book Ray's A Laugh. Fishtank, his first film, charts the emotional territory of the flat and the family who play out their lives within its confines.

2010
John Smith, Flag Mountain

John Smith’s Flag Mountain records a vast flag, the insignia of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, painted onto the side of the Kyrenia mountains overlooking Nicosia, the divided capital of the former island nation. The flag, situated in what is officially understood under international law to be 'Turkish occupied' northern Cyprus, is accompanied by the legend 'Ne mutlu Türküm diyene' ('How happy is he who can say “I am a Turk”').

1971

German filmmaker Valeska and her crew—soundwoman Constanza and cameraman Albert—arrive at Maple Tree Farm during the Thanksgiving holiday of 1971 to film a piece for German TV on the Videofreex. In this video, the Videofreex turn the tables so to speak, making the Germans’ filming process—and the artificiality of the filmmaker’s prefabricated shots—their subject.

2002
Frozen War

Made in Ireland, October 8th, 2001.

A disorientating experience while attempting to watch the TV news in an Irish hotel room triggers a spontaneous response to the bombing of Afghanistan.

Frozen War is the first episode in the Hotel Diaries series, a collection of video recordings made in the world’s hotel rooms, which relate personal experiences and reflections to contemporary conflicts in the Middle East.

1999
Furniture Poetry

The filmmaker accepts the challenge of the philosopher and changes not only a table but also chairs, shoes, jugs, teapots and almost everything else lying around his house.

"What prevents me from supposing that this table either vanishes or alters its shape when no one is observing it and then when someone looks at it again changes back? But one feels like saying – who is going to suppose such a thing?"

— Ludwig Wittgenstein, On Certainty (Oxford: Blackwell, 1969)

1976
The Girl Chewing Gum

“In The Girl Chewing Gum a commanding voiceover appears to direct the action in a busy London street. As the instructions become more absurd and fantasized, we realize that the supposed director (not the shot) is fictional; he only describes—not prescribes—the events that take place before him. Smith embraced the ‘spectre of narrative’ (suppressed by structural film) to play word against picture and chance against order.

1996
Gorgeous Operation

A meditation on the nature of “Nature” and the uncertainty of “Cause and Effect.”

“Originally (like most of my earlier film work) this was a performance piece: text performed alongside the projected image. A complex and absurd ‘story’ about a man who thought there was something wrong with his eye. He goes to the doctor, who can’t help him much, but he finds a way he can operate on himself with uplifting yet troubling results.”

—Jennet Thomas

Super-8 and 8mm, film mattes, painting directly onto film, and model/object animation.

1993
Greetings from Out Hee

Spiro traveled for one year on the backroads of the southern United States gathering footage for this mobile video project. Accompanied by her dog Sam and a video camera, she travels from Virginia to Texas and back. Her van (which breaks down frequently) serves as office, apartment, editing suite, and runabout.