Experimental Film

1999
Some Chance Operations

Shot in Naples, Vienna, and New York, Some Chance Operations explores the notion of an archival form, in this instance film, as an unstable memory receptacle that can vanish. History and how it is made is meditated upon as one of many chance operations. The filmmaker Elvira Notari, who had a film production company in Naples from 1906 to 1930, plays a significant role as an impetus for Some Chance Operations. Despite the fact that she was a prolific filmmaker, producing over sixty feature films, only three remain intact.

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.

1999
The Spectacular Murder of Mervyn

An adaptation of the gruesome and fantastical ending chapter of the notorious experimental anti-novel Maldoror, first published in 1868 and written by a young man (who died soon after writing it) who called himself Comte De Lautréamont. A joyful return to the necessity of Super-8 film tricks, this is part of a larger Anglo-German collaborative feature film Maldoror, shot entirely on Super-8 in sections by 15 underground filmmakers working independently. Includes Super 8 Film, model animation, photo animation and live action.

1997
Still Life

According to Harun Farocki, today's photographers working in advertising are, in a way, continuing the tradition of 17th century Flemish painters in that they depict objects from everyday life - the "still life". The filmmaker illustrates this intriguing hypothesis with three documentary sequences which show the photographers at work creating a contemporary "still life": a cheese-board, beer glasses and an expensive watch. 

1988
This is a History of New York

A history of New York City from Prehistoric times through the Space Age, composed entirely from documentary street footage.

"The richness of Cohen's vision is found in his haunting imagery and the perception that the thriving city of New York is really the accumulation of humanity's failures, as well as its triumphs."

-- Steve Seid, Seduced and Abandoned: The Homeless Video by Sachiko Hamada & Scott Sinkler and Jem Cohen (Berkeley: Pacific Film Archive, 1989)

1998
Time Passes

Using a Super-8 camera, Henricks employs time-lapse photography to document the interior and exterior of his apartment. Inspired by the work of Virginia Woolf, Time Passes uses writing as a metaphor for notions of temporality and impermanence.

This title is also available on Nelson Henricks Videoworks: Volume 2.

2008
Tony Conrad: DreaMinimalist

The latest in Marie Losier's ongoing series of film portraits of avant-garde directors (George and Mike Kuchar, Guy Maddin, Richard Foreman), DreaMinimalist offers an insightful and hilarious encounter with Conrad as he sings, dances and remembers his youth and his association with Jack Smith.

1978
Trio A

I worked on Trio A alone for six months in 1965. The dance consisted initially of a 5-minute sequence of movement that would eventually be presented as The Mind is a Muscle, Part I at Judson Church on January 10, 1966. There it was performed by me, David Gordon, and Steve Paxton simultaneously but not in unison. In an interim version of The Mind is a Muscle (Judson Church, May 22, 1966), it was performed by William Davis, David Gordon, and Steve Paxton. In the final section, called Lecture, Peter Saul executed a balletic solo version, i.e.

1972
Paul Kos, A Trophy/Atrophy

A two-headed calf died when one head atrophied. It became a trophy that the artist used as a source for this 16mm film transferred to video.

This title is also available on Sympathetic Vibrations: The Videoworks of Paul Kos.

2009
Anne Truitt, Working

A short portrait of artist Anne Truitt (1921-2004). The film consists of an interview and 16mm footage made in and around her studio at the Yaddo artist colony, as well as footage from her home studio in Washington D.C.  Rather than an attempt to depict her art, which is in many respects un-photographable, the core of the film is found in Truitt speaking about the course and meaning of her work. Says Cohen, "I was honored to know Anne Truitt, and doubly so when she allowed me to make a short record of her presence and thoughts.

2008
Undefeated

Undefeated is about mobility and immobility, or just trying to stay warm. Featuring DeCarrio Couley shadowboxing to the rhythm of a hand–cranked Bolex.

Cast: DeCarrio Couley, James Everson.

This title is only available on Broad Daylight and Other Times: Selected Works of Kevin Jerome Everson.

2001
Deborah Stratman, Untied

A small portrait of the volatility of intimacy, and of breaking free from abusive cycles. Made in response to a year of collapsing relationships and violent accidents that left Stratman broken, dislocated and stuck in her apartment.

2017
VDB TV: Decades

VDB TV: Decades is a unique series that casts a distinctive eye over the development of video as an art form from the early 1970s to the present, produced to mark the 40th anniversary of the Video Data Bank. Each program in this five-disc box set was curated by an inspiring artist, scholar, or media arts specialist focusing on a specific decade. Curators surveyed the VDB collection to create personal, distinctive, and relevant programs, accompanied by original essays and texts, available as ROM content on each program disc.

2019
Vever (for Barbara), Deborah Stratman

A cross-generational binding of three filmmakers seeking alternative possibilities to the power structures they are inherently part of. Each woman extends her reach to a subject she is outside of. Vever grew out of the abandoned film projects of Maya Deren and Barbara Hammer. Shot at the furthest point of a motorcycle trip Hammer took to Guatemala in 1975, and laced through with Deren’s reflections of failure, encounter and initiation in 1950s Haiti.

A vever is a symbolic drawing used in Haitian Voodoo to invoke Loa, or god.

2003
Ben Coonley, Wavelength 3D

A 3D video cover version of Michael Snow's seminal structural film Wavelength (1967). Reflecting on Snow's work from a digital vantage point, Wavelength 3D loosely adopts the story and basic formal structures of the original while forging an entirely new path across three-dimensional space and time.

 


This work should be presented through ANGLYPH 3D PROJECTION. No special 3D projector is needed, but Red-Cyan anaglyph 3D glasses are required for exhibition. May be projected, and can also be presented on a flat, 4:3 monitor in a dark space.