Language

2012
The Name is not the Thing named, Deborah Stratman

In support of experiences that are essentially common, but to which language does not easily adhere, the video passes through places that are both themselves, and stand-ins for others. The title is taken from Aleister Crowley’s 1918 translation of the Tao Te Ching.

Camera, Edit, Sound Design: Deborah Stratman

Music: Eliane Radigue

 

2007
The Theory of Time Here

It is TIME at a street corner in London... A collaboration between filmmaker Roderick Coover and writer Deb Unferth, this short marks the textual disintegration of the speaking clock in an unnerving portrait of technology, power, and the urban environment.

2002
There There Square

The desire to own and name land and the pleasures of seeing from a distance color this personal survey of the history of mapmaking in the New World. There There Square takes a close look at the gestures of travelers, mapmakers, and saboteurs that determine how we read - and live within - the lines that define the United States.

2003
Threads of Belonging

Threads of Belonging depicts the daily life of Layton House, a fictional therapeutic community, where doctors live with their schizophrenic patients. The characters and events of Layton House were drawn from writings of the anti-psychiatry movement, whose most famous proponent was R.D. Laing. In this film we see experimental therapies, power struggles, and the individual arcs of mental illness converge, as a community struggles to understand itself and determine its destiny.

1987
Tower of Babel

75 people speak 50 languages sometimes simultaneously.

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

2009
Tran, T. Kim-Trang: The Blindness Series

The Blindness Series consists of eight short videos that investigate blindness and metaphors. Topics of individual titles include cosmetic surgery of the eyelids, vision and sexuality, video surveillance, hysterical blindness, alexia or word-blindness, and physical blindness. The series examines instrumental vision while offering a different kind of visuality, a haptic visuality. Stylistically, Tran's critical approach to video art is essayistic, theoretical, and politically engaged.

2006
The Truth and the Pleasure

I'm here to bring you the Truth and the Pleasure

Here to show you the meaningful form

It's going to feel like a new kind of leisure

It's going to smell like a freshly mown lawn

I'm installing a personal toolkit for thinking

Especially customized only for you

You enable it just by the action of blinking

From now on your thoughts will be focused and true

1971
Two Track

Acconci sits with a man and a woman before a microphone. The man and the woman read from two different texts (novels by Mickey Spillane and Raymond Chandler), and Acconci repeats everything the man says. From time to time, an off-screen voice asks Acconci something about what the woman has been saying, and he tries to answer. The focus of the tape is the relationship between modes of attention, direct and peripheral, in a situation where simultaneous strands of information are being presented.

This title was in the original Castelli-Sonnabend video art collection.

1994
Utopia

Playing off the notion of “interactivity”, Utopia poses itself as a video game plugged into the social consciousness of contemporary California. The viewer/player seemingly makes choices from the menu offering utopian or dystopian realities; however, the score is always the same: the winner loses, and vice-versa. Features Rachel Rosenthal as the host of a macabre interactive game that pushes the boundaries of performance and interactive media.

2006

A love letter to the Internet from a feral cat in Brooklyn.

Anonymously published to the web in 2006, Valentine for Perfect Strangers was an early example of an art video that "went viral," amassing over a half-million views and landing on the front page of YouTube.

 


 

2015
Sky Hopinka "Venite et Loquamur"

A group of students and teachers gather in an historical mansion in the woods of West Virginia for a week-long retreat in spoken Latin. I observe and I participate while navigating the errata with my camera.
— Sky Hopinka

2016
Sky Hopinka "Visions of an Island"

An Unangam Tunuu elder describes cliffs and summits, drifting birds, and deserted shores. A group of students and teachers play and invent games revitalizing their language. A visitor wanders in a quixotic chronicling of earthly and supernal terrain. These visions offer glimpses of an island in the center of the Bering Sea.

2008
visit and the play, the

A playful and dark conversational study—wrapping prose poetry into the recognizable conversational form and allowing both connections and missed meanings. First the ladies visit, the image—a roving camera lovingly viewing a still image—calls up both the progress and stagnancy of their talk, then they go to watch a play—on a television, in a snow garden. In many ways the play references the cadence of the ladies' conversation—the tedious animosity and lack of attentive or appropriate response.

1999
The Waste Land

A personal interpretation of the poetry and letters of T.S. Eliot that explores the ambiguities of language and space in a scenario built around an anagram. "A brilliant, absurd staging of Eliot’s The Waste Land in the local pub by the master of irony himself, John Smith. Smith’s use of the subjective camera tradition of independent film takes the viewer on a shaky journey from bar to bog and back again."

—UK/Canadian Video Exchange (touring program, 2000)

2014

Wawa peeks at the anxieties and difficulties of communication through the interactions between speakers of an endangered Indigenous language, each from differing cultural backgrounds and generations. By transforming the chronology of the language, it weaves the past and present into a single entity and confronts various modes of conversation, translation, identity, and history.