Sundance Institute has announced that the New Frontier section of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival will feature work from Blast Theory, Mark Boulos, The Bruce High Quality Foundation, Daniel Canogar, James Franco, Bill T. Jones & OpenEnded Group, Akio Kamisato, Avish Khebrehzadeh, Aaron Koblin, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Takehisa Mashimo, Miwa Matreyek, Chris Milk, Satoshi Shibata, Squidsoup, Deke Weaver and Lance Weiler. The New Frontier section of the Sundance Film Festival “brings together established and emerging artists from film, art, performance, gaming, and new media technology, to provide for them a film festival environment to share their work, and for festival audiences to explore the latest in cinematic innovation and transmedia storytelling.” From the official press release:
Sundance Institute announced today the line up of artists selected for the 2011 edition of New Frontier at Sundance Film Festival. The program, celebrating its fifth year, brings together established and emerging artists from film, art, performance, gaming, and new media technology, to provide for them a film festival environment to share their work, and for festival audiences to explore the latest in cinematic innovation and transmedia storytelling. Curated by Shari Frilot, Sundance Film Festival Senior Programmer, these works can be experienced at New Frontier, located at the Historic Miners Hospital, 1354 Park Avenue across from the Library Theatre in Park City, and, new for 2011, at Salt Lake Art Center, located at 20 South West Temple, in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City. Both locations will be open free to the public Thursday, January 20 through Saturday, January 30, 2011.
The 2011 edition of New Frontier at Sundance will feature internationally renowned artists Blast Theory, Mark Boulos, The Bruce High Quality Foundation, Daniel Canogar, James Franco, Bill T. Jones & OpenEnded Group, Akio Kamisato, Avish Khebrehzadeh, Aaron Koblin, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Takehisa Mashimo, Miwa Matreyek, Chris Milk, Satoshi Shibata, Squidsoup, Deke Weaver and Lance Weiler. Many of these artists, while making their Sundance Film Festival debut, have presented these seminal works in bienniale’s, in institutions such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of Modern Art, Centre Pompidou, and in the international art exhibitions and fairs such as Art Basel, the Biennale di Venezia, Biennale of Sydney, Frieze Art Fair, SIGGRAPH, Ars Electronica and TED.
A sneak peek of the innovative works featured at New Frontier is available on the Sundance Film Festival website: www.sundance.org
“As filmmaking rapidly evolves through the creative marriage of technology and storytelling, New Frontier opens a window into the future,” said Robert Redford, Sundance Institute Founder and President.”It’s a thrill for me to provide these unique artists with a new platform, a departure from their traditional art venues, and to watch Festival audiences challenge their preconceived notions about visual expression. And, as I contemplate the role the Institute can play in this evolution, I challenge my own notions as well.”
In her curatorial statement Frilot writes, “Today’s media environment assumes three-dimensional realities in time and space. Mobile networks, electronic gadgets, wireless internet, and surveillance technologies now encrust our bodies, creating an electroskeleton that structures our modern lives, affecting our ethics and our decision making. As this evolution intensifies, New Frontier at Sundance explores how storytelling and independent cinematic expression can exist at this forefront to compel audiences to engage with one another in ways that fortify our humanity.”
The projects and artists of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival New Frontier Program are:
A Machine to See With
Blast Theory (United Kingdom)
Mixing documentary material, stolen thriller clichés and the films of Jean-Luc Godard, A Machine to See With invites the audience to take risks, play games and connect the fantasy of a thriller movie with the political questions that each one of us must face through interaction with an automated system of interaction and control that navigates the participant through the underbelly of the city. A Machine to See With premiered at the 2010 01SJ Biennial.
Recipient of the Locative Cinema Commission co-commissioned by The Banff New Media Institute at the Banff Centre, ZER01: The Art and Technology Network, and New Frontier at the Sundance Film Festival, Blast Theory is renowned internationally as one of the most adventurous artists’ groups using interactive media, creating groundbreaking new forms of performance and interactive art that mixes audiences across the internet, live performance and digital broadcasting. Led by Matt Adams, Ju Row Farr and Nick Tandavanitj, the group’s work explores interactivity and the social and political aspects of technology. http://www.blasttheory.co.uk/bt/index.php
All That is Solid Melts Into Air
Mark Boulos (United Kingdom, The Netherlands)
All That is Solid Melts into Air juxtaposes two documentary videos on opposite sides of the wall. The viewer is in between these two powerful videos trying to negotiate the films. One film depicts the Nigerian Guerrilla group that battles the colonization of petroleum resources on their land. The other film depicts stock traders in Chicago who are speculating on futures. As the films play the audio and intensity of the films crescendo to an uproar.
Boulos, formerly a member of the activist collective Paper Tiger Television, lives and works in London and Amsterdam, and has shown his work internationally at galleries and museums. Religious ecstasy, romantic sacrifice, and political militancy have been recurring themes in his work.
We Like America and America Likes Us (The Corpse)
The Bruce High Quality Foundation (U.S.A.)
The hearse/ambulance is a vehicle designed for both pragmatic emergency response and ceremonial lament. Its chassis astride a fresh piece of asphalt — a corpse on clean sheets — embodies a great American contradiction, a national character with a remarkable gift for survival despite its moves toward implosion. A showing of dark patriotism and a yearning for the possibility of transcendent national purpose while holding the contradictions and let-downs of history, We Like America and America Likes Us (The Corpse) is an allegory of American national consciousness
The Bruce High Quality Foundation is a collective based in New York, the official arbiter of the estate of Bruce High Quality, dedicated to the preservation of the legacy of the late social sculptor, Bruce High Quality. The Bruce High Quality Foundation’s work has been shown internationally, including PS1 in New York City and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. http://www.thebrucehighqualityfoundation.com/Site/home.html
SPIN and HIPOCAMPO 2
Daniel Canogar (Spain)
Canogar work explores the short lifespan of the technologies that we use daily. He takes electronic detritus and transforms it into stunning sculptural installations. Spin is an installation comprised of the copied contents of 100 discarded DVDs that are projected back onto their surface, revealing the moving images trapped within the discs. Hipocampo 2 is a sculptural work made of tangles of electric, telephone, and computer cables. Lines of light are projected onto the sculpture creating an illusion of the motion of electricity through time and space.
Daniel Canogar lives and works in Madrid, Spain. In 1990 he received a masters degree from NYU and the International Center for Photography. Canogar was recently appointed the Spanish Ministry of Culture as the artist representing Spain in the Atrium of the European Parliament, producing a large-scale, site-specific piece. http://www.danielcanogar.com/daniel-canogar.php?l=en
Three’s Company: The Drama
Three’s Company: The Drama is a multi-media examination of the classic 70s sit-com. Television has undoubtedly shaped our world: our increased exposure to dramatic entertainment, the shapes of our houses, the shape of the time in our day. In this piece James Franco hopes to pull television from the box and view it from “a slightly oblique perspective”.
James Franco has been acting in films for 14 years and a painter for over 20. 2010 saw the festival premieres of his short films Herbert White, The Feast of Stephen, and The Clerk’s Tale, as well as the documentary feature Saturday Night. Franco also opened his first solo art exhibition, The Dangerous Book Four Boys, and, in conjunction with his guest appearance on General Hospital, successfully blended media with performance art at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA).
Bill T. Jones and OpenEnded Group (U.S.A.)
A re-envisioning of Ghostcatching (1999), After Ghostcatching is built up from the same motions and vocalizations of Bill T. Jones used in the earlier work, but explores the themes of disembodiment and identity with the new possibilities opened up by 3D projection and a custom 3D renderer. As viewers don their 3D glasses, they experience the virtual movement in real depth.
A multi-talented artist, choreographer, dancer, theater director and writer, Bill T. Jones has received major honors ranging from a 1994 MacArthur “Genius” Award to Tony Awards for his choreography on Broadway, including a 2010 Tony Award for Best Choreography in the critically acclaimed FELA!, In addition to creating more than 140 works for his own company, Mr. Jones has received many commissions to create dances for modern and ballet companies. http://www.billtjones.org/
OpenEnded Group consists of artists Marc Downie, Shelley Eshkar, and Paul Kaiser who create works for stage, screen, gallery, page, and public space considering the two principal axes of time and space: time — so that a passing encounter with a work is captivating in its own right but can also lead to a deeper, committed exploration of its underlying complexities; and space — so that that views from afar and views from up close disclose the work differently. http://openendedgroup.com/index.php/about/
Theater III + Edgar
Avish Khebrehzadeh (U.S.A.)
Avish Khebrehzadeh’s works evoke fairy tales and dreamscapes, often inspired by her actual dreams and memories. Her painting and video form one integrated work. In Theatre III+Edgar, three loosely linked vignettes unfold. A pregnant woman is carried past a village into the desert where the three men who have been carrying her, leave her. She disappears down a hole with the man who has been digging it.
Avish Khebrehzadeh’s hand-drawn animations and large-scale drawings are inspired by childhood memories, everyday life, literature, and art history. Khebrehzadeh lives and works in Washington, DC and Rome. She studied in Iran, Rome and Washington, DC and was the winner of the 2003 50th Biennale di Venezia–Leone d’Oro; Prize for the best Italian Young Artist and was recently in the SITE Santa Fe Biennial. http://www.avishkhebrehzadeh.com/
Akio Kamisato, Satoshi Shibata and Takehisa Mashimo (Japan)
Moony, by Akio Kamisato, Satoshi Shibata and Takehisa Mashimo from IAMAS in Japan, uses steam as both a screen and an interactive interface. Touch one of the virtual butterflies projected into the vapor, and it will fly away and disappear. But hold your hand into the steam for a while and butterflies will flock around and play with you. Moony received the Ars Electronica [the next idea] art and technology grant in 2004.
Born in 1979 in Okinawa, Kamisato builds artworks on the theme of relations between non-physical images and physical materials, and strives to create physical experiences of images by combining the images controlled by computer with uncontrolled natural phenomena. Kamisato has participated in the Guwandge Biennale (2006) and other international exhibitions.
Born in 1978 in Aichi, Shibata is a Research Associate at Nagoya University of Arts and Sciences, Shibata works in the field of advertising design and graphic art using digital media and print media. Shibata has also participated in several graphic design exhibitions.
Born in 1979 in Tokyo, Mashimo is currently a lecturer at Seian University of Art and Design in Japan, and is involved in several collaborative projects. He has participated in the Guwandge Biennale (2006), the Shenzhen Ink Painting Biennale (2008) and other international exhibitions. http://www.iamas.ac.jp
The Johnny Cash Project and The Wilderness Downtown
Aaron Koblin & Chris Milk (U.S.A.)
In The Johnny Cash Project participants are invited to create a drawing that is woven into a collectively rendered, hand drawn animated music video tribute to Johnny Cash set to his song “Ain’t No Grave.” The work continues to grow and evolve as more people participate. http://www.thejohnnycashproject.com
The Wilderness Downtown is an interactive film using HTML5 programming and Google Maps to create startling individualized videos to the Arcade Fire song “We Used to Wait.” The interactive video was an online sensation, leading to 35 million hits and 5 million unique visitors. http://www.thewildernessdowntown.com
Aaron Koblin is an artist specializing in data visualization. His work takes social and infrastructural data and uses it to depict cultural trends and emergent patterns. Aaron’s work has been shown at international festivals including Ars Electronica, SIGGRAPH, OFFF, the Japan Media Arts Festival, and TED. He received the National Science foundation’s first place award for science visualization and is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. In 2010 Aaron was the Abramowitz Artist in Residence at MIT and is Technology Lead of Google’s Creative Lab.
Chris Milk is a music video director and photographer. He has directed videos for Kanye West, U2, Green Day, Courtney Love, Audioslave, Modest Mouse, Gnarls Barkley and Arcade Fire. He also has numerous television commercials to his credit. http://chrismilk.sites.livebooks.com/
! WOMEN ART REVOLUTION and RAW/WAR
Lynn Hershman Leeson (U.S.A.)
!Women Art Revolution is a documentary film exploring and revealing the Feminist Art Movement in the US from 1968 to the present. The rarely seen footage and interviews uncover how the Feminist Movement transformed the art of our times. RAW/WAR is an interactive, community-curated video archive which allows users to access footage, as well as share their own stories through text, images, video clips, and links that highlight the achievements and practices of women artists.
Over the last three decades, artist and filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson has been internationally acclaimed for her pioneering use of new technologies and her investigations of issues that are now recognized as key to the working of our society: identity in a time of consumerism, privacy in a era of surveillance, interfacing of humans and machines, and the relationship between real and virtual worlds. Leeson currently lives and works in San Francisco, CA. http://www.lynnhershman.com/
Myth and Infrastructure and Dreaming of Lucid Living
Miwa Matreyek (U.S.A.)
Myth and Infrastructure is a multi-media performance involving projected animation on screen, body, and props. Matreyek’s body becomes part of a layered world of animation, light and shadow. Her strikingly beautiful images lure the viewer into the piece and the story. The dreamy audio is sung by Anna Oxygen.
Dreaming of Lucid Living is an exploration of shadow and animation and themes of domestic spaces, dream-like vignettes, large and small cities, magical powers.
Matreyek is an award winning animator, designer, and artist living in Los Angeles, CA. She holds an MFA in Experimental Animation from California Institute of the Arts. Her work has been shown internationally at film, theatre, and performance festivals, including Flux Super 8: 8 Emerging Filmmakers and Video Artists. She was also invited to perform at the TED Global Conference in Oxford, UK this year.
Glowing Pathfinder Bugs
Squidsoup (United Kingdom)
Glowing Pathfinder Bugs is an interactive art installation that uses projection to visualize virtual bugs on a real sandpit. The bugs are aware of their surroundings and respond to its form in their vicinity. Viewers can pick bugs up, dig holes and create mounds that the bugs respond to. The piece was originally commissioned by Folly Gallery for Portable Pixel Playground.
Squidsoup is a group of collaborators including Anthony Rowe, Gaz Bushell and Chris Bennewith. The group’s work combines sound, physical space and virtual worlds to produce immersive and emotive headspaces. They aim to allow participants to take active control of their experience. Their work has been shown at numerous festivals, seminars and galleries around the world. They live and work in the United Kingdom. http://www.squidsoup.org/
Deke Weaver (U.S.A.)
ELEPHANT is the second chapter in Weaver’s lifelong project, The Unreliable Bestiary: an ark of stories about animals, our relationship to them, and the worlds they inhabit. Inspired by the literary concept of the unreliable narrator and the medieval bestiary, which gave every living thing a spiritual purpose the project will present an evening-length performance for each letter of the alphabet – the letter representing a particular endangered animal or habitat. From burial rituals to subtle interpersonal communications to post-traumatic stress, elephant and human societies have remarkable similarities.
Deke Weaver is an award winning performer, playwright, and media artist. Weaver’s interdisciplinary performances and video installations have been presented internationally. He is currently an assistant professor in the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Lance Weiler (U.S.A.)
Pandemic 1.0 is a transmedia storytelling experience that spans film, mobile, online, real-world, social gaming and data visualization. Over the course of the festival the story will unfold enabling viewers / players to step into the shoes of our protagonists. The story experience starts when a mysterious sleep virus begins to affect the adults in a small rural town, the youth soon find themselves cut off from civilization and fighting for their lives. Will they survive? Can you survive?
Lance Weiler is a critically acclaimed award winning writer and director. Recognized as a pioneer because of the way he makes and distributes his work, Weiler is a partner in Seize the Media, a social entertainment company that focuses on transmedia story architecture. He recently won the Arte France Cinema award at the 2009 edition of CineMart. In January 2010, Weiler attended the Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab marking the first time the lab has supported a transmedia project. http://lanceweiler.com/