Halka Art Residency, Istanbul, Turkey, 1/06/2015-14/06/2015 (Accepted)
Area of Interest & Artistic / Curatorial Statement:
Areas of Research: Filmmaking, Forgery, Authorship and Authenticity, Censorship, Terrorism, Cinematic Humor, Letter Writing. in 2014 I started a collaboration with the mysterious cineaste, theoretician and self-described “most important director in the world”, Alejandro Michaelangelo Fargosonini, pursuant to a “Year Zero of Cinema” which exclusively challenges filmic narratology and eschews the current rebirth of an old trend, what Jean-Luc Godard termed the “tradition of quality” in Cinema which creates repetitious plots with the focus on high quality footage and spectacle. We trade this for radical experimentation and rapid creation using new technology. Our latest feature length video essay THE FINAL CRITIQUE contains cinematic-audio advancements in binaural beats or “digital drugs”, sounds which controversially influence entrainment of brainwaves to explore what Fargosonini calls “original feelings; historically only felt by accident before.” We are continuing our collaboration with a series of feature length films and in-camera-effect experimental shorts (effects based on the flaws of the sensor) using largely non-professional actors and exploring various faucets of The Auteur Theory, intra-personal feuding as art, and the nature of authorship, while at the same time challenging “the machine of Hollywood’s” ability to captivate the audience via capitalistic spectacle; while keeping to our microscopic budgetary constraints and retaining the challenge to contemporary filmic narratology.
Project Idea concerning Residency:
By a Year Zero of Cinema Fargosonini means a “destruction of opinions” based on a tenant of Buddhism. As a pursuant of hyper-production, he sees his cinematic exploration to pay off the more he produces and explores. Using Leonardo Vittorio Arena’s “Nonsense as The Meaning” as a basis for his cinematic theory (without remaining beholden to it) F. realized it is not possible to formulate a cinematic treatise free of contradictions. Simply creating a treatise would, in Arena’s words, “hide the worm of incoherence,” and yet, this film script is the current iteration of my “treatise”. I want to rapidly shoot a film inspired by the heyday of Yeşilçam Street in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul and its rapid fire production (250-350 films a year at one point); also nodding to Ceylan’s casting of mostly non-actors and using simple available locations throughout Istanbul. Inspiration for style comes from the Takashi Miike directed Television Production “MPD: Psycho” – an often nonsensical, convoluted, and inverted and doubled take on the modern city police drama. In my film, students, professors, program founders, academic advisors and research advisors of a radical, secretive, low-residency MFA program duel in a battle of wits, public shaming, ego battles, private blackmailing and publicly framing each other for acts of vandalism, graffitti and public, extreme acts of performance art, forced film screenings and public art interventions on a magnificent scale. Impersonating each other near-constantly their interventions often end up slandering themselves, “art through character assassination” as a guiding principle. Afterwards they gather for scathing critiques of each other, themselves, and the process and structure of the program itself in a ritualistic sauna. Not even the founders are revealed and the system is truly classless with the rules being enforced by the group as a whole. As graduation approaches their “1 year projects” must outdo all others in a manner in and of itself and its a race to the extremes of art-speak verbosity and cinematic spectacle. The film wrestles with the idea that the art world has created a language to discuss itself and that this language may very well be the only interesting space left to create within, a “ghost in the shell”. Textual inspiration will come from Derrida’s “Glas”, Baudrillard’s “Simulacra and Simulation”, Arenas’ “Nonsense as the Meaning”, Nietzche’s “Der-Antichrist” and Gaddis’ “Agape Agape”. There will be subtle homages (“simulations left to madly proliferate on their own”, Baudrillard) to many films historically shot in Istanbul, including the Yesilcam Street homage versions of older films such as Dracula, Tarzan, Rambo, etc, the heist scene in Topkapi, the madness of “From Russia With Love”, the darkness of “Midnight Express”, and the melancholia of “Uzak”. I will being scouring the internet for my limited cast upon acceptance to the residency, if I am chosen. I will serve as cinematographer/director/editor and have a limited supporting role acting. We can screen the film at your gallery after it is edited. I have a long history of rapid digital film production – I have shot and edited an entire film concert into an hour and a half anthropological documentary in 3 days. I think the film, while ambitious, is definitely possible to shoot in my time at the residency. I may also have several artists from around the world shoot their own parts and share them with me through the internet to make up any gaps.
Berlin Public Art Proposal, Potsdamer Platz, 2014 (theoretical, never submitted)
Using augmented reality technology I will digitally reconstruct the neon signs of the Free Berlin Press and the Wise Berliner which waged a propaganda battle from October 1950 to 29 January 1953 at Potsdamer Platz. Viewers with smart phones, tablets or digital glasses can view the constant battle of raising and lowering the signs to obscure eachother and the extreme night time illumination and steel lattice obscurations. While the western sign was aiming to the east, the east’s sign was also facing east, obscuring the sign from the west from several points of view further away. The two sides changed the heights of their respective signs throughout the battle. The content of the messages will be shown in their original form and then re-contextualized for the current audience of the 21st century. The public will be able to download the augmented reality program for free and the digital installation will run for a month, changing frequently and also being brightly illuminated at night.
Budget: Roughly 1,500 euros.
A digital recreation of the 1950s East vs West Cold War sign battle.
Technical Challenges: Learning to Use and Program the Augmented Reality Application, Possibly Permitting Issues