Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Free Screen presents Liquid Metal

Tonight at 7pm, the Free Screen at TIFF Bell Lightbox presents Liquid Metal, a program of experimental works inspired or influenced by the morphing technique epitomized by the T-1000 villian of James Cameron's Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

Although the program is short, it features eight works from around the world including Canada's Tasman Richardson. She brings her short video Matt:15:9 and will be doing a live video performance of her longer piece Firing Squad.

The Free Screen continues this summer with the programs Fractured Movement / Constituent Parts on Wednesday, July 18, and Jonathan Schwartz: The Skies Can't Keep Their Secrets on Wednesday, August 15.

Liquid Metal
Approx. Duration: 37 minutes

The morphing villain of Terminator 2: Judgment Day provides inspiration for this programme of works which explore new digital effects technologies and the range of sensory (and sensual) textures they can create.

Arriving in theatres on the cusp of the digital transition which would soon sweep through our culture, Terminator 2: Judgment Day offered the perfect embodiment of that sea change in the "person" of the villainous T-1000, whose "liquid metal" constitution grants it seemingly limitless shape-shifting abilities. That simultaneous fear and pleasure — that the world is no longer solid — permeates the works in this programme.

Takeshi Murata's Untitled (Silver) uses digital compression to distort Mario Bava's 1960 film The Mask of Satan, sliding us, as if dream-induced, between recognizable moments and abstract pixellation. Light Work I finds Jennifer Reeves, a stalwart celluloid filmmaker, testing her relationship to high-definition video to luxuriant effect, magnifying hand-processed film into rich burning plasma. Local video artist Tasman Richardson's Matt:15:9 breaks a video of the pope into the ASCII text language, linking the democratization of digital culture all the way back to the Gutenberg press.

In the lush Après le feu, Jacques Perconte rides a railway into the Corsican countryside after a devastating fire and then manipulates the codec of the HD video, creating a landscape that smears image and time. Noted for her intricate use of found footage, Sylvia Schedelbaur ups the ante with her most recent piece, Sounding Glass, which creates an almost subliminal articulation of memory, each digital cut balanced somewhere between the stroboscopic and the psychological. Richard Kerr's Collage d'Hollywood barrages us with an overwhelming web of discarded 35mm sci-fi film trailers (including a couple Schwarzenegger classics), amping up the theatre of the ridiculous that precedes the modern movie palace experience

Tasman Richardson will conclude the programme with a live performance of his new piece Firing Squad, which edits the dying lights of analogue TV sets into a digital barrage of rapid-fire image and sound, catching the audience somewhere between a paparazzi press scrum and a gunfight.

Viewer advisory: Strobe effects in use during this screening.

Untitled (Silver) (Takeshi Murata, USA 2006, 11 min., video)

Light Work I (Jennifer Reeves, USA 2006, 8 min., video)

Matt:15:9 (Tasman Richardson, Canada 2000, 4 min., video)

Après le feu (Jacques Perconte, France 2010, 7 min., video)

Sounding Glass (Sylvia Schedelbaur, Germany 2011, 10 min., video)

Collage d'Hollywood (Richard Kerr w/ Brett Kashmere, Michael Rollo & Tim Horlor, Canada 2003, 8.5 min., 35mm)

Firing Squad (Tasman Richardson, Canada 2011, 18 min., live video performance)

Tasman Richardson in person!

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