About this blog
The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Friday, April 5, 2013
Blog posting written by Shawn Steiner '13 & Andrew Ronald '15, Film, Photography, and Visual Arts, FLEFF Interns
New media and an experimental filmmaker? Be prepared for some very unique and inspired thoughts during this next hour of FLEFF Lab Friday. Make sure to stop by Park 220 sometime today as it will always have something exciting going on.
A very good start to the conversation. Everyone is introducing themselves and seeing the variety of interests in the room.
Evan Meaney talks about transmedia and how his method is to destroy everything. He takes apart files and then tries to create something new from the pieces.
QUESTION: What is it to live in a world where media is decaying?
Mansoor Behnam discusses his obsession with images and how the ideals of mystical Persian literature has led him to produce his experimental films. He is experiementing with the idea of god with the help of digital media and technology.
SCREENING: "When You Are Blind" (2001) Short Film By Mansoor Behnam (video embedded below)
"It's the burden of representation."
Mansoor believes that in order to experience the non-representational one must embrace the experimental format. It is necessary to represent the invisible and create mystical work through a lot of abstract effort and imagery.
One major goal of his projects are to bring "new and hidden truth to a body of knowledge."
Another point is that collaboration can bring out new heights and thoughts in each work.
The issues of suppression and public viewpoints are a serious consideration to talk about and unfortunately we need to give some time to Evan Meaney so find Mansoor and ask him questions!
"Art-math high five?"
Evan takes a stab at explaining Null_Sets. It basically is a way of converting text into images, similar to the method of a QR code. And theoretically if you have a camera with a high enough fidelity you could translate these images back into their original data.
QUESTION: "At what point does noise become useful data?"
Now, you can even download the Null_Sets toolkit right here.
QUESTION: How do these works connect?
Mansoor sees it in the images that come out of new media attributed to the presence of the infinity. Also, if anyone has seen Middle Eastern rugs, many people have seen a connection to telling stories through patterns in these carpets to the visuality of the Null_Sets jpegs.
Evan discusses compression and how if something becomes so compressed it becomes something unreadable and unreachable. We don't have access to it. "It becomes invisible." Which is what Mansoor attempts to describe in his work.
Fortunately, a lot of their work is available online. So go watch it, use it, download it and let us know what connections you find.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Blog posting written by Ian Carsia, Cinema & Photography '14, FLEFF Intern, Hamilton, NJ
1) What are you presenting/participating in for FLEFF 2012 and how does this relate to and engage with Microtopias?
"I am teaching a course together with media arts artist and Ph.D. candidate at the Information Science department of Cornell, Nicholas Adrian Knouf.
The course is entitled 'Microtopias Lab' and deals with utopia as a concept and practice in the context of histories relating to the junction of arts and sciences."
2) What is your background with FLEFF? How did you become involved with the festival and why?
"I am a graduate student at Cornell in the History of Art and Visual Studies. My work and interests are situated on the intersections of media arts and activism.
My dissertation work deals with the relationship between play, art, and social change. I look at artists using videogames as activist tools, as contemporary forms of intervention that have deep histories in interdisciplinary strands of arts, sciences, and counter-culture movements.
FLEFF began to include electronic media in 2007 when I first was invited to present at the "Gaming Meme" panel with film scholar Lisa Patty and network theorist Ulises Mejias. I've been part of the festival ever since in various qualities, mostly as a lecturer in the last three years."
3) You have collaborated with new media artist/activist Nick Knouf in the past. What has made this collaboration effective? What skills and attitudes do you both bring to your work?
"We have similar interests and thoughts about media arts and the political imaginary.
Both of our work deals with the histories, transdisciplinarity, and performative aspects of electronic culture conceived in a very broad sense, as a conceptual lens and set of practices."
4) What are you most looking forward to about FLEFF 2012?
"I am looking forward to the films--here is a list of a few films that I am really looking forward to see to begin with:
But the festival is really about the conversations and encounters that happen unplanned."
5) What advice would you give to college students wishing to become involved with new media art as well as activism?
"At present, the new media arts are pretty much tied to creative economies, more so than in the 1990s when the enthusiasm around the internet provided a space for more politicized expressions.
On the other hand, the global activism emerging in the recent year incorporates some of the practices then seen as art-activism. Think of the impromptu beamed projections on the walls in New York in support of the occupy movement making the rounds on youtube, etc..
Artists like Krzysztof Wodiczko made a career of similar interventions in public space, then groups like F.A.T. Lab took this practice over, and finally it appears on the street in the context of large and urgent protests.
Historical consciousness is key to activist and artistic practices, but one makes history by doing.
I think that utopia is an essential energy for those interested in creatively engaging and changing our present condition."