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FLEFF Intern Voices

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view

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Posted by Kristen Reid at 7:45PM
Dr. Claudia Pederson

Written by Kristen Reid, FLEFF Intern, Cinema and Photography '21


“Disruptions are a site of potential. It’s really positive.”

New media expert Dr. Claudia Pederson returns this year to the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival for her 12th year. She’s been a part of the FLEFF community since 2007 and for the last four years, has served as the Assistant Curator for New Media with Curator Dr. Dale Hudson.

New media is “a bit of a misnomer,” Dr. Pederson explains. Unlike the name suggests, new media started emerging in the 1980s as personal computers and the Internet became more accessible to people around the globe. This term encompasses a vast variety of media including video games, online blogs, interactive art and social media.

For Dr. Pederson, new media is all about collaboration. With the advent of the Internet, artists in previously isolated groups are now able to work together to force their voices to be heard. Work that inspires her often comes from marginalized groups like women, people of color and queer folx.

“People are all coming together: scientists, artists, all collaborating,” she remarked. “It’s a way to reach out of Ithaca.”

In her essay for FLEFF’s 20 on 20 series last year, Dr. Pederson outlined some examples of new media and the messages they send. One of those projects was the Crochet Coral Reef Project, a feminist transnational project that combines math and art, and extends across the globe.

Feminist ideas are “definitely” something that Dr. Pederson looks for when curating FLEFF. With the theme of disruptions, feminist projects are a perfect fit. Looking at our history, disruptions are how change has come about, whether looking at civil rights movements or the suffragettes.

Dr. Pederson is in the process of making calls to secure a lot of the new media artists for this year but one that has been confirmed is Philip Mallory Jones, a trailblazer for digital media and video art. His series “Bronzeville Etudes and Riffs” and work from many other artists will be featured this April.


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