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Ithaca College's Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival 2011 Issues Call for Entries for Media Art Competition

ITHACA, NY — To prepare the way for Ithaca College’s 2011 Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival, FLEFF is issuing a call for entries for “Digital Checkpoints,” a juried, new media art competition. Artists are invited to submit a digital video designed for online exhibition platforms, data-visualization applications and other web-based media that engage “Checkpoints,” FLEFF 2011’s programming stream.

Only projects that can be exhibited online will be considered. Media artists working in off-line formats should visit /fleff/digitalcheckpoints/ for details. Projects that were previously curated in FLEFF exhibits or by Ithaca College students, faculty or staff are not eligible for “Digital Checkpoints.”

To enter, contestants should e-mail a link to their submission along with a brief biography to curators Dale Hudson and Sharon Lin Tay at no later than Jan. 31, 2011. One prize of $250 will be awarded. FLEFF 2011 will take place April 11 to 18.
“Checkpoints evoke crossing over to a different physical, artistic, social, political, psychic, emotional or intellectual place,” said Patricia Zimmermann, a codirector of FLEFF. “In the 1940s, the aviation industry instituted the term checkpoint to denote checking altitude in comparison to landforms or structures. Checkpoints functioned as reference points, markers, navigational aids.”

“Later, its geographical significance expanded,” added Tom Shevory, also codirector of FLEFF. “Included were Checkpoint Charlie, the West Bank, the United States and México, Baghdad, Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

In addition, there are transaction checkpoints that recover data in computer systems. A gamer who dies can restart by way of a checkpoint. Biological checkpoints block cell division and stave off cancer. Checkpoints also mark environmental turning points such as global temperature gradients that signify flooding and heat waves. Weigh stations, police road blocks and security checkpoints at airports mark a fine line between safety and surveillance.

“We invite submissions that engage with the theme of checkpoints by any means possible,” said Hudson. “That includes disrupting them, visualizing them and allowing users to experience or embody them,” Tay observed.

Launched in 1997 as an outreach project from Cornell University’s Center for the Environment at Cornell University, the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival was moved permanently to Ithaca College in 2005. It is now housed in the Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies as a program to link intellectual inquiry and debate to larger global issues.

In addition to “Digital Checkpoints,” FLEFF 2011, slated for April 11-17, will feature a weeklong offering of feature films at Cinemapolis in downtown Ithaca, forums, labs, panel discussions, for-credit labs on new media design and silent film/live music presentations.

Dale Hudson (UAE/USA) teaches film and new media studies at New York University Abu Dhabi located in the United Arab Emirates. His work on global cinema and new media appears in numerous journals, including “Afterimage,” “Cinema Journal” and “Studies in Documentary Film.” He is preparing a book manuscript entitled “Blood, Bodies, and Borders.”

Sharon Lin Tay (UK/Singapore) teaches film and digital theory at London’s Middlesex University. Currently on sabbatical, she is a visiting associate professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Her 2009 book about women filmmakers and digital artists is entitled “Women on the Edge: Twelve Political Film Practices.”

Sharon Daniel (USA) is a professor of film and digital media at the University of California, Santa Cruz. A researcher who collaborates with local and online communities, Daniel has published essays in “Leonardo” and “Sarai Reader.” As an artist, she assists communities in collecting their stories, soliciting their opinions on politics and social justice, and building the online archives that make this data available across social, cultural and economic boundaries. Daniel’s work has been exhibited at numerous venues, including the University of Paris, Dutch Electronic Arts Festival and the Lincoln Center Festival.

Carlos Motta (Colombia/USA) is a multidisciplinary artist who attempts to create counter narratives that recognize the inclusion of suppressed histories, communities, identities and ideologies. He has presented his works at solo exhibitions at MoMA/PS1 Contemporary Art Center; Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; and Museo de Arte del Banco de la República, Bogotá; as well as in numerous international group exhibitions.