FILM ON SUNDAYS
UNTIL THINGS AND BODIES ARE THE WAY WE WANT THEM TO BE
SUNDAYS, 22 JANUARY— 5 MARCH 2017
Back in the nineties. One hot Australian summer, four young women (Virginia Barratt, Julianne Pierce, Francesca da Rimini and Josephine Starrs) decide to make some chick porn. Using stolen computers, their initial idea gradually gave way to the creation of A Cyberfeminist Manifesto for the 21st Century (1991) and All New Gen (1993), a computer game for non-specific genders. This in turn gave rise to VNS Matrix. At the same time, the British theorist Sadie Plant laid claim to cybernetics as a feminising and feminating space; Sandy Stone, a US philosopher and transsexual artist, underscored the perpetuation of sexuated bodies in binary terms within the virtual world as an online extension of patriarchal heterocapitalist power; Donna Haraway published A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology and Socialist Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century (1991).
Twenty-five years later, little remains of that freedom and independence of cyberspace as proclaimed by the pioneering artists and thinkers in the specific context of internet. Following the collapse of the dot-com bubble, the social transformation of the internet and, as a consequence, the image of its users, it has become capitalised and normalised by business mega-corporations. That said, like in any system, there are cracks and fissures providing room for militancy and dissidence. And opportunities to desert. Cyberfeminism is not dead but, like internet itself, it has evolved in other directions and other forms of happening (cyborgfeminism, technofeminism, xenofeminism, transfeminism), a whole range of hybrid -isms that cut across all kinds of technologies, formats and artistic expressions.
Until things and bodies are the way we went them to be is not a film season per se. Instead it is more a set of audio/visual works that run against the grain, against taxonomy, against the biological paradigm of ‘nature’, against a univocal Reality in uppercase, against purity and binarism. Cross-contaminated by the relationship between technology and gender (understood as a social construct not limited exclusively to sexual normativity, but extensible to the whole system of identity-based domination), the curated pieces address the (de)construction of bodies and roles from a queer, techno(dis)utopian and, at times, mystic perspective; they recover the original liberating potential of cyberspace and telecommunications, transforming them into tools to transcend the flesh; they appropriate and subvert the very aesthetic and narrative code of internet; they are fractures, manifestos, (self)portraits, (hyper)connections. Noises that propose a free and independent gaze on standards (sometimes collective but always ‘alien’) for the image, that seeks to erase them and to return to them afresh, to play with them, to eroticise them, to shape them, to pixel them, to overexpose them and to erase them all over again until things and bodies are the way we want them to be.
Curated by Quiela Nuc
SUNDAY 22 JAN. 18:30
WE ARE THE VIRUS OF THE NEW WORLD DISORDER. SUCK MY CODE
Conversation with Jara Rocha
From narratives and aesthetics removed from each other in time and in space,I.K.U.and MyMyexplore technology’s potential to build and destroy the limits of the body, opposing the monolithic and hermetic idea of the human being. They pose questions on the corporativisation of the body and feelings, virality and the creation of communities based on affinity. Both artists conceive the body as a container made to be open, shared and coded. Influenced by seminal texts by VNS Matrix, Donna Haraway, Greg Bear and Judith Butler, Shu Lea Cheang has conceived a dystopian universe in which big companies do business with orgasms, while in Anna Helme’s techno-utopia “people” can generate themselves in a DIY game. In the two pieces, the internet is like an extension of the body, like an indivisible whole in constant feedback.
Anna Helme, 2014, English with Spanish subtitles, 14 min
I.K.U. (This is not LOVE. This is SEX)
Shu Lea Cheang, 2000, English-Japanese with Spanish subtitles, 74 min
Jara Rocha is a cultural mediator and freelance curator who works on projects on the boundary between (post?)humanities, free culture and design. Her main areas of research have to do with the materiality of present cultures, and are addressed through two basic gestures: critical thinking and distributed making. She started the ‘gender and technology’ group at Medialab-Prado and ran the experimental 404: School Not Found at Intermediae/Matadero Madrid. She is involved in collective para-academic projects of learning and thinking like The Darmstadt Delegation, the Euraca Sumposium, Relearn Summerschool and the Fuera de Clase blog (Diagonal newspaper). She is a member of the Objetologías research group.
SUNDAY 29 JAN. 18:30
I DREAMT THE SKY WAS COVERED IN ADVERTISING
Conversation with Vicente Monroy
Isaac Díaz likes recording chavs without them realising it. He always carries a mini-DV around with him and collects shots of freshly shaved heads, piercings, shorts, football jerseys, tongues and drug-fuelled dancing. He stalks and fetishizes chavs, filming them on 8mm or on VHS and then uploading them onto his computer. With a slow camera he turns them into contemporary Adonises, in epiphanies that vanish at the click of a glitch into the cloud of YouTube.
This post-adolescent marginal youth, profoundly and natively hooked on consumerism and internet, is also the subject of Williams’ gaze, contemplative and paused, but always in motion. Shot on 16mm,El auge del humanoportrays and connects the precarious lives of three young men who refuse to accept the time allotted to them. Composed of apparently ordinary everyday moments, it is ultimately a diary of hybrid paths, banal conversations wrapped in a kind of magic neorealism and overexposed, hyperconnected bodies.
Isaac Díaz y Alexis Broda, 2016, Spanish, 7'37''
El auge del humano
Teddy Williams, 2016, Spanish-Portuguese-Filipino with subtitles in Spanish, 100 min.
Vicente Monroy is an architect and lecturer in film at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.
SUNDAY 5 FEB. 18:30
SAD GIRLS CULTURE
Conversation with Ana Cibeira
Sad Girlswishes to reinterpret, reread and recategorise sadness and self-indulgence as an act of political resistance. It is a kind of performativity that re-appropriates roles socially categorised as “feminine” (pity, suffering, fragility) and affirms them as opportunities for protest and feminist struggle. Like many other internet movements, the Sad Girlculture has become a kind of brand. Its most mainstream faces are white western heterosexual women who bring to their work a languid, pink aesthetic matched with gothic typography. However, around twenty years ago the Sad Girlbinomial was popularised thanks to Allison Anders’ movie Mi vida loca(My Crazy Life), featuring women far removed from upper-middle-class white feminism. Anders’s film portrays Hispanic girl gangs, their drug-dealing boyfriends, tattoos, big hair-dos and flannel shirts and how they survive patriarchal catholic culture by mutually supporting each other.
From a multidisciplinary and pluri-identity perspective, the Sad Girls Culturesession seeks to outline a historic path through the aestheticisation and politicisation of the sadness of Sad Girls, dating their origin to nineteenth-century literature, analysing their filmic expressions and ending with the contemporaneity of Tumblr.
My crazy life
Allison Anders, 1994, English with subtitles in Spanish, 94 min
Have you eaten?
Sad Asian Girls Club, 2015, Mandarin Chinese and Korean with subtitles in Spanish, 3 min
Sth I never intended confessing to u
Georges Jacotey, 2013, English with subtitles in Spanish, 17 min
Livejasmin - Frente a frente
Molly Soda, 2012, Spanish, 6 min
Ana Cibeira a bookseller and writer, is interested in self-publishing, punk and the DIY movement and has published fanzines and organised workshops. At the current moment she is reading on literature and ideology for Políticas de la palabra, a blog on fictions that revise imaginaries. She also undertakes an online revision of how adolescent identity, feminist subjectivities and the narration of affects are constructed through the writing of stories and the use of found images.
SUNDAY 12 FEB. 18:30
WE ARE BOUNDLESS. BECOMING ANOTHER THING ANOTHER BEING
Conversation with Javier Marquerie Thomas
Developed within the framework of information technologies, “biometric authentication” and “computer biometrics” largely consist of the application of mathematical techniques and statistics on a person’s behavioural and physical features with the ultimate goal of verifying his/her identity. Biometric authentication is one of governments’ and marketing and security companies’ most powerful mechanisms for control, gathering data on millions of people without their consent which they then use to buy and sell and to discriminate on the basis of normative categories of gender, class, race, sex and diversity.
Zach Blas, a theorist, artist and activist, protests against biometric facial recognition —and the inequalities these technologies propagate— by making “collective masks” in workshops that are modeled from the aggregated facial data of participants, resulting in amorphous masks that cannot be detected as human faces by biometric facial recognition technologies.
Another dissident use of this technology is LuYang’sDelusional Mandala.Using a 3D scanner, LuYang created a nonsexual digital avatar from her own likeness. By means of stereotactic surgery, the artist simulates damage inflicted on the brain of the avatar and explores the location of perception and consciousness. Javier Marquerie’s video-performance Cephalopod Mince also takes place within this projection of the image built between exposure and camouflage. In it, Javier turns into a cephalopod, the representation of a mutable concrete identity that rejects binary genders and defends fluid identities.
Face weaponization communiqué: Fag Face
Zach Blas, 2012, English with subtitles in Spanish, 8 min
LuYang Delusional Mandala
LuYang, 2015, Chinese with subtitles in Spanish, 17 min
Javier Marquerie Thomas, 2016, English with subtitles in Spanish, 19 min
Javier Marquerie Thomas works with video, performance and installation. He is currently experimenting with the genetic changes that take place in the body when inverting its gravity, in search of a new semantics of movement.
SUNDAY 19 FEB. 18:30
EVERYTHING IN THIS SYSTEM HAS AN ORDER
Conversation between Patricia Domínguez and Regina de Miguel
What role does technology play in the hands of governments when it comes to constructing a national identity? The three pieces in this session analyse various cases of subjugation and insecurity of the ‘living’ by means of technocratization, and offer alternatives to the systems of hegemonic power from naturalism and sci-fi.
In SuperRio Superficções, Antoine Guerreiro creates a fictional alter ego for Rio de Janeiro: SuperRio. Like a stratified ecosystem, SuperRio is made up of layers that affect each other, interfering in the development of the city and in the collective imaginary. The Chilean artist and naturalist Patricia Dominguez researches and updates the image of the Spanish conquistador and his horse, symbolically addressing the relationship of domination and liberation between Spain and Chile throughout history.
Chile is also the site for Regina de Miguel’s latest film. Based on the story of Cybersyn, a project conceived by the government of Salvador Allende which wished to set in place a state-to-people network system of relaying economic information in real time, De Miquel constructs a filmic narrative between documentary and science fiction on the notion of the disappearance and systematic erasure of women from the history of technology.
Antoine Guerreiro do Divino Amor, 2016, Portuguese with subtitles in Spanish, 9 min
Los ojos serán lo último en pixelarse
Patricia Domínguez, 2015, Spanish, 9 min
Una historia nunca contada desde abajo
Regina de Miguel, 2016, Spanish, 64 min
Patricia Domínguez, a Chilean artist and naturalist, graduated with a MFA and courses in botanical illustration in New York. Since the beginnings of her career she has engaged with the natural world and has developed her practice by exploring contemporary culture’s relationship with the living.
Regina de Miguel works as an artist with an interdisciplinary, critical agency in processes and confluences geared towards the production of hybrid knowledge and objects. Her projects also address strategies of the formation of desire and its visualisation as psychosocial landscape. Likewise, she also analyses the speculative and fictional boundary between scientific and cultural objects.
SUNDAY 26 FEB. 18:30
Conversation with Elena Oroz
Opposed to the corporality and sexuality of bio-women constructed and hyper-represented by technocapitalism, there is a new artistic movement focused on the decolonisation of the body and the being by means of techniques that go beyond human consciousness. Meditation, hypnosis, respiration and sensorial deprivation or hyperstimulation enable access to diverse altered realities in which one can understand and sense the body outside all scientific-social paradigms. Based on the interrelationship between conscience, power, feminism, science and aural trance, Elisa García de la Huerta, Tabita Rezaire and Dominika Ksel create bio-ecosystems and self-portraits in which nature and cybersexuality are conflated in search of a radical queer identity.
Psilocybe Tampelandia (Metamorphosis)
Elisa García de la Huerta, 2016, English,16 min
Tabita Rezaire, 2015, English with subtitles in Spanish, 6 min
Valley of Shadows
Dominika Ksel, 2016, English with subtitles in Spanish, 18 min
Elena Oroz, a researcher, lecturer and critic, has a PhD in communication from Universidad Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, and a MA in Theory and Practice of Creative Documentary from Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. She has co-edited Lo personal es político. Documental y feminismo/ The personal is political. Documentary and Feminism (with Sophie Mayer) and La risa oblicua. Tangentes, paralelismos e intersecciones entre humor y documental(with Gonzalo de Pedro).
SUNDAY 5 MAR. 19:00
MIDIFIESTO: a manifesto (in favour) of SMF. By Agnès Pe
Concert + Reading of manifesto
SMF (Standard Midi Files) are archives containing MIDI instructions. It is one of the files commonly used for karaoke tracks. The files are created with musical notation processors and contain an associated score. A MIDI does not capture or process real sounds, which means it has a specific sonority. It is a music lacking in feeling, in any human and animal quality. It is a kind of musicalbug, an empty body.
The sound of the MIDI archive varies depending on the machine used to play it, given that SMFs only contain sets of instructions. Thousands of webpages stores these archives —like a kind of waste sound— and reproduce any kind of genre, annulling it, turning it into an explicit engine of non-genre.
Agnès Pe works with sound beyond the limits of any specific music genre. Her work is characterised by an overpowering, fun-loving attitude that embraces the parameters of lo-fi music and plunderphonics, always looking for new ways of relating with the elements she recomposes by means of atonality, altered melodies and grating textures.
On the curator
QUIELA NUC is a visual artist and freelance curator (Madrid, 1990). Interested in the conjunction between contra-internet language and audiovisual media, the (de)construction of identities based on corporality and the concept of “generation”; she combines her artistic production on these issues with teaching and curatorial duties.
She is currently involved in the postproduction of‘Шаг(mudanza)’, a sci-fi essay made together with the artist Andrea Beade; and ‘Desertorxs de lo post. Ritual tecnotrans para la destrucción de la identidad nacional’, a performative audiovisual work addressing the issue of identity in the context of post-dictator Chile and advances a rethinking of contemporary socio-political phenomena such as cultural appropriationism; Internet; and the body insofar as a field for the reconstruction of the memory, a tool for revolution, trance, dance and movement.