Cineclube EA · Overcoming the forms of the outer world - part 2

Tuesday, June 13, 2023 - 18:30

Auditório Ilídio Pinho

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13 JUN · 18:30 · free entrance
Auditório Ilídio Pinho

Program Overcoming the forms of the outer world - part 2

Film program created by Matthew C. Wilson, artist in residence at the School of Arts in 2023, made in partnership with the Porto city council InResidence program.

Program 2

In T. S. Eliot’s poem “Burnt Norton” a bird says “human kind / Cannot bear very much reality.” To shore itself up under the weight of the world, the human mind has devised diverse means — from myth to mathematics — of mediating its encounters, altering and spawning material and immaterial agencies in the process. Film also traffics in this trade of mediation. The task to tease apart what is signal from what is noise, what is perceived from what is projected, and what is inherent from what is constructed may at times seem like a fool’s errand. Yet — in a situation where an audience allows their senses to be tricked — the cinema is precisely the place for such a meditation. In this film program, mind flows into other vessels, depths are plumbed, and a sea of agencies within and without — both alien and familiar, if oft forgotten — subsumes spectators.

Grains of Truth a chapter from ADINA - Emilia Tapprest (NVISIBLE.STUDIO)
Earthquakes (2017) - Maya Watanabe
VUCCA (2016) - Carlos Casas 
Aphotic Zone (2022) - Emilija Škarnulytė
The Unmanned - 1953 - The Outlawed (2018) - Fabien Giraud & Raphaël Siboni
nimiia cétiï (2018) - Jenna Sutela
Black Cloud (2021) - Lawrence Lek


Grains of Truth a chapter from ADINA - Emilia Tapprest (NVISIBLE.STUDIO)

We see a man with a bandaged hand situated in a metaphysical space made material. A machinic, rhythmic, cycling sound slows and sizzling crackles periodically pierce the air as he continuously strikes matches, observing their transformation from chemicals and wood to flare, flame, wisp, and charred remains. Through a translucent tunnel-like series of reflections and refractions we witness something between Promethean ennui and ritualized nihilism. This is, however, simply one stage in the development of Adina — the main character in the larger series of short film works centered around the idea of ‘eternal recurrence’. Adina, the main character of the series, struggles with the fear that his life is prescribed to mechanically repeat the same patterns over and over again, with an identical succession of hopes, fears, mistakes and redemptions. (Original music by Tarawangsawelas and performance by Andrei Iovcev.)


Earthquakes (2017) - Maya Watanabe

Originally conceived as a two-channel video installation, one of the two channels is presented. A landscape appears in the middle of a Japanese empty theatre. Without human intervention, a series of disruptive events magically unleash. The (un)natural disasters precipitate the scenography to collapse. As the video continues, the props' remnants left behind appear inexplicably recomposed again. The slow and controlled recording of the events is –just like the course of time in the work– circular. According to Japanese mythology, earthquakes are caused by the thrashing about of Namazu –a giant catfish living under the Japanese Islands. A sense of objectivity, distance and control seemly conjure the catastrophic events. The video can be regarded as a metaphor for radical events that can disrupt life. At the same time, the disasters in Earthquakes seem to have a purifying effect: established certainties are swept away and rebuild themselves, again and again.


VUCCA (2016) - Carlos Casas

VUCCA takes the audience on a profound exploration of memory, geography, and the self, centered around the Vucca de lu Puzzu cave in Italy. During a residency aimed at understanding extreme lands, Casas had a near-death experience and lost consciousness in this cave, leading to a contemplation of life, time, and the physical and metaphysical nature of being. This experience lies at the heart and head of the film. Audio field recordings provide an auditory depth, amplifying the sense of existential exploration. As Casas explains: “Vucca in some ways exemplifies a certain natural wonder that connects with our most ancestral memories and connections, I see Vucca as an inner film, as a most expressive inner image light show, or as a platonian near death experience spectacle, but vucca also represents for me a  mid life rebooting experience, a trauma, that connects me with the extreme of my own understanding of death, it is the closest I will get to awaking in my own tomb. A most outstanding natural mausoleum.” 


Aphotic Zone (2022) - Emilija Škarnulytė

With otherworldly poetry and the aid of scientists (from nuclear physicists to marine biologists), we dream through mythologies into worlds beyond human scale yet still affected by our presence. The new film Aphotic Zone dives 4 km deep into the Gulf of Mexico where marine scientists from Philiadelphia’s Temple University are endeavoring to find a super coral species that can thrive under the warming and acidification of the oceans caused by humans. With audio-mixing by Oscar-winning engineers Jaime Baksht and Michelle Couttolenc, the sound was recorded in August 2021 at the Aztec ruins at the heart of Mexico City on the 500th anniversary of the Fall of Tenochtitlan. The horrors of colonialism and the global ecological destruction caused by industrial pollution weave together into a subtle meditation on surviving the ravages of human greed. Commissioned and produced by Fondazione In Between Art Film for the exhibition Penumbra.


The Unmanned - 1953 - The Outlawed (2018) - Fabien Giraud & Raphaël Siboni

Third episode of The Unmanned series and replicating the editing structure of “1834 – La Mémoire de Masse”, “The Outlawed” takes place in August 1953 on the island of Corfu, in Greece, at the Club Méditerranée resort where Alan Turing spent his last summer. On a sunny afternoon, the mathematician and inventor of the modern computer, subjected to hormonal treatment after being convicted for his homosexuality, embarks on a makeshift raft to study the morphogenesis of marine organisms. As he explores the coast, the raft progressively drifts away. In the absence of any shore, lost at sea, an ungrounded scene unfolds.


nimiia cétiï (2018) - Jenna Sutela

Inspired by experiments in interspecies communication and aspiring to connect with a world beyond our consciousness, nimiia cétiï documents the interactions between a neural network, audio recordings of early Martian language, and footage of the movements of extremophilic bacteria. Here, the computer is a medium, channeling messages from entities that usually cannot speak. However, it is also an alien of our creation. nimiia cétiï was created in collaboration with Memo Akten and Damien Henry as part of n-dimensions, Google Arts & Culture's artist-in-residence program at Somerset House Studios. Thanks to Kieran Bates from the Institute of Zoology at Imperial College London, Adam Laschinger for sound recordings, and Manus Nijhoff and Leith Benkhedda for 3D work. The video includes music with Miako Klein in contrabass recorder and Shin-Joo Morgantini in flute, with sound production by Ville Haimala.


Black Cloud 黑云 (2021) - Lawrence Lek

Black Cloud continues Lawrence Lek’s ongoing ‘Sinofuturist’ universe, in which he explores questions of identity, surveillance, and empathy in the age of AI. The film extends Lek’s signature video game aesthetic into new cinematic territory, pairing a ghostly rust-belt cityscape with an evocative electronic soundtrack, produced with long-term collaborator Kode9. The short film is the first in a new series of works by the artist set in the future ruins of the smart city.

Set in an unspecified near future, Black Cloud tells the story of a lone surveillance AI in the abandoned city of SimBeijing, a replica of China’s capital built by tech conglomerate Farsight to road-test self-driving cars.  After Black Cloud blindly fulfils its assignment of reporting accidents, the AI awakens to the fact that its obedience has led to the banishment of all other AIs, leaving the metropolis deserted. Seeking solace and resolution to its unfulfilled aspirations, Black Cloud begins a dialogue with Guanyin — a self-help therapy program created by Farsight to alleviate suffering in their products. Not all is as it seems in the smart city. Over the course of their dialogue, the AI reveals the darker reasons behind why the city has been abandoned



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