Liat Berdugo + Emily Martinez as Five Twins

Anxious to Make is the collaborative practice of Liat Berdugo and Emily Martinez, two commissioning bodies.

Their focus is on the so-called “sharing economy” and the contemporary artists “anxiety to make” in the accelerationist, neoliberal economic landscape. Our work has appeared recently in EMMEDIA, Transmediale, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, The Luminary, V2_Lab, and MoMA PS1.

Performative Validation For Working With Unfamiliar Materials was shown as a single channel video at the 2019 Festival.

How is one to understand technology by investigating its economies? The video “Liat Berdugo + Emily Martinez as Five Twins” is an ongoing commission of fake twins sourced from who double themselves in postproduction. In outsourcing identities to laborers in this economy, this work examines the kinds of subjectivities produced by the sharing economy– and how these ideas relate to a subject re/produced in vulnerability, self­-appreciation and self-­esteem, qualities that underlie the psychology of the neoliberal subject.

Liat Berdugo + Emily Martinez as Five Twins from anxioustomake on Vimeo.

Anxious to Make, is taking artistic entrepreneurship to the next level. From existential anxiety to art market worthy end product, Anxious to Make proposes that by outsourcing all of the facets of artistic practice (and life) to gig workers and algorithms, anyone can make themselves into a creative enterprise and achieve the neoliberal dream.
Anxious to Make developed a methodology – along with a series of online generators, commissioned performances, interactive quizzes and an analog algorithm – to walk artists through common blockages and offer solutions that can be commissioned through the sharing economy, gesturing toward an endless productive duplication. This piece documents the body of video work resulting from this project.

Liat Berdugo is an artist, writer, and curator whose work focuses on embodiment and digitality, archive theory and new economies. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and festivals internationally and she collaborates widely with individuals and archives. She is currently an assistant professor of Art + Architecture at the University of San Francisco.

Guli Silberstein : Cut Out & Disturbdance

This week for Revisiting we are featuring two shorts by Guli Silberstein which were featured in our Experimental Documentary screening during last year’s 2019 Festival.

Watch both here on our IGTV channel, along with previous Revisiting artists.

Cut Out from Guli Silberstein on Vimeo.

Radiant, raging 11 year old Ahed Tamimi is punching the empty space in front of her. A computer algorithm roughly cuts her out of the surroundings, struggling to contain her, with her enemies rubbed off the frame. Gradually, more fragments of the scene are revealed, and the context is made clearer. The processing of the 2012 video found on YouTube highlights the documented scene as an image, both of a fight for freedom and a media event.

Disturbdance from Guli Silberstein on Vimeo.

A young woman is blocking two armed soldiers from firing, probably rubber bullets, at protesters in a Palestinian village in the West Bank. The image, picked up from a TV news report found online, is digitally processed and slowed down, and the soundtrack is replaced with lyrical music. The scene is turned to a peculiar dance, almost romantic, highlighting the magical and rare human connection created in the heroic act, captured and transmitted by digital technology.

London-based artist, video editor and lecturer Guli Silberstein (b. 1969, Israel) researches the moving image by creating digital video experiences since 2001. Guli received a BA in Film from Tel-Aviv University in 1997, a MA in Media Studies in 2001 from The New School University, New York, USA, where he lived in 1997-2002, and since 2010, he is based and settled in London UK. His works are characterised by processing personal recordings, found footage, and mixes of both to create reflections regarding social-political issues and human perception. The videos have been shown and awarded in numerous festivals and art events worldwide, and a selection of it is included in Sedition Art’s curated selection alongside Bill Viola, Yoko Ono, Rioji Ikeda, Tracey Emin and others.

Anna Eyler : PAN/PAN

This week Revisiting features a single channel animation shown in the 2019 festival. The full video is below, and can also be seen on our IGTV. Check back every Thursday for new video!

Through computer-generated video, PAN/PAN (2018) probes the connections between exploration, wilderness, and technology in a contemporary context. Drawing on the visual vocabularies of landscape painting and NASA live-streams, PAN/PAN presents a series of relics from a distant future. Hovering between motion and stillness, virtual scenes are devoid of human presence, yet biomorphic apparatuses function as technological stand-ins for embodied experience. Their unexpected presence in the landscape calls into question colonial narratives of discovery embedded in early twentieth-century landscape painting. By conflating categories of artificial/natural and virtual/actual, PAN/PAN generates a playful yet uncanny vision of our technologized future.

PAN/PAN | FULL VIDEO (2018) from anna eyler on Vimeo.

As life moves more and more into virtual spaces, I am interested in the ways that digital technology influences our relationship to the natural world. Through a combination of sculpture and new media, I explore emerging forms of technological nature; that is, how technology mediates, augments, or simulates depictions of the natural world. I look to the materiality of the screen—as both portal and container—in an effort to probe this changing relationship. I focus on the porous boundary between virtual and actual space, looking to materialize the digital and dematerialize the physical. Drawing on the visual vocabularies of science fiction, nature documentaries, and online virtual worlds, my work speaks to the new ways that we experience nature in a contemporary context, examining the gains and losses therein.

The materiality of the digital is a core dimension of my practice, as I bring forms and materials from the physical world into virtual space and back again. Using 3D modelling software, I simulate and deconstruct objects from the natural world and embed them within virtual environments. Documented through looping videos, digital subjects are animated in unexpected ways that trouble their apparent material identities. At times, their forms are flexible and geometric, and at others, rigid and organic. In certain works, these virtual subjects are embedded in digital biospheres. In others, they are extracted from their “natural habitats” and forced to negotiate the void of digital space.

My recent work is centred on how we imagine and inhabit virtual spaces. I am interested in the ways that the global media industry—from cinema to video games—informs our online interactions, with particular attention to how real life power imbalances leak into virtual space, both in terms of design and use. At the same time, virtual spaces can operate as platforms for playful subversion and pointed resistance. Focusing on multiplayer online worlds and games, I examine virtual spaces as sites of emergence, where participant interactions exceed prescribed game dynamics and relationships. Although our visions of virtuality are deeply conditioned, I consider how online environments can function as spaces for radical imaginings of the future, both in-game and out.

​Anna Eyler is a multidisciplinary artist based in Montréal, Québec. She holds a BA in Religious Studies and Art History from Carleton University (2010) and a BFA from the University of Ottawa (2015). She is currently an MFA candidate in Sculpture and Ceramics at Concordia University (2017-). Recent awards include the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (2017), the Desjardins Academic Scholarship (2018), and the Emerging Digital Artist Award (2018). Eyler has participated in residencies with Espace Projet (Montréal, 2015), Verticale (Laval, 2018), and the Bòlit: Centre d’Art Contemporani (Catalonia, 2019). Recent solo exhibitions with Nicolas Lapointe include beyond différance, and now at Ace Art Inc. (Winnipeg, 2016) and void loop () at the City Hall Art Gallery (Ottawa, 2018). Recent group exhibitions include Femmes Futuristes at Eastern Bloc (Montreal, 2019), the Currents New Media Festival (Santa Fe, 2019), and the Vector Festival (Toronto, 2019). Eyler currently holds the position of Coordinator for the Textiles and Materiality Research Cluster at Concordia University (Montréal, 2018-).

Alia Ali : Borderland

Alia Ali presented Borderland as an experimental documentary screening during the 2019 Currents New Media Festival. The video is shared on our IGTV as part of the Revisiting series, where each week we take a look back at previous single-channel and experimental documentaries shown in past festivals. Click here to watch.

Two things are for sure: as long as there is humanity, violence is certain and art will always be created from its sparks.

-Alia Ali

The term “borderland” is most commonly referred to as the crossroads where nations collide. It is a porous zone that diffuses outward from an artificially imposed human made punctuation called a border. Borders enact violence on the geography and identity of those living in borderlands. They are both imprints of power and scars of destruction. Borderlands, on the other hand, are the result of naturally occurring interactions among people and of nature trying to forge an existence in proximity to what is around them. In her photographic series, BORDERLAND, Alia Ali, re-examines these demarcated zones as territories of exploration drawing attention to them as transient physical spaces and a contemporary phenomenon from which the body of artwork is presented and the viewer is a participant.

Blossom Borderland Alia Ali 2017

Who is on the other side of the screen questions the very nature of belonging and interrogates the binary of home and exile. Is the subject the one who imposes the standards, the decision maker, the ‘include’? Or the ‘exclude’? In the human act of processing our surroundings, we unconsciously categorize. We separate good from evil; familiar from unfamiliar; threat from safety; alien from native… We, influenced by categorizations create these dichotomies ourselves. The theme of duality extends to questioning the moment in which the mysterious becomes apparent, freedom becomes restraint, and illusion becomes reality.

Seeing is an act of power, but so is being seen. When confronting the characters in the film, we are forced to confront the ways we include and exclude others in our daily lives. Is exclusion motivated by a primitive fear and search for security? A form of self-preservation? A metamorphosis of the outcast into villain?

What are the fabricated barriers in society that inhibit the incorporation of others? Or are the obstacles just that: ideas, intuitions, fear, discriminations and ‘understandings’? The fabric, like borders, is narrow but long, defined physically and yet interpretative in identity- both have a capacity of exploration. Textiles are products of the earth, canvases through which culture manifests itself at the surface, and objects that become a part of us. Aren’t borders as well? Or are they simply spaces of blankness?

Shibori I Borderland Alia Ali 2017

BORDERLAND was inspired by the aggressive push to block access, coupled with a strong nationalistic phenomenon taking precedence over providing security and refuge for those in greatest need. This discourse has already begun to build walls around the globe while simultaneously eroding communities built on diversity.

The characters in these snapshots are “undocumented” characters- their names are ambiguous and their exact location, a mystery. Collectively they weave together such as color, symbolism and texture eventually and simultaneously drawing on a sense of connection and alienation. Their existence questions what the human is and what lies outside and within it.

Parang II Borderland Alia Ali 2017

Fabric, ancient in its invention, is archival with the passage of time. The fabric, like the human beneath it, or the border it symbolizes within this body of work, is also vulnerable to the elements and to time. When all is said and done, borders shift and textiles disintegrate, but if well preserved and nurtured with culture, knowledge and grace they remain intact.

Borderlands, like textiles, are territories of exploration and zones in which we will be judged for our humanity.

BORDERLAND by Alia Ali from gulf photo plus on Vimeo.

Alia Ali is a Yemeni-Bosnian-US multi-media artist. Having traveled to sixty-seven countries, lived in seven and grown up among five languages, her most comfortable mode of communication is through image and multi-sensory mediums. Her extensive travels have led her to process the world through interactive experiences and the belief that the interpretation of verbal and written language has dis-served particular communities and presents more of a threat than a means of understanding.

Alia’s aesthetic interests stem from people, place, and the processes which unite and divide us, all at once. Her work reflects on the politics and poetics of contested notions surrounding the topics of identity, physical borders, universality, mental/physical spaces of confinement, and the inherent dualism that exists in everything. Her work blurs the lines between what we claim to be objective and subjective, illusion and reality, truth and interpretation.

Alia’s work has been featured in publications including the Financial Times, Le Monde, Elle, Vogue, Hyperallergic, and Harper’s Bazaar Arabia. She has won numerous awards including the LensCulture Emerging Artists Award, the Allan Sekula Social Documentary Grant, the Magenta Foundation’s Emerging Talent Award, and Gold in the Fine Art Category of the Tokyo International Foto Awards. She has exhibited internationally and has most recently exhibited in museums, fairs and festivals including PhotoLondon 2019 in the UK, 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in Morocco, Karlsruhe in Germany, the Lianzhou Photo Festival in China, the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam in the Netherlands, the Katzen Museum of Art in Washington DC, The Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans, and the Kuala Lumpur Photo Festival in Malaysia. Alia has presented lectures and workshops at Harvard University, the LACMA, the Middle East Institute, Gulf Photo Plus and the Arab American Museum.

Alia Ali lives and works in Los Angeles.

Annette Isham : Among the Multitudes and Such Swiftly Subside

Revisiting #2 features two single-channel videos from the 2019 Festival made by Annette Isham, a video and performance artist who lives and works in Denver, Colorado.

Annette Isham was born in the Dominican Republic and grew up in Colorado. Her work questions identity and its relationship to geographical locations. The video acts as a link between alienation from the American western landscape and the forming of a new narrative. She uses drones to capture landscape and has recorded herself in various Venus garments to suggest a place where the feminine can move between dimensions.

…My work does deal heavily with the human relationship to landscape and it has connections to the sublime on many levels. Throughout my work, the functions of landscape and my body change depending on the project. In my most recent series, Among the Multitudes, I want to simulate the duality of something real and something made both in the environment and in the individual depicted, provoking thoughts of metaphysics. I am interested in the idea of dimensions congruently existing and want to suggest a world where doorways exist within the landscape, where one could be in between two places. I also want the landscape to be the habitat for an unearthly feminine form and represent a place where she visits often, coming and going whenever she wishes.

OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews Annette Isham

Among the Multitudes
Video / 5:42 / 2018

“My work researches identity, role-playing, and physical limitations. I explore these dynamics by experimenting with video, photography, installation, and by developing and acting out narratives. My work enjoys the absurd and often layers moments of fantasy and reality, creating worlds that play with time and space.”

Annette Isham

Such Swiftly Subside
Video / 5:11 / 2018

Annette Isham currently lives in Denver, Colorado. Isham received her B.A. in Studio Art at the University of Richmond and an M.F.A. from The American University in 2010. She was awarded a fellowship at the Hamiltonian Gallery in Washington, DC, where she has shown two solo exhibitions. Isham has exhibited nationally including Condition X at Westside Gallery in NYC and Man as Object, Reversing the Gaze at SOMArts in San Francisco. She has recently completed a residency at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass, CO and is teaching Time Based Media classes at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design.

Read more of the interview with OtherPeoplesPixels at

Solastalgia by Robert Campbell & Babette Pendleton

This week the Currents Team is starting a new series of posts “Revisiting” that highlights past video artists!

Our first artist is Robert Campbell, who has shown single and multiple channel video in several of our past festivals. This video is a virtual representation of a four-channel video which was shown in 2017 and made in collaboration with choreographer and costume designer Babette Pendleton.


Solastalgia is an historical image-based research project being conducted by Ecco Tecchi, well known in the field of early 21st century elemental digital archaeology and reconstruction (AEDR). She has been working for five years at a site in the Civita di Bagnoregio archaeological sector (SACB) of central Italia in the region known at that time as Lazio.

The project is comprised of approximately one hour of recovered image data. Each reconstructed data segment is introduced by two identical identification tags on the outer panels, and a single frame of visual data interpolation in the center. The linear order corresponds to the data modification dates retrieved from two aluminum data discs unearthed at the site.

The originating group behind the image genesis is unknown. It is possible that the imagery might have had some sort of speculative documentary relevance in its day, but the reconstructed files reveal little if anything. Tecchi is fairly certain that the images are from disparate parts of the world: the metal, glass and cement buildings in one of the image data reconstructions, for instance, have been positively identified as belonging to the lost city of Seattle on what once was the west coast of North America. Most of the data reconstructions portray the architectural features of human civilization in and around the SACB (as noted in the archives of noted 20th-century architect Astra Zarina, a long-time inhabitant of Civita di Bagnoregio) before it was destroyed by a series of powerful earthquakes three centuries ago. Though not included here, Tecchi has also identified incomplete bits of written materials discovered at the site as connected to the originating group, repeatedly referencing topics such as markers, empire, the singularity, and solastalgia, a term describing forms of existential distress caused by environmental change, such as mining or climate change.

A note on sound: many of the reconstructions had damaged sound data embedded in them. Wherever possible, that data has been activated for the viewer to hear.

Ecco Tecchi’s Solastalgia project has been curated for Currents by media artist Robert Campbell and choreographer/costume designer Babette DeLafayette Pendleton. Tecchi usually presents the reconstruction in a live context, acting as presenter and interpreter of the data.

Robert Campbell’s body of work includes video art, digital media, multi-media performance, installation, and documentary film. Since 1984, his single-channel video art work has been exhibited at festivals and exhibitions in the U.S., Europe and Japan. For the past 20 years his new media, installation and digital print work has been featured regionally and nationally at the Frye Art Museum, Whatcom Museum, Kittredge Gallery, Henry Art Gallery, 911 Media Arts Center, COCA, Fuel Gallery, SOIL Gallery, Kirkland Art Center, Peeler Art Center, Commencement Art Gallery, MOV-iN Gallery, Santa Fe Center for Contemporary Art, Cheekwood Museum of Art, Museum of Northwest Art, University of Arizona Museum of Art, and included in the 2012 International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) and eight of the past ten annual Currents Santa Fe International New Media Festivals. His video/dance/music collaborations have been featured at On the Boards, Bumbershoot, Cornish Playhouse, Port Angeles Fine Art Center, MOXSonic Missouri Experimental Sonic Arts Festival and Lincoln Center.

He has produced documentaries in the U.S., Italy, Ukraine, Cambodia, Zambia and South Africa, with excerpts of his work in Africa selected for the Journey to Planet Earth series on the PBS network. He was the 2016 Astra Zarina Fellow with The Civita Institute in central Italy; Artist-In-Residence at: Pilchuck Glass School (2006, ’07); Centrum (2000, ’05 and ’09) in Washington State; and Burren College of Art in County Clare, Ireland (2000). He has taught courses in video art, documentary, animation, digital imaging, experimental cinema, video for dance, and video installation at Cornish College of the Arts since 1991.

In 2012 he founded the Institute of Emergent Technology + Intermedia (iET+I) at Cornish, which he currently co-directs with composer Jarrad Powell, Cornish Music faculty. Campbell received his BFA and MFA degrees from the School of Film and Video at California Institute of the Arts.

Babette DeLafayette creates activated environments through her multidisciplinary work as an artist, curator, and producer. Babette utilizes her background as a choreographer and performance artist to build immersive body, sculpture, and multimedia based installations and performances.

Within highly collaborative environments, Babette works with others to combine elements of choreographed movement with endurance based tasks, sculpture, and video in haptic, embodied, and visually untamed performances and installations. Using surrealism as a way to subvert reality, roping together energetically authentic sources of pain, pleasure, and power while pursuing freedom through non-linear, psycho emotional releases that cultivate mystery and an unknown journey for the viewer, Babette builds physical collages that are emotional visual narratives filled with cacophonies of chaos, subtle disruptions, and empowering, thoughtful, risks.

Babette is the artistic director of Yellow Fish Durational Performance Art Festival, an experimental festival that presents, engages, and supports artists with a platform for durational and time-based performance art.

Her past curatorial work in Seattle includes building the Pendleton House, a creative collaborative entity that was a conduit for interdisciplinary artistic experiences to merge, and running a multipurpose art photography studio, New Tomorrow, which allowed for the integration of art, business, research, and communion.

Beginning in 2019, Babette stepped in as a producer and project manager for Sarah Cameron Sunde’s, 36.5 | A Durational Performance with the Sea. 36.5 is a time-based art project, spanning seven years and six continents, that engages people directly on personal, local, and global scales about the crisis of sea-level rise. In 2019 the project will be produced in Brazil and Kenya. 

Babette is currently based in Brooklyn, NY.

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