Presentations

Session 1: 11.30
Aesthetic translation - images from words
Chair: Dr Steven Eastwood

Sarah Pucill
Senior Lecturer
University of Westminster

A presentation of recent work and specific themes examining the inter-relation between theory and practice, the political and the personal in the work.

Sarah Pucill’s films and photographs explore the mirroring and merging we seek in the Other; a sense of self which is transformative and fluid. Her work is concerned with the idea that as subjects we are not separate and draws together surfaces of inside and outside, the animate and inanimate, probing a journey between mirror and surface.

Her latest production, Fall In Frame, funded by the Arts Council (Spring 08) due to tour at US venues in 09 (Film Anthology Archives New York, Pleasure Dome, Toronto, Echo Park, LA) explores the materiality of the filmmaking process as part of a young woman’s constrained performance that blurs a distinction between the physical and consciousness. Her previous work, Blind Light, brings the filmmaking process as performance and image into the fold of a fragmented spoken narrative. Funded by AHRC and the Arts Council, the film premiered at Millennium Film, NY in 07 and was shown at the European Media Arts Festival Osnabruck, Aurora Art Festival, Norwich and at the Louise T Blouin Foundation in 08.

Pucill’s individual visual language emerged in the 90s in the context of visual arts and experimental film and has been shown internationally in galleries and cinemas.


ISTAN-BUL
Alfredo Cramerotti
Exhibitions Officer, QUAD Derby

ISTAN-BUL, by Alfredo Cramerotti and Iben Bentzen is a video about 'representational architecture' i.e. the bridges in Istanbul that connect (or set a boundary) Asia and Europe. Hundred thousands people commute via the bridges in the morning, and go back in the evening, in a never-ending loop of individual movement and collective representation of the city as European metropolis.

This piece initiated research for Aesthetic Journalism, a body of work (book, articles, exhibition, talks) that explores how the production of truth has shifted from the domain of the news media to that of art and aestheticism.

Alfredo Cramerotti is a curator, artists and writer based in the UK. His practice explores representation and reality across a variety of media and collaborations. He holds a MA in Art in Context from UdK Berlin, has studied in the Critical Studies Program at the Malmö Academy-Lund University and Fellow Theory and Art Criticism at the Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen Innsbruck. His recent publications include an essay for Private Investigations by Buchse'n Books (2009) and the book Aesthetic Journalism: How to inform without informing by Intellect Books (2009).


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Ontological narratives
Joanna Callaghan
Lecturer
University of Bedfordshire

Ontological Narratives was an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project, the objective of which was to find out if philosophical concepts could be translated into aesthetic products and if narrative could play a role in developing a coherent vision of these concepts. The project creatively combined philosophy, ontological systems and narrative form and resulted in the production of the 35mm short film, A mind's eye. The first of a series of films exploring the ideas of key philosophers throughout history.

Joanna Callaghan is an artist and filmmaker. She works across media including film, video, photography and installation. Recent projects include Still Moving a CAPTURE / Arts Council England commission shown at FORMAT International Festival of Photography, Derby and Artists vs Hollywood, an international touring exhibition at Globe Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. In 2006 she established Heraclitus Pictures a production company and curatorial agency producing films, screenings and exhibitions. Her work has been shown in galleries and festivals in London, Sydney, Berlin, Mexico City, Lisbon and Milan and published in The Sunday Times, Art Monthly Australia, ZUT magazine and Studio International. Callaghan is a Lecturer in Video Production and is the leader of the Practice Research Group, part of the Research Institute of Media, Art and Design at the University of Bedfordshire.


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Session 2 - 1.30
Forking paths - movement, time and interaction
Chair: Dr Gavin Stewart

The Practice of Aestheticising the Memories of Others
Inga Burrows
Course Leader MA Moving Image, University of Glamorgan

This presentation discusses the development the interpretive strategies adopted across two digital video projects, both of which explore the relationship between private memory and public space.

Since 2000 Inga Burrows has held the post of Senior Lecturer in Media Production at the University of Glamorgan, teaching fiction film-making at under-graduate, she has also written a post-graduate course MA Moving Image which she currently leads. Her research interests include social film-making and choreographic practices for camera.


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Poetry in Motion
Maria Wiener
Lecturer - Performance, University of Bedfordshire

A presentation of video and motion capture animation created for Greek composer Mikael Delta. My intention was to create 'poetry in motion' through imagery that followed the composer's music. In this, as well as other works, I tend to use layers of imagery and play with simple ideas that can make an image difficult to decipher, which serves the purpose of creating a form of visual poetry. I also choreograph images and enjoy making videos that look like animation and vice versa, blurring the boundaries or at least retaining a certain level of openness in their interpretation. I would like to raise the question, is it practice-led research if we find pleasure in creating works just for fun?

Maria Wiener completed a practice-led Ph.D research on video and animation projections in contemporary dance performance. (Southampton University, 2006). Her background studies include BA in Political Science, MA in Ideology and Discourse Analysis and MA in Directing and Editing Fiction Productions. She has worked as an assistant director and production manager in films, TV series, operas, theatrical and dance performances and various festivals. She has experimented extensively with animation technique Motion Capture taking on the role of the digital choreographer and her work has received awards in national and international festivals and been broadcast on MTV Europe.

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The e-Dance Project: performing presence and absence
Helen Bailey,
Head of Performing Arts & English, University of Bedfordshire

This presentation will consider how the performance of presence and absence have been radically reinterpreted, and des/in/scribed through the e-Dance project (www.ahessc.ac.uk/e-dance). e-Dance is a two-year practice-led research project bringing together academic practitioners from the fields of Dance and e-Science. e-Dance repurposes Access Grid (AG) an advanced video conferencing system, as a context for telepresent, distributed performance, and knowledge mapping software for hypermedia documentation of this practice-led research. This distributed, collaborative environment has required the review of choreographic understandings of performance presence and absence. The multi-perspective nature of the environment throws into question the traditional relationship between choreographer/ performer/spectator: when working in a distributed yet collaborative environment how can participants take account of the paradoxical subjective position of being alone/separate, yet together? Our research has explored this through establishing dialogic telepresent performance contexts that foreground this paradoxical situatedness in terms of embodied experience.

Helen Bailey is a Dance Artist and Academic. She trained at the Laban Centre London UK, where she was subsequently a Research Fellow in Choreological Studies. She initially worked as a freelance dance artist and choreographer. In 1993 she took up a Senior Lectureship in Dance at De Montfort University. Since 2006 she has been Principal Lecturer in Dance within the Faculty of Creative Arts, Technology & Sciences at the University of Bedfordshire. Her research interests focus on the interrelationship between dance, new media, visual technologies and e-Science. She is Head of CARD (Centre for Applied Research in Dance) which focuses on practice-led research in dance with an emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration. She is also Artistic Director of professional dance-theatre company Ersatz Dance with whom she has created a series of nationally and internationally touring live works, dance films and site-specific installations. She is a regular recipient of both professional arts and academic research
funding. In 2007 she was awarded a large research grant by AHRC- EPSRC-JISC Research Councils for the e-Dance Project, a two year choreographic research project exploring the interrelationship of choreographic practice and e-Science.

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Session 3 - 2.30
Circular narratives - loops and stories without ends
Chair: Joanna Callaghan

The Circle
Dr Gavin Stewart
Post Doctoral Research Fellow, University of Bedfordshire

In his 1938 work, Homo Ludens, Johan Huizinga developed the concept of the ‘magic circle’ to describe the place set apart in which a game takes place. He described this special ludic space as being “hallowed, within which special rules obtain”. As a practitioner/academic working in the hinterlands of Games Studies I have watch this concept being applied to the study of contemporary videogames with mixed success. Indeed, it has been quite satisfying watch my empirically minded colleagues study this porous ephemeral concept. My contribution to the symposium, however, will not be a game on this occasion but a reading from a playful prose story that draws tangentially on my academic work by exploring the delights and challenges of trying to study a circle.

Gavin Stewart is co-organizer of the Under the Mask: Perspective on the Gamer conference series. He formerly worked as a project manager for the Narrative Laboratory for the Creative Industries at De Monfort University, UK (2005-2006). He also worked as a project manager for the trAce Online Writing Centre project at Nottingham Trent University (2005-2006). Gavin's practice-led PhD was in the area of computer-mediated textual art. He is a poet, writer and new media artist.

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Drive-In
Stuart Croft
Royal College of Art (Moving Image Studio, School of Fine Art)

A screening of 'Drive In' (2007), a circular gallery-based film. More information: Stuart Croft

Stuart Croft is a London-based artist / filmmaker. His films are shown in art galleries and museum spaces, as installations and single-screen projections. His work has been shown in over 20 countries to date.


The Lollypop Lad
Dr Jason Lee
Head of Media, University of Derby

A short story narrated to music. The story concerns: youth culture, addiction, sexual obsession and perversion, the circularity of "insanity", and the necessity of repetition.

Jason Lee is an award winning writer and critic. With work translated into five languages, he is the author of a number of books, including: The Metaphysics of Mass Art, Vols. I and II; Pervasive Perversions- child sexual abuse in media/culture (London: Free Association Books, 2005); Celebrity, Pedophilia and Ideology in American Culture (New York: Cambria, 2009); and he is currently editing a book on addiction and obsession, also with Cambria. He is the Chair of the Practice section of MeCCSA, the Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association.

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Session 4 - 3.50
Narrative verisimilitude - stories never told and films never made
Chair: Professor Desmond Bell

Buried Land
Steven Eastwood
Programme Leader, Film & Video
University of East London

Buried Land is a feature length film produced and directed by Steven Eastwood and Geoffrey Alan Rhodes. Steven will show an extract from the work.

In 2006 CNN announced to the world the discovery of the largest and potentially oldest pyramid in the world. This was not in Egypt but Visoko, central Bosnia. Visoko has undergone a cultural sea change, embracing the pyramid theory with gusto, transforming itself economically through new enterprise. The town now has an archaeological park and a burgeoning tourist agency based on the pyramids. Buried Land digs beneath the world of Visoko and belief archaeology, probing the town’s people for their versions of events and creating a visual environment where it is not certain where reality ends and fantastical ‘buried lands’ begin. The film uses a fictional character to create openings into the lives of actual people and onto real events, examining the complexities of faith, war, science, culture and tourism in the Balkan region. It tells the story of an ordinary town reinventing itself around an extraordinary set of events. The method of production was an inversion of the docudrama. Real players in and around the pyramid events occupy a screen space that continually switches from handheld documentary footage to apparent casting sessions and planned scenes. Subjectivities ascribed to historical subjects, along with fabricated landscapes and animated sequences (mirroring those of the valley produced by the Foundation) are gradually introduced into the documentary frame. How can we document something whose truth has many sides? Buried Land proposes through a kind of fact-fiction cinema not solely of the visible or the audible, but also one of relations and of ideations, involving the imaginary.

The Buried Land trailer can be viewed at: http://BuriedLand.com/BuriedLandTrailer.mov

Steven Eastwood is a filmmaker whose practice spans fiction, documentary and artists' moving image. International screenings include the ICA, BAFTA and EMAF. Recent exhibitions include: 'Interior Ritual,' KK Projects Gallery New Orleans; 'Artists Vs Hollywood,' QUT Gallery Brisbane, Australia. Eastwood has been the recipient of a number of grants and prizes, and in 2001 was nominated for a Grierson Award. He is the co-founder of the arts laboratory event OMSK and regularly curates screenings of film and video. He formed the production company Paradogs in 1997, has taught widely in the UK and USA, and is currently Programme Leader in Film & Video: Theory and Practice at the University of East London. He gained a theory-practice PhD through UCL, The Slade in 2007 and recently published chapters in Cinematic Folds (PleasureDome Press Toronto) and Telling Stories: The Cinematic Essay (Cambridge Scholars Press).

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Film Narrative: Manipulating time & space to tell a story
Jaime Estrada Torres
Head of Editing, London Film School

I describe myself as an intuitive film editor, and when a question arises as to why I make one editing choice as opposed to another, I answer ‘…because it works, it feels right’. However, working on films in which narrative is not the prime aesthetic principal, I have spent time thinking about why I make certain editing decisions rather than others. I have become curious about the process of selecting shots and composing, what I call ‘filmic phrases’.

In this presentation, I will discuss the process involved in deciding that one shot is more ‘appropriate’ than another. I will refer to the short film A mind’s eye directed by Joanna Callaghan.

Jaime Estrada Torres started as an assistant film editor with David Naden Associates in London's Soho, gaining his 16mm experience on a number of documentaries for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4. He has worked on Tim Burton's Batman, Mike Figgis's Hotel, Werner Herzog's Pilgrimage and Nick Broomfield Biggie & Tupac, winner of the 2004 Grierson Best Feature Documentary Award.

Jaime was Avid consultant for Stanley Kubrick on Eyes Wide Shut, George Lucas on the Star Wars Trilogy, James Bond Tomorrow Never Dies and The HBO series Band of Brothers produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. He has given workshops in Europe, the Far East and South America, and has taught at Goldsmiths College, West Surrey College of Art and The National Film and Television School.

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Per Pulverem Ad Astra
Eva Stenram
Lecturer Fine Art, Digital Photography and Video Art
University of Bedfordshire

Eva Stenram will present her work Per Pulverem Ad Astra, in which images of the planet Mars, downloaded from NASA’s website, were made into 35mm negatives and left in Stenram’s flat to gather dust. The resulting marked prints offer a celebration of the photograph’s potential fictions – our inability to differentiate hair from star, particle from planetary storm, the near and microscopically small from the distant and astronomically large.

Eva Stenram studied at the Slade School of Art and at the Royal College of Art. She has exhibited extensively in the UK and abroad – in 2008 at the Singapore International Photography Festival and the Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai – and has won many prizes and awards for her innovative practice. Currently her work can be seen in the touring exhibition “Rank: Picturing the Social Order 1615-2009” and at the Photography Gallery at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

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Session 5 - 4.50
Poetic evocation - words for images
Chair: Dr Jason Lee

The Perplexing ‘I’ in Intertextuality
Nigel Robinson, PhD student, University of Bedfordshire

An extract from Apothecary’s Tales

If we pursue to its radical conclusion one of the contentions of New Historicism - that identity is a social construct and the fashioning milieu is itself a construct of the presuppositions inherent in its language - it follows that the self is a fabulation of intertexts and the autonomy of the ‘I’ is a linguistic illusion. When Borges famously presented this vertiginous paradox in The Immortal (1949) and elsewhere he typically declined to resolve it. I will read a short extract from my novel The Apothecary’s Tales, presented in part fulfilment for a PhD in Creative Writing at the Univ. Bedfordshire. In a pastiche of the highly stylised dialogue of Jacobean City Comedy, it dramatises Borges’s enduring problematic: what (truly) constitutes personal identity?

After gaining an MA (Hons) Oxon in English (1969), Nigel Robinson pursued a career in public relations, founding the PR courses at the Ch. Inst. Marketing and directing a major PR firm plus a training business in advertising copywriting. For fifteen years, he chaired the Marketing Guild. In 2006, he achieved his MRes in Creative Writing at the Univ. Bedfordshire, where he is now finishing a PhD in the same.

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Body/scapes - a sequence of Outer and Inner Spaces
Lesley McKenna
Lecturer – Creative Writing, University of Bedfordshire

A performance of the second phase of a sequence of prose poetry that explores the relationship between external geographies and emotional interiority. This phase of the sequence explores the darker side of a human relationship.

Lesley McKenna is primarily a prose writer, her poetry has been published in several places. Her latest piece Body/scapes, from which this sequence comes, can be found at Great Works (www.greatworks.org.uk) and is being archived by the British Library. She is currently writing a fantasy novel for young adults.

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