Sundance Film Festival’s New Frontier, celebrating its fifth year, bringed together established and emerging artists using film, performance, gaming, and new media. It provided the artists a film festival environment in which to share their work, and Festival audiences a place to explore the latest in cinematic innovation and transmedia storytelling.
Lynn Hershman Leeson‘s groundbreaking documentary !Women Art Revolution (!W.A.R.) had its U.S. premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Forty-two years in the making, !W.A.R. charts the history of the Feminist Art Movement in America from the 1960s to the present and deftly illuminates how this under-explored movement radically transformed the art and culture of our times.
In addition to the screening, Sundance New Frontier and Salt Lake City Art Center presented the world premiere of the participatory project, RAW/WAR – an interactive, community-curated video archive which allows users to access footage, as well as share their own stories through text, images, video clips, and links that highlight the achievements and practices of women artists.
!Women Art Revolution was acquired by Zeitgeist Films for North American distribution after premiering at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival to critical acclaim. Upcoming screenings in New York City include The Museum of Modern Art on March 3 and a limited run at the IFC Center starting June 3.
Two pieces by Daniel Canogar was also part of New Frontier at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Canogar uses installation as a vehicle to reanimate the lifeless, reviving a collective portrait of secrets contained in discarded electronic materials. Exploring the short life expectancy of the technologies we cast off, Spin is comprised of the copied contents of 100 discarded DVDs that are projected back onto their surface, revealing the moving images trapped within the discs. Due to the DVDs’ mirrored surfaces, the projections are reflected onto the opposite wall, creating an abstract double of the films. Turning Benjamin’s notion of the work of art in the age of mechanic reproduction on its head, these distinctly utopian cosmologies brim with kinetic energy.
The installation Spin was on view at Miner’s Hospital (Jan 20 – 29) along with the sculpture Hippocampus 2, which is also featured at the Salt Lake Art Center (Feb 4 – Mar 25). In this piece the ephemeral lifeblood of a telephone signal serves as a metaphor for technological mortality and memory. A relic in the age of information, the wires in this work were found in a dumpster near the artist’s home. Flickering with light, the illuminated color cabling in this sculpture evokes neural synapses firings in the brain and crackling communications – reminding us of our own fragile bodies and natural information exchanges.
bitforms gallery is devoted to emerging and established artists who embrace new media and contemporary art practice.