Charting new lines through their individual and shared practices Sasha Litvintseva & Graeme Arnfield’s programme commingles their own recent film works with images collected and re-presented from the disorganised archives of YouTube. Allowing each video to become starting points for each other, the screening aims to dissolve the hierarchies of found, processed and produced material. Reconfigured together Sasha Litvintseva & Isabel Mallet’s The Stability of the System, Graeme Arnfield’s Sitting in Darkness and Litvintseva & Arnfield’s collaborative film Asbestos find fecund ground with images of attempted non-human communication including dogs entering trance states under bushes, robotic cameras navigating nuclear waters, kids filming spirits in their bedroom and men composing music by banging rocks. Extracted and Circulated is a screening as compilation, as an assembly, as a production of a new work.
The Stability of the System is an exploration into the material agency of images and of forms and their ability to call each other into being. The film begins with a mathematical point willing itself into dimensional existence, inventing/discovering space, then time. Shot on the volcanic island of Lanzarote, the film’s images are eruptions willed into existence by the creative act of the molten rock. The landscape absorbs all subjectivity, into its monochrome of endless black lava fields and scorching white of a cloudless sky. In the end the filmmaker dissolves into the landscape, no longer able to see – the landscape sees for her.
Out of the darkness a sound emerges. It echoes and drones. Terrified people take to the streets in search of its source. They get their cameras ou t and document the sky, searching for an author. We watch on, sitting in darkness, our muscles contract and our pupils dilate. "I hope the camera picks this up". Sitting in Darkness explores the circulation, spectatorship and undeclared politics of contemporary images.
Mined, extracted, and woven, asbestos was the magic mineral. We now live in the remains of this toxic dream, a dream that with the invention of electron microscopes revealed our material history as a disaster in waiting. Yet the asbestos industry has far from left us with extraction from the soil transforming to extraction from our walls. Using found and shot footage we ask how both can be thought of as forms of extraction: extracting images from forms and from contexts. Shot in the mining township of Asbestos, Quebec, home to the world’s largest asbestos mine that only stopped extraction in 2012, the film is a meditation on the entanglement of the fragility of bodies, the nonlinearity of progress, and the persistence of matter.
Total duration: 70 min