Morehead Planetarium, 250 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Varsity Theater, 123 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

NIGHTLIGHT, 405 1/2 W. Rosemary St, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

PROGRAM 1: The Optics of Space

Curated and Introduced by Aily Nash

This lecture and screening is about how gestures and movements can operate on the idea of a document. We will look at several distinctive recent works that focus on form and performance in order to remediate histories and present politics through different terms of understanding. Each of the artists deals with different conditions and conceives of different approaches, ranging from forms of assembly, language, expression, and revision, anThe Optics of Space presents newly commissioned moving image works by Lucy Raven and James N. Kienitz Wilkins produced for the planetarium format. The planetarium context presents highly specific viewing conditions that distinguish it from other cinematic experiences and from exhibitions in science museums. In a sense, it is a permanent installation custom built for the dome projection of an audio-visual spectacle dedicated to imaging space.

Still from AO

The Dynamic Range

Lucy Raven, James NN. Kienitz Wilkins

Exploring the intervention that artworks can make into preexisting systems of meaning, this project asks how the spectatorial position of the viewer might be altered if the works presented in the planetarium are authored by practitioners invested in questions surrounding image production. Can the visual and narrative conventions of this context be opened up? Raven and Kienitz Wilkins engage a discourse around the spectatorial conditions of the planetarium context. As many of their projects have operated, the two newly commissioned works make present the optical apparatus and bring the spectator into the technological mechanisms that produce a particular way of seeing, proposing alternative approaches to vision.

Still from AO


RT: 7:32 minutes

New York-based artist Lucy Raven’s multidisciplinary works include moving image installations, performative lectures, photography and animation. Raven’s AO takes a microscopic look into the adaptive optics system being developed at the University of Arizona’s Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab for the Giant Magellan Telescope. The work focuses on the resolution testing of precision silicon sensors produced at a custom lab onsite. These highly sensitive CCDs will be able to capture light reflected from the telescope’s massive mirror, and when combined with adaptive optics, present the promise to see far enough back in space and time to view the very origins of the universe.

Still from The Dynamic Range

The Dynamic Range

RT: 18:00 minutes

RJames N. Kienitz Wilkins is a Brooklyn-based artist and filmmaker whose moving image works concern formal experimentation with image format and language, often reflecting on questions of access, production and technology. The Dynamic Range is a speculative essay film exploring the limits of perception through advances in camera technology, and the accompanying human presumptions which fuel such advancements.

About the Artists

James N. Kienitz Wilkins

James N. Kienitz Wilkins is a filmmaker and artist based in Brooklyn. His work has been selected for international film festivals and venues including the New York Film Festival, CPH:DOX, MoMA PS1, TIFF, Locarno IFF, IFFR, Migrating Forms, the Whitney Biennial, and beyond.

Lucy Raven

Lucy Raven is an artist living and working in New York. Recent solo exhibitions and presentations of her work include the Serpentine Galleries, London, the Columbus Museum of Art, Portikus, Frankfurt, the Park Avenue Armory, and the Guggenheim Museum, New York. She is a founding member of 13BC, a film production collective with Vic Brooks and Evan Calder Williams, and teaches at the Cooper Union School of Art.

Lecture and Screening are co-sponsored by the

Hanes Visiting Artist Lecture Series and Cosmic Rays.

Curator Aily Nash Image Credit: Gordon Nash

Aily Nash is a curator based in New York. She is co-curator of Projections, the New York Film Festival’s artists’ film and video section, and program advisor to the International Film Festival Rotterdam’s Short Film section. She recently served as a Biennial advisor and co-curator of the film program for the 2017 Whitney Biennial, and was Head of Programming for the 2018 edition of the Images Festival in Toronto.

PROGRAM 2: Behind the Glass

Still from Jeny303


Laura Huertas Milan RT: 06:00

“Passing by a bedroom, at the party, I saw people heating heroin. I wanted to try it out on my body…” Accompanied by the voice-over of Jeny – a young transsexual filmed during her rehab –, the camera wanders around building 303, Bogota’s architectural icon. A chance encounter: a few years back, when the filmmaker’s father asked her to film the architecture faculty where he had taught, an accident with her 16 mm film resulted in a superimposition of the portrait of Jeny. The film is a testimony where the discreet affirmation of revolt can be heard: “neither torturer, nor victim”. Jeny (who refers to himself in the masculine gender) recounts his delinquency as being the just return for the social violence committed against him.

Still from Life After Love

Life After Love

Zachary Epcar RT: 08:25

A shifting in the light of the lot, where parked cars become containers for a collective estrangement.

Still from Astrology


Brittany Gravely RT: 03:00

An ancient artifact, an alchemical algorithm, astrological archaeology.

Still from Driving Dinosaurs

Driving Dinosaurs

Emma Piper-Burket RT: 09:00

An 89 year old marketing gimmick subliminally resurfaces on a lonely road in the American west.

Still from Mahogany Too

Mahogany Too

Akosua Adoma Owusu RT: 03:33

Inspired by Nollywood’s distinct re-imagining in the form of sequels, Mahogany Too, interprets the 1975 cult classic, Mahogany, a fashion-infused romantic drama. Starring Nigerian actress Esosa E., Mahogany Too, examines and revives Diana Ross’ iconic portrayal of Tracy Chambers, a determined and energetic African-American woman enduring racial disparities while pursuing her dreams. Mahogany Too uses analog film to achieve its vintage tones which emphasizes the essence of the character, re-creating Tracy’s qualities through fashion, modeling, and styling.

Still from Notes on Seeing Double

Notes on Seeing Double

Sanaz Sohrabi RT: 11:10

What is the anatomy of a revolution? Masses of bodies with a collective desire? “Notes on Seeing Double” takes the figure of speech of “Temsaal” in Farsi as its point of departure to unpack this question. Through a rare juxtaposition of a documentary photograph taken in the February of 1979 in Tehran and a painting drawn by Rembrandt depicting the famous anatomy theatre of Amsterdam in 1632, “Notes on Seeing Double” analyzes the conditions of visuality within different systems of knowledge production. Written and directed as a video-essay, it looks at the threshold of seeing and remembering, a gateway into unpacking the relationship between pre-existing images, language, memory, and the ways images are entangled with different processes of visualization.


Laurids Andersen Sonne RT: 02:50

Monolithography is an ode to the traces of time, performed on a bicycle ride around the Danish island of Bornholm. The film catalogues ancient monuments as nodes from the past; commas in the language of a landscape and a voyage in perpetual motion. On the island, rock monuments stand in the landscape as quotations from the past, filled with words without a clear etymology, as parts of our present imbued with multiple layers of meaning projected backward and forward in time; their authors unknown, date approximate. Today, they remain mounted in the land as small permanent marks on a larger history, yet: the spiritual, cultural, historical and cartographical knowledge as well as the intention within them continues to be obscured by the present landscape of knowledge, meaning and identity.  

Still from Spikes Protocol

Spikes Protocol

Pedro Tavares RT: 09:37

The overwhelming class has decided to leave the planet but they don’t know what is about to come.

Still from Sky Room

Sky Room

Marianna Milhorat RT: 05:55

Someone is missing. Plants grow, but at what cost? Technology threatens and seduces as humans attempt to solve a mystery through telepathy and mirrors. Stainless steel and broken glass strewn about an intergalactic discotheque. Commissioned by the Chicago Film Archives and made in collaboration with sound artist Brian Kirkbride, with footage and sound from the archive chopped, manipulated and arpeggiated into a fertile mix of anthem and narrative.

Still from Continent Quiver as Memories Erupt Into Earthflames

Continents Quiver as Memories Erupt Into Earthflames

Georg Koszulinski RT: 14:00

An experimental personal essay film reflecting on the Anthropocene, poetry, the first eight years of my daughter’s life, and the history of Alan Moore’s 1980’s run on the Swamp Thing comic book.

La Mesa

Adrian Garcia Gomez RT: 09:45

Masculinity and queer desire in rural Mexico. La Mesa explores the intersections of memory, identity and queer desire.  It recreates fragmented and romanticized stories of a childhood in rural Mexico as told by the filmmaker’s father. These disjointed vignettes are interwoven with queered reenactments of scenes from popular culture. The filmmaker casts himself in the old Mexican films and American Westerns he grew up watching with his family in California.  He appears as the romantic lead opposite the male actors, including Pedro Infante, Mexican national hero and the filmmaker’s childhood crush.  The animations are laid over footage of the old family home in Mexico which now sits alone, slowly being consumed by the surrounding countryside.  By centering queer desire in his family’s history, the filmmaker validates his childhood experiences while challenging popular representations of masculinity as well as traditional notions of power and vulnerability.

PROGRAM 3: Live Cinema Program + After Party

Still from Lovemoon Battlefield

Lovemoon Battlefield

Alex Cunningham RT: 15:00

An interactive re-sequencing and improvisational visualizing of Frank Stanford’s unpunctuated epic 1977 poem, “The Battlefield Where The Moon Says I Love You”. Stanford’s poem operates with a sort of dream logic, if any. In this performance film, we operate with liveness, randomness, and instinct to determine the order of things. Together, we’ll randomly select and sequence a sample of just some of the 15,283 lines from the poem and let a slide projector narrate them. Meanwhile, a live montage in response to the shuffled text is performed with 15 1-minute films between two 16mm projectors. Will a narrative emerge? Will text and light and rhythm collaborate to create a new logic? Or will chaos reign? Either way, it seems somewhat out of our control. “I’m going to do a few things can’t nobody follow we could always go back to biting the heads off fish and chickens”

Still from CWR2


Tom Whiteside RT: 10:00

“Cobra Woman” (d. Robert Siodmak, Universal, 1944) is a twin-sisters-separated-at-birth Technicolor feature set in an exotic location with a volcano and lots of fighting, with music by Edward Ward. CWR2 is a two projector treatment that uses parts of Reel 2 in black and white positive and black and white negative, plus filters. Artist’s statement: “I am just a monkey threading a needle.”

Still from The Sick Sense

The Sick Sense

Brent Coughenour RT: 20:00

Building on research by Diana Deutsch, Alfred Bregman, Maryanne Amacher and others, The Sick Sense is an ongoing project exploring the limits of the perceptual system. These projects stimulate otoacoustic and flicker phenomena, auditory and visual hallucinations, and other effects while searching for stimulus patterns that turn off the brain’s default mode network and other rational systems, switching the brain into the role of pure ecstatic perceiver.

shot from Zephyr performance


Sylvain Chaussée + Adrian Gordon Cook RT: 50:00

Since coming on the scene in 2013, the collaborative project between filmmaker Sylvain Chaussée and composer Adrian Gordon Cook, otherwise known as Zephyr, has been mesmerizing audiences across Toronto, New York, and Montreal with immersive audiovisual performances. The project is centralized around the use of 16mm film loops and sequential musical patterns in an attempt to expand cinema’s potential to influence audience expectations. Drawing upon the historical connection between image and sound, Zephyr reflects on the emotionally charged relationships created when both mediums are combined. In the live performance, a dialogue exists between projectionist and musician, allowing them to progress in synchrony, mirroring each other through the building and deconstructing of the cinematic experience.

Sylvain Chaussée is a filmmaker and photographer born in France and based in Toronto. He studied film at Concordia University with experimental filmmakers Richard Kerr and Francois Miron. Chaussée’s work focuses on the materiality of his medium, which is realized through extensive processing and printing techniques. As a film technician at Niagara Custom Lab he strives for an alternative approach towards filmmaking. In performance, loops provide the basis for his imagery, through which the repetition of movement, colour, and texture are integral to the experience of the work. Chaussée is inspired by the physical nature of film, which permits limitless opportunities for manipulation and transformation. 

Adrian Gordon Cook is a composer, performer and multi-instrumentalist based in Toronto. He studied music at York University, where he focused on composition, electronic media and music history. Largely inspired by the early minimalist composers of the 1960’s, Cook’s work takes shape within large temporal boundaries, utilizing drones, repetition, prolonged chordal movements and static harmony. Often contemplative and understated, his music shifts subtly between sonic texture and colours. He has a keen interest in multi-disciplinary work, influenced by the new relationships formed when sound is not the sole aspect of a piece. 

PROGRAM 4: Please Step Out of Frame

Still from Please Step Out of Frame

Please Step Out of Frame

Karissa Hahn RT: 04:10

from your desk(top)   mistrust the manufactured image  distrust the assembled picture  give no credence to the massed account  discredit the aggregate narrative  defame the corporate chronicle  denigrate the collective annals  doubt the constructed copy   – consider the clone.    accept the dismantled vision  exalt the forged now brain  subscribe to the ditto  fuel the doodad delusion  nourish the gizmo nightmare  incite the idiot box prophecy  inflame the dingbat phantasm  a film burn becoming pixels as band-aid  a manufactured reinforcement  in the empire of computer and you   feeding machine-vision  the partition of screen   

Still from Traces with Elikem

Traces with Elikem

Ariana Gerstein RT: 07:00

Traces performed and captured by scanner and monitor surfaces. Other surfaces include paper and film. Light reflects and passes through, layers slide past and sometimes meet, punctuated by sounds vibrating and percussive. With the participation of Samuel Elikem Kwame Nyamuame, Ph.D. Visiting Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology and Dance Departments of Music, Theater (Dance) & Africana Studies.

Still from The Double

The Double

Jason Sudak RT: 04:00

Inspired by Raul Ruiz’s theories on cinema spectatorship, this talismanic film wishes good and/or ill fortune (depending on the case) to all cinema travelers and their many self-projected doubles.

Still from Manicotti


Ellen Hemphill +Jim Haverkamp RT: 05:25

The strange tale of an underground typist whose work makes the glitterati go gaga. Based on a poem of the same name by Marc Zegans, from “The Typewriter Underground.”

Still from How Flowers Never Became a Food Group

How Flowers Never Became a Food Group

Charlotte Clermont RT: 04:44

 If asked to say what this work is about in one word, the answer—which is woven into the soundtrack—would be a Joycean one: it’s a “collideorscape.” I have recycled imagery such as cages, a toy robot, and brain convolutions; newer motifs include a ballet dancer, corsets, and alchemical vessels containing birds. These elements are arranged and rearranged into different patterns.

Still from Helios


Eric Stewart RT: 05:00

Time-lapses of cacti and succulent over the course of a year.  Environmental data drives the tone and filtration of the sounds while the rising and setting of the sun illuminates plant growth in and out phase with each each other.

Still from The Glass Note

The Glass Note

Mary Helena Clark RT: 09:00

In The Glass Note, a collage of sound, image, and text explore cinema’s inherent ventriloquism. Across surface and form, the video reflects on voice, embodiment, and fetish through the commingling of sound and image.

Still from And By the Night

And By The Night

Anna Kipervaser RT: 09:45

After a period of no revelations, Surah al-Duha was revealed to Prophet Muhammad, stating that God had neither forsaken nor forgotten him. And to be patient. The film is also a response to my abortion.

Still from Winter's First Moons

Winter’s First Moons

Kathleen Rugh RT: 03:17

Following the winter solstice, the longest nights of the year prevail. Through these darkest nights the moon reaches to its fullest. Filmed over numerous nights the moons of different phases are brought together in the black sky. Through multiple exposures on film and editing created in-camera, the moons move and bounce off one another in unpredictable ways. Official NASA sound recordings from space help activate their actions. The stoic moon breaks free and gravitates at will.

Still from Applied Pressure

Applied Pressure

Kelly Sears RT: 06:26

Sequential images sourced from dozens of massage books are activated to reflect on recent public conversation from this past year surrounding bodies, massage, and trauma.    Ease the pain from past physical and mental distress. The body remembers. Aches may linger. Lay prone, breathe deeply, release tension.

Still from Missing In-Between the Physical Proper

Missing In-Between the Physical Proper

Olivia Ciummo RT: 06:00

Relations between the planet, bodies, death, and transformation.

Still from Hijacked


Shambhavi Kaul RT: 15:00

Airplane space is inhabited by characters for whom ‘escape’, one of the promises of airplane technology, proves elusive.

PROGRAM 5: Truth or Dare

Still from Cut Copy Sphinx


Virginia Lee Montgomery RT: 08:00

CUT COPY SPHINX is a surreal, sculptural short art-film about metaphysics, myth, and destruction. A feminist twist on the classical myth of Oedipus and the Sphinx, CUT COPY SPHINX recasts the sphinx as the uncanny hero who endures ‘cuts’ across time. Shot en plein aire on a miniature prop-set with real materials like a Dewalt drill, a gallon of honey, and imagery of an often-copied 18th century garden sphinx, CUT COPY SPHINX is a conceptual art-film syncing philosophy, feminism, and image theory. The film is hand-made; directed, edited, scored, and performed by Texas artist, Virginia Lee Montgomery.

still from Truth or Dare

Truth or Dare

Alex Morelli RT: 07:45

In the forests of North Carolina lurks an unsolved mystery.

Still from Ada Kaleh

Ada Kaleh

Helena Wittmann RT: 14:00

An indeterminate location, summer. The inhabitants of a shared apartment ask themselves where they might live. They imagine countries, communities, and places. Time passes and nothing can change that — neither human action nor objects and their states. At some point, they all drift into a deep sleep.

Still from Punky Eye

Ojo Malcriado/Punky Eye

Luis Arnias RT: 14:16

Ojo Malcriado/Punky Eye is structured as a series a vignettes including portraits of friends and reinterpretations of personal memories. This accumulation of small gestures with surrealist tendencies generates a funny riddle that sometimes bleeds into the sublime. This film has an internal logic similar to a poem that rebels against the alphabet but is devoted to the image the words conjure. Ojo Malcriado is a gift to my family and friends. It is a gift to light and cinema that has been given so much to me.

Still from Land Rearranged

Land Rearranged

Jasper Lee RT: 06:09

Unearthed debris used as relics in a geomantic incantation.  A lyrical contemplation of winter’s ghosts. 

Still from Vever

Vever (for Barbara)

Deborah Stratman RT: 12:00

A cross-generational binding of three filmmakers seeking alternative possibilities to power structures they’re inherently part of.  The film grew out of abandoned film projects of Maya Deren and Barbara Hammer.  Shot at the furthest point of a motorcycle trip Hammer took to Guatemala in 1975, and laced through with Deren’s reflections of failure, encounter and initiation in 1950s Haiti.   A vever is a symbolic drawing used in Haitian Voodoo to invoke a Loa, or god.   Sometimes we’re just a horse for the spirits of our ancestor filmmaking sisters to ride. 

Still from China Not China

China Not China

Richard Tuohy RT:14:00

Hong Kong marked 20 years since its hand over; half way through the planned 40 year ‘one country, two systems’ transition.  Taiwan, once imperial China, once Formosa, now ROC on the edge of the PRC.  Multiple exposures of street scenes distort space and place creating a fluid sense of impermanence and transition, of two states somewhere between China and not China.  

Still from Eastern District Terminal

Eastern District Terminal

Michael Gitlin RT: 10:35

Eastern District Terminal documents a particular lost time and place: the Brooklyn waterfront after the end of its use as an industrial and shipping site, but before it became the front lawn for the shiny apartment towers to come. In that in-between moment, the space functioned as a “temporary autonomous zone.” Shot using a homemade 3D rig, the film wanders and pans through the zone and, along the way, encounters three of its denizens.   

PROGRAM 6: Trigger Warning

Still from Negative 25

Negative 25

Jenny Stark RT: 03:00

Made of appropriated footage from the Julia Roberts film “Sleeping with the Enemy” and personal landscapes from California rivers, the film reflects on two years: 1991 and 2016, the unpredictable storms that followed, and the difficulty of predicting when crises will pass.

Still from Snow Lee Leopard

Snow Lee Leopard

Laura Heit RT: 03:00

Lee Kelly’s sculpture forest prompts animation flurry.

Still from The Comic Sans Video

The Comic Sans Video

Roger Beebe RT: 08:22

The Comic Sans Video is a “desktop cinema” essay on the ways in which taste is determined by race, class, gender. Provoked by the Twitter response to the Eric Garner “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirt design, the video draws in equal parts on the theoretical writings of Pierre Bourdieu and conversations with two colleagues and my mother to reflect on both the public discourse and my own aesthetic prejudices.

Still from The Cage of Sand

The Cage of Sand

Edward Rankus RT: 10:40

 If asked to say what this work is about in one word, the answer—which is woven into the soundtrack—would be a Joycean one: it’s a “collideorscape.” I have recycled imagery such as cages, a toy robot, and brain convolutions; newer motifs include a ballet dancer, corsets, and alchemical vessels containing birds. These elements are arranged and rearranged into different patterns.

Still from In Film/ On Video

In Film/ On Video

Ignacio Tamarit RT: 10:40

Can film and video coexist in the same film? Here, 16 mm film and VHS video tapes need each other in order to exist. Thanks to the transparent clear leader of 16 mm acetate film, we can visualize in movement the materiality of the analog video support, glued on top of the film, serving as skeleton and structure of the vhs tapes intervened. A film? A video? Both and none at the same time …

Void Vision

Alexander Stewart RT: 07:30

In Void Vision the real and the simulated are equally constructions; a space where doubles, twins, duplicates, re-creations, and copies blend into one another. Void Vision combines a science-fiction sensibility with the aesthetic of early CG animation experiments. Rotating arrangements of lasers and duplicated women fade in and out onscreen, appearing as both photographed scenes and CG-modeled recreations. The audio track, incorporating text from Philip K. Dick’s VALIS, features an improvised electronic score and a voice espousing theories about the mind and the universe.     Void Vision presents a consideration and re-consideration of reality; a cold fever-dream of paranoia and reification.  

Still from Trigger Warning

Trigger Warning

Scott Fitzpatrick RT: 05:00

An examination of everyday household objects based on a list published in the December, 2016 issue of Harper’s Magazine, shot on a camera shaped like a gun.

Still from Dick's Decoys

Dick’s Decoys

Sean Hanley RT: 04:00

An elegy in object. A tangible history of a life lived. A catalog of the antique decoy collection of the filmmaker’s father-in-law shortly after his unexpected passing.

Still from Hoarders Without Boarder 1.0

Hoarders Without Boarders 1.0

Jodie Mack RT: 05:44

Featuring crystallized magic markers and the kidney stone of a horse, the generously-curated mineral collection of Mary Johnson comes to life in a manual labor of love for the process of archival procedure.

Still from 3 Peonies

3 Peonies

Stephanie M. Barber RT: 03:13

A brief, poetic 16mm film on a simple sculptural action. What becomes apparent is the humor possible in material interactions and the tender and sometimes melodramatic symbolism of cut flowers. What begins as a reverence for natural beauty ends up pointing towards the abstract expressionism and color field work of high modernism which, in many cases eschewed the banality of such ‘natural’ beauty. The collaged soundtrack suggests weightier concerns, gently insistent behind the flatness of the utilitarian sounds of ripping tape.

Still from Vesuvius At Home

Vesuvius At Home

Christin Turner RT: 14:00

A fantastical cinematic journey from a woman’s childhood re-enactment of a false Pompeii, through decades, decline and obsession, to the Sibyl’s Cave wherein she discovers Vesuvius symbiosis with cinema, memory, and Giambattista Vico’s theory on the spiral of time.

Still from Maniac Landscapes

Maniac Landscapes

Matthew Wade RT: 07:30

Flowers come alive in a house of death.

Still from Fainting Spells

Fainting Spells

Sky Hopinka RT: 10:41

Told through recollections of youth, learning, lore, and departure, this is an imagined myth for the Xąwįska, or the Indian Pipe Plant – used by the Ho-Chunk to revive those who have fainted.