VIDEO ZINE #2 錄像雜誌第二期 /
The Ultra-realist, the Extra-ordinary 非凡超（極）真實 - p.4
A Pocketful of Rye: Ficto-Documentaries 虛實無縫
A pocketful of rye: he (the murderer) sewed it on so neatly that the seam was never seen. Cinematic suture -- that is, the seamless overcoming of spatial and temporal gaps between two shots to uphold the illusion of continuity -- receives playful hacks in the video essays in this session. What if the transition from fiction to documentary truth is seamless? What if fiction, fabrication, hypothetical confession and a documentary camera at work all come together in a single image? What if, instead of cinematic illusionism, we take a satellite/drone view to look for fusion and connectivity across disparate domains of our existence?
9' 31" | 16:9 | 2020 | digital video Original Language : English 英文 Location : USA 美國 Selected category:  OBJECT LIVES / OBJECT-LOGUES 「東西自白」  ON-SITE DOCUMENTATION 「留住一瞬即逝的」  THEMATIC EXPOSÉ / EXPRESSIVE JOURNALING 「有板有眼，有話要說，有感而發」  NARRATION & MONSTRATION 「講述與示範」
Racism, cinema, memory, essay
Childhood cinema is projected on a shadowy wall of a former movie theatre, The film Platoon is remembered between leaves and trees’ reflections. Violence of the past, violence of the present. An essay about memory and the permanence of racism. Video essays are tools to reedit the present.
Kevin B. Lee is a filmmaker, media artist, and critic. He has produced over 360 video essays exploring film and media.
His award-winning Transformers: The Premake, which introduced the “desktop documentary” format, was named one of the best documentaries of 2014 by Sight & Sound and screened in many festivals including Berlin Critics Week, Rotterdam International Film Festival and Viennale International Film Festival.
Through Bottled Songs, his collaborative project with Chloé Galibert-Laîné, he was awarded the 2018 Sundance Institute Art of Nonfiction Grant, the 2018 European Media Artist Platform Residency, and the 2019 Eurimages Lab Project Award at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
He was 2017 Artist in Residence of the Harun Farocki Institut in Berlin. In 2019 he produced “Learning Farocki,” a series of video essays on Harun Farocki, commissioned by the Goethe Institut. In 2020 he co-curated the Black Lives Matter Video Essay Playlist with Will DiGravio and Cydnii Wilde Harris.
He was Founding Editor and Chief Video Essayist at Fandor from 2011-2016, supervising producer at Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies, and has written for The New York Times, Sight & Sound, Slate and Indiewire.
He is Professor of Crossmedia Publishing at Merz Akademie, Stuttgart, where he is co-director of the Masters Program in Research in Art, Design and Media.
Tamas [Juror’s Special Mention] : This work has a brilliant structure, from looking at the old cinema building from the car, telling childhood stories related to the theatre, to showing a snapshot from the film Platoon, then finally addressing the camera directly about the creator’s father’s lesson to him. The piece tells a story that is at once universal and personal, with minimum elements that hit me so strongly.
John: The fact that the artist is filming on-site, staring right at the camera and confronting the whole world...is absurdly powerful to me. The way he recalls childhood memories at the "crime scene" forces me to feel we owe him justice. A very strong and direct work.
Hoi: I especially like the part where the author is pointing to the old cinema while the action of the people in the image somewhat parallels the details of the story delivered real-time in the author’s monologue.
Winnie: I like the part where the short clip from Platoon is playing on a phone, while the latter is being placed on against the grass. … The work starts from objective and informative to an intense and personal story, which is quite a rare quality not seen in the artist’s previous works. It’s personal and critical, peeling layers of information as it goes.
Linda: This is the only work in this batch which has a spontaneous, action-on-the-spot quality. Not only is it self-reflexive, but it’s also quite multi-directional with broad coverage, from cinema history, violence in movies, childhood memories, spatial history to family history and values and more. The ending moment of the work has a critical over-tone on racism, but I am more arrested by the question of survival, and the underlying violence and horror in achieving it. An effective work that holds many levels and dimensions of our existence together.
14' 33" | 16:9 | 2018 | HD Video Original Language : English 英文 Subtitle : English 英文 Location : Chicago, IL, USA 美國芝加哥 Selected category:  OBJECT LIVES / OBJECT-LOGUES 「東西自白」  ON-SITE DOCUMENTATION 「留住一瞬即逝的」  THEMATIC EXPOSÉ / EXPRESSIVE JOURNALING 「有板有眼，有話要說，有感而發」
Auto-ethnography, first-person, food, performance
Made in response to the end of a long-term relationship with a birth control implant, aromatics of longing (爆香) contemplates the feeling of loss and longing tied to a changing body. Through performative video and diaristic, but voiceless subtitles, Wong ruminates on memories, passing time, gender dysphoria, and hormones.
A blend of observational shots, first-person GoPro footage, and personal archival videos, aromatics of longing illustrates ways of coping and reckoning with loss.
Director: Jade Wong 黃品蓉 AC: Sarah Martino Carina Reimers: 2ND AC
Jade Wong 黃品蓉 (b. 1996) is a multidisciplinary artist and educator working in experimental video, performance, object-making, and photography. Their work explores personal, ancestral, and collective histories -- specifically asian/-american, queer, and media histories. By placing themselves in front of the camera, Wong uses self-reflexive elements of documentary fiction to understand their positionality as trans, asian-american filmmaker and subject. They tend to gravitate towards diaristic writing, humor, tactile objects and visual magic in their work.
Their process often works like this: walk, play, smell, collect, gather, wash, cut, slice, chop, mix, marinate, light it up, watch it sizzle...reflect, sew, rip, mend, mark-make...
Their projects are malleable in form, their very existence concerns the act of becoming an image, ︎an iteration, ︎︎︎︎a memory. ︎ ︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎
Wong is a founding member of 恨興한흥 Han Heung Media Collective, a program funded in part by the Women’s Center at Northwestern University. They are based in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A..
Tamas:Way too long for me but I like people making personal works.
John: Although at first the author’s way of expression seems like a whiny social media post to me (which has distanced me), I enjoy the last part of the work very much. It was a perfect moment of sublimation in the video.
Winnie: It is sad and painful to see Wong hugging the cabbage as a baby, when juxtaposed with how they later on handle the chicken with their personal experience on a birth control implant. The connection between food and daily healing alongside pain invokes their personal trauma ... The elements are well integrated. I would say it fits in primarily with category  THEMATIC EXPOSÉ / EXPRESSIVE JOURNALING.
Hoi: I don’t have the association of social media posts. I like the moment in the beginning -- hugging a baby-cabbage. I really appreciate people revealing their lack of confidence and showing their bodies in front of the camera.
Linda: The piece’s aesthetics works for me even though it’s not my personal cup of tea. It is very sentimental in an honest way. I wonder if the final chapter (singing), magic to me, could have been even more pathetic.
10' 30" | 16:9 | 2019 | Digital.mp4 Original Language : English 英文 Subtitle : English 英文 Location : Germany 德國 Selected category:  OBJECT LIVES / OBJECT-LOGUES 「東西自白」
Environmental, anthropology, waste, dead body, human
Anthropology of Dead Body investigates the dead body across different symbolic orders. The dead body is a peculiar matter located between the human and nonhuman, material and immaterial, as well as the precious and the abandoned among living humans. Staged as a pseudo-educational documentary, the video raises questions about the nature of categorization and focuses on the discrimination engendered from the hierarchy of the binaries.
The narration, adopting extreme simplicity and naivité, creates ruthless categorization and paradoxically emphasizes contingency. Is it not because we really detest and fear a certain matter, but because we know that the matter and the person we despise are, in fact, parts of ourselves that they will always come back to us?
script, edit, camera: Hana Yoo Academic consultant: Dr.Gretchen Bakke camera assistant: Markus Köhler
Hana Yoo works with experimental video/film that investigates the nature of artificiality and its political entanglement, along with the altered mental states derived from technical apparatuses. She engages with the allegory of nature and interrelation of bodies, which she then weaves through storytelling. Investigating liminal matters that stay in between human and nonhuman, living and nonliving - such as the dead body, livestock, desert, and machine - has been the fulcrum in her artistic practice. Her works have been shown at museums and festivals including the Fotomuseum (Winterthur, Switzerland), European Media Art Festival (EMAF), and Busan International Video Art Festival (Busan, South Korea), among others. She lives and works in Berlin.
Winnie: The video has indeed demonstrated [the problem of] discussing matters based on binary opposites -- and in this case the living versus the dead, omitting what lies "in-between," such as how some (political leaders) are commemorable whereas others (the lower class) could be neglected. The last line feels like a slap on the narrative established up to that point. Though I like how the piece opens with the cemetery park to explore the subject at hand, I am not entirely sure if the piece’s criticality moves that much beyond just laying out dangerous ideas on stones, labours, wastes and so on. At times, the work is like an automatic discourse spinning out catchwords without real revenge.
Linda: I find the work fun and liberating, opening up more ways to think of death and allow more voices to be heard. I agree that it is more a general illustration of what we now call “tentacular thinking” than a discussion with specificities and focus. This brings to my mind the question of what a video essay is, what it does and doesn’t do, and how it should operate within a larger network of communication. I think in the case of this work, a video essay is an agent to draw discussion, not necessarily to offer answers. A video like this should better be part of a discussion forum and it serves to summarize, or outline, the basic contours of the author’s thought.