Video & Experimental Cinema in the Last Decade

Celebrating 10 years of the Video Art and Experimental Cinema Awards at the Jerusalem Film Festival

July 7-9 •  Jerusalem Cinematheque •  Free Entrance (except for screenings) • 7.7 and 8.7 will be held in English without translation 9/7 will be held in Hebrew without translation .
Jerusalem Film Festival | Mamuta Art and Media Center | Hebrew University | Bezalel Art Academy, Department of Screen-Based Arts with the generous support of the Ostrovsky Family Fund

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The symposium will explore how developments in new technologies have turned the Internet into a new platform replacing traditional platforms and media. The conference will also address the “war on terror” policy, which has turned video into one of the central instruments of state control. At the same time, subversive video practices have been developed by artists and activists, not only developing new social and political practices for “powerless” individuals and groups, but influencing and re-defining the aesthetics, poetics, and politics of video/art in the last decade or more, from the 9/11 attacks and until the Arab spring.

Anatomy and Autonomy of the Moving Image 7-9.7.2013

Jerusalem Film Festival | Mamuta Art and Media Center | School of the Arts ‪-‬ Hebrew University | Bezalel Art Academy, Screen-Based Arts Department
with the generous support of the Ostrovsky Family Fund


Video & Experimental Cinema in the Last Decade
Celebrating 10 years of the Video Art and Experimental Cinema Awards at the Jerusalem Film Festival

July 7-9 Jerusalem Cinematheque, 11 Hebron Road

The symposium will explore how developments in new technologies have turned the Internet into a new platform that replaces traditional platforms and media. The conference will also address the “war on terror” policy, which has turned video into one of the central instruments of state control. At the same time, it will probe subversive video practices developed by artists and activists, which have not only fostered new social and political practices for “powerless” individuals and groups, but also influenced and redefined the aesthetics, poetics, and politics of video and art in the last decade or more, from the 9/11 attacks to the Arab spring.


Sunday 7.7 Mediatheque


Vivian Ostrovsky, Ostrovsky Family Fund
Prof. Ruth HaCohen, School of the Arts, Hebrew University
Sharon Balaban, Screen-Based Arts Department, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design
Lea Mauas, Mamuta Art and Media Center

Keynote Lecture
Chair: Dr. Diego Rotman, Mamuta Art and Media Center

Prof. Siegfried Zielinski, University of Arts (UdK), Berlin
Think: Film – A Short Genealogy of Projection
The meaning of the term ‘projection’ oscillates between two poles which are intimately connected. On the one hand ‘projection’ is about the spectacular, in this term’s literal sense – proof that a concrete something is or was, as shown through an image machine constructed according to mathematical laws and seen on a projection screen’s delimited space. On the other hand, ‘projection’ involves the production of an image, the image of a reality which only exists in so far as we see it within the area of the ever-flat created visual object. This gives rise to a basic problem that is shared by all film avant-gardes and particularly by artists who use film and other advanced technologies to generate techno-visual realities. One works with efficient techniques to produce effects and illusions but, at the same time, one wants the technology that generates the outward appearance of reality to remain tangible and intelligible.

Respondent: Prof. Eva Illouz, President, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem

The evening will be conducted in English
Followed by a performance on the Cinematheque Balcony

Monday 8.7 Mediatheque
Panels and Presentations will be conducted in English

Chair: Lea Mauas
It’s Twilight Again –Transitions and Change in Contemporary Media

Mr. Daniel Herleth, University of Arts (UdK), Berlin
YouTube: Reciprocal Economics
The paper will draft an investigation into the ways digital media platforms are integrated into traditional economic structures. YouTube, with its ability to translate monetary into symbolic or emotional reward, has become a key player. This translation is by no means an easy one, and the presentation investigates the rifts, struggles and phenomena that underlie it.

Mr. Boaz Levin, University of Arts (UdK), Berlin
Within and After YouTube: Digital Video – from Channel to Database
The presentation will speculate on how future media may be shaped “after YouTube”. Levin will argue that the form underlying platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo is that of Data, or more specifically, database administration. Following on Lev Manovich’s analysis of the database, the paper considers the ways in which the formal qualities of the database express themselves.

Mr. Adam Kaplan, Artist
From Analog Relics to Digital Relics: Framing Formats Through Their Presence Aesthetics
Adam Kaplan will observe the transitions of nostalgic/temporal historical framing, in the shift from analog to digital media. The inherent visual qualities of recent, living and dying formats and codecs (VHS, DV, HD, MOV, etc.) determine their “presence aesthetics”, affecting the ongoing relationship with periodic collective memory.

Chair: Udi Ben-Ari, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design
Between Cinema, YouTube and the Internet – Content and Form

Dr. Michael Fink, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design
Interactive Video on YouTube: Choose a Different Ending
More and more YouTube videos no longer provide a passive viewing experience, but rather entice the viewer to interact with the video by clicking on objects with embedded links: “Choose a different ending”, “Where’s Dexter”. The basic dilemma in opening a video to collaborative annotations lies in the tension between the benefits of collaboration and the risks of visual clutter and spam. The paper describes a few proposed methods that may entail a deep change in the web video ecosystem.

Daniel Mann, Tel Aviv University
Lumiere’s Virus
What is the “Family Film”? Is it nothing but a category stained by amateurism? Not quite. Seemingly, it is excluded from the canonical history of the Moving Image, but its unwritten evolution leads us to the experimental territories. The presentation will suggest rereading the Family Film as a category offering a platform on which two opposing forces of the medium are in constant struggle: the production of Ideology and the evasiveness of bodily gestures refusing intelligibility. By reviewing the pioneering experiments of the late 19th century and comparing them to videos which were uploaded to video sharing websites, the paper will suggest a hidden relation between filmic technology and the familial.

Mirjana Batinić, University of Primorska, Koper, Slovenia
Video Art on the Internet: Thinking about the Space
In order to understand the structural and functional position of Video Art on the Internet, the paper explores the Internet with its chaotic, diverse and crowded form of public space. We don’t watch film or TV anymore; we watch databases. It seems that the hunt for online videos is becoming as important as looking at search results. Why has “searchability” become such an essential organizing principle? Is searching more important than finding? Posts, comments, reviews, ratings, votes, links, photo, video… what do these trends mean for culture in general and for professional art in particular?

Reflection and Manipulation

Dr. Ayelet Zohar, Tel Aviv University
Koizumi Meiro: The Director and the Actor, the Blind and the Kamikaze
The paper concentrates on three video projects where Koizumi manipulates the legendary image of the Kamikaze pilots, through three different cases. The presentation addresses the question marks raised by Koizumi with regard to these problematic figures of Japan’s past.  He intentionally uses emotional manipulation and extreme acts that breach public order and individuals’ repressed feelings. The paper discusses the extreme shooting and screening techniques employed by Koizumi, and analyzes how he manipulates the video medium to arrive at a critical, disturbing and thought-provoking effect over his audience.

Marta Jecu, Universidade Lusofona, Lisbon
Taguchi, in Light of New Video Techniques
The lecture investigates the artistic practice of a young Japanese artist, Yukihiro Taguchi, in light of new video techniques that immerse the viewer in a virtual quotidian experience with analogue and performative artistic means. The paper argues that a new tendency emerges in the treatment of the moving image that has assimilated the digital shift, but applies and realizes its consequences in concrete and in almost analogue terms. The distinction virtual-real being blurred, in the video experiments of Yukihiro Taguchi a new performative, minimal, conceptual virtual ‘real’ emerges.

With the support of the Romanian Cultural Institute

Dr. Ohad Landesman, Tel Aviv University 
Faraway, So Close: The Digital Future of Experiential Ethnography
Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor’s Sweetgrass (2009) is a formally innovative anthropological work about sheep-herders in Montana, which provides an unprecedented record of a cowboy way of life at the moment of its disappearance. Sweetgrass will be addressed in this paper as an experimental work of nature ethnography that subverts the genre’s traditional pedagogic aspirations in the attempt to introduce ambiguity to the act of interpreting it. In a film without a narratological roadmap, the epistemological strategy of gaining knowledge through experience becomes central, and marks a significant path in ethnographic documentaries.

Keynote Lecture
Chair: Sharon Balaban, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design

Jon Kessler, artist and faculty at Columbia University, New York
Welcome to the Terrordome
NY based artist Jon Kessler will talk about two of his projects: his recent show “The Web” (2013) – an immersive installation that addresses the significance of the Internet and of mobile devices in our lives, while simultaneously examining the role of the viewer in the web; and “The Palace at 4AM” (2006), referencing issues relevant to contemporary society including politics, war, advertising, propaganda, and surveillance.

Referring to the Past, Worrying about the Future – a program of experimental Polish works curated and introduced by Prof. Ryszard Kluszczynski, University of Lodz, Lodz Academy of Fine Arts (code for ordering tickets: XXX)
Four video works by artists representing two different generations:
Józef Robakowski, the most outstanding representative of the new avant-garde in Poland, author of numerous conceptual-analytical films and videos made in the 1970s who, in the following decade developed the concept of personal cinema. “From My Window”, created during a period of twenty years, is part of this current.
Kinga Araya, Anna Baumgart and Piotr Wyrzykowski, from the generation that began creative work in 1990s, are very personal artists, focused on individual histories (Araya), or on social-political issues (Baumgart, Wyrzykowski).
Videos by these artists embody the substantial tension between the past and present generations.

With the support of the Polish Institute


Tues. 9.7
Panels and lectures will be conducted in Hebrew

10.00 – 11.00

Chair:  Maya Zack

Ronen Leibman, Bezalel Academy of Art & Design, From Video to Cinema: The History of Video Art and Experimental Cinema
It is easy to pinpoint video art’s starting point in 1965, when the first Sony portapak video camera appeared and, in its wake, video became a key player in the field of art.
Experimental film, in contrast, was already part of cinema’s history almost from its beginnings in 1895. The presentation will initially focus on three narratives of the development of video art – from its connection to the ideas of the Fluxus Group and video performance, through its dealings with media and its attack on TV’s territory, up to its use as a documentary tool. In its second part, the presentation will deal with a fourth narrative, on the connection developed between video art and the language of main stream and experimental film as a space for personal expression.
Homage to Chris Marker

Chair:  Ephrat Shalem

Eyal Ben Dov, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, The Revenge of the Eye – Between Stills and the Cinema

Since the 1990’s, Chris Marker has repeatedly worked with art installations and has been acknowledged as an artist who combines still photography and video. His installations work as electronic sculptures dealing with the mapping and examination of memory processes, as these relate to still photography, film and contemporary digital technology.

Chen Sheinberg, artist and lecturer, Fall Between Images in the Film La Jetée
The lecture will focus on Chris Marker’s La Jetee (1962) and will examine the relationship established in the film between the meanings of the image and of human memory.  It will also comment on the way in which Marker uses composition and editing, and especially the space between images, in order to describe the evasiveness of image and of memory.  The lecture will examine these effects from the perspective of the linkage between La Jetee and Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, made four years earlier, and from which a scene is quoted in La Jetee.

14:30 – 16:00

Video Play

Chair:  Dr. Romy Miculinsky

Ilana Tenenbaum, Curator, Haifa Museum of Art, Video Games and Role Play – Eddo Stern
Eddo Stern deals with the themes of war and violence through the platform of video games. His works, which shows a high level of programming skills, examine cultural links of computer games to war games and to witch tales. The lecture focuses on how, in Stern’s work, the reciprocal relations between elements of mutual control and collaboration displayed in the games work as metaphors for social structures in role-playing games within existing power frameworks. Through a mechanical shifting of images, Stern’s works physically embody the collapse of the gap between the virtual and the real space, and between the imaginary and the physical.

Nea Erlich, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, Virtual Documentaries: Developing Tendencies in New Media Documentation

Documentation from the world of gaming:  what is documentation in the new media era?  what can be believed?
The lecture suggests that, when examining video art works and the experimental cinema of the last decade, some central trends in today’s visual culture should be considered: the great interest in documentation, the extreme popularity of video games and of gaming culture, and the influence of technological developments on the creation of moving images in the digital era. The lecture examines these different trends, as well as the influence of technological developments on the creation of moving images and of video art works that deal with the documentation of virtual experiences in the world of gaming.

Mor Cohen, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, The Naturalness of the Synthetic – the Virtual Performances of Eva and Franco Mattes (aka. 0100101110101101)

In contemporary art it is assumed that it is no longer possible to create totally new and original works. In this spirit, the lecture examines the status of web games as an art medium that is characteristically interactive, that blurs the distinction between high- and pop- culture, and is displayed beyond traditional exhibition spaces. In light of the fact that these are characteristics of works of art known to us already from the beginning of the 1920’s, the presentation seeks to clarify what is nevertheless uniquely characteristic of web games, taking the installation works of the artists Eva and Franco Mattes as a test case.

16:30 – 18:00

Surveillance, Performance & Spectacle
Chair: Ronen Eidelman

Hadas Kedar, artist and curator, “Surveillance” and “Watching” Technologies as an Option for Civil Creativity
The use of the apparatus of surveillance cameras, the shift in point of view and the lowering of the camera’s focus to eye level have had the effect of transforming the governmental surveillance infrastructure into a tool for the civilian observation of the public sphere. The distribution of observation posts within the urban space has turned the cameras and their hanging devices from instruments of the ruler into instruments of the ruled.

Prof. Dudu Mezach, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Cinema Security
‘Cinema Security’ – the film created by Assaf Ryter, a graduate of Bezalel’s Screen-Based Arts Department – draws its video material from the unlimited footage of surveillance cameras distributed throughout the world. The filmmaker’s creative process takes place at home, in front of a computer, by means of the remote control of cameras, and the collection and editing of video footage. In the course of the lecture, sections of the film will be shown, dealing with dilemmas regarding the question of privacy and its limits, as well as with questions relating to the role of the filmmaker in the contemporary multimedia environment.

Dr. Ruthie Ginsburg, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Civic Cooperation and Authenticity in B’Tselem’s Camera ProjectIn recent years, more than 300 cameras were distributed by the B’Tselem organisation to Palestinians. This Israeli organisation distributed the cameras for the purpose of documenting human rights’ violations in the occupied territories. The presentation will focus on the collaboration between B’Tselem and Palestinian civilians and – through an analysis of the films produced – suggests looking at that collaboration as one that formulates the conditions for the creation of a statement of truth, based on authentic images.

20:00 The Experimental Cinema and Video Art Competition. Participant Artists:Ester Bires and Amitai Arnon, Tzion Abraham Hazan, Roy Menachem Markovich, Carmel Michaeli and Ronnie Bass, Leigh Orpaz, Alona Rodeh, Keren Shavit, Amir Yatziv and Jonathan Doweck,

Program Committee:

Prof. Edwin Seroussi (Hebrew University of Jerusalem); Dr.  Tal Ben-Zvi (Bezalel Art Academy); Dr.  Hava Aldouby (Hebrew University of Jerusalem); Ms. Sharon Balaban (Bezalel Art Academy); Ms. Lea Mauas (Mamuta Art and Media Center, Bezalel Art Academy); Dr.  Diego Rotman (Mamuta Art and Media Center, Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

The conference will be held on Sunday 7.7 and Monday 8.7 in English and on Tuesday 9.7 in Hebrew
Free Entrance (except for screenings)

For Abstracts