Exit Art is pleased to present Digimovies Plus:Â Curious Cabinets, a one-night event of experimental digital films that explores both theÂ literal and abstract interpretations of fernweh, the â€œache for distant places.â€ Within theÂ context of this program, the feeling of fernweh unfolds to express something larger thanÂ oneself, whether it is love, the cosmos, the future, or the mystery of hindsight. Given ourÂ ongoing curiosity for the unknown, Curious Cabinets explores the notion ofÂ â€œfarsicknessâ€ through various manifestations.
In Penny Laneâ€™s The Voyagers, two-stories are interwoven: a love-story between CarlÂ Sagan and his future wife Anna Druyan, and a story about the 1977 launching ofÂ Saganâ€™s golden records into space. The Voyagers is both a beautiful homage to CarlÂ Sagan and a tribute to life on this planet. In Lee Arnoldâ€™s celestial time-lapseÂ photography Clouds, the filmmaker uses an upward camera angle as a gestural nod toÂ the cosmic ocean that Lane probes in The Voyagers. A stellar piece chronicling theÂ changing sky over Brooklyn on a single fall day, Arnoldâ€™s exploration of the temporal isÂ also reflected in David Baumflekâ€™s moving video Earthrise. Baumflek contrasts the voiceÂ of an older man, who recounts his experience of loss and the mystery of hindsight, withÂ abstracted images of light and motion shot the same year by astronauts circling theÂ moon.
Representing the more eccentric side of fernweh is the â€œidentity contortionistâ€ AlisonÂ Kobayashi, whose From Alex to Alex tells the PG-13 love-story of two â€œmostly gayâ€Â fourteen year old classmates of the same name. Fascinated with the origins of foundÂ objects, nostalgic iconography, and the lives of others, this interpretative piece wasÂ based on a letter found on Ontarioâ€™s Winston Churchill Boulevard that read â€œFrom Alex toÂ Alex.â€ If Kobayashi imagines the lives of others, Daniel Lichtmanâ€™s Site Visit (Thatâ€™s TheÂ Man I Am) privileges his experience as subject. Filmed in a Cathedral in England,Â Lichtman interjects a semi-personal narrative about a man and female with close-circuitÂ shots of non-correlating imagery. In his exploration of human behavior and the creationÂ of subjective experience within a highly politicized space, Lichtman questions howÂ humankind relates to a tradition of ready-made histories.
Sweetening up the texture of the program is Carlos Charlie Perezâ€™ autobiographical IÂ Miss You, a story about the love/kinship between a mouse and tower. If the inverse ofÂ â€œfarsicknessâ€ is homesickness, this metaphorical love-story evokes a sense of curiousÂ wonder between two unlikely figures that have found home. Rounding out the program isÂ Stephen Rifeâ€™s The Cello Incident, a mini-feature documentary. Rife was invited toÂ participate in a ceremony to honor the life of the 16thÂ century philosopher GiordanoÂ Bruno, a heretic and champion of free thought. Rife created a performance for theÂ occasion that involved the burning of a broken cello. Stolen before the performance, theÂ cello sparks a journey across Minnesota to talk about death, religion, philosophy andÂ artistic communities.
Selected from Digimoviesâ€™ ConceptPlus, an innovative model that set out to democratizeÂ exhibition opportunities by focusing on the artistic idea itself, Curious Cabinets isÂ curated by Curatorial Assistant Candice Strongwater.