Supernormal residency

Film Material was delighted to be invited to take up ‘residence’ in the all new Vortex stage at Supernormal Festival, Aug 5th – 7th, 2016, presenting expanded filmic performances, screenings and projections that animated the space throughout the weekend.

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Vortex, Supernormal Festival, 2016

We were pleased to feature work by artists Mary Stark, Nick Jordan, Lord Mongo, David Chatton Barker and Sam McLoughlin, plus screenings from Chris Paul Daniels, Clara Casian, Joe Duffy, Dave Griffiths, and a short film programme curated by Nick Jordan (Back Roads to Far Places).

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Lord Mongo ‘MERZMONGO’ – a film by Nick Jordan

Kicking off proceedings on the Friday night was Lord Mongo, with The Slate Pipe Banjo Draggers, presenting an improvised electronic and vocal performance to the expanded version of Nick Jordan’s film MERZMONGO (2016), originally made for ‘Film is Dead, Long Live Dada’ festival at the ICA. Featuring stream-of-consciousness vocals, Babylonian masks, and one forlorn, masticated, bug-eyed ferret marionette, the stupefying/electrifying Lord Mongo kicked off the residency with wild and deranged abandon.

Lord Mongo & Nick Jordan, with Slate Pipe Banjo Draggers

Performance videos:

Following Lord Mongo, Mary Stark & David Chatton Barker’s 16mm performance encompassed three separate works: ‘Boing’ – springs sourced from abandoned film projectors transform into 16mm photograms with optical sound and live spriinngggg action. Then ‘Solar Spell’ – saluting the sun through fogged and scorched film with optical sound, pre-arranged soundscape and live lens based light play. Finally, ‘Bread’ – a filmic ritual giving thanks to tactile magic and domestic alchemy, the craft of making bread. Premiering at Supernormal, the 16mm performances were made only this year at Film Farm in Ontario, Canada, and were shown at Film Farm as well as at CineCycle in Toronto.

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 Mary Stark & David Chatton Barker
On Saturday, following film screenings from Film Material artists Chris Paul Daniels, Clara Casian, and Dave Griffiths, Mary Stark’s ‘Film as Fabric’ performance summoned the obsolete industries through 16mm film projection with optical sound, mechanical noise and sounds associated with the production of cloth. Incorporating audience participation and live stitching into 16mm film stock, the work made great use of the dramatic, triangular Vortex space, with multiple projections and light.

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 Mary Stark ‘Film as Fabric’

excerpt from performance:

Following Sunday’s screening of experimental short film programme, Back Roads to Far Places, curated by Nick Jordan, collaborative duo David Chatton Barker and Sam McLoughlin enacted their ‘Cognitive liberation happenings and ritual instruments’ performance. A mysterious, exploratory, alchemical, visual and sonic transformation of everyday objects, rudimentary electronics, instruments and natural elements.

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In partnership with BEEF (Bristol Experimental Expanded Film), Mary Stark concluded the weekend festival residency with ‘Your Cup of Tea’,  a 16mm film with original soundtrack, plus live sound including a whistling kettle and clattering tea cups, and of course freshly brewed cups of tea, served to the audience in BEEF’s Cephalopod space, located in the Supernormal woods…

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Mary Stark, ‘Your Cup of Tea’ (photo courtesy BEEF)

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