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Films and Natural Processes – Virtual Film Exhibition

Saltwater, plastic, toxic minerals, sand or waste: matter accumulates and overwhelms, dissolves, decomposes, and reforms. With the widespread closure of movie theaters and screening rooms, online experiences of film and media works are increasingly facilitated by digital devices. Material relations and components enmesh these objects within earthly cycles and natural processes as matter is mined, assembled, used, discarded or recycled—the aluminum that provides a polished shell for many laptops is also an abundant metallic element found in the Earth’s enveloping crust. This program brings together a selection of films that emerge from material interactions between moving images and natural processes. Coated with chemicals and exposed to sunlight, Kelly Egan’s Athyrium filix-femina reveals the impressions of delicate botanical specimens against cyan blues. Strips of film have been dragged along a mud and salt crystal encrusted spiral on the shore of Utah’s Great Salt Lake or a pink beach off the coast of Sardinia in works by Jennifer West. The rhythms of sand merchants laboring on the outskirts of Lagos are reflected by the movements of images that lurch towards the ground before rolling back up for air in Karimah Ashadu’s Lagos Sand Merchants...This screening was developed as part of the Department of Cinema and Media Studies and Smart Museum of Art’s Graduate Curatorial Internship, co-sponsored by the Film Studies Center.

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