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[Nettime-nl] free video program in SMART Cinema, A Close Watch (Undermin
SMART Project Space on Mon, 20 Jan 2003 11:48:03 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-nl] free video program in SMART Cinema, A Close Watch (Undermining the Overview: Part 1)


SMART Project Space | 1st Constantijn Huygensstraat 20, Amsterdam  +31 (0)20 427 5951

 A Close Watch (Undermining the Overview: Part 1)

 Every Sunday and Wednesday at 17.00 SMART Project Space presents free video programs in Smart Cinema.  This video program accompanies the exhibition, Someone To Watch Over Me |  January 12 – February 16, 2003

 Sunday, January 12 and Wednesday, January 15,  17.00 hrs.

 Saiki Hiromi │ You Can’t Always Blame the Sky (2000, Japan, 18 min.)

Submitted for close study is “example #792813” who is obsessed with how she appears to others.  Her own self scrutiny becomes our entry into our own studied overview.

 Mark Rappaport │ From the Journals of Jean Seberg  (1997, USA, 100 min.)

The intimate view of a small town girl turned iconic creature turned multiple surveillance subject.  Beyond the chilling inexorability of the biographical details, Rappaport explores the ideological attitudes that commercial films subliminally offer above and beyond the story, the stars and the price of admission:  the message and value assumptions that linger on long after the plot is forgotten.  A tape about film theory:  semiology in practice.


 Sunday, January 19 and Wednesday, January 22,  17.00 hrs.

 Rashid Mashawari │ Tension (1998, Palestine, 26 min.)

A study in the malaise of living under the panoptic watchful eye of security and control which is in turn exposed to close and detached scrutiny.

 Michael Klier │ Der Riese (1983, Germany, 82 min.)

Klier’s  by now immortal compendium of urban surveillance material from traffic control to department store security practice reaches symphonically paranoid heights and finally resolves in an image of cathartic and breathless paradox.

 Kurt Sayenga │ Spies Above (1996, USA, 55 min.)

Taking a little more distance than Der Riese, this work collects the products of industrious spy satellites in space and presents a confidential history of the secret CIA agency which initiated and maintains their use since its inception during the Eisenhower fifties.


 Sunday, January 26 and Wednesday, January 29,  17.00 hrs.

 Jane Campion │ Passionless Moments (1993, Australia, 13 min.)

An incisive panoptic scrutiny of a few particular specimens at a few particular moments that prove particularly pertinent.

 Manthia Diawara │ Rouch In Reverse (1995, Mali/U.K., 51 min.)

A conceptual coup of sorts: an effort at what its maker calls “reverse anthropology”; the first work to look at European anthropology from the perspective of its subjects.  Diawara’s provocative tape examines the anthropological enterprise through the work of reknowned ethnographic film-maker Jean Rouch. 

 Gene Searchinger │ Paradox on 72nd Street  (1980, USA, 55 min.)

The intersection of West 72nd street and Broadway in New York City becomes, under close scrutiny, a microcosm of human interaction. This active and attuned surveillance delineates the struggle between individualism  and collectivity. Systems and institutions  which provide order and control are analysed as well as the unconscious  gestures and modes of etiquette which human beings impose on themselves. This work was suggested by ideas in Philip Slater’s book The Pursuit of Loneliness and was made with the collaboration of sociologist Slater and biologist Lewis Thomas.


 Sunday, February 2 and Wednesday, February 5,  17.00 hrs.

 Mori Fumitake │ A Tick By the White Tower (2000, Japan, 30 min.)

Having grown up under the panoptical gaze of the impassive central tower of his high school campus, our inveterately self-conscious hero is determined to become a tick that might risk stopping time.

 Alan and Susan Raymond │ American Family Revisited (1990, USA, 58 min.)

Another anthropological/media turnabout in the form of an epilogue which provides a ten years after update on the Loud family: the subjects of the Raymond’s pioneering documentary program An American Family of the seventies and the true dawn of  “reality TV”.  Here is a case where the subjects have been completely altered by the process of scrutiny and tele-visual surveillance.

 Sachiko Hamada and Scott Sinkler │ Inside Life Outside (1988, USA, 57 min.)

Following a closely knit group of homeless people living in a lower east side shantytown over a two and a half year period. This work proposes an alternate anthropology of the self where all categories are mediated and found contradictory. Unlike the typical television family, these people thrive on the self awareness that the watchful eyes inspire.


 Sunday, February 9 and Wednesday, February 12,  17.00 hrs.

 Jane Campion │ A Girl’s Own Story (1991, Australia, 27 min.)

The dawning of rigorous self-scrutiny and its reflexive desire: a clarion call for “someone to watch over me”…

 Danielle Smith │ Song of Umm Dalaila  (1993, Algeria, 35 min.)

Smith shot this work in a Sahrawi refugee camp in Algeria concentrating on the women which made up 80% of the adult population of the camp. What interests us here is how these women come to assume primary responsibility for the survival of the refugees and offer a different paradigm of the watchful eye of scrutiny.

 Nina Rosenblum│ Through the Wire (1990, USA, 77 min.)

The brutal flipside of the implications of Umm Dalaila:  Locked in a basement, deprived of sleep, psychologically tormented, strip searched daily by male guards, video taped in the bathroom—three women are political prisoners in the USA—where they say this can’t happen.  In a high security dungeon in Lexington, Kentucky is the United States government conducting secret experiments in brainwashing and behavioural modification on these women? Is this what we can expect from the brave new world of panoptic security?


 Sunday, February 16 and Wednesday, February 19,  17.00 hrs.

 Sven Augustijnen │ Something on Bach (1998, Belgium, 37 min.)

The rear window surveillance approach is taken to a rehearsal of Alain Platel’s Les Ballets C. de la B. seen through the windows of the rehearsal space from a vantage point across the street which produces a multivalent reading of a complex set of events.

 Ross McElwee │ The Six O’Clock News  (1997, USA, 102 min.)

We now seize that ultimate daily moment of scrutiny and world surveillance:  the six o’clock news and what’s more we choose to engage it directly and call its bluff.  McElwee decides to enter into the events of the news when they come close to home after a hurricane has leveled the town where he has previously filmed and where his friend Charleen Swansea, a frequent McElwee subject, lives.  Thus a new journey for the ever watchful eye begins.  This work also constitutes a sequel of sorts to Time Indefinite included in last month’s program “Like Real”.


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