Luminous Latitude

Whitechapel Gallery
Thursday 9th July, 6.00pm

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Luminous Latitude is a touring programme of recent artistsʼ film from Scotland. These short films invite broad questions around how we inhabit and psychologise spaces and places, and how a sense of place may act as a grounding for our individual and collective creative identity. Highlighting the rich diversity of contemporary Scottish experimental film practice, these filmmakers explore a range of landscapes, techniques, themes and attitudes; from poetic lyricism, through representation and abstraction, to political appropriation. Is there, perhaps, a distinctive diversity emerging from this very place?

The Luminous Latitude programme was selected from an open call across Scotland in autumn 2014. The selection panel included Kim Knowles (ʻBlack Boxʼ programmer for Edinburgh International Film Festival), Gareth Evans (Whitechapel Gallery Film Curator), Emmanuel Lefrant (Director of artistsʼ film distributor, Lightcone), Carolyn Mills (former curator of ʻCrossing The Lineʼ at Glasgow Film Festival) and Richard Ashrowan (Creative Director of Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival).

craignish-e1423150252951Luminous Latitude is an Alchemy Film & Arts project and is supported by The Craignish Trust.


All films in this programme (ordered alphabetically by title):

Lucas Battich
Colour Etude | 2014 | 00:05:55 (hh:mm:ss)

Short synopsis:

This film is a study of signal corruption in digital media, where unexpected digital colour patterns are generated by chance interventions on several video files. This is accomplished by acting directly with the raw data of video files on text- and sound-editing softwares. The unforeseen malfunction generated is later intentionally manipulated, edited and controlled. The sound composition mirrors and furthers this exploration, involving both intentional and chance elements.

Biography / Filmography:

Lucas Battich is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Scotland, born in Tucumán, Argentina. A particular area of concern in his artistic practice is the social and cultural impact of digital media and technological development.

Scott Willis
E215 | 2013 | 00:03:15 (hh:mm:ss)
Short synopsis:

E215. is a intimate meditative insight into my gran mother as she reflects on her old age and health. The film is poetic highlighting that beauty can still be obtained from unlikely places. An optimistic perspective on ageing. A collaboration between young and old.

Biography / Filmography:

“Scott is a quiet pleasant well motivated pupil who can be relied upon to carry out any task conscientiously. He displays a sensible, mature attitude to school and has the respect and friendship of his peers. He has a good rapport with adults and has a good sense of humour and sense of fun. He lacks confidence in his abilities and is a born worrier, when he has little to worry about!”

Mrs Robertson
Primary 4 Teacher

Ethel Maude
Exquisite Corpse | 2014 | 00:05:23 (hh:mm:ss)
Short synopsis:

The Surrealists’ game of Exquisite Corpse originally involved a piece of paper, with concertina folds, onto which each member of a group draws a body part, without being able to see what others have drawn on the paper. The individual composite parts come together as a whole as the paper is unfolded at the end. Here members of the artist collective Ethel Maude created an experimental video work adapting the rules of the game. Contributors worked in a chain providing their final 3 seconds to the next participant, who then responded and handed on their final 3 seconds. Once the film was assembled a soundtrack was created for the whole piece.

Biography / Filmography:

Ethel Maude is a collective of artists, designers and filmmakers based in Edinburgh.

Demelza Kooij & Lars Koens
Graminoids | 2014 | 00:06:18 (hh:mm:ss)
Short synopsis:

Graminoids is a lilting paean to the manifold strains of native grass that cultivate upon Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh. Frenetic movement and textures dominate the frame, and the synergy between sound, locomotion, and image creates a hypnotic sensory panorama.

Biography / Filmography:

Demelza & Lars are an artist duo based in Edinburgh. They explore film, music, drawing, and painting.

Demelza is in the process of producing her first feature film in collaboration with Lowik Media. This audiovisual experience explores nonverbal gestures and other forms of language that underly forms of human/animal coexistence. Furthermore, she is a tutor at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) and is part of the Scottish Documentary Institute. After Demelza obtained a bachelor in archaeology she completed a master in philosophy and one in documentary filmmaking. She is now a practice-based PhD student at the ECA / University of Edinburgh specialising in film.

Lars is an Edinburgh based artist and music composer. He obtained a PhD from Edinburgh University and works as a research associate in the area of cosmology. In his art he focuses on sound, composition, colour, form, and their relationship.

karel dolak
Inchcape | 2014 | 00:01:33 (hh:mm:ss)
Short synopsis:

A Haunting Reef.
A Nautical Nightmare.

Biography / Filmography:

Karel is a BAFTA nominated Editor who currently lectures at Edinburgh Napier University. While he mainly collaborates on Drama Films as an Editor, he has a keen interest in directing his own documentary films. In 2013 he was shortlisted for the Scottish Documentary Institutes, Bridging The Gap Programme. The films he has worked on have won awards and official selection at festivals across the world.

My Name Was Jane (2013)
BAFTA Nomination – New Talent Awards, Scotland.
Best Film & Best Documentary Nomination – Screentest: National Student Film Festival, London.

Julie Brook
Pigment | 2013 | 00:08:20 (hh:mm:ss)
Short synopsis:

Over the years I have consistently used raw pigment in my drawing and sculptural work. In Namibia I was introduced to the way in which the Himba women use red pigment rubbed onto their skin. This has both an aesthetic and protective value for them.

Through an unexpected meeting with 3 Himba women in Otjize I was able to collect the red pigment with them. We use the same techniques of crushing and grinding the pigment. I use it dry, whilst they mix it with animal fat and aromatic plants.

Biography / Filmography:

Julie Brook is a British artist who for 25 years has roamed, lived and sculpted in a succession of uninhabited and remote landscapes.
From the black volcanic desert of central Libya and in the Jebel Acacus mountains in South West Libya (2008/2009) to the semi-desert of NW Namibia (2011/2012) the nature of light, shadow and structure are expressed in the sculptural forms Brook makes. Her work is transient; temporal, ephemeral and unearthly, the sculptures are made of the fabric of the landscape itself. Brook documents these transformations through film and photography which then become the expression of the work.

Alastair Cook
Sorrows | 2013 | 00:04:38 (hh:mm:ss)
Short synopsis:

She can, though every face should scowl
And every windy quarter howl
Or every bellows burst, be happy still.
{W.B. Yeats}

Sorrows was conceived as a way of writing micro poems to inform the filmmaking process. The novelist W. G. Sebald brought the term micro poem into usage, in reference to the poems of about 20 words in length that made up his 2004 work, Unrecounted. Sebald’s words are in the mind of our female protagonist, though she has her own: “

I am lost. Lost in this haar. My name. I have lost my name, my given name. But I am told that I am beautiful.”

See for the series of micro poems and associated images.

Biography / Filmography:

Alastair Cook is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning artist. His photographic work encompasses digital, large format film and antique photographic practices; he is also a filmmaker, employing 8mm and 16mm film in combination with digital technology to great effect. Alastair is the founding director of Filmpoem, a cinema and film festival project partnering Felix Poetry Festival in Antwerp and Poetry International at the Royal Festival Hall on London’s South Bank this year. He is also the founder of collaborative documentation project, Documenting Britain. Alastair’s work is mercurial, rooted in place and the intrinsic connections between people, land and sea.

Beagles & Ramsay
Spam Mush Dust | 2013 | 00:10:50 (hh:mm:ss)
Short synopsis:

Our first stop motion animation but the use of self-portraiture and doppelgangers has been an important element of our work for a number of years. Our presence has always been a performed presence; using doppelgangers has been a way to speak through multiple personae. The various scenes in this video feature 1:6 scale Beagles & Ramsay avatars and model versions of our past works. Each of the short tableaux take place within scale model versions of the studio and the gallery, but the entire work is shot through with dust laden lethargy, inaction and impotence.

Biography / Filmography:

We have worked collaboratively since 1996. We’ve exhibited widely at venues such as the Migros Museum, Zurich, PS1 MoMA, New York, the ICA, London, Tramway, Glasgow, the Venice Biennale and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. Our work was recently included in the major survey exhibition ‘Generation. 25 years of Contemporary Art in Scotland’.

Rachel Maclean
The Lion and the Unicorn | 2012 | 00:12:00 (hh:mm:ss)
Short synopsis:

Commissioned by The Edinburgh Printmakers for ‘Reflective Histories’, a group show at Traquair House in the Scottish Borders

“The Lion and The Unicorn” is a short film inspired by the heraldic symbols found on the Royal Coat of Arms of The United Kingdom, the lion (representing England) and the unicorn (representing Scotland). The piece uses representations of both alliance and opposition to explore national identity within the context of the referendum on Scottish independence.

The video features three recurrent characters: the lion, the unicorn and the queen. These figures seem to emerge from disparate genres, including shadowy historical reconstruction, playful nursery rhyme and pragmatic TV interview. Inhabiting the rich historical setting of Traquair House in the Scottish Borders, they are seen drinking North-sea oil from Jacobite crystal, dividing up the pieces of a Union Jack cake and inciting conflict over the mispronunciation of Robert Burns.

Biography / Filmography:

B 1987 Edinburgh
2005-2009 BA (hons) Drawing and Painting, Edinburgh College of Art
2007-2008 Student exchange, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

My work slips inside and outside of history and into imagined futures, creating hyper-glowing, artificially saturated visions that are both nauseatingly positive and cheerfully grotesque. I am a Glasgow based artist working largely in green screen composite video and digital print, often exhibiting this alongside props, costumes and related sculpture and painting.

In recent videos such as ‘Over The Rainbow’ and ‘LolCats’ I create synthetic spaces in which Katy Perry discuses teeth whitening with an aristocratic cat, a decapitated diva dances to hip pop and a pastel blue dog sings for The Queen.

I am the only actor or model in my work and invent a variety of characters that mime to appropriated audio and toy with age and gender. These clones embody unstable identities: conversing, interacting and shifting between cartoonish archetypes, ghostly apparitions and hollow inhuman playthings. My video attempts to unify the aesthetic of The Dollar Store, Youtube, Manga, Hieronymus Bosch and High Renaissance painting with MTV style green screen and channel changing cuts.

Inspired by the Britney Spears head shaving, I explore the moment at which unified, constructed identity throws it’s self up and tips into it’s opposite. The instant of self-consumption, when the signature white smile of the teen pop sensation begins to hungrily gnaw at it’s own image.

Sam Spreckley
Time | 2014 | 00:02:01 (hh:mm:ss)
Short synopsis:

Dandelions in general have always fascinated me, when they begin to pop up in the fields and sides of the road I’m often left contemplating their history, their general presence and individual reactions to them. Are they a pest? a plant grown from dogs piss and car fumes, are they a medicine? a salad? are they beautiful? (i think so) a very curious plant indeed. With this single channel concept i wanted to play with a number of thoughts, this idea of the clock, or clocks and time, to create a sequence in a rhythm, albeit a rhythm of destruction and also perhaps to explore this ‘destruction’, the intervention of nature by man, the simple urge to destroy something beautiful, to watch the world burn, even on this small scale

Biography / Filmography:

Sam Spreckley is a Scottish visual artist whom specializes in the creation of digital video works, both for single screen and multi channel installation. He received both his undergrad and masters degrees in Time Based Art and Electronic Imaging at the Duncan Of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee, Scotland. He has exhibited Nationally and Internationally, most recently as part of the RSA Annual exhibition in Edinburgh and as part of the City Sonic Event in Mons, Belgium, in association with pépinières européennes pour jeunes artistes.

Matt Hulse
Together Apart | 2013 | 00:10:08 (hh:mm:ss)
Short synopsis:

TOGETHER APART is the outcome of a year long artist’s residency hosted by the Aberdeen Centre for Environmental Sustainability (ACES) at The University of Aberdeen (UoA) and funded by Creative Scotland and UoA. The residency brought together artists, natural and social scientists to examine the complexity of conflicts that arise from our use of the environment. The screenplay was developed collaboratively by artist filmmaker Matt Hulse and Professor of Geography Bill Adams. US documentary director Elizabeth Lawrence provides the narration.

Biography / Filmography:

Matt Hulse is an artist filmmaker. His diverse practice embraces moving image, music, sound, performance, written word, social media and community. He recently completed his second feature film Dummy Jim. Since 1990 his films have screened at film festivals internationally in 23 different countries. SELECTED AWARDS: Hoppe-Ritter Teamwork Award 21st Stuttgart Filmwinter (2008) Special Award for Film Split Festival of New Film (2001) SAC Creative Scotland Award (2001) Fox Searchlight Best British Short Film (1998). In 2013 Canongate included him in ‘The Future 40′, a listing of creatives who they claimed would shape the next 40 years of culture in Scotland.

Rob Kennedy
What are you driving at? | 2013 | 00:04:13 (hh:mm:ss)
Short synopsis:

‘Roundabout’ was one of a range of government sponsored promotional film series produced buy Central Office of Information between 1962-74, designed to promote Britain’s position as a progressive industrial and cultural world leader.

Commissioned as part of the group exhibition ‘House Style’ (at Tramway, Glasgow) that looked broadly at the cultural inheritance of these promotional films. ‘What are you driving at?’, fuses archive footage of dated and now seemingly crude, physical manufacturing processes in plastics, beauty products and fashion, with images of a nebulous and fluid contemporary production ‘flow’, that has come to represent a more abstracted relationship to current industrial design and manufacture.

Biography / Filmography:

Rob Kennedy makes videos, sounds and objects on his own and often in collaboration with other artists, musicians and performers. His work tends to focus on the unreliability of language and the difficulties of succinct communication.

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