Recent Projects

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Mahdohkt

During the year long Commission program, Neshat worked on special effects for her first feature film, Women Without Men. The film's screenplay is an adaptation of a surreal novel written by Shahrnoush Parsipour, a celebrated Iranian woman writer living in exile. The book chronicles the lives of five women running away from some sort of social, cultural or sexual oppression; whose lives mysteriously converge in an orchard, where they attempt to create their own society. The story follows the construction and eventual breakdown of this 'utopian' society.

Through the use of a mystical, metaphorical and feminine terminology rooted in Iranian culture, the film addresses the universal subject of human suffering that is caused by oppressive cultural and religious environments where 'madness' and eventually 'suicide' become true options for salvation. The film's main location will be an Iranian garden that is reminiscent of the traditional concept of 'paradise' in both Persian and Islamic traditions. The film will attempt to explore the 'internal' world of each woman, a mad pattern of obscure dreams, anxieties, fears, obsessions, and ultimately spirituality. Similar to the novel, the film will be created in a series of short stories which eventually connect in the final chapter.

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Christian Marclay's Screen Play is a new work consisting of a projected video score to be interpreted by three musical ensembles performing live on November 11th, 2005. The projected element of Screen Play is a combination of found film footage overlaid with computer animation. Marclay chose footage suggesting certain visual rhythms and emotions, which he then worked to accentuate or underscore elements with overlapping computer graphics. The resulting video- reminiscent at moments of a silent film and at others of a flight simulator- becomes the visual score for musicians to interpret live.

The video score of Screen Play was produced in Eyebeam's Production Studios for the 2005 Moving Image Commission. Eyebeam and PERFORMA05 are co-presenting this premiere performance.

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Director: Alex Rivera

Screenwriter: Alex Rivera, David Riker
Executive Producers: Guy Naggar, Peter Klimt
Producer: Anthony Bregman
Cinematographer: Lisa Rinzler
Editor: Alex Rivera
Composer: Tomandandy
Visual Effects Supervisor: Mark Russell

Gorgeous, intelligent, and intensely imaginative, Alex Rivera’s stunning first feature, Sleep Dealer, is set in a near future marked by airtight international borders, militarized corporate warriors, and an underground class of node workers who plug their nervous systems into a global computer network that commodifies memory.

Memo Cruz is a young campesino who lives with his family in a town fighting for its life, the small, dusty farm village of Santa Ana del Rio, Oaxaca. A private company has hijacked control of the area’s water supply and is selling it back to the village at outrageous prices, provoking the mobilization of aqua-terrorist cells. But Memo couldn’t care less about Santa Ana. He loves technology and dreams of leaving his small pueblo to find work in the hi-tech factories of the big cities in the north. He dreams of becoming a node worker and learns how to build his own transmitter, which he uses to hack into the lives of others and live vicariously. One night, he stumbles across a transmission destined to pave the way to the city of the future, but in a way Memo could never have expected.

Burning with visual energy and originality, Sleep Dealer is a fascinating and prescient work of science fiction that is as politically engaged as enjoyable to watch.

Eyebeam Production Lab worked with Mark Russell on elements of the visual effects.

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"Repatriation" is an animated short film that tells the story of a woolly mammoth reclaiming his bones from a museum display as an exploration of the subject of repatriation. Combining computer-generated animation and live shot backgrounds, this work in progress employs various procedural techniques, custom tools and commercial software (Alias|Wavefront Maya) to create photorealistic imagery in support of a complex narrative.

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Scissorfriends, is both DVD zine and installation. Expanding the metaphor of the paper zine into a 3-dimensional experience, Scissorfriends highlights a series of DVDs crafted with original and found video and audio content, exploring questions about the impact of format and technology on deeply personal expression.

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Kabul: Constitutions investigates the question of how our imaginaries of the architectures of democracy overlap with the real spaces where the structures of the state are materially and politically invested and contested. Viewers participating in an interactive video installation and accompanying web project are placed within the particular space and moment of the Constitutional Loya Jirga, the tribal council or national assembly of winter 2003-04, where Afghanistan's representatives debated, amended and ultimately adopted their new constitution. During the run of the exhibition, viewers will be able to engage further with the ideas underlying the experience of first-person navigation of the material by participating in periodic "guided tours" of the installation that will be given by the artist, by following the trail of analytic and contextual information that goes back to March 2003 on kabul-reconstructions.net, or by contributing to the new public dialogue forum on imaginaries of democracy that will be built into the website.

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Tentacle, from Swedish arts collaborative Beeoff (Olle Huge, Tomas Linell and Mikael Scherdin), is a receptor-sculpture on a network that feeds streamed content (“streaming media”) over the Internet to several stations. During Works in Process ,Tentacle will gathers and transmits sound and images from nodes at Eyebeam and in Stockholm, transmitting them to a central editing computer, creating new content which is rebroadcast simultaneously back to the translucent, sculptural nodes at each location. Tentacle has been exhibted abroad in Paris (Villette Numérique), Stockholm (Splintermind – the artists’ studios) and Helsinki (Kiasma Museum), and for the first time in the United States at Eyebeam.

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Struck is a video and sound installation that begs the question of how do we gain an “understanding” of disease through the visual interpretation of data. The piece addresses the development and implications of visualisation techniques as they are used in the detection and interpretation of neurological disorders. The work continues Barker’s interest in examining the representation of bodily and psychological difference, but now examines the convergence of this with the processes involved in the visualisation of disease itself. Struck is a multi-layered work that will attempt to critically address the effects that being diagnosed with the incurrable degenerate neurological disease Multiple Sclerosis has had on the artist’s life in the past four years. Rather than being a direct emotional response, it is one that will look historically at the disease, its origins, interpretations and specifically, the technologies and imaging processes used to visualise neurological disorders. In part it will critically reflect upon contemporary medical imaging techniques - with particular reference to Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) - and the legacy these processes inherit from the event of their of medicalised and institutional discovery during the late 19th century. The work will remain medical, clinical and ultimately removed from its subject, yet at the same time it will exude a sense of the individual being lost to a medical discourse.

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Inside Out Life Story
Inside Out Life Story (IOLS) is an artwork that combines robotics, art music, theatrical sets, animated toys and artificial intelligence to tell the story of our 2004: the year we got married, a year of endless war, the elections, robots on Mars and of course the year of our first colostomy bag. Inside Out is a story about a sick person and their partner, life in the hospital and the process of shifting back and forth between two disparate worlds. Our miniature robotic self-portraits, along with a cast of bio-inspired mechatronic characters, will attempt to convey, with synchronized narratives, music and animations, the terrifying and hilarious world that appears after visiting hours.

Inside Out Life Story (IOLS) blog.

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10 Cameras is a video documentation of a 10 channel, one hour synchronized video installation. Ten people equipped with dv cameras meet in the woods of Caumsett State Park, Long Island. Each participant, with camera to eye, simultaneously embarks upon the shoot from the center of the forest. The installation shows each view synchronously, as they disband through the forest choosing their own paths for the length of one minidv tape (1 hour). The excursion begins to end as they whistle to find each other at 50:00. Funding assistance was provided by Experimental Television Center's Finishing Funds.