Art’s Birthday: Retro Future

Art’s Birthday and 2010 Was the World of the Future Screening
Saturday, January 16
3rd Floor, Artspace (100 Arthur Street)
Doors open at 8pm, screening at 9pm, party till late!
Music by Rob Vilar
$5 with costume, $10 without
All proceeds support Video Pool’s new multi-channel editing suite.

Come celebrate Winnipeg’s edition of the Milky Way’s best out-of-this-world international/intergalactic networked party.

Art turns 1,000,047 years old this year, and we are throwing the party of the year with music and dancing in our immersive video environment!

Tubular futuristic raffle prizes! Birthday cake contest! Prizes for best costumes! International video streaming!

2010 Was the World of the Future
“The future ain’t what it use to be” – Yogi Berra
Curated by Clint Enns

Some of us thought the future would never come, but the future is here and it already looks dated. The films in this program deal with the concept of future from the perspective of our place in time, namely, 2010. We are literally in the 21st century, the world of the future. There are no flying cars, there is no world peace (and it doesn’t appear to be coming soon) and we have yet to make contact (or at least that is what the government is telling us). One of the main things that hasn’t changed is that both dystopian and utopian visions of the future are constantly being put forth.

Curtis Wiebe’s Rocket John is literally retro-futurism in action. A handcrafted 50s vision of the future. Another crafty futuristic gem is Brodeo in Space by Gwen Trutnau, complete with home-made autopsy footage and beer can spaceships. In this film she reminds us that Metal will outlive us all.

Stuart Hughes’s Is It The Future or What? deals with 80s popular television nostalgia. Saturday morning cartoons in the 80s created their own version of future societies. Hughes is a little disappointed with how past visions of the future played themselves out, you know, with all this sitting around, pointing and clicking. After all, War Amps public safety announcements promised a world where Astar could “put her arm back on”. Inspired, Hughes created a modern day version of Astar more in tune with our current situation. Leslie Supnet’s Fair Trade deals with her current situation by purging the past in order to get on with what lies ahead. The transformative future in Leslie’s animation is acquired by trading her memories of 80s pop culture consumerism with a mystic.

Despite being gruesome, Sociology 666 presents a surprisingly accurate vision of the future by predicting the boom of the internet, current copyright issues, and the failure of the American dollar. The mash-up also addresses the problems of post-industrialization and the results of moving into a digital era through a non-stop barrage of found footage from the fringes of popular consciousness. Similarly, Colin Barton’s Intestinal Fortitude uses a intense optical layering of found footage to create several dramatic narratives that range from “enjoying coffee to an industrial hell”. Both films are completely apathetic and use pre-existing footage to present a bleak vision of the future.

Through playing with found footage, Matthew Rankin’s Je me souviens creates an emotional connection as well as a historical connection to our past. Furthermore, his film is a reminder that Quebec sovereignty may not just be an issue of the past. Chistian Nicolay’s Ampli Fly, uses a clever visual metaphor to create political discourse, creating emotional and intellectual awareness in an attempt to change the future.

In the 60s it was clear to a few that psychedelic drugs like LSD, marijuana and harmaline were the key to future scientific advancement. Michael Stecky’s Harmaline looks at the world through a drug induced intraocular lens. These electric kool-aid acid images may not be the key to scientific enlightenment, but they certainly are bliss inducing.

Thorsten Fleisch’s Dromosphere uses a hand built apparatus, consisting of a dolly synchronized to the shutter of a still camera, in order to provide a visual demonstration of the phenomenon of speed. Fleisch is playfully referencing Paul Virilio’s concept of dromology, which literally means the science of speed. Dromology is often referred to when dealing with the evolution of human society and it is argued that it is one of the defining characteristics of our society. In other words, one of the main traits of modern society is its relentless acceleration and compression of time.


Rocket John by Curtis Wiebe

Fair Trade by Leslie Supnet

Brodeo in Space by Gwen Trutnau

Is It The Future or What? by Stuart Hughes

Sociology 666 (excerpt) by Richard Altman and Seb Capone

Ampli Fly by Christian Nicolay

Je me souviens by Matthew Rankin

Harmaline by Michael Stecky

Dromosphäre/Dromosphere by Thorsten Fleisch

Intestinal Fortitude by Colin Barton
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~ by cineflyer on January 10, 2010.

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