Keynote Discussion – Yvonne Rainer with John Greyson

Wednesday April 07, 2010, 7:00 PM - OCAD Auditorium (Public)
Yvonne Rainer & John Greyson

Yvonne Rainer’s career in many ways runs parallel with the concerns that we expect to trace over the course of this four-day Congress. Trained as a dancer, Rainer moved into filmmaking in the 1970s and then further branched out into video and most recently back to choreography. Through these shifts, her work has retained a constant focus on formal experimentation, the expressive possibilities of the body and an ongoing engagement with political and feminist thought. In conversation with filmmaker John Greyson, Rainer will trace her work as it has developed over the years and reflect on what it means to move through one medium to another. Open to non-registrants, $10 general, $5 students, Images Festival members.

Session 1 – The Place of the Medium

Thursday April 08, 2010, 9:30 AM - OCAD
Henriette Huldisch (Associate Curator, Media Archive, Hamburger Bahnhof Museum for Contemporary Art, Germany)
Nicky Hamlyn (filmmaker, Professor, University for the Creative Arts, UK), Pip Chodorov (filmmaker, Re:Voir Video, France), Nicole Gingras (writer/curator, Montreal), Michael Snow (filmmaker/visual artist, Toronto), Ming-Yuen S. Ma (curator/media activist, Associate Professor, Pitzer College, USA)

This panel explores the artist’s relationship to the status of the medium in an increasingly interdisciplinary world. Within the last decade, the proliferation of digital intermediation and a continuing movement toward the dissolution of the art object have raised the question of whether the category of “medium specificity” continues to hold significance. In the age of what Rosalind Krauss has termed the “post-medium condition,” does the medium still matter? And how can we talk about medium specificity without resorting to essentialist qualities of its material support: Celluloid, projected light, bits, bytes, pixels?

Session 2 – Carrying History Forward

Thursday April 08, 2010, 11:30 AM - OCAD
Kathy High (visual media artist, Associate Professor, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA)
Wafaa Bilal (artist, Assistant Professor, New York University), Cheryl L’Hirondelle (performance artist, Vancouver/Toronto), Dont Rhine (member, Ultra-red activist sound collective, USA), David Teh (Assistant Professor, National University of Singapore)

This session examines experimental media as inscriptions of history. How do art works express, reflect, document or intervene in the aesthetics, ideas, politics–the critical elements–of an historical conjuncture? How might they serve to keep histories alive and help shape public perceptions and memories? What are the pedagogies of knowing and remembering? Listen: Part 1: Part [...]

Session 3 – Snapshot of a Diversity of Current Practices

Thursday April 08, 2010, 2:30 PM - OCAD
Sara Diamond (President, Ontario College of Art and Design)
Barry Doupe (Vancouver, presenting at Images Festival in On Screen 3), Kaitlin Till-Landry (On Screen 2), Annie MacDonell (No Images), Juan Ortiz-Apuy (On Screen 4).

Artists presenting elsewhere at the Images Festival will talk about their work. Discussion will include the process of making, their relationship to historical moments and the development of new forms. Listen: Part 1: Part 2: Part 3: Part 4: Part 5: Part 6: Part 7:

Field Report: India

Thursday April 08, 2010, 4:30 PM - OCAD
Ayisha Abraham (artist, Centre for Experimental Media Arts, Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, India), Shai Heredia (Director, Experimenta Film Festival, India)

India has produced a burst of experimental media in the last decade, inspired in part by the rise of festivals like Experimenta in Mumbai and Bangalore. This field report will focus on recent production in India, as well as contextualizing the scene in which it is made. Listen: Part 1: Part 2: Part 3: Part [...]

3D for Experimental Media Artists

Thursday April 08, 2010, 6:30 PM - York University
Filmmaker Ali Kazimi

Catch the bus up to York University to see the projects being developed in the Future Cinema Lab, including a new research component on three-dimensional cinema for experimental artists.

BUS PICKUP/DROP OFF in front of the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD).

Open Screening / Party

Thursday April 08, 2010, 10:45 PM - The Music Gallery

All Congress registrants are invited to bring a short work to show at one of two late night screenings at the Music Gallery (197 John Street, Toronto). MiniDV, DVD, 16mm or Super 8. First come, first shown ‘til last call.

Attendance is open to non-registrants.

Roundtable – The Cinematic Enters the Gallery

Friday April 09, 2010, 9:30 AM - OCAD - Room 230
Peggy Gale (independent curator, Toronto)
Andréa Picard (programmer/curator, TIFF Cinematheque, Toronto), Christopher Eamon (independent curator, Director, New Art Trust, USA), Peter Ride (curator/researcher, University of Westminster, UK), Steve Loft (Executive Director, ImagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, Toronto)

Moving images have been a mainstay of galleries for half a century. Discussants with backgrounds in a wide range of interdisciplinary programming examine questions regarding the increasingly complex world of the gallery, of presentation formats and settings. Have the lines between artforms blurred, have audience expectations shifted, how have these phenomena altered curatorial practice? Do moving images necessarily imply the cinematic? How easily does expanded cinema manage to shuttle between the white and the black box or the public space outside either one of these more traditional venues? [...]

Session 4 – The Uncertainty Principle: Political Engagement and the Documentary in an Expanded Field

Friday April 09, 2010, 11:30 AM - OCAD
Irina Leimbacher (film programmer, USA)
Ursula Biemann (video artist, Switzerland), Hito Steyerl (artist, Germany), Wendelien van Oldenborgh (artist, the Netherlands)

This session explores the changing face of documentary, as those strategies and formal structures migrate from the cinema into galleries and museums. Just as the modes of production change, so do the particulars of how a film is viewed. Expanding on some of the general formal concerns addressed in the Cinematic Enters the Gallery roundtable, this session focuses the discussion on the place non-fiction practice has within the context of contemporary art. [...]

Session 5 – Interface : Experiment : Access

Friday April 09, 2010, 2:30 PM - OCAD
David Rokeby (artist, Toronto)
Anne Balsamo (University of Southern California, USA), Konrad Becker (co-founder of the Institute for New Culture Technologies/t0, Austria), Simone Jones (Associate Professor, Ontario College of Art & Design) Ou Ning (designer/curator/writer, China)

What is the interface in the age of the digital? Technology itself has long been an important locus of experimentation for media artists. Refiguring and rearticulating the technological experience is often the by-product, if not the intention, of much electronic media art. It is an approach that in its most compelling forms subtly rearticulates questions about the politics of technology away from macro-social questions of politics and policy towards consideration of the design and organization of technological artefacts themselves. [...]

Lunchtime Show & Tell

Friday April 09, 2010, 1:30 PM - OCAD

An open screen for non-time dependent media (websites, slide documentation and new media projects).

Soap Box

Friday April 09, 2010, 4:30 PM - OCAD

A chance to catch up on what we’ve missed: ideas that were raised but had no proper airing or thoughts that have been lost in the shuffle. Open floor! Listen:

Open Screening / Party

Friday April 09, 2010, 10:45 PM - The Music Gallery

Night two of visual treats from participants.

Session 6 – Permanence in Flux: Archival Practices

Saturday April 10, 2010, 9:30 PM - OCAD
Ainsley Walton (Assistant Conservator, Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Canada)
Pelle Snickars (Head of Research, Swedish National Archive of Recorded Sound and Moving Images, National Library of Sweden), Ayisha Abraham (Centre for Experimental Media Arts, Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, India), Jean Gagnon (curator/art critic, formerly Executive Director of Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science and Technology, Montreal), Ross Lipman (Film Preservationist, UCLA Film and Television Archive, USA), Jorge La Ferla (Director of the Eurolatinoamericano Festival of Video and Digital Art, Argentina)

The archival preservation of experimental film and media has increased dramatically in the last decade even as archivists juggle the increasing obsolescence of everything from film stocks to video monitors to computer software and hardware. [...]

A Conversation: Institutions and Mythologies in Experimental Media

Saturday April 10, 2010, 11:30 AM - OCAD
Susan Oxtoby (Senior Film Curator, Pacific Film Archive)
Stefanie Schulte Strathaus (Artistic Director, Arsenal Institute for Film and Video Art, Germany), Steve Anker (Dean of the School of Film/Video, California Institute of the Arts, USA), Tom Sherman (artist, Professor, Syracuse University, USA) & Ed Halter (Director, Light Industry, USA)

An undercurrent of the preparations for this Congress, when compared to the 1989 Experimental Film Congress, has been a sense of the degree by which aspects of experimental media have become institutionalized. They have been institutionalized through mythologizing; through economic support (both through public funding and commercial models); through academic research; and through preservation and historicization. [...]

Lunch + Barbara Hammer Book Launch

Saturday April 10, 2010, 1:30 PM - OCAD
Barbara Hammer

Barbara Hammer launches her first book with a reading from “Hammer!”, a memoir tracing her life and practise through its many twists and turns. Come early for a performance of her piece, Available Space, first presented in Toronto in 1979!

Roundtable – The Conscious Collective

Saturday April 10, 2010, 2:30 PM - OCAD
Dot Tuer
Daichi Saito (co-founder Double Negative Collective, Montreal), James Holcombe (, UK), Benj Gerdes & Paige Sarlin (16 Beaver, USA), Alfredo Cramerotti (Chamber of Public Secrets, Denmark)

This session responds to the renewed interest in artist collectives and community in a period described by critics as increasingly fractured and isolated, on the one hand, and increasingly interconnected and global, on the other. This session includes artists and organizers from collectives that focus on celluloid film technologies, as well as artists from collectives whose practice spans a variety of media forms and discursive practices. What does this phenomenon indicate about the current status of the artist? Where does the return of the collective point us?

Session 7 – Raiding the Archive

Saturday April 10, 2010, 4:30 PM - OCAD
Vera Frenkel
Tamar Guimaraes (visual artist, Brazil/Denmark), Sobhi Al-Zobaidi (filmmaker, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver), Kevin Jerome Everson (filmmaker, Professor, University of Virginia, USA), Barbara Hammer (filmmaker, USA)

The term “Raiding the Archive” speaks to the tendency of experimental film, video and media artists to interrogate and transform the materials constituting the moving image archive through the deployment of a diverse arsenal of rhetorical and aesthetic strategies. For this panel, we have invited artists working with archival materials to discuss past projects and the direction of their current work. These artists have taken unorthodox approaches toward the archive, transforming it from a static storehouse of historical memory into malleable databanks to be interrogated, reconstituted and even invented.

Field Report – Korea

Sunday April 11, 2010, 1:30 PM - OCAD
Donghyun Park (Director EX-iS Festival, Korea, Professor, Myongji University), Hangjun Lee (filmmaker, Programmer, EX-iS Festival and Editor, N’avant Magazine, Korea)

Seoul is currently experiencing an explosion of experimental media activity that has begun to receive international notice thanks to organizations like EX-iS and Space Cell and a large number of new post-secondary media art programs. This field report will present some of the work coming out of Seoul, with a special emphasis on the scenes that have had hands in creating it.

Summary Session

Sunday April 11, 2010, 2:30 PM - OCAD
Chris Gehman (filmmaker/writer/teacher, Toronto)
David Teh (Assistant Professor, National University of Singapore), Stefanie Schulte Strathaus (Artistic Director, Arsenal Institute for Film and Video Art, Germany), Bart Testa (Senior Lecturer, University of Toronto)

One final look at the 2010 Experimental Media Congress, with preparations for the 2012 Congress in Berlin. Three respondents share their views on what has been discussed and what questions we can pose for the future. Listen: Part 1: Part 2: Part 3: Part 4: Part 5:

NEW: Download conference podcast (iTunes) or listen to sessions online.

The 2010 International Experimental Media Congress (April 7-11, 2010) coincides with the closing days of the 23rd Images Festival (April 1-10, 2010). The first Congress since the storied 1989 Toronto Experimental Film Congress, this gathering will promote ongoing international conversations and provide platforms for creative discussions about the burning issues related to experimental media production, exhibition, dissemination, criticism, pedagogy and reception. Including panels, roundtables, dialogues and international field reports, the Congress will bring together over 50 invited film, video and new media artists, theorists, archivists and curators from around the world for an intense four days of discussions and debate.

The Congress will take place at the Ontario College of Art and Design (100 McCaul Street) and York University (4700 Keele Street) in Toronto (unless specified otherwise).

The International Experimental Media Congress is supported by grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council. Thanks to our venue partner the Ontario College of Art & Design and York University, Ryerson University, the University of Toronto and the Goethe-Institut Toronto. Additional support from the Canada Council’s Visiting Curator’s Program; the Goethe-Institut Toronto; Prefix Photo’s Urban Field Speaker Series; Public Access; and Ryerson Gallery and Research Centre, Ryerson University.