It is not only of major symbolic value in the political arena. The Mexican-American border is also a rewarding topic in film history. Orson Welles’ classic Touch of Evil reveals the border as an explosive territory between law and lawlessness.
Passing from the ultra-technological US to the far more disorganized state of Mexico is an experience that has been narrated by a range of filmmakers. The border is a nowhere land, a transitory zone that is symbolical of freedom as much as tyranny. With clips from Django(1966), The Wild Bunch (1969), The Getaway (1972), No Country for Old Men (2007), Thelma & Louise (1991), From Dusk Till Dawn(1996) and Sicario (2015).
Compiled and presented by Cinema Egzotik programmers Ronald Simons and Martin Koolhoven (in Dutch).
The programme will be followed by Orson Welles’ classic Touch of Evil (1958, featuring Janet Leigh and Charlton Heston), in which the attempted assassination of an American businessman in a small town on the American-Mexican border uncovers a morass of corruption and decay.
Leaving everything behind you in the hope of a better life. The films in this programme highlight the history of migration based on clips from EYE’s collection and recent productions.
The programme includes films by contemporary artists such as The Bureaucracy of Angels by Oliver Chanarin and Adam Broomberg. Also featured is Joost Conijn’s Good evening welcome to the people living in the camp (2018), plus a clip from Transit Levantkade (1990, Rosemarie Blank), with archival footage of East-European migrants around 1900.
In collaboration with Nathanja van Dijk (director A Tale of a Tub).
This screening is programmed in combination with the film good evening welcome to the people living in the camp.
Film lecture on the visual language of artistic virtual reality, by William Uricchio.
Are cinema and virtual reality fundamentally intertwined? Or are we pushing familiar content into emerging technologies, just as theater once pushed its way onto early film screens? Drawing on deep historical precedent together with VR’s fast changing technological horizon, William Uricchio will explore the uses and abuses of cinema with VR.
William Uricchio is Professor of Comparative Media Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and founder and principal investigator of the MIT Open Documentary Lab.
This screening is followed by a screening of Russian Ark (2002, Aleksandr Sokurov).
How do you address the work of an artist who defies definition? To mark Van Warmerdam’s solo exhibition L’histoire kaputt, writers and poets ponder the multidimensional oeuvre of the filmmaker, theatremaker, writer and painter Alex van Warmerdam. With Maria Barnas and Dirk van Weelden.
This evening, De Gids editors Dirk van Weelden and Maria Barnas invite writers and poets to provide a literary perspective on the work of Alex van Warmerdam. Wherein lies his striking versatility? Poets and writers who identify with Van Warmerdam’s original and maverick attitude will talk about his work.
Dirk van Weelden is a writer and philosopher. In 1987 he and Martin Bril debuted together with Arbeidsvitaminen. Het ABC van Bril & Van Weelden. Van Weelden was awarded the Multatuli Prize for his novel Mobilhome in 1992. Among his other novels are Tegenwoordigheid van geest (1989), Oase (1994) and Looptijd (2003). His most recent novel is Het middel (2007).
Maria Barnas is a poet, writer and visual artist. Her novel Altijd Augustus was published by Van Oorschot in 2017. She writes about art and literature for a number of magazines, including De Groene Amsterdammer, Vrij Nederland and De Gids.
Transnatural presents an evening dedicated to nature and robotics. We explore the rise of a natural reality driven by technology on the basis of short films, interviews, performances and project demonstrations. A preview of The Man Machine programme offered by Eye from 18 October to 13 November.
Programme EYE on Art X Robotanica:
A performance by artist Tez on Alan Turing’s research into morphogenesis – spontaneous pattern formation in the natural world. Movements and body sensors are translated into sound by means of artificial intelligence. Plasm immerses us in the ever-evolving environment of living cells, tissue and organs.
Hertog Nadler (NL/IL)
The story of a rebellious olive tree causing a riot. Whilst the spontaneous protest grows, the riot police start searching through the landscape seeking to suppress the rebellion. The story is inspired by the aggressive ways in which olive branches are harvested.
Theo Triantafyllidis (US/GR)
This Virtual Reality experience attempts to recreate the first known outbreak of Polywobbly Fervenitis. Due to exposure to the desert sun, a VR headset had a chemical reaction that somehow started a computer virus. The computer virus managed to mutate itself into a strain of bacteria and is now known as Staphyloculus – a virus that is spread through the use of Virtual Reality headsets. The phenomenon greatly puzzles the scientific community, which is anxiously looking for a cure.
Mother Earth Network
Elise Marcus (NL)
What if our planet could tell us what it needs? The Mother Earth Network offers a new way to feel empathy for our planet through artificial intelligence. A kit consisting of data collectors that can measure water, air, soil, and plants, allows people from all over the world to upload data into the Mother Earth Network. When we feel more connected with our surroundings, will we be motivated to live in a more sustainable way?
From 1-15 June Transnatural presents an open-air exhibition in Amsterdam’s Tolhuistuin exploring the introduction of robotics in the natural world. Robotanica focuses on theimminent period of ‘a new natural world’, with a wilderness of technological creatures emerging. In great and small ways, the new complex of technology and ecosystems can have a positive influence on the Anthropocene – the term coined for the present period in which human activity negatively impacts on all earth systems. Are we dealing with a new evolution now that robotics are introduced in the natural world? Are species on the verge of extinction replaced by artificial ones to keep the ecosystem in check?
Various films from the recent EYE on Art ResearchLabs held in February 2018 dealt with the notion of the screen. Master students from the University of Amsterdam’s MA seminar ‘Curating the Moving Image’ have put together highlights of the recent ResearchLabs, combining them with material from the EYE Collection. An investigation into the relationship between the screen, the human flesh and the environment.
The screen functions as a mediator altering the relation between the human and its surroundings. In the digital age we need to confront certain questions: where does our body end and the screen start? How do the screen and technology limit or extend our human being? How do we deal with present versus absent actors?
When looking at the screen, a laptop or a mobile phone, one might not notice the surroundings anymore. Yet the screen functions as a window to other spaces or the bygone. The word ‘television’ originates from seeing things on a distance. The screen helps us to see the unseen. This is exactly what Michiel van Bakel investigates in his Forest Paths.
With the blank screen of Kees Hin and K. Schippers, we ask ourselves if the screen is merely a neutral surface on which images are projected. Or is it an active agent, framing how we relate to the contemporary world, as Sophie Dixon’s Untitled 2016 shows? How do we frame the world and what do we choose to archive? Rossella’s The Splintering Sun also reflects upon the ruins of time. What remains of our lifetime on earth if we can store our memories on a digital drive?
‘The screen’ is both an extension of the human body as well as its replacement. It blurs the distinction between the here and now and absent people, times and places. This theme becomes apparent in the video Zuidoost-Noordwest by Oded Rimon, a poetic dialogue between a projection and urban Amsterdam, visually bringing neighborhoods together.
Please find here the reviews of the Research Labs programs of 17 February 2018 by the Master students from the University of Amsterdam’s MA seminar ‘Curating the Moving Image’:
Review St. Joost
Review RUL 1 
Review RUL 1 
Review PZI & UvA
Review PZI & UvA Part 2
Review VJ Rubin
A Cuban evening starting with a look at Che Guevara, the revolution’s poster boy in 1968. Demonstrators carried his image with them, shouting that they would continue the revolution in his name. Unique footage of Che, who perfectly embodied the wild appeal of insurrection with his longish hair, his baret and his cigar. The programme also features Memories of Underdevelopment, a compelling portrait of the young Cuban intellectual Sergio: how does he relate to Castro’s regime? The film won the Camera d’Or at Cannes. Introduction by Gert Oostindie.