Cracking the Frame - The Sky Trembles

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Ben River's The Sky Trembles, the Earth is Afraid and the Two Eyes are Not Brothers programmed in Cracking the Frame. An introduction to this hauntingly beautiful film can be found below. Cracking the Frame is a platform for Art Documentaries and Artist Films. See Cracking the Frame's website.

Circling around the Sky Trembles

Introducing a film is always a delicate matter. Words may color the experience of the images and sounds that will follow. Introducing a film like The Sky Trembles, the Earth is Afraid and the Eyes are not Two Bothers is particularly challenging because no words can replace the beauty of the images that you are about to see, the sounds you are about to hear. 

Images and Sounds

The deep pink-orange-yellow colors of the sunlight blending into in the earthy dusts of the desert, the glistering reflections of the light fall on rippling river water, the framing and compositions of the people in the sandy rocks, caves or empty shadowy alleys, trees that look like green cotton mist, the magic beauty of the horses who always seem to know more; these are all ‘nearby-descriptions’ of the visual aesthetics of Ben River’s film.

The beauty of the images is rendered more mysterious, sublime even,  because of the mixture with the sensibilities of sonic worlds, moving in and out of synch with the images: a barking dog, clacking bells, footsteps on the rocks, chirping birds, a baby crying, scraping noises, the hoarsely bellowing of a donkey, the threatening duration of a metal song, the rhythm of hands clapping, drums beating, the sounds of silence. These are ‘nearby descriptions’ of the soundtrack that opens up the images into other dimensions, transporting the materiality of the earth into an other-worldly, spiritual dimension. In this way the film “salutes all parts of the sky and the earth” – an explicit acknowledgment at the opening of the film that may count as the films poetic mission.

Within these visual and sonic worlds much is hidden, never directly expressed but one can sense a thousand ghostly presences. Instead of analyzing the film in a precise way, I will simply try to unfold some of these haunting presences buried in the depths of the images and sounds, so that they may reveal themselves perhaps at various moments during or after the screening, without precise location or moment. I will “circle around” the film so to speak by addressing  the two interlinked themes that The Sky Trembles, The Earth if Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers  addresses. 

Fashion & Philosophy

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Drift Wijsgerig Festival

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9 April 2016 in Felix Meritis Amsterdam. Zie programma op de website van het Drif Festival. Met onder andere David E. Cooper (Gardens, Nature and Culture); Filippos Bertoni (Crawling through Natures); Judith Still (The Beast and the Slave); Lieven de Cauter (Neo-Natuur als Glokaal Gemeengoed) en Patricia Pisters (Metallurgisch Denken).

Worlding the Brain

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17-19 March 2016. Worlding the Brain. Patterns, Rhythms, Narratives in Neuroscience and the Humanities. International Symposium at the University of Amsterdam on understanding the human brain in interaction with the world.  Three leading scholars from the humanities and neurosciences have accepted our invitation to give keynote lectures at the symposium. Professors N. Katherine Hayes, Jean-Pierre Changeux and Andreas Roepstorff share a profound commitment to interdisciplinary research and have all in their own way contributed to the worlding of the brain across disciplinary boundaries. Find more information and the Call for Papers on the worldingthebrain-website.

Banner, poster and cover program booklet design by Johanna Ehde & Anton Weflo


Webcam as Cinematic Medium

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The Webcam as an Emerging Cinematic Medium by Paula Albuquerque is the title of the first PhD in Artistic Research involving a collaboration between the University of Amsterdam and the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. This research combines theory and art practice to analyse video surveillance as form of filmmaking and the consequent impact on processes of subjectification in urban spaces. Supervisor – Prof dr Patricia Pisters; Co-Supervisor – dr Jeroen Boomgaard; Artistic Advisor – Antonis Pittas. Defense: 14 January 2016 10.00 Agnietenkapel Oudezijdsvoorburgwal 229-231; Exhibition Opening 15 January 2016 17.00 -19.00 Stedelijke Bureau Amsterdam Rozenstraat 59 1016 NN Amsterdam.  Image: Paula Albuquerque - Unfinished Narratives # 41 Webcam / Screen Capture – 3’ 55” loop – Amsterdam 2013-2016

To Witness Matter

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11 December 2015 in Poetry Centre Perdu (Amsterdam): An evening on the materialities of memory and remembrance. With Baha Gorkem, Patricia Pisters, Mia You and Rozalie Hirs. See for more information Perdu's website. And the Facebook page.