Friday, October 21, 2016

Hello Stranger (again) - Recent Screenings featuring Madillah

Hi all,

Hello Stranger, a video featuring my feral creature familiar Madillah, is finally going to be making his on screen Vancouver debut in Moving Arts 2016, a short programme of silent moving images curated as part of  "As the Crow Flies", the 20th Anniversary exhibition of the Eastside Culture Crawl.

Hello Stranger has screened in places as far flung as India, Portugal, Bulgaria, the U.K. and Berlin and I'm excited that after loping globally for the last few years, Madillah will be able to do some local lurking! The exhibition opens tonight, October 21st from 6-9 pm @ the Arts Factory, 281 Industrial Avenue and continues at this location until November 6th. The Moving Arts programme will also be on view November 17-20 @ the Charles Clarke Gallery, 1345 Clark Drive. For more info on times etc. please follow the link .

If you're curious about the video, here's a short synopsis:

Hello Stranger features Madillah, a transcultural symbol, an obscurely iconic other, who haunts the interstices of the virtual and actual and the borderlands of urban spaces everywhere. Emanating from somewhere far behind the digital fa├žade and set against the backdrop of an indefinable city, his image appears first on one side of a chain link fence and then on the other, facing away from us and then gesturing towards an unseen viewer. Is he seeking acceptance, bestowing recognition or asking for our help? 

Questions immediately arise about the nature of this character: what is his cultural background or species, where is his actual location? A hybrid refugee, folklore oddity, homeless human or an alien enemy? His guise and gestures are an unknown commodity, reflecting our uncertainties about the veracity or viability of cultural authenticity in the face of an increasingly manufactured ‘global’ citizenship. Is he something to be feared or pitied or, is he perhaps, someone who can be trusted to understand our deeper, stranger motivations?

In an age of dispersal and dissimulation, where geopolitical conflict, climate emergencies and the scrutiny of ever present security camera can script anyone as a potential threat to an increasingly fragile status quo, perhaps Madillah’s greeting is a signal to the outsider that may exist inside us all; a confirmation of our presence, an affirmation of our ‘likeness’.

His image reaching across the confines of the mediated landscape, asks us to do the same: to find a way to identify with the people who exist beyond the borders of our physical space or psychic comfort zones, to reach out and become engaged in the on-going and real time experience of acknowledging difference and finding connection in the world we share with others.

Hello Stranger.

Actually, it'll probably take longer to read the above than to catch the video, which clocks in at only 1 minute. The piece was originally designed to be displayed looped on monitors in the Sophia underground subway system. But oddly enough, it seems to work nicely in a variety of settings. If you're able to have a look, please let me know what you think!

And if you're curious to know more about the origins and/or various manifestations of Madillah, feel free to search for his back story in the pages of this blog, just look for the Madillah tag or label.

Hope the Autumn is being kind to you all x Scot

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Sea Change: New images from either side of the Adriatic

Hi all, still in the thick of editing the documentation and interview footage from our time working at the Torre de Moro Migrant Centre. We hope to be able to share some of the stories we were fortunate enough to be entrusted with soon. In the mean time, here's another selection of images that explore the emotional landscape and/or political climate of some of the places we moved through on our recent travels. To paraphrase Miran Norderland once again, " ...when interconnected risks become the new normal, what can happen to 'them' can easily happen to 'us'.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Crossover - New Images from both sides of the Adriatic

Hi all, just back from working and travelling in the Adriatic region and starting to wade through all the photographs, information and emotions that Leannej and I gathered while leading a digital story-telling project at a Migrant Centre in Italy. We also toured through Montenegro, Albania, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzogovina and met with a lot of kind and committed people dealing with both the consequences of the past and the calamitous forces of the present. 

To paraphrase Miran Noderland, from the forward of the book - The Art of Survival ..." Numerous events in recent history have shown us that a transboundry crisis operates in one and every space at the same time... we are faced with... socio-economic inequalities, climate change, technological complexities...the rise of nationalism, proxy wars, distorted demographics, cultural-religious tensions... we will soon realize that our reality has become a shared that can easily cross geographical, jump functional and transcend traditional time boundaries." 

Despite the seeming chaos of current global events we came away with a little bit of hope, a fair amount of inspiration and a much clearer sense of the interconnectedness of all our struggles. Here's a few images that try and pull together some the stories we were told, a few of the things we saw, and the many ideas and feelings we encountered and hope to try and honour.