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Dec 15, 2023 at 7:30 pm
L/W Residents Present: A Year End Shareback of Works in Progress
With Ayelen Aguero, Kym Allen, Simone Barros, Andrea Conte, Samuel Eisen-Meyers & Darren Zhu
This Fall, we invited a small group of documentarians, media artists, journalists, thinkers and makers to LIVE/WORK @ UNDO for a bit of motivation, peer support and intentional living at UnionDocs in Ridgewood. We’re thrilled to come together to share a little bit about what this talented bunch has been brewing!
The group will offer glimpses into their incredible projects, offering us a taste of what’s to come! From a multi-voiced memoir exploring the quest for perfection and its disproportionate burden on black women, the societal implications of applying new generative AI tools for filmmaking, a sensorial docufictional portrait, an orchestral piece that merges poetry, projection mapping, and immersive performance, to a feature film about lemon workers, this night has much to offer!
Well kick things off at 8pm, followed by a little festive reception to celebrate these folks great work.
Watch the conversation between Presenter1, Presenter2 and Presenter 3 on the UnionDocs’ Membership hub.
Select Program Details
Kym Allen - Excerpt, Little Deaths
I’m in the process of building a collaborative memoryscape, where I explore how the daunting quest for perfection, a notion ingrained in white supremecist ideology, disproportionately burdens black women. The show, loosely based on revelations from my podcast “Little Deaths’’ weaves through stand up style comedy and vulnerable self exploration, interspersed with audio and video representations of similar struggles and triumphs by other black women in my community. Tonight, I experiment with some of these elements for the first time, transporting the audience into a few pivotal moments in my life, reflecting both the weight of perfectionism and the pathways to overcoming it through claiming worthiness.
Simone Barros - 'What Remains', Excerpt. Installation of 'Lumen Aborts Bulb'.
“Lumen Aborts Bulb,” depicts the tenuous threads between perception of an object and the object itself. Even as the eyes deceive, the mind insists not only upon the deception it holds but enforces that deception upon the object.
Ayelen Aguero - Tierra Citrus, Excerpt
Lemons are the epicenter of this observational documentary and always were a part of my family’s livelihood. Investigating their work in the lemon farms, questions of religious syncretism and extractivism surfaced through a sensory, essayistic excavation that recreates their experiences.
Darren Zhu - Ted Chiang’s “Evolution of Human Science” and presentation around generative AI video tools and implications
In 2000, the scientific journal Nature invited a series of science fiction authors to speculate on how scientific research might change in the next millennia. Renowned author Ted Chiang submitted a piece that posits the emergence of what he calls “metahuman scientists” who require genetic engineering and neural interfaces to keep up with the cognitive complexity of future scientific endeavors. These existential questions around the role of human creativity brings to mind the current discussions of artificial intelligence, which are also used in the production of this piece.
Samuel Eisen-Meyers - Teaser for upcoming project, and 16mm sketch
Writer, actor, director and vintage treasure hunter Kym Allen is a bilingual storyteller from L.A. Kym believes in the power of vulnerability to deepen connection and facilitate collective healing.
Her journey into community storytelling began with the co-production and performance of “Echoes” followed by “Chrysalis”, live theater pieces featuring original works by femme-identifying artists. These productions found a home at the Los Angeles Fringe Festival, marking Kym’s initial foray into the world of shared narratives. She is the director of the 2021 film Abundance, winner of the Audience Choice Award at Black Star Film Festival. In her most recent project, she chronicles her own self love journey through her podcast Little Deaths. Beyond her own creative endeavors, she’s served as a director for Netflix, working with Halle Berry, Gabrielle Union, Uzo Aduba and Colman Domingo and many others.
Samuel Eisen-Meyers is a multi-faceted musician, filmmaker and experiential artist, with a deep interest in utilizing cinema, sound and movement as a catalyst for critical thinking and social change. His experiences span a wide range of areas including installation art, directing, producing, composing, performance and curation. In April 2022, he attained an ITVS’s funding award and grant partnership, which culminated in his direction, writing and production for an upcoming cine art doc for PBS Independent Lens. As the co-founder of a forward-thinking arts coalition People Music, he plays a pivotal role in empowering independent creative voices, promoting autonomy, and facilitating access to vital resources.
Darren Zhu is a synthetic biologist who studied at Yale. He has worked on projects to research and develop new medicines, diagnostics, and metascience infrastructure with various scientific organizations, including the Berggruen Institute, Gates Foundation, Hexagon Bio, and Enevolv. Most recently, Zhu worked with media artists and filmmakers at the new Antikythera design studio housed at the Berggruen Institute to develop new models around the philosophy of science and technology, which resulted in three short film projects: Xenoplex (on the origins of life and astrobiology), Ends of Science (on the epistemic implications of AI for scientific discovery), and Autocatallaxy (on the history and future of computational economic systems)
Ayelen Aguero is an Argentine artist, recently moved to New York City. Her practice ranges from photography, creative writing, video and installation. In her processes, she investigates cultural studies as the construction of societies around the physical/material body, the body-work relationship and questions with your origins. Ayelen studied filmmaking and completed studies in Social Sciences at Universidad Nacional de San Martin (Arg). She did the Film Program in the Art Department of the Universidad Di Tella (Arg). Tierra Citrus is her first feature film in post-production as a director and producer, which she proposed working on UnionDocs LIVE/WORK in Progress Residency. The club of the living poets is her curated writing and editing project in Spanish and English in the US.
Simone V. Barros makes moving images, soundscapes, films and plays to bridge the gaps between self and other, memory and imagination, digital and analogue, solipsism and collectivity. Simone’s artwork seeks out hybridity in form, content and aesthetics for greater understanding of the world around, within and among us.
Andrea Conte is a writer, researcher, filmmaker and media artist. His work deconstructs intersections between politics and state violence and has been previously published by Film Quarterly, the Washington Post, Toronto Star, Baltimore Magazine, CBC, and several museum installations. In recent years, his media arts practice has focused on using state archives and public records obtained through freedom of information as a documentary means to illustrate the carceral state. Andrea’s documentary practice is informed by an early career in international public policy and reframing intersections of domestic and international warfare. He is the author of “The Framing of Eddie Conway,” for Baltimore Magazine, and “Administrative Sabotage: Censorship of Canada’s State Archives,” for Briarpatch Magazine.
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