When 12 Nov 2014
7:00PM - 8:30PM
Where Carpenter Center for Visual Arts
Room B04, Harvard University, 24 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Film Screening: Wednesday, November 12, 7pm

“Intercultural cinema builds up these impressions like a palimpsest and passes them on to other audiences. The very circulation of a film among different viewers is like a series of skin contacts that leave mutual traces.” – Laura Marks, The Skin of the Film (2000)

Drawing upon work from native and diasporic experimental film and video-makers and artists from China, Indonesia, South Korea, and USA, Miniature City Symphonies examines sensory representation in intercultural cinema, and the intersection between the moving image and the global city. Many of the featured filmmakers in the program are culturally relocated, and their practice touches upon concepts that reverberate across urban space, nonverbal sound, architecture, image processing, diaspora and migration. Aryo Danusiri, born and raised in Jarkarta, was originally trained as an ethnographer, and is currently a PhD candidate in Anthropology and Critical Media Practice at Harvard University. Shi Wenhua, a former doctor in Wuhan, an industrial city in Central China, emigrated to United States in the late 2000s, and was re-introduced experimental cinema and new media art, etc. This program traces a small portion of these filmmakers who reside in metropolitan centers that have resulted from the global flow of immigration, exile, and diaspora.Featuring: On Broadway, Aryo Danusiri; Whose Utopia, Cao Fei; Clouds, Rain, Libbie Dina Cohn; Amassed, Seoungho Cho, Descending A Staircase, Shi Wenhua.Programmer Xin Zhou in attendance along with Aryo Danusiri, Libbie Dina Cohn, Seungho Cho, and Shi Wenhua.Co-sponsored by the Harvard University Asia Center, the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, the Korea Institute, and the Film Study Center, Harvard University.


Clouds, Rain

Libbie D. Cohn, USA, 2012, 6 min.

“In this sensory encounter with the elements and urban space, Cohn plays with the acts of looking and hearing, and turns an unfamiliar place and the everyday into an abstracted pleasure.” – Chi-hui YangDescending

A Staircase
Shi Wenhua, China/USA, 2012, 5 min.
“This work is a homage to Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase. Created 100 years after the original piece, it is a meditation on the mechanical nature of cinema/ Moving Images, through its dynamic movement and fragmentation. The footage was captured at an apartment building in Beijing, China.” – Shi

Seoungho Cho, South Korea/USA, 2013, 9 min.
“Amassed is a focused architectural study that evolves into a kaleidoscopic collage. Cho animates and layers richly saturated video frames of interior architectural elements, creating and collapsing geometric forms. Constant camera movements produce a destabilized and abstracted orchestration of images. The first half of the work unfolds in silence, and is then underscored by composer Arvo Pärt’s Te Deum, performed by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and the Tallin Chamber Orchestra.” – Electronic Arts Intermix

Whose Utopia
Cao Fei, China, 2006, 20 min.
“Whose Utopia (2006) centers on the lives of workers at the Osram lighting factory in China’s Pearl River Delta region, an area outside Hong Kong that is a site of nationwide migration by people seeking expanded work opportunities in the country’s blossoming economy. Over the course of six months, Cao Fei filmed daily life at the factory, highlighting the mechanized tasks performed by employees, while also interviewing them about their motivations for working there. Based on their responses, she then collaborated with the workers to develop the performances that comprise the central section of the video. In costumes or street clothes, these anonymous figures dance and play music while other employees, unnoticing, continue to work around them. The poetic, dreamlike vision of individualism within the constraints of industrialization illuminates the otherwise invisible emotions, desires, and dreams that permeate the lives of an entire populace in contemporary Chinese society.” – Nat Trotman

On Broadway
Aryo Danusiri, Indonesia, 2009/2014, 44 min.
“Somewhere underground in New York, we witness a traditional Moslem service. The how and why of the service remains a fascinating puzzle until the end of the film. A film about dedication, faith and overcrowding in New York City.” – Rotterdam International Film Festival

Total running time: 84 min.

Photo courtesy of the organiser/s

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