PEBBLES UNDERGROUND is excited to present :: SWIRLING WORLD : :: – a selection of experimental moving image, crowning our 2022-2023 season. The program will stream from December 20, 2023, to January 15, 2024 on VISUALCONTAINERTV.
PEBBLES UNDERGROUND serves as a platform for artists to share their unique perspectives on pressing issues that affect our world today. Experimental moving image breaks us free from traditional narrative structures and techniques, allowing artists and filmmakers to create visually stunning, emotionally engaging, and intellectually stimulating work.
The artists in the program present a diverse range of perspectives and voices exploring social, political, and cultural issues. Issues that are otherwise easy to be ignored or marginalized. The films take us through the forest of reflection on fleeting feelings otherwise difficult to grasp, as well as uncomfortable political and social truths. So keep creating and sharing your stories, because you never know who you might inspire or what change you might spark!
We want to thank VISUALCONTAINERTV for hosting our final program and acknowledge the importance of their work in dissemination and supporting accessibility of experimental moving images.
(on air December 20, 2023 – January 15, 2024 )
Ella Turner lives between pink and blue. The film is a cyclothymic journey through colours and wavelengths, ranging from low moods with little energy, to feelings of exuberance and high energy.
Playing with observational documentary television and educational video styles, a narrator explains the science and history Ella can feel as she navigates the world. Turner is an exploration of selfhood and belonging, bringing light to our own relationship to intangibles. Like the film, Ella is just trying to fit in.
This was my way of explaining how it felt to be diagnosed and to fall within the spectrum of neurodiversity. The film shows through colours a journey of self-discovery and acceptance. Ultimately, the film addresses in a colourful way things that can be deep and difficult to deal with. Like most people dealing with mental health issues, the pain is hidden, and sometimes what is portrayed is quite agreeable and disguised, everything can seem beautiful on the surface but has multiple layers underneath. For all I know, the film could be happening inside her head, so the viewer is welcome to embark on the cyclic nature of her experience, and see whether they can relate or not.
Joanna Mamede is an artist-filmmaker from Brazil based in the UK. Her work explores the tangibility of meaning through difference, multilingualism, and sometimes politics. Playing with visual and textual interferences, her films and installations fall between genres to reveal the spaces in between, and the structures that hold them.
Her films have been selected by festivals worldwide including Aesthetica Film Festival, Future Now Symposium, Gstaadfilm, Videobardo, LisbonRendezvous and Berlin Revolution. Her installations have been exhibited at the Tate Modern, Central Saint Martins, The Rich Mix, and Deptford X.
She became a Master of Research in Art: Moving Image at Central Saint Martins in 2019, where her research 'Transbordo: The Fear of the Other Word', analysed how women artists use text on screen to deconstruct oppressed language systems. She is on the Board of Trustees of Lux Moving Image, helps advocate for the Decolonising the Arts Curriculum at UAL, and is part of ICCG, Institution that manages for educational purposes Gilberto's Chateaubriand's collection, portraying the history of Brazilian contemporary art from 1915 to today.
Director: Joanna Mamede
Diana Herzog - Ella Turner"
Martin Bundy - Narrator
Producer: Joanna Mamede
Writer: Joanna Mamede
Cinematographer: Gabriel Borges
Sound: Alvaro Correa
Editors: Tatiana Germano
Sound Editor: Bruno Morais
A man who wanders through the jungle in search of his ritual of memory, torture, and perverse imagination. He is seeking violence and the grotesque device of truth and reflection, the ironic and impossible as personal mythology, and the excessive sacred as threshold sanity.
A severed and solitary tree embodies a past and a future full of blood, impregnated with psychedelia and death. A tree is a metaphor for a world without mercy, without consolation.
Heads that travel through the imagination's various probable worlds overflow the vision in fantastic and post-apocalyptic moments.
The diverse characters and scenes arise from visions and real, fictionalized, and violent events. Tragic and chilling anecdotes such as the story of Marino López, the farmer whose head the paramilitary groups played soccer with. A farmer from the region of Cacarica had an anonymous life and now occupies a place in Colombia's history for the act of cruelty of which he was a victim. July 31, 2015.
Ricardo Muñoz izquierdo is currently an associate resident of Umbert Rock Arts Factory, tutored by Joan Fontcuberta. He has studied at the Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira. Universidad de bolas, Brazil. National internships of the Ministry of Culture of Colombia under the tutorial of Juan Mejía and Maria Isabel rueda. Director of the artistic residence La Cuenca Pereira. Ricardo has succeeded in building a characteristic language of broad remembrance. The results of his work oscillate between eschatology, violence, sacred, erotic crudity and autobiography to propose a particular surrealism.
Postulating a singular working methodology, Muñoz explores different techniques without exhausting each one’s achievements. His projects range from urban art to sound experimentation, from drawing to animation, from screen printing to fazine, from painting to sculpture, from performance to art direction; and vice versa.
Director, Writer, Producer: Ricardo Muñoz izquierdo
Music: Juan Sebastián Castaño
Cast: Álvaro García, Camilo Barreneche
TRIGGER WARNING: Includes meth use throughout, along with sex, nudity, weapons, and graphic bloody scenes throughout.
A man who struggles with meth addiction has reached rock bottom. His mind constantly races as he nears death.
David Anderson lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He attended film school at New York Film Academy. He produces, directs, and writes films that reflect the political/ social climate and life as a member of the LGBT community. He has won five film awards, including the Florence Film Award for Best LGBT Short and the London International Monthly Film Festival for Honorable Mention. His influences include Dustin Lance Black, Spike Lee, Ryan Murphy, Jordan Peele, Martin Scorsese, Madonna, Greg Berlanti, Jane Campion, Melissa Etheridge, Freddie Mercury, and David Fincher.
Aaron Perra lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Chaotic Melody of Tina marks his directorial debut. He's also a multi award winning actor, writer, singer, stylist and painter. His most notable award wins include London International Monthly Film and Festival and Bol News Hybrid Art Awards. His works reflect on the social climate and nature. His cinematic style is described as edgy, fearless, and authentic. His inspirations include Walt Whitman, Pablo Picasso, Lizzo, and Britney Spears.
Time passes but nothing changes. Opportunities are missed one after the other. Until finally there's a way out.
BARRIER represents myself when I was younger not knowing what I wanted to do with my life, until finally something in my brain had unlocked and had me wanting to dedicate my life to filmmaking.
Alexander Zip is a Canadian filmmaker. He's created two films BARRIER and SHADOW.
Life is like the framing of the film, always in motion. You do not know the next step and what awaits you. And one day you leave, leaving behind everything. Life has sometimes forced you to leave your home, your country, your family, your friends ... your love. And everything just becomes a memory. You are obliged to close this page of your life and start with a new one and with another language. But you would not or maybe it’s your choice. And deep in your heart, you would like someone or something to keep you and whisper secretly to your ear: "Never let me go".
Currently the independent visual and conceptual artist from Yerevan, Armenia. Lived and studied in France for a short time. By my first profession, I am a cultural journalist. Visual and conceptual art, text, sound, movement, video and the portrait of human life have always interested me. I like to work in different genres, using different styles and techniques: video-art, video installation, videopoetry, experimental video, drawing-video-photo installation, video-performance.. etc. I like to travel and discover new horizons and to observe more people and more situations. In 2014, I created my first video performance "Let Me Hear Your Scream", which was shown at a lot of international exhibitions and festivals. I am interested in such topics as national identity, gender equality, the role of women in the society, human rights, multiculturalism, ecology, and urbanism. While creating, I mainly tried to find ways to unite the humanity of the earth around a common idea. I like to work with a person in the center of my focus is a person, his mind, right and different cultures. In my work, I try to introduce human dialogue, talk about their problems, and the approaches of the people different nationalities on the same issue. I participated in various international exhibitions and festivals in Armenia and Europe. Which are Rencontres Internationales Traverse in Toulouse, Instants Vidéo numériques et poétiques in Marseille, Wake Up! – Climate Change! Festival in Cologne, Lacuna Festivals in Lanzarote. etc Recently my work has been shown in festivals in Indonesia and South Korea. In Armenia, I have recently been very actively cooperating with the ACCES gallery and participating in various exhibitions. I have also received several grants. Twice won a grant to attend the photo&video courses "Queering and Survival'' (2021) & ''Exploring a void'' (2018) at the Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts. As well I am a Winner of Hasratyan-Minasyan Foundation Grants Visual Arts Competition for my video installation project "Waiting for the.."
Director, Writer, Producer: Ruzan Petrosyan
Music: Arto Tunçboyacıyan
TEMPESTA A “LES FONTS” D'UNA MEMÒRIA / STORM IN THE SOURCES OF A MEMORY by Rrose Present, Spain, 2015
Part of “Information Devices” series.
In this series I work with democratic information devices. I transform the noise of all types of devices into a subjective poetic gaze which contrasts with the objective eye of the informational language.
I was recently stuck in the village where my mother was born, without wi-fi or television.
As the only entertainment I contemplated the trees outside the front door. One night I experienced the spectacle of nature in a storm that was like fireworks. So I filmed my first storm in Les Fonts with every device I had on hand: mobile, desktop and a cheap camera. With these, I made an assembly with textures using images and sounds to create a visual and auditory rhythm. It was as if the lightning allowed me to draw from the dark night of oblivion the ghosts of the memory of my origins. Or, as if the snapshots were deconstructed when they returned to the present and they lost all the clarity of their origins.
"The image is a way to keep walking, learning from the images that come to me"
Rrose Present was born in Barcelona. She graduated in Fine Arts at the UB, Master of Philosophy in Contemporary Art at the UAB. She written in images from a critical "poetic" gaze, with a double sense of reality: the PRESENTIAL, using the body as a tripod for her emotions, and the RE-PRESENTATIONAL, with the series of "video 'without camera' reinterprets 'world camera"'.
From very conceptual beginnings her work leaves the literalness of the images to penetrate into the medial and formal experimentation, with the conscious and unconscious paths that these open. In the present she brings hes research on image and sound closer to positions in the language of experimental cinema.
DISTRIBUTION: The Film-Makers' Cooperative NY
Director, producer, montage, sound: Rrose Present
Contemplation could be an act of sensitive rebellion.
An eye that unlearns laws from the gaze of a "colonizer".
Yellow has become an illegal color in Catalonia because it is a symbol for the freedom of Catalan political prisoners.
The Spanish state can not prohibit the flowers of the mimosas from returning to bloom.
Like painting a time, with a playful montage of yellow sea caressed by the wind.
Homage to “Imagine an eye unruled by man-made laws..." by Stan Brakhage and the Catalan Political Prisoners and Poems by my mother, Roser
Rrose Present was born in Barcelona where she graduated in Fine Arts for the University of Barcelona. Beca Séneca audio-visual UPV. She also holds a Masters degree in Philosophy of Contemporary Art from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and Fundació Miró.
Director, Producer: Rrose Present
Visionary impressions of a long overdue vernal equinox. A vertiginous and textural tone poem describing the semiotics of spring through lucent, hand-crafted frames. Out of winter's harsh grasp, some kind of promise grows.
"Still, the profound change/has come upon then: rooted they/grip down and begin to awaken..." -William Carlos Williams, "Spring and All"
My work is concerned with themes of natural, spiritual, and internal environments, using auto-fictional narratives, analog and video work, and handmade objects to imagine spaces for fantasy and personal mythology to converge.
Nik Liguori is an interdisciplinary artist and writer, based in Detroit, Michigan, whose work has appeared at The Scarab Club and in the Ann Arbor Film Festival.
Director, editor, producer, sound designer: Nik Liguori
"Time she went right down
was her own other
own other living soul."
the lucid dream of the last poets
"Just as the body needs nourishment, and not just any, but only the appropriate one, so the psyche needs those images and ideas that correspond to its nature, that is the images aroused by the unconscious. Our imagines are components of our spirit, and if our dream reproduces any representation, it is primarily our representations. All dream creation is subjective, and the dream is a theater in which the dreamer is scene, actor, prompter, director, author, audience and reviewer together. All dream figures have personified traits of the dreamer's personality, and when one observes oneself within, one sees moving images." (Carl Gustav Jung)
Visual artist. Each of her work is related to the topics of metamorphosis and of memory of the body. She has exhibited in numerous festivals, solo and group in Italy and abroad. Lives and works in Turin (Italy).
"The archetypes of the collective unconscious" C.G.Jung (1934-1954)
"The psychology of dreams" C.G.Jung (1916-1948)
Director: Eleonora Manca
Producer: Eleonora Manca
Performers: Eleonora Manca, Stella Gelardi
ROOM / ՍԵՆՅԱԿ reflects on the issues of violence and murder cases of women through the dry text of judicial acts and series of choreographed actions. While the factual data used in the video is directly taken from the realities of Armenia, gender-based oppression and violence reaching physical retaliation and murder are ongoing and widespread, making the work relevant across countries.
Despite the violent topic, the work avoids direct violent imagery. The monotonous, calm recital of the murder cases is accompanied by a series of choreographed performative actions staged by the artist, creating an allegorical space where the discourses on gender, boundaries of the body, and patriarchal order are deliberated upon through artistic expression. The texts are excerpts from judicial acts, discovered through “Silenced Voices: Femicide in Armenia 2016-2017” report, prepared by Coalition to Stop Violence Against Women, and verified through DataLex Judiciary Portal.
Support acknowledgment: Arts and Cultural Studies Laboratory Artist in Residence program (Armenia), and the Canada Council for the Arts (Canada).
Anna Grigorian is an experimental artist from Armenia, whose art practice is currently based between Canada and Armenia. With a background in sculpture, literature, and photography, her current chosen medium is moving image. Her video work revolves around socio political and economic problems, and examination of power relations, through mixing elements of theater, early cinema, and constructed surreal studio environments.
Director, Writer, Producer, Concept: Anna Grigorian
Sound design and video editing: Anna Grigorian
Cast: Julia Thomas, Vronsky Belizaire, Amber Jackson, Anna Grigorian
“Hamayak jan” Armenian folk song, extracts from performance by Lusik Qoshyan; electronically generated Armenian Dhol loops
DISTRIBUTION: Vidéographe artist-run centre https://www.videographe.org/en/
TESTIMONIES FROM MOUNT SINJAR / دیدەڤان ژ چیایێ شنگارێ by Huner Emin, South Kurdistan (North Iraq)-USA, ongoing
Short scripts adopted from ISIL crimes against humanity in Iraq and Syria.
“Testimonies from Mount Sinjar” is a multidisciplinary project focused on crimes against humanity committed by ISIS members in Iraq. Featuring a series of written film scripts of crucial, desperate, and traumatizing moments that survivors suffered under ISIS’s captivity. These extremely short scenes offer snapshots or fragments of the survivors’ stories.
The scenarios are adapted from survivors’ testimony documented by researcher Dawood Khatari, the Yazda Institute public reports, and survivor and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nadia Murad’s book: The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State.
The survivors’ stories are full of personal accounts of crimes against humanity, and a minority group, committed by vicious and brutal ISIS members. Victims describe their captivity in excruciating detail, recalling escape and suicide attempts, repeated sexual assaults by multiple ISIS members, surviving mass shootings, and witnessing the killings and sexual or physical assaults of family members.
It is challenging for survivors to express the cruelty of unimaginable tortures that they went through. What we know is a fraction of the whole picture, as these scenes will be, and just the tip of the iceberg of the unbearable pain victims endured and the harsh memories that they must live with for the rest of their lives.
Huner Emin is a stateless multimedia Kurdish artist. He grew up in south Kurdistan/northern Iraq and is now based in Bloomington, Indiana.
Director, Writer, Editor: Huner Emin
English writing editors: Sky Hopinka, Alyssa Oursler, Maureen Maryanski
Sources of testimonies:
Dawood Murad Khatari (historian)
"The Last Girl" by Nadia Murad
KASIKAS SA GANIHA UG UNYA / A RUSTLING FROM A TIME AGO AND TOMORROW by Kuda Bux, Eric Bico, Philippines, 2021
A collapse of multiple lifetimes into pieces of amnesia; us, experiencing itself in dreams of life and death. A direct expression of the slow vibration as it currently is; you, a brief movement in the vestiges of nothingness.
The film was conceived with the question, "Would you believe that a photo of the back of your head to be your very own back of the head?". With this, we explored that perceptional void, the something that exists that is far beyond common perception, the obvious that goes unnoticed.
If there's anything notable about the production, it is that it was done entirely over Zoom calls.
Kuda Bux (b. 1991) has been running around the streets of Cebu doing what he thinks is an approximation of what high-art is. Over the years he has been running near-zero budget productions with Aprum-Oves and Corner House Productions creating scrap videos and junk stories.
Eric Bico (b. 1995) is an artist who explores photography. His varied interests—from overlooked elbows and ears to everyday struggles in the urban metro—surface in his photographs, mostly in series. Beyond traditional publishing and gallery exhibitions, his photographic works are also at play with self-publishing and online collaborations. He has self-published zines through Munzinelupa and Zine Orgy.
Directors: Kuda Bux, Eric Bico
Writers: Kuda Bux, Eric Bico
Cast: Kuda Bux, Eric Bico
A film-trilogy about war and children's lives.
Etude 1. A white paper boat floats carefree on the waves. The girl looks into the water from the bridge and peacefully contemplates the reflection of the sun in the water. But everything changes instantly. The war begins. Anxiety grows with each step. And the child laughs, looking at the sun. But the one who has crossed the border goes to block the sun forever. The ship stops, the white turns black and the black turns white…
Etude 2. A white living creature plunges into black water. Quenching its thirst, it spins in a dance. The dance stops. In the dark, a ray of light outlines the egg in the quiet. Expectation. Someone is just about to show up. A shot rings out. The red flows from the white form. The shot egg disappears in the dark. A white creature appears on the black water in endless motion...
Etude 3. Spring. The ruined sculptures in the cemetery remind of the former presence of people, their suffering, the horrors that the war brought them. It seems like there are no living beings left on earth, only petrified statues and insects crawling on exanimate faces. Autumn. A ruined temple, from which the eye tries to find a way out into open space and finds only cracks and potholes. The war leaves ruins. But suddenly, amidst the dead silence, a child's cry is heard...
FROM ANOTHER SIDE OF THE SUN / ПО ТОЙ БІК СОНЦЯ - an avant-garde minimalistic film, the idea of which arose during the war. After the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, my pregnant wife and little daughter and I left our native home, leaving Kyiv for a village in the Kyiv region. After a few weeks of shock, I realized that, being an artist everywhere, I had to act creatively during the war as well. This is how an experimental short trilogy arose, which abstractly recreates the image of a child, the cruelty and horrors of war, and the endless thirst for life.
I understood that showing everything literally will never be able to reproduce the real drama and pain in full, in life everything is always sharper... So while working on an artistic image, I tried to get rid of plot and naturalistic storytelling and create a form that would express the content with the help of film language. I was looking for plastic that would fully express a phenomenon or an action. And if this plastic corresponds to the image, then, in the combination of these two components, the plot is born. The form speaks about the content.
Oleksandr Stupak works in the field of monumental and easel painting, graphics and sculpture, as well as audiovisual art.
Director, producer: Oleksandr Stupak