Manipulated Image #11
First Year Anniversary Celebration

"For Action's Sake"

(click here for images from the event)

on the cover story of the March 12 issue of Pasatiempo, arts and entertainment magazine of the Santa Fe New Mexican...

Friday, March 12, 2010
6:30 pm – 11pm
@ the Santa Fe Complex







Download the PDF catalog of the event (2.4MB).
For a press version of this catalog, please email


SELECTIONS BY STEPANIAN: John Criscitello - guest presenter (Ithaca, New York); David Kareyan (Yerevan, Armenia); Ulf Kristiansen (Norway); Jonas Nilsson (Örebro, Sweden); Roland Wegerer (Austria); Julia Zastava (Moscow, Russia)

SELECTIONS BY AGRICOLA DE COLOGNE: Daniel LoIocono (Germany); David Jakubovic (USA); Ioannis Roumeliotis (Greece); Rafael (Belgium);
Ascan Breuer (Germany); Alex Lora (Spain); Casey McKee (USA); Daniel Rodrigo (Spain)

Niclas Hallberg, Stina Pehrsdotter (Sweden – online live performance)
Igor Stromajer (Hamburg, Germany – online live performance)

Ian Anderson
The Autotelics: Philip Mantione, Al Faaet - premiere performance
Martin Back, April Mae Bassett
Anthony Buchanan
Alaina R. Alexander

Manipulated Image in cooperation with VideoChannel
NewMediaFest’2010: 10 Years [NewMediaArtProjectNetwork]:||cologne

(Read about Agricola de Cologne and VideoChannel)

More details here...
Niclas/Stina1 Niclas/Stina2 Niclas/Stina3
Above: stills from Infectious manipulation, a virtual performance created for this event by Niclas Hallberg & Stina Pehrsdotter to be performed live from Sweden (a recording of this performance is now available on vimeo)

above: video still from "Son of king" by Julia Zastava (Moscow, Russia)
Igor Stromajer will be performing online from Hamburg

Igor Stromajer will perform online from Hamburg
(recordings of this performance are now available on vimeo and on Youtube)

by Alysse Stepanian: “For Action’s Sake”

(November 2009)
Arthur Danto distinguishes two different political responses to “the danger of art.” One system controls and censors art, and the other excludes it “from the class of dangerous acts.” He adds, “In the one system, the artist, however conformist, is incipiently a rebel. In the other system, every rebel, however dangerous, is incipiently a conformist. In the one system, the political prison is the standing risk. In the other a Presidential Ceremony with a Citation for Excellence is the standing promise.”*

The first year anniversary show of Manipulated Image, For Action’s Sake, considers the confluence of art and politics. Direct and indirect references are made to the role of mass media in the present, and its relationship to Machiavellian and Fascistic politics. A play on words, the title references “art for art’s sake,” the failure of Modernism to fulfill its promise of bringing social change, and the persecution of avant-garde artists by the Nazis and Stalin, as they bore the stigma of the “degenerate” and “unofficial.” For Action’s Sake contrasts autotelic individuals with those driven by external influences such as power and comfort, who in the end are left unfulfilled and alienated.

* The Politics of Imagination, The Lindley Lecture, University of Kansas, October 29, 1988, pgs. 13-14

Below are 6 artists selected by Stepanian for this screening event:

John Criscitello  (Ithaca, New York)

John will be presenting his work in person at this event.

John Criscitello  (b. 1967,  Binghamton, New York)  is a multi-media video artist currently residing in Ithaca, New York. He has exhibited his work internationally  in many solo and group exhibitions. He began working in video in 1992. He is also Director of a non profit Contemporary Art Space In Ithaca NY and Founded the quarterly screening of video and short film called Video/Art/Ithaca.

- Damocles, 3:57
- Blanket, 2009, 4:35
- Altamont Rescue, 2009, 1:53
- Angst Club, 2008, 4:48
- Boom Box (0:26)

TOTAL:  14:19

David Kareyan (Yerevan, Armenia)

DAVID KAREYAN was born in 1973. Studied in Panos Terlemezyan Art College, later in Yerevan Fine Art Academy (1990–1996). In 1996 he co-founded “Act” group. In their works of 1993–2000 those artists used to emphasize new media, observing the art as a process for political activism, experimentation of cultural amortization and expanding of bounds of art. In exhibitions, held in 1993–2000 in the Center of Contemporary Innovative Art, he emphasized analyzes of post-Soviet social and political cataclysms and overcoming the atmosphere of fear, trying to exit from the cultural isolation and total social control. His multi-screen video performance “No Return” in Eva Khachatryan's cooperation was presented in Armenian pavilion of 50th Venice Biennial. In 51st Venice Biennial in 2005 he presented “Resistance through Art” project. Since 2003 he prefers personal approach in art. His recent project, “New locality“ is a synthesis of new medias and traditional materials. He believes that for him it is important “Affirmative images,” showing the naturalness of artificiality and defending the value of life.

"I express prohibited desires in my works. These desires transform, are not recognizable, often are not even named and can be perceived as desires, which do not exist. Human desires are social by nature, though we often take them as something beyond the accepted limits. I am trying to understand the man. Is it possible to live without violence, what is the man’s environment? Why can’t the culture, being a compensating mechanism, specify those limits where a man will feel in his natural environment? Why does it seem to the man that the forest or the sea is his natural environment? Is it possible for reality to resemble art?  I am striving to elicit such questions from the audience, using aesthetic and psychological oppositions."

- "No Return" 2005, 10:19

Ulf Kristiansen (Nesodden, Norway)

Ulf Kristiansen (b. 1969-11-03, Norway) is a painter and video-artist. Ulf Kristiansen is currently living at Nesodden, a peninsula outside of Oslo, Norway. While starting out as a figurative painter, Ulf is now mainly focusing on 3d animation and machinima. His films have partaken in numerous international video festivals and exhibitions.

Based on 2 poems by William Blake, animation by Ulf Kristiansen:
Blake is building on the conventional idea that nature, like a work of art, must in some way contain a reflection of its creator. The tiger is strikingly beautiful yet also horrific in its capacity for violence. What kind of a God, then, could or would design such a terrifying beast as the tiger? In more general terms, what does the undeniable existence of evil and violence in the world tell us about the nature of God, and what does it mean to live in a world where a being can at once contain both beauty and horror? The open awe of "The Tiger" contrasts with the easy confidence, in "The Lamb," of a child's innocent faith in a benevolent universe. By letting the tiger recite "the Lamb" , the tiger appears somewhat mephistophelian even though the lamb is not letting herself be seduced. The tiger is also less than impressed by the lamb’s poetry reading and seems to be planning his next meal.

- "Tiger and the Lamb" 2:30

Jonas Nilsson (Örebro, Sweden)

Jonas Nilsson is a Swedish artist who mainly works with video. His video works have been shown widely across Europe and north America. Jonas is currently interested in issues surrounding the stressful and high tempo the western way of life and increasing amounts of time and money spent by individuals on becoming successful, and the consequences of such achievements. Jonas studied art in England and Japan between 1995 and 2000 after several years studying art in Sweden. He is since 2005 the project manager of the Art Video Screening which is an artist-run and non-profit event and platform focusing on videoart and aims to support artists work. Art Video Screening is an annual screening event that showcases videoart from swedish and international artists who are pushing the elements of videopractice.

About "Self-muser," Nilsson writes: "I've been far too used to an easy life. Instead of having to earn it, I have just been given everything and it's almost paralyzing. The world is my playground. I do what, when I want, how I want to do it. I have been trying to see what sets apart my amazing interactions from my mediocre ones. I looked at all of them. All the crazy blowouts. All the crazy nights. For all of them that I really feel good about there is one common theme, self amusement."

- Me & Myself - 3 min, 2006
- High on diesel & gasoline - 1:44 min:sec, 2007
- Just like any other morning - 1:12 min:sec, 2007
- Self-muser - 1:36 min:sec, 2008
- The choice - 2:15 min:sec, 2009
- The loony room - 2:50 min:sec, 2009
- Dark genes - 2:09 min:sec, 2009 _________TOTAL: 14:06

Roland Wegerer (Lives and works in St. Nikola/Danube and Linz ; Austria)

born in 1974 in Amstetten, Austria
Training for technical draftsman.
Since 1997 has expressed interest in art.
Since 2005 studies at university of art and industrial design Linz.
Lives and works in St. Nikola/Danube and Linz (Austria).

"Jumping in a puddle will be continued to an operate and excessive final. What in childhood after a few jumps was stopped is completed here. Water, mud and the black clothing generate short sculptural images and meet in their social definition in opposition. The radical intervention into the puddle of water, the pace of jumps and soiled pants connects us back in our childhood wishes."

- "How to Clean a Puddle" 1:47

Julia Zastava (Moscow, Russia)

Born in 1982 in Moscow, Russia. In 2006 graduated from institute of TV and Radio, film production department. From 2006 has been taking part in solo and group exhibitions in Moscow/ Saint-Petersburg, Russia.

"In my works i try to combine conceptualism with psychodelic trippy style. This is an attempt to make some kind of "glitches" out of the stories and texts i read and see in life and in films. An attempt to catch a reflection af inner psychologism of every event."

- cherries talk - 04.59
- checkered boy - 01.35
- montag - 04.08
- Son of king - 04.33

Total: 15:17

For the action’s sake?
A note by guest co-curator, Wilfried Agricola de Cologne
(Read about Agricola de Cologne and VideoChannel under "Partners" menu above)

When people act in a social context, they take responsibility, as long as it suits them. They try to define and explain the world through itself, without any social component. In the 19th century, art that lacked a social component, and explained itself through itself, was known as "L’art pour l’art."

While sex represents an interaction between two partners, a fetish replaces the human partner and becomes the projection of desire, an expression of self-relatedness. Action as an expression of human behavior may become such a fetish, which gets its dynamics through itself - escalating violence is an example.

A fetish represents the final state of self-relatedness, superficiality and emptiness. There are many intermediate states, during which we are in danger of losing balance, while we still may have the choice to avoid the creation of a fetish. Anything may become a fetish - a thing, a tool, an ideology. There are countless examples of religious, political, or cultural ideologies which are used as fetish, causing fundamentalism and totalitarianism, for instance. The topic “for the action’s sake” is pointing to the action as such a fetish, whereby it is essential to explore the motivation of the one who is acting.

Contemporary society has developed into economically independent individuals who do not need each other to survive. Initially, this independence may seem as strength, while it is in fact an expression of weakness. A society focused on satisfying individual and personal needs, cannot survive as a society and civilization.

The selected videos contain aspects of self-relatedness, and the struggle for balance. It is up to the viewers to explore not ony the films, but primarily themselves, to decide for themselves, which state of self-relatedness they identify with.

Below are 8 videos selected by Agricola de Cologne for this screening event:

Daniel LoIocono (Germany)

born 06.02.1977 in Frankfurt/Germany 1998 - 2003 studied Media-Design at the University of Applied Sciences Mainz/Germany with focus on compositing and motion graphics 2003 diploma thesis “DIGITALSNAPSHOT”, worked from 2003-2006 as a Designer and digital Artist at various german post production and design studios. Since 2006 lives and and works as freelancer in Barcelona exploring new visual adventures….

Digital Snapshots (2003, 5:08)
is a kind of docu-animation dealing with the correlation of digital manipulations and candid documentary shots. What does a moment look like? Can snapshots freeze a moment in time? In DIGITALSNAPSHOT, motion fragments were captured and rearranged in a new visual context via unconventional digital manipulations. A long take camera movement cycle generates a unique “digital painting”. In this case DIGITALSNAPSHOT enables the viewer to experience a virtual walk through a beautiful park during summertime.

Ascan Breuer (Germany)

Born in Hamburg, Ascan lives and works in Vienna and Cologne as a filmmaker, media artist and social scientist. At the moment he studies filmmaking (postgrad.) at the Academy of Media Arts (KHM) in Cologne.

"The Kurukshetra-Report" (2008, 7:51)
Two bodies in battle - mutually smitten in clean engagement. THE KURUKSHETRA-REPORT is an expedition to the nucleus of violence. In cold blood the video peels the flesh to reach the pure core, to make this dumb thing talk point-blank - without mercy.

David Jakubovic (USA)

Since moving to the U.S eight years ago from Israel, David has been focusing on an editing career while staying at home and writing at nights (at least those nights when he wasn't editing until 5 in the morning!) Lately he has also started directing more, and in 2007 - in addition to editing many projects - shot 15 music videos, and a dramatic pilot starring Whoopi Goldberg, all of which he edited as well.

“JOINED AT THE HEAD” (2008, 4:34)
A monologue from the play 'Joined at the Head' comes to life as Jim confesses his guilty, personal feelings about what he is going through as his wife is dying. Imagination, thoughts and reality, as well as past and present, are all mixed up as a picture is painted about a deep confusion in Jim's mind, as he confronts love, hate and hopelessness of a situation he can do nothing about but observe sounds.

Daniel Rodrigo (Spain)

Recent festival participation:
-Festival Images Contra Nature Marsella France July 2008
-Flixation Underground Cinema Club London June 2008
-Bristol Filmmakers Festival June 2008
-Candid Art Project Room London June 2008
-Back up Festival Weimar –Germany June 2008
-Southbank Art Trails -Painting exhibition- Bristol May 2008
-Finalist experimental section, Cyprus International Film Festival April 2008

“Fashion Death” (2007, 4:36)
It isn’t absurd that the death worries about his physical appearance and be scared of the social exclusion? It isn’t absurd that the death being consumer without taking care of the ecological balance, the distribution of the richness and the pollution? It isn’t absurd that the death being reflect in the human defects/faults? Humans, humans, what is that? Absurds, in an absurd world.

Rafael (Belgium)

“Rafaël has worked as a video director and live video performer,
but his main occupation is photography. The photography and video images are processed with a computer into rhythmical sequences. Rafaël’s work has been shown, among others, at the ICA (Institute for Contemporary Arts in London), Outvidéo in Russia, Vidéoformes in France, etc…”

“Let’s Make a Deal” (2008, 2:50)
deal - a particular instance of buying or selling; "it was a package deal"; "I had no further trade with him"; "he's a master of the business deal" business deal, trade transaction, dealing, dealings - the act of transacting within or between groups (as carrying on commercial activities); "no transactions are possible without him"; "he has always been honest is his dealings with me" penny ante - a business deal on a trivial scale

Casey McKee (USA)

Born in Phoenix Arizona, Casey McKee has exhibited his work throughout much of the United States including: New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Chicago as well as London, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Berlin. In addition, Mr. McKee’s work has been exhibited and collected by several major and private museums. He now resides in Berlin, Germany.

“Corporate Warfare” (2005, 3:13)
I am an incredibly powerful businessman who continues to clime higher and higher up the ladder of success.

Ioannis Roumeliotis (Greece)

born in Korinthos, Greece He studied interior and graphic design, photography in Athens. Since 2005 he lives in Berlin. He studies Art and Media at the University of art in Berlin.

Picking Cherries (2009, 14:59 min)
Experimental film separated into two channels, an experiment between light and camera movement influenced by the violence of a serial killing. The film was filmed in Tegel airport Berlin in cooperation with two actors Dominik Djialeu and Olympia Spanou.

Alex Lora (Spain)

was born in Barcelona. After being refused in the Fine Arts College, he joins the Audiovisual Communication University in 1997. In the year 2000 he travels to Bologna (Italy) in order to finish his studies. In 2001 Àlex’s life changed drastically: a serious disease was diagnosed in his left arm. He underwent surgery 13 times. In 2005 Àlex suffered a collapse that caused the amputation of his left arm, but he continues making short Films. He’s chosen to take part in the Berlinale Talent Campus and he finishes a Master in Filmmaking where he writes his first feature screenplay and his last short film.

So Much Love, (2007, 1:26)
Jack is like a child. Jack has a dream. Jack has lots of love… so much that may be won’t fit in just one heart…

Performances for the night of this anniversary event (curated by Stepanian):

The Autotelics: Philip Mantione, Al Faaet (Santa Fe, USA)

A premiere collaborative performance with Al Faaet and Philip Mantione

Philip Mantione
Philip Mantione has composed music for orchestra, chamber ensembles, fixed media, computer-interactive performance, multimedia and sound installations, and experimental video. He recently formed The Transducers, a group of five composers and improvisors from diverse backgrounds that utilizes laptops, custom software, sound sculptures, circuit bending and custom electronics to produce unique sonic worlds. He was awarded a grant from Meet The Composer, for his participation in a series of workshops, a panel discussion and concert, as part of an event he had conceived, called The Improvising Composer (March 2010).

Al Faaet
I moved to New Mexico in 1984 from the Philly/Trenton area where I was the founder of the SPIRITUAL ENERGY COLLECTIVE, a seminal ensemble that played in that area from 1972 thru 1984, and actually had a few gigs in NM in the early 80's. We were heavily influenced by Trane, Pharoah, Ayler, Sun Ra, and a variety of other great energy music, and used fire eaters, dancers, slide projections, and the like, to create a compelling multi media event. On moving to NM, I have played in many energy-music contexts with J.A Deane, Jack Clift, Kurt Heyl, Peter Breslin, and most of the other improvisers in Northern New Mexico. I also co-founded THE DRUM IS THE VOICE OF THE TREES, a series of 13 all drum and percussion concerts which sold out the Greer Garson Theater and Lensic Theater a number of times from 1992-2004. I can be found on the Effigy, Zerx, and High Mayhem labels. Some examples are; GRAND CROSS ECLIPSE with J.A.Deane from 2000, THE UNINVITED GUESTS with Carlos Santistevan, Chris Jonas, and many others from 2004, and WINDOW BLACK AS RAIN on Effigy, from 1998.


Ian Anderson (Santa Fe, USA)

The One & Only Ian Anderson is a new media and performance artist, model, and writer who lives and operates out of Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is a contributing writer for the online culture blog The End of Being. He has worked in conjunction with the College of Santa Fe, The Process, and the Santa Fe Complex, in addition to working with members of the bands Beirut and The Apple Miner Colony. His intellectual passions include film, media theory, post-human sexuality, pop culture, comic books/graphic novels, science fiction, fantasy, and horror fiction, experimental music, and the history of the avant-garde. He is also the Maestro de Nada.

Image: Ian Anderson in "Gluttony" by Brandon Soder


Martin Back, April Mae Bassett (Santa Fe, USA)

April Bassett is an artist who works in the realms of performance, music and photography. She is a cellist by training and has performed with the Soundpainting Orchestra of New Mexico and the Ancestral Groan Liberation Orchestra. She is a member of local burlesque troupe Zircus Erotique.

Martin Back is an artist, composer and musician. He likes seafood and is April's husband.

Martin and April will perform a new work, titled '32/40 Drone' for 40 digital sine waves, cello, and gopichand.

Anthony Buchanan (Santa Fe, USA)

Anthony Buchanan is a local experimental filmmaker, media artist, journalist, and scholar of underground and world cinema. As a freelance journalist, he has covered the interactive media scene for the Santa Fe Reporter and the Santa Fe New Mexican, and currently writes about avant-garde culture under the pseudonym ant.cinema. Mr. Buchanan has spent years studying experimental cinema, and has is currently at work on two book projects on the subject. Buchanan is at work designing an interactive gallery space for the archival preservation of Santa Fe-based media pioneers Steina and Woody Vasulka, in addition to planning bi-weekly lectures at the Santa Fe Complex on the history of avant-garde film and video art. Mr. Buchanan's own creative pursuits have been exhibited through venues such as High Mayhem, the Process and the Santa Fe Complex. He is currently at work on a multimedia installation focused on the ephemerality of memory, individual perspective, and the decay of cinematic preservation.


Infectious manipulation
"The concept is to visualize other people's infectious power and egocentric orientation. You have to protect yourself from outer impact, from non-listeners and self-absorbed humans, and create a shelter to maintain your own strenght."

(a recording of this performance is now available on vimeo)

Niclas Hallberg, Stina Pehrsdotter (Sweden - virtual performance)

Stina Pehrsdotter (Sweden, 1966)           
Stina is a curator and artist, autodidact, working in video, photo, street, installation, object and performance art inspired by the human body and its environment. During the last years she has focused on the body’s desires and needs, wishes and loss. She explores the meaning of human life by diving deep into herself. In her works she often reflects on the connection between mind, body and soul, and tensions between body and environment. Her work can be seen as an exploration of existence and memories. Stina Pehrsdotter has participated in numerous exhibitions at home and abroad. She is engaged in many different international video collaborations, shown at festivals and exhibitions. As a curator, she has arranged many showings in a variety of contexts, and as being one of the founders of Formverk (art zone), an artist-run exhibition place, she has a broad network of other artists and independent art initiatives.

Niclas Hallberg (1965, Sweden)
Niclas Hallberg is a freelance artist since the last 10 years. Working in video, photo, installation, performance and painting. His experimental works deals with questions concerning identities, masculinity and humanity. He is using the moving picture to express feelings, make changes or to document a performance. He often uses himself as an actor and thereby he creates a feeling of intimity. Niclas Hallberg has participated in several solo and group exhibitions in Sweden and abroad, and has made videos and photos commissioned by other artists and museums. Niclas Hallberg work in several international projects, focused on collaborational exchanges resulting in exhibitions and video screenings, and also in different art projects together with artists from around the world. Niclas Hallberg founded Formverk (art zone) 2004, together with Stina Pehrsdotter, an experimental exhibition and project space in Eskilstuna, Sweden.

Read about Igor's live performance of March 12 here...

Igor Stromajer (Hamburg, Germany - virtual performance)

Igor Stromajer (Intima Virtual Base – is an intimate mobile communicator. His oeuvre comprises nearly 100 projects presented at more than 100 exhibitions in 50 countries on all the continents. The two most widely known are Ballettikka Internettikka and Oppera Internettikka (1997–2010). He has received several awards for his work (in Moscow, Hamburg, Dresden, Belfort, Madrid and Maribor), and his projects form part of the permanent collections of the prestigious art institutions, among them Le Centre national d'art et de Culture Georges Pompidou - Musée national d'art moderne in Paris, France; the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, Spain; the Moderna galerija in Ljubljana, Slovenia; the Computerfinearts Gallery - net and media art collection in New York, USA; the Maribor Art Gallery, Slovenia). His multimedia projects research tactical emotional states, intimate political guerrilla, and traumatic low-tech strategies. He lectures as a guest artist at universities and contemporary art institutes in Europe, North and Latin America, and Asia.

"I believe in intimacy, individualism, emotions, frustrations, traumas, artificiality, communication, impossibility, mobility, montage, radicality, sensibility, silence, strategy, tactics, tears, orgasm, concept, pleasure, fantasies, philosophy, transfer, utopia and angels. I do not believe in media, tourism and the end."


Alaina R. Alexander (Santa Fe, USA)

Alaina R. Alexander was born in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, and raised in Topeka, Kansas. At age six, she began dual love affair with singing and writing stories. During her college years, music became her primary focus and she put writing stories on the backburner.

Alaina attended both Kansas State University and the College of Santa Fe. She received her BA in Contemporary Music with a minor in Spanish from the College of Santa Fe in New Mexico. She has been featured in Falling Star Magazine, Poetry Diversity, and World Word Wide Radio Network. Alaina has performed featured readings at Mama's Hot Tamales, The Venice Grind, The 2007 Leimert Park Book Festival and Beyond Baroque.