Manipulated Image #12
"memory" and "identity"

Manipulated Image & VideoChannel Cologne
proudly present an intercontinental collaboration

10 experimental short videos from the USA
curated by Alysse Stepanian (USA)
in the framework of NewMediaFest'2010

click here for images from the event

Other VideoChannel Cologne Presentations of this curation:

February 19-21, 2011
in the framework of "CologneOFF 2011
videoart in a global context"
CeC - Carnival of e-Creativity in India

December 11-12, 2010
Delhi International Arts Festival
under the title: "EdgeLogue" at Alliance Fraincais New Delhi
a pre-view program of the CologneOFF 2011 festival
download catalog here...
more here...

June 14 - 30, 2010
VideoChannel - US Video Art on VAD

April 2010
feature of the month on VideoChannel Cologne
in the framework of NewMediaFest'2010



Alysse Stepanian (USA) curates for VideoChannel Cologne

Simultaneous launch online on VideoChannel Cologne and in physical space of Manipulated Image at The Santa Fe Complex


Laleh Mehran (Colorado), Chris Coleman (Colorado), and Brooks Williams (New York City) will be present in person to discuss their work

Brooks Williams will also present a solo musical performance (radio interview with Brooks - center MP3 file)

Friday, April 2, 2010
7:30 pm – 9:30pm
Santa Fe Complex, USA

above: video still from "In Dreams" by Michael Greathouse (Brooklyn, New York)

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

As part of the 10th year celebrations of NewMediaArtProjectNetwork based in Cologne, Alysse Stepanian (curator of Manipulated Image) was invited by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne to curate a one hour compilation of experimental short videos by US artists titled "memory" and "identity." This one hour compilation will become part of the collection of VideoChannel Cologne and its online screenings. On April 2nd, additional videos by the selected artists plus work by Chris Coleman and Penny Lane will be screened at the Complex. Mr. Coleman's animation is already in the collection of Video Art Database.

Lana Z. Caplan (Boston, Massachusetts), Chris Coleman (Colorado), Brian DeLevie (Denver, Colorado), Ron Diorio (Manhattan, New York), Michael Greathouse (Brooklyn, New York), Soyeon Jung (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), Penny Lane (New York, New York), Laleh Mehran (Colorado), Joe Merrell (Los Angeles, California), David Montgomery (Fernandina Beach, Florida), Christine Schiavo (Staten Island, New York), Brooks Williams (New York City).

GUEST ARTIST PRESENTATIONS: Laleh Mehran (Colorado), Chris Coleman (Colorado), and Brooks Williams (New York City), with solo musical performance by Brooks Williams...

Laleh Mehran, Chris Coleman, and Brooks Williams
will be present in person to discuss their work. Brooks Williams will also present a solo musical performance. For more than 25 years Brooks has worked in his New York studio, Harmonic Ranch, as a composer/sound-designer creating music for film, dance, television, multi-media installations, and performances. Coleman's animation "The Magnitude of the Continental Divides" was chosen by a jury including Isabella Rossellini as the Grand Prize winner of the Metropolis Art Prize. On December 17 of 2009, it was screened in Times Square NYC on three of the JumboTron screens!! Iranian born Laleh Mehran received her MFA from Carnegie Mellon University in Electronic Time-Based Media. Currently, she is an Associate Professor and Graduate Director of the Electronic Media Arts & Design program at the University of Denver.

(Read about Agricola de Cologne and VideoChannel)

VideoChannel – video project environments
CologneOFF – Cologne International Videoart Festival
VIP – VideoChannel Interview Project
VAD – Video Art Database

Read Alysse Stepanian's interview on CIP - Curator's Interview project
See the profile of Manipulated Image on netMAXX

ABOUT VideoChannel:

VideoChannel is the platform in the context of [NewMediaArtProjectNetwork]:||cologne which is acting online and in physical space focused on artforms of film & video in a global context and the aspects of “memory” and “identity”.

Founded in 2004, VideoChannel invites curators from all over the world to contribute video art from their home countries and realizes numerous thematic features during a year. In this way, VideoChannel is hosting meanwhile a most comprehensive collection of video art from all continents dealing with essential questions of human existence and art. In 2005, VideoChannel started to present its collections worldwide in the framework of festivals, biennales and media art exhibitions, and extended its activities in 2006, when CologneOFF – Cologne Online Film Festival (renamed in 2010 to Cologne International Videoart Festival) was founded, when VIP – VideoChannel Interview Project was founded in 2007 and VAD – Video Art Database was established in 2008. Together with the latest initiative "artvideoKOELN", these four instances form the Video Art Consortium (VAC) in the framework of the global network and complement each other concerning their aims and activities. VideoChannel is directed and chief curated by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne.
by Alysse Stepanian:

These videos by U.S. artists are as diverse as the memories and identities that fabricate the singularity of the concept of unity and nationhood of this country. Most of these videos were originally created for installations and share a monumental quality, as if to reflect the enduring attributes of the memories that make up one's identity. Soyeon Jung, a Korean born American, draws a literal parallel between food consumption and the internalizing of her own experiences of moving between the two cultures. Lana Z. Caplan comments on human survival amid loss and destruction. Brian DeLevie and Isshaela Ingham reflect on childhood memories from the safe distance of a far away future. Chris Schiavo's heroine's active search for a unique sense of self contrasts with Brooks Williams and Ron Diorio's central figures, who seem to have lost their internal battle. On the verge of making compromises, they struggle to negotiate their conflicting needs for individuality and belonging, as their socially driven desires dictate their beings. Iranian born Laleh Mehran combines “religion, science, and politics,” in complex works that find commonalities in territories that have claimed marked distinction through the filters of history. In a video by Michael Greathouse, a detached human head floats in the sea, its movement decipherable as it passes the only marker in the landscape, a lighthouse that may represent a flash of a memory that marks a person's individuality. Joe Merrell depicts the drivers on a Los Angeles Highway; alienated in their automobiles, they all eventually vanish into a single point, perhaps symbolic of their myopic outlook toward life. And finally, David Montgomery depicts "a collective memory of growth," allowing the combined synergy of technology and nature to break into a time lapse dance to music by the band, Sleeping People. In addition to this compilation of 10 videos that will become part of the collection of Manipulated Image's German partner, VideoChannel Cologne's site, there will be screenings of Penny Lane's child-like animation, and Chris Coleman's award winning animation, "The Magnitude of the Continental Divides." This curation is Manipulated Image's 2nd major partnership with Wilfried Agricola de Cologne's VideoChannel online screenings based in Cologne.

“In ruins, we rebuild with memories buried in the foundation” is a ten-minute 2-channel film originally shot over five years on super 8 mm film.  The final form screened here is a single channel digital video, scored by Daniel Coughlin.  During the transfer process from S-8 to video, some of the footage was blown up to 16 mm on the optical printer. This footage was then burned with a soldering iron to create melted holes in people from cities around the world (Beijing, New York, London, and Paris), as they rise from subway stairs and escalators. This imagery is combined with footage from the natural world, cyclical events, migration and destructive forces, in an effort to look to nature to understand how we can go on with chaos, destruction and loss as part of our lives.  We do go on, streams of people carrying their holes, generation after generation."

Lana Z. Caplan  (Boston, Massachusetts)

Lana Z Caplan is a Boston-based film/video maker, photographer and installation artist.  She works with super8, found footage, video, interactive projections, and alterative processes photography in her pieces that explore relationships, mortality and social issues.

Recent screenings and exhibitions include: MadCat Women’s International Film Festival (San Francisco, CA), "FICCO"(Festival Internacional de Cine Contemporáneo), Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, (Mexico City); Festival Cap Sembrat 3, (Barcelona, Spain); Danforth Museum of Art, (MA); Gallery NAGA, (Boston, MA); John Stevenson Gallery, (NY, NY); Photographic Resource Center, (Boston, MA); William Benton Museum of Art, (Storrs, CT). 

Recent grants and awards include: Wexner Center for the Arts Residency, Puffin Foundation Grant; Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant; Contemporary Artist Center Residency; Polaroid Corporation Grant. She earned a B.A. from Boston University and an M.F.A. from Massachusetts College of Art. Caplan also teaches at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, MA.

- "In ruins, we rebuild with memories buried in the foundation"
10:46, b/w & color, super 8 and 16mm transferred to digital video, with sound, 2006; Audio by Daniel Coughlin
- "Dual" 2 min, hand-processed Super 8 transferred to video, 2005

Chris Coleman (Denver, Colorado)

Mr. Coleman will present his work in person.

Chris Coleman received his BFA in his native state from West Virginia University in 2001 and his MFA from New York State University at Buffalo in 2003. A number of his undergraduate years were devoted to studying Mechanical Engineering, knowledge that he brings to bear in his installations. His work includes sculptures, performances and videos as well as interactive installations. Chris Coleman was twice a participant in the VIPER Basel Festival in Switzerland and has had his work in exhibitions in Singapore, Finland, Sweden, Italy, Germany, France, China, the UK and Latvia. In North America he has had solo shows at Big Orbit in Buffalo NY, Pratt at Munson Williams Proctor in NY, and NE plus Ultra in Toronto as well as exhibitions at the Albright Knox in Buffalo NY, Spaces Gallery in Cleveland OH, and other shows in Minneapolis MN, Austin TX, and New York City to name a few. He currently resides in Denver CO and is an Assistant Professor at the University of Denver.

- "The Magnitude of the Continental Divides" (2009; 5:32)

"Emanations is a collaborative experimental video whose visual and thematic is transported by a delicately layered sea-like atmosphere analogous to the fluid and fluctuating state of memory. Representing idyllic moments from childhood the film traces the shifting mindscape of the rememberer, perceptively transitioning between viewpoint and reflection. Layered scenes from a variety of footage reveal a unique quality of light captured to combine the poignancy and splendor, distance and apprehension, experienced within recalled memories."

Brian DeLevie (Denver, Colorado)

Brian DeLevie is a digital artist, designer, photographer, author and an Assistant Professor and Area-Head of Digital Design at the University of Colorado Denver. His body of work variously investigates themes of technology, memory, history and Holocaust issues. His work has been internationally shown at spaces and video festivals such as Diverse Works/ Aurora Picture Show, Houston, TX; New York Experimental Film Festival; SIGGRAPH Art Gallery, San Diego, CA; The Arts Center, St. Petersburg, FL: Orange County Center for Contemporary of Art; The New York Experimental Film Festival, 8th Lille International Short Film Festival, Lille, France; Space Gallery in London, England; 21st Instants Video Film Festival Marseille, France; The Moscow International Film Festival; the VAD:  International Video and Digital Arts Festival, Girona, Italy. In 2004, he received Fulbright Fellowship to study the influences of Film, Television and the Internet on German culture.

Isshaela Ingham is a freelance writer, poet, multimedia consultant and collaborative artist living in Denver, Colorado.  For over ten years, Ingham's studies and projects have focused on multimedia applications and writing within the humanities. She has studied in Wales, Belgium, Italy and Germany and taught at the University of Limoges, France. Ingham has worked with a number of local artists. Her on-going collaborative work with digital artist Brian DeLevie includes a multimedia art installation, "Whispers of Contradiction," and an article published in Afterimage: “Unconscionable or communicable: the transference of Holocaust photography in cyber space" (May 2004). Ingham and DeLevie's most recent collaboration is a video short entitled "Emanations."

- “Emanations” 2008; 9:57

Ron Diorio (Manhattan, New York)

Ron Diorio is an artist working in multiple media including photography, video, spoken word and interactive applications. Ron has had three solo shows of his photographs, which have also been included in many group shows. Ron’s work has been exhibited internationally and is currently represented by Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art in New York City ( . He produced Zine TV (93-95), a DIY television series on the diversity and creativity of the self publishing “zine scene” of the mid 90s. Ron’s current video work focuses on virtuality and the “imitation of life” in the early 21st century. The work is presented through short personal essays weaving, spoken word, video, photography, Poegles, and found public forum postings and other texts. Ron is VP for Product and Community Development for The Economist/ He is a life long New Yorker and lives with his wife and two children in northern Manhattan.

"A SEASON WANTS is part of my recent video work which extends my photographic explorations challenging the veracity of documentary practices through the ambiguity of place and persona, manipulation of media, low-fi production and the social web's methods of distribution. This short film weaves images, poetry, and spoken word performance into a recognizable potential histories and narrative, building new relationships between image, word, viewer and artist."

- “A season of wants”; 2008; 02:20

Michael Greathouse (Brooklyn, New York)

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, I received my BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1991.  In 1997 I moved to New Orleans to attend the University of New Orleans Graduate Fine Arts program (MFA 2000).  Since 2003 I have lived and worked in Brooklyn, NY.

"Inspired by film noir and experimental surrealist films my most recent work is a series of short Black and white video loops produced exclusively with composited computer animation. I consider my films experimental. I am interested in dreams, hallucinations, and delusions...the uncanny.  Like the films of Maya Deren and the macabre drawings of Alfred Kubin, these short vignettes are intended to suggest, but not define, a narrative."

- "in dreams" 2008; 2:18
- "Everything seems to be OK..." 2007; 2:00

Soyeon Jung (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

Originally from South Korea, Soyeon Jung is a multi-disciplinary artist currently practicing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her work interrogates the intimate subject of personal memory from a multicultural perspective that is rooted in her experience of being situated in between Korea and the United States.
Her installation and video work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions and screened in a variety of venues including London OMSK, International Women’s Film Festival, Detroit Museum of New Art, Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, Big Orbit Gallery, CEPA Gallery, and Olean Public Gallery. Additionally she collaborates with Hans Gindlesberger on an ongoing, site-specific installation, Binocular Project, the first version of which appeared in the Noctuminal exhibition at Buffalo’s Central Terminal.
Soyeon was a graphic and web designer at Samsung in Korea before relocating to the United States. She received her MFA from the Department of Media Study at the University at Buffalo. Currently, she teaches in the Peck School of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and at Carroll University in the fields of graphic design, experimental film and video, and digital art.

- “the Eater” 2006 - revised 2010; 9:27

“the Eater" is a two-channel, interactive video installation. The version of the piece included in this screening is a single-channel video that presents a simulation of the physical installation. “the Eater” deals with the harvesting and consumption of experience, transforming it into personal memory. On opposing walls, a video of “the Eater” is coupled with a sequence of memory images that must literally be consumed in order to preserve them. The abstracted images resist referencing any particular event, but rather represent lived-in time as the artist moves between Korea and America. Within this piece, the act of eating of one's own memory exhibits a cannibalistic consumption that alludes to the destructive potential of memory when it becomes internalized. A sound-scape that becomes suddenly violent as “the Eater” seizes a memory in her desire to consume it augments this feeling of unease.
The self-destructive drive to internalize and preserve traumatic memory is the product of a fear of emptiness; a situation in which one finds themselves lacking memory, experience, and attachment. In “the Eater” the body is treated as a repository for a multitude of accumulated time, yet in this state it is also susceptible to the resurfacing of the embedded trauma. In visualizing this relationship, the piece acknowledges the need for memory to be recuperated and creates a space for the audience to engage in this performance. The scale of the installed piece, combined with the multiplicity of images, limits the vision of the audience, forcing them to make decisions as to how they will negotiate the flow of images, which subjects they will psychologically engage with, and which they will let slip by and escape consciousness.
Penny Lane (New York, New York)

Penny Lane is an award-winning filmmaker and video artist whose work has shown at Rotterdam, San Francisco International, Images Festival, Women in the Director's Chair, AFI FEST, Antimatter, Impakt, Dallas Video Fest and MOMA's Documentary Fortnight. Currently she is a visiting professor in art at Williams College and in pre-production on
a feature documentary about goat testicles and Mexican radio. And
yes, Penny Lane is her real name.

- "She used to see him most weekends" 2007; 4:00

"A short story about growing up, a certain love song, and the
apocryphal memories of childhood. Simple animations create a picture
book whose story is scrambled by time and loss."

- "The Xerces Society, Installment VII: From London to Marrakech"; 2007;  4:57
- "Wild Horses" 2004; 2:44
- "Lost in Translation II" 1999; 2:30

Laleh Mehran (Colorado)

Ms. Mehran will present her work in person.

Laleh Mehran was born in Iran and relocated with her family to the United States at the start of the Iranian Islamic Revolution. The progeny of Iranian scientists, Mehran's relationship to religion, science and politics is necessarily complex, and is still more so now given a political climate in which certain views are increasingly suspect. Indeed, we live in an era in which some speech is increasingly censored, often with the most extreme consequences for the speaker, and as such her work is of necessity as veiled as it is explicit, as personal as it is political and as critical as it is tolerant. Mehran's research, often modeled on and about the very idea of scientific research, assumes the privileges of science precisely for the purpose of calling it into question, even as she uses it in order to articulate a set of ideas which require precisely this kind of protection from both political and religious intolerance.

Mehran received her MFA from Carnegie Mellon University in Electronic Time-Based Media. Her work has been shown individually and as part of art collectives at the Next 5 Minutes 4 Tactical Media Festival in Amsterdam, Holland; the European Media Arts Festival in Osnabruck, Germany; Ponte Futura in Cortona Itlay; Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, MA; the Orlo Video Festival in Portland, Oregon; the Carnegie Museum of Art; The Georgia Museum of Art; The Andy Warhol Museum; and the Pittsburgh Biennial at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts in Pittsburgh, PA. Currently, Mehran is an Associate Professor and Graduate Director of the Electronic Media Arts & Design program at the University of Denver.

"The Xerces Society" is a series of artworks investigating the complexities of fanaticism and ideology under the auspices of art and science. The title refers to a North American butterfly conservation society of a similar name, as well as to Xerces, the famed king of ancient Persia. Sir Samuel Cropia, the primary character, is a world-renowned lepidopterist known for his extreme dedication to the preservation and proliferation of butterflies. The greatness sought by such men of power becomes their identity and legacy left behind. They are remembered by their actions; history looks kindly on the victories and admonishes the failures.

In Installment VII Sir Cropia enters into his seventh decade oscillating between manic aspirations for a diminishing future and melancholic reflections on a vexed and variable past. Consequently, the moving images that constitute the video, visible through apertures that are at once windows and eyes, form a compelling analogue for Sir Cropia's own psychological state. Placing the spectator in Sir Cropia's restless shoes, the spectator does see, but only at the mercy of Sir Cropia's mind's eye. Thus, just as a tension exists within Sir Cropia's self-assessment, so for the spectator a comparable tension develops between his/her point of view and that of our nefarious protagonist. As such, the romance of travel by train, as suggested by the parade of level images on the windows' far side, quickly gives way to the realization that one has been kidnapped -- perhaps by Sir Cropia's own hand.

Joe Merrell (Los Angeles, California)

Joe Merrell was born in Seattle and grew up in Olympia, Washington.  He studied philosophy and history at the Evergreen State College in Olympia and received his masters degree in film from California Institute of the Arts in Valencia.  He currently resides in Los Angeles, where he makes installations and experimental films.

- “Tomorrow Never Comes” 2009; 4:15

"Repeated horizontal and vertical lines of video create a continuously scrolling still image and a vanishing point perspective. The source footage was shot on a street corner in downtown Los Angeles."

David Montgomery (Fernandina Beach, Florida)

A childhood spent mostly outdoors until an onset of video game addiction at a still very early age (healthy equilibrium setting in several years later) may have set the stage for the hybrid naturalist and digital content creator workflow employed in David Montgomery's art. He finished his formal education at the University of Florida obtaining a bachelors degree in Digital Arts and Sciences in 2005. In the Fall of 2007 David premiered the first film of his artistic career (“Pollenating” 2007) at the International Festival of Erotic Animation (FIAE) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Since then his work has gone on to screen at animated film festivals all over the world reaching a crescendo in the Winter of 2008/2009 with exhibitions such as “Too Art for TV 3” in New York and “Visions in the Nunnery” in the UK.

- “Grow Worm" 2008; 4:30

"A collective memory of growth as frantic, negative gravitropism. Everything rises from the earth and reaches for the sky. Shared fundamental structures and symmetries exist even among forces seemingly in conflict with one another. Shattered light bulbs are blossoming flowers, bundles of copper wires are climbing vines. A perfect hybrid between nature and technology is sought. Stop motion and digital compositing with the strings showing, the hands of the creator can be seen holding individual elements in place. Iridescent noise appears from the tremor of a heartbeat during a scanning pass. Dust inhabits nearly every frame. Shadows and reflections of light are unnatural and surreal due to the mechanics through which a scanner captures images."
Christine Schiavo (Staten Island, New York)

Christine Schiavo is a multi-media artist born and based in New York City. She works in Film, Photography, Installation art, Drawing and Sound, often incorporating all mediums simultaneously to create experimental films, theater and performance art. She is a founding member and the Visual Director of the Collective Opera Company based in NYC ( Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art/ NY, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art/ NY, and is shown in galleries and film festivals around the world. She is currently working on a silent cinematic fable called " RIVETGIRL ", which premiered its first two chapters at the Museum of Modern Art, NYC in May of 2007.
AWARDS: New York Foundation of the Arts for Architecture and Environmental Installation; New York State Council of the Arts for Experimental Film; BCAT award for multi-media art. 

RESIDENCIES: MacDowell Artist Colony, Yaddo Corporation, Saltonstall Foundation, Millay Colony, VCCA, UCross Foundation, Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation

- "Fear of the Saveloy Moon" 2007; 6:27

"Fear of the Saveloy Moon" is one of twelve chapters in the cinematic Fable titled "Rivetgirl." It follows the journeys of a Chaplin-esque female figure in search of a meaning and identity in a super-real world. In this chapter, the ' Rivetgirl ' seems to trapped in a hypnotic, recurring dream - where images appear then quickly re-invent themselves and mysterious actions echo throughout. It is at once magical and menacing. An undercurrent of beauty and tension weaves a false sense of security in a realm suspense.

"Fear of the Saveloy Moon" is a mostly improvised scenario made from layers of video and still images projected onto live actors and translucent sets, and uses props and shadow play. After filming one full hour of video, the tape is placed into a malfunctioning video camera and uploaded to a computer. Because of the malfunction, the footage automatically and randomly 're-edits ' itself in a different way each time this is done. "Fear of the Saveloy Moon " is one version. The music chosen is both soothing and menacing and absolutely defines what the end video will feel like.

"MEMORY FACE 1 is comprised from a few moments of a close-up interview with a glamorous actress at a movie premiere.  Simple processing, symmetrical mirroring, reveals an alternate reality of intense emotions and archetypical imagery."

Brooks Williams (New York City)

Mr. Williams will discuss his work and present a solo musical performance.

For more than 25 year Brooks has worked in his New York studio, Harmonic Ranch , as a composer/sound-designer creating music for film, dance, television, multi-media installations, and performances.  Through the use of electronic and acoustic instruments Brooks has worked  alone and in collaboration with other musicians, dancers or video artists.  Brooks is a co-founder of 80's era music/performance group History of Unheard Music (HUM) with Charlie Mendoza and Beo Morales. HUM used masks, films, video, music and theatrics and performed in New York at the Kitchen, DTW, Roulette, and various galleries and clubs, and tours in Europe. HUM released two records, “Drop It” and “Milk of Amnesia”.

In the 1990's Brooks started to develop an interest in photography and video. His visual style is influenced by his musical background and his love of electronic processing and manipulation.

Brooks currently performs with Beo Morales in a duet called Band-B. and in the ensembles BBF and Jambeaux.  and

- "MEMORY FACE 1" 4:34