VisionMix: Future Orbits Masterclass series, (2018), University of Winchester, UK
Guests included leading film directors, a producer and film composer to engage with University of Winchester’s film production students: a research and practice initiative supported by the partnering University. This extended the activities of Future Orbits 2017-18 in India.
VisionMix: Artists, Filmmakers and Curators’ Workshop, (2015)
VisionMix network’s participants delivered 30 talks on their practices, installations and film screenings. It was convened to question an increasing confluence between “documentary film” and certain branches of non-linear or so called “artists’ film and video” distributed in galleries or as site specific installations (rather than black box spaces). Gallery spaces are increasingly seen as ‘porous’ to conflicts from the world outside. Yet many artists and filmmakers who are successful enough to control how their works travel as global commodities are themselves choosing to make work that pitches itself as beyond personal accountability, and is therefore socially immune, thus swapping roles with how the gallery space previously functioned. In other scenarios, it seems that to replicate the tactics of journalism that commodifies violence, pornography and images of the abject, is often a much lauded form of dis-engagement of the filmmaker or artist from what they represent.
What became apparent about the VisionMix associate artists’ projects is that their engagement and sense of accountability in their productions is palpably felt. We draw from certain shared political affinities, such as the critique of normative representations of gender and sexuality, queer and feminist, critiques of ecological and environmental issues, an anti-colonial resistance and/or a sense of scepticism about the privileged currencies of art and its commodification. Our projects, whilst being socially and historically responsive, also strive towards the poetic; a quality sometimes found through an attitude of disobedience, subversion or at other times in an irrational pursuit of the imaginary. VisionMix’s artists are clearly focused on the contested spaces in the social world, but resist the temptation to isolate the lives we live from the art of film and photographic storytelling.
‘Politics’ constructs ways of forging truths that are centred on the collective, attempting to bring about (notions of) equality or to transform models of governance or resistance towards specific ideological targets. But for artists, collaborations are often about very small-scale yet significant partnerships that are able to embrace difference and make it creative. Through art (and film), we experience the world envisioned and lived from another’s perspective, acknowledging perceptions that are dynamic and perpetually unfolding.
Supporting partners for the VisionMix Artists, Curators, and Filmmakers Workshop, New Delhi 2015, were: