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This section is regularly updated with short films, links, and notes related to Aurora’s ongoing investigations into experimental media arts. 




Negative 25 by Jenny Stark
This 2018 film combines appropriated footage from the Julia Roberts film Sleeping with the Enemy and personal landscapes from California rivers.





Michigan 1971
 by Eileen Maxson
In this 2002 short film by Eileen Maxson, her father reflects on youth, commitment, and his dedication to a corporation.


 





Anonymous was a Vlog: Lost, August 13, 2018
 by Mary Addison Hackett

A fictional episodic YouTube performance project about life in the Mojave Desert, shown at the 2019 festival. 


 

 



Frog Jesus
by Ben Peters

He thought that he could make a frog Jesus. In this film by Ben Peters, featured in the 2008 festival, a nostalgic voyage takes a darker turn, exploring the naiveté of humankind through the eyes of a young boy.




 


Please Come Visit Ivanhoe
by Otis Ike (Patrick Bresnan & Ivete Lucas)

In this funny short film document (included in the 2009 Extremely Shorts fest), Ty King is our young tour guide along a rural Appalachian streetscape. Patrick Bresnan and Ivete Lucas are responsible for, among other films, the award-winning new festure documentary, Pahokee.


 
 


Three Minutes Out by Shizuko Tabata

Another one from the early days of the festival, an experimental travelogue of sorts, by Japanese filmmaker Shizuko Tabata.


 


 

The History of Texas City by Bill Daniel
This 16mm experimental portrait of the Texas refinery town by photographer/filmmaker Bill Daniel was shown at the very first Extremely Shorts festival program in 1998. This is the first of our daily posts of shorts from the Extremely Shorts archives leading up to and during the run of the online 2020 festival program (May 15-22).





Lore
by Sky Hopinka

We are looking forward to bringing filmmaker Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk Nation/Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians) to Aurora in late-September to present and discuss his films in person! This 2019 short film is a rumination on passed-down knowledge and memory, with images of friends and landscapes being fragmented and reassembled on an overhead projector while a story is told about a not-too-distant past.  


 

 



20hz
by Semiconductor

We love UK duo Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt) and have shown a number of their works over the years. This short film, 20 Hz, observes a geo-magnetic storm occurring in the Earth's upper atmosphere, for which they collected and creatively reinterpreted data from the CARISMA radio array. 



 



At Land by Maya Deren
In celebration of pioneering filmmaker Maya Deren’s birthday (April 29), we’re sharing her dream-like 1944 film At Land, which Aurora presented in last year’s “Powerful Vulnerable” series. Deren’s avant-garde films in the 1940s and 1950s forever changed the medium and have influenced generations of artists. 




 



Ice of the World by Cristina Molina 

This short 2016 video, Ice of the World, is part of artist Cristina Molina’s series "The Matriarchs" for which she collaborated with all of the women in her family. Molina has said of the work, “The images emphasize physical gestures of connectivity, hierarchy, balance, and tension–all allusions to the relational dynamics that exist between women in family units.”

 




TB TX Dance
by Roger Beebe

Aurora brought film artist Roger Beebe to present a fantastic, multi-screen 16mm show in 2015. This dual-screen film commissioned for a Cinematexas event was made by printing patterns and shapes directly onto 16mm film, and is a nod to Bruce Conner’s 1966 film Breakaway.

 


 



Antes de la television by Ximena Cuevas

Mexican video artist Ximena Cuevas is legendary. Aurora was honored to have her here last fall to participate in screenings and discussions in our “Powerful Vulnerable” series. One of her earliest independent works, this very short satire film was shot on Super-8 film in 1983.

 




Home
by Thomas Gleeson

Thomas Gleeson’s beautifully minimal film follows the journey of a house in motion. Shown in Aurora’s “Architecture of Family” program in 2017, its particularly resonant now as we shelter in place and consider more closely what makes a home. 

 




Carolee, Barbara, and Gunvor
 by Lynne Sachs

When Aurora brought filmmaker Lynne Sachs last year to present her film Tip Of My Tongue, she also presented this lovely, personal piece featuring pioneering film figures Carolee Schneemann, Barbara Hammer, and Gunvor Nelson. These glimpses were still on our minds when, within weeks, both Carolee Schneemann and Barbara Hammer died. Their deaths were especially heavy for our hearts at Aurora, as we’ve hosted and honored both here and beyond admiring their work, we’d gotten to know them. We’re grateful for Lynne’s portrait film, and we're happy to share it with you.



 


 

Bent Time by Barbara Hammer

We’re all in such surreal circumstances now that time feels fluid, “bent.” Though its not one of her better known films, we thought this excerpt of Bent Time, made by Barbara Hammer in the early-1980s and featuring music by Houston-born Pauline Oliveros, reflects this sort of unmoored space and time. 




All My Life
by Bruce Baillie
We are sad to hear of the passing of Bruce Baillie, a real poet of experimental cinema since the early-1960s and founder of Canyon Cinema–an artist co-op film distributor that has served venues and organization (including so many Aurora programs) for over 50 years. He was an artist-in-residence at the Rice Media Center in the early-1970s, and our friends at Rice presented some beautiful 16mm prints of films by Baillie and his contemporaries as part of their 50th anniversary programs in February. This is one of Baillie's simplest–a single-shot love letter told in music and landscape. 



 




Blanket Statement #2: It’s All or Nothing
by Jodie Mack

Aurora brought film artist Jodie Mack to Houston to present her “Let Your Light Shine” film program in 2014, and we included a version of this film in the downtown video installation “Color Play”–part of our 2017 Sidewalk Cinema series in collaboration with the Houston Downtown Management District. Let this short film be your “comfort blanket.”

 

 




Myth and Infrastructure
by Miwa Matreyek 

Shadow, projection, puppetry and animation all come together in Miwa Matreyek’s gorgeous constructions of other worlds and spaces. Aurora has presented multiple live cinema performances by Miwa in the past, and we’re very excited to be presenting her newest project Infinitely Yours in the coming year! Keep your eyes open for news about that. In the meantime, transport to a dream world through this excerpted documentation of her Myth and Infrastructure.





H-E-L-L-O
 by Cauleen Smith

Referencing John Williams’ repeated five-note musical sequence in Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Cauleen Smith’s short film H-E-L-L-O is a playful and profound journey through New Orleans. It’s a nice film in our current circumstances, as it encourages us to listen to our cities in different ways. Aurora featured this at our Home-Hogar event in the fall of 2018, and we brought Cauleen to Houston in 2015 to present Black Utopia LP–a performance featuring sounds and images from the Sun Ra archives.


 
 




Journey to the Cosmic Womb by JooYoung Choi

Aurora has commissioned a new immersive video and installation work by fantastic Houston artist JooYoung Choi that will premiere here in November. We’re excited about this! And we’re thinking that right now you may just need a bit of the magic of her created worlds. 


 





Check back in, as the content here changes regularly.




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