RPM Fest presents Ariana Gerstein – Still/Distill
Run Time: 90 min.
Filmmaker in Person!
Presented by Revolutions Per Minute Festival
RPM Fest screening series returns to Brattle Theatre on September 25th at 2PM and presents Ariana Gerstein – Still/Distill, a collection of six short films, including a 16mm cinemascope piece Images of Flying and Falling, four shorts from the scanner series, and an excerpt of her most recent unpublished work.
Ariana Gerstein works in experimental and experimental documentary forms. This program offers an opportunity to see her work together and highlights her scanner series, which used an old document scanner to capture images. The scanning motions are precise, unlike popular computerized motion capture methods. The performance in front of/on top of the scanner manifests in-between pauses, frozen gestures, and traces that were left behind. This series strikes an exquisite chiaroscuro experience.
Reflecting on the program Ariana Gerstein notes, “All of these projects involve working with “the still”, its use in the construction of cinematic time, the tension between this artificial creation and lived experience. People vanish, but they sometimes leave collectable traces. When those meager traces are used to redraw what is lost, a new understanding emerges. About them or about us? The effort to make and consume, and the technology used, is all we have.”
Her films have been screened and awarded prizes at festivals worldwide including International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam, European Media Arts Festival in Germany, Media City in Canada, New York Film Festival, SXSW in Texas. She has presented at institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, San Francisco Cinematheque, the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Pacific Film Archives in Berkley, and other locations. Her work has been awarded grants by New York Council for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, and a Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowship.
Images of Flying and Falling (2001, 24 mins, b/w, 16mm cinemascope, sound)
Close The Lid, Gently: A Home Document Scan (2012, 5:46 mins, desktop scanner, b/w, sound)
Performance For Perfection 1200 (2014, 13:30 mins, b/w, desktop scanner, sound)
In Glass Houses (2017, 8:22 mins, b/w, desktop scanner and digital video, sound)
Traces with Elikem (2018, 7:00 mins, b/w, desktop scanner and digital video, sound)
The W.I.P. Unpublished (2022, 5 mins, color, digital, sound)
Post screening Q&A: Ariana Gerstein & Film Critic Jake Mulligan