AAFF x Video Data Bank: Medium Meets Medium

  • Databank


Screening Room - Michigan Theater Sat, Mar 26, 2022 9:00 PM



Wendy Lawson


Made possible with support from the Video Data Bank


Curated by Emily Martin



The 42nd edition of the Ann Arbor Film Festival opened the door for the showcasing of video work, alongside and in conversation with the festival’s rich and varied film programming, a meeting of moving image worlds often separated and distinctly differentiated. This program, highlighting work from the collection at the Video Data Bank, features titles from seven artists that utilize the technical, aesthetic, and thematic conventions of both video and film in fluid, colorful form. As we reflect on the history of the Ann Arbor Film Festival and its relationship to video, it is imperative to reflect on the moments in which mediums meet, converse, and converge.


Sky Hopinka

2019 | 10 

Images of friends and landscapes are cut, fragmented, and reassembled on an overhead projector as hands guide their shape and construction in this film stemming from Hollis Frampton’s Nostalgia. The voice tells a story about a not too distant past, with traces of nostalgia articulated in terms of lore.


Curtain: Untold Story

Barbara Aronofsky Latham

1979 | 3 

In this video, the unseen narrator describes her inability to communicate to the camera what she wants to say and to whom she wants to say it.



Abigail Child

1982 | 11 

Mutiny employs a panoply of expression, gesture, and repeated movement. Its central images are of women: at home, on the street, at work, at school, talking, jumping on trampolines, playing the violin. The syntax of the film reflects the possibilities and limitations of speech, while “politically, physically, and realistically” flirting with the language of opposition.


Lossless #3

Rebecca Baron & Douglas Goodwin

2008 | 10 

Removing keyframes from a digital version of John Ford’s The Searchers, Baron and Goodwin attack the film’s temporal structuring to render a kinetic “painted desert” of the West.



Leah Franklin Gilliam

1999 | 6 

Employing footage from an obscure 8mm film trailer for Battle for the Planet of the Apes to highlight the unstable relationship between the real, historical past and the distant, imaginary future, this project revolves around a central question: is there a relationship between these forgotten formats and the discontinued political ideologies that they depict?


Deep Sleep

Basma Alsharif

2013 | 13 

*Flashing Light Warning

Deep Sleep takes us on a journey through the sound waves of Gaza to travel between different sights of modern ruin, recorded on Super 8 film, to the ruins of ancient civilizations embedded in modern civilization in ruins, to a site ruined beyond evidence of civilization. 



Stephanie Barber

2012 | 12 

The video hovers tentatively between therapy, documentary, poetics, and mystic traipsery and ends, like all good things, in surrender to song. There is a challenge presented to fall into the breathing and pacing presented, and the challenge to view the video as a discrete piece of art at the same time.


Curious Fantasies

Jesse McLean

2019 | 8 

The language and imagery related to celebrity perfumes (both descriptive and visual) are a starting point to think about consumer desires and the corrupt nature of branding. Give us your songs, your smells, and we will give you everything. The rich get richer, everyone smells poorer.





Emily Martin currently works as the Distribution and Communications Assistant at the Video Data Bank and is a recent graduate from the Dual MA in Contemporary & Modern Art History and Arts Administration & Policy program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her past experience includes various administrative, programming, and research activities at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the Chicago History Museum, the Chicago Park District, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.