2017 Kaohsiung Film Festival International Short Film Competition

I’m delighted to announce that my short experimental film The Vanishing was selected as a semi-finalist at the 2017 Kaohsiung Film Festival International Short Film Competition in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. Held in October and November 2017, the Kaohsiung International Short Film Competition is dedicated to discover new filmmakers and to enhance cultural exchanges through short films.

The Vanishing is a short experimental art film whose theme is the extinction and disappearance of bird species. The film is not a documentary, but a metaphorical imagining of the vanishing of birds worldwide. It opens with swirling clouds and a white sun rising over a stark mountain landscape; the sky blackens, then we see treetops, clouds behind, and two suns, a black one rising and a golden one setting.

Next, a lightning storm, and small birds twittering and flying in tree branches as the sun moves past. All of this is somewhat abstract; viewers can identify these things but they are all strange-looking and somewhat eerie – the mood is one of disquiet and slight anxiousness. The film ends in a void, with fire and smoke drifting across the screen.

The Fire Ceremony II: Metamorphosis Semi-Finalist at the Best Short Fest

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My film The Fire Ceremony II: Metamorphosis, with soundtrack When I Die feat. michael dent (Youth “Don’t Feed the Trolls Rainbow mix”), by Jeremy Gluck and Michael Dent, remixed L. MacLean, licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License, has been selected as a Semi-Finalist at the Best Short Fest in Lanark County, Ontario.

BEST SHORT FEST is proud to bring the world’s best short films to the big screen at the historic community theatre in Lanark County, Ontario – less than an hour from Ottawa, and the United States (New York state), and 3.5 hours drive from Toronto.

After over 30 years as a live performance venue, since 2003 the theatre has regularly screened the best international films in partnership with the Film Circuit, a division of the Toronto International Film Festival Group, and BEST SHORT FEST continues this tradition, showcasing the talents of independent filmmakers from far and wide.

See the trailer here.

Luminescence at the Deer Lake Gallery, Burnaby Mar 19 – Apr 9, 2016

Update: Amazing opening of the Luminescence exhibition at the Deer Lake Gallery in Burnaby, thousands of people, line-ups down the block. This group show celebrates the Spring Equinox with works that feature light in all its various manifestations. My video Sunset Song is featured on the wall screen. See my photos here. Read an article about the event here.

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My video Sunset Song will be screened at the Deer Lake Gallery in Burnaby in the Luminescence exhibition of works celebrating the Spring Equinox. The show opens Sat April 19 from 7 – 9 pm and continues until Apr 9. Hope to see you there!

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Here’s some info about the work:

The video Sunset Song explores many different facets of light, both literal and metaphorical. We begin in a ruined cave house in central Anatolia, with a Spring Equinox ritual that I created entitled Nevruz Burning, a performance to celebrate the Middle Eastern New Year and the birth of Spring. Still celebrated today by Turks and Iranians, Nevruz is an ancient holiday based on astronomical calculations and involves the victory of light over the powers of darkness. During Nevruz fire rituals, such as jumping over bonfires, are engaged in as purification rites for the coming year.

Nevruz Burning, created while I was an artist is residence in Ibrahimpasa, Turkey, was made entirely out of found objects: wooden box from Shah Dede’s abandoned cave house, a skull from the Cappadocian valley, bones from the house’s sod roof, stones from a corner of the cave room itself, apricot tree branches, cotton headscarf material, golden twigs, and two banners made from garbage plastic sheets painted with a cruciform design in red and pink inspired by rock-cut church frescos in Cappadocia. In the spirit of Nevruz fire rituals, the performance, held on the evening of the Spring Equinox, saw myself and a local boy light the room and its contents on fire to purify the space for Spring.

From there, the video’s visual narrative takes us on a journey of bodies and sunsets, across fields and through canyons lit by northern lights and faces by molten lava, from sleeping figures and staircases illuminated by lightning and fire, to ruined buildings floating in a sunset sky. The journey ends in a Vancouver landscape where planetary portals to other worlds have opened up as the sun sets, through which we might slip into another realm.

Combining still photographs, both conventional and infrared, and video, Sunset Song is a meditation on the endless cycle of darkness and light, death and rebirth.

More info about the show here and here.

New Video Work

Update: My film The Fire Ceremony II: Metamorphosis, soundtrack When I Die feat. michael dent (Youth “Don’t Feed the Trolls Rainbow mix”) by Jeremy Gluck and Michael Dent, remixed L. MacLean. Licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License, has been selected for the 7th Annual NYC Independent Film Festival running from April 27 to May 1, 2016 in New York City. For more information, click here.

It was screened twice: Art/Experimental Session April 28, 2016 9:00 pm Producers Club – Studio 3 · 358 West 44th Street · New York, NY 10036 & Art/Experimental Films Sessions 4 April 30, 2016 12:00 pm Producers Club – Theater P · 358 West 44th Street New York, NY 10036.

This film was also screened at the Burnaby Film Forum in September 2015 where it won the Best Technical Achievement Award and was featured at the Midnight Sun Art Festival in Sun Peaks, British Columbia, Canada running Aug 7-9, 2015. It was also screened at the LACDA 11 Year Anniversary Represented Artists Exhibit from April 9 – May 14, 2015.

The Fire Ceremony II: Metamorphosis. Mixed media installations, projections, performance and video 2014-15.

The Fire Ceremony II: Metamorphosis represents an unfolding metamorphosis of elements that are transmuted through fire and water, from ancient ruins to an unknown future. As the ceremony proceeds a sequence of projections bathes the proceedings in a kaleidoscope of changing images and colours, all ultimately dissolved in fiery conflagrations. Beginning with a step through a flaming basement door into a ruined cathedral in central Anatolia, the visual narrative carries us through abandoned ruins and landscapes, to a Spring Solstice ritual burning for Nevruz, the Turkish and Persian New Year, to an idiosyncratic fire ceremony performed by an apprentice yogini, to an imagined post-apocalyptic west coast of British Columbia.

Requiem: Birds and Beasts: Mixed media installations, projections and video 2015. No soundtrack.

This work comprises digital images of a sculptural tableau of natural and pseudo-natural elements (a dead magnolia branch picked up during a bike ride, candles, LED lights, plastic flowers from a Mexican market), and photographic projections of animal specimens. I had the pleasure of access to the teaching collection of animal specimens at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at UBC where I was able to examine their shelves and drawers of bird, mammal, and insect species. It was fascinating and also somewhat sad to gently handle and photograph their bodies; I was amazed to note how similar some of the small mammals and birds were to humans as they lay in their silent sleep.