Caleb Klaces writes: The London-based philosophy fanzine Shoppinghour has been putting on monthly Evenings of Delight at The Candid Arts space in Angel, London, since the start of the year. April’s theme was Environmental Surrealism, explained in part by Mika Ebbesen in the event’s introduction with the good question, “what can we look to when we are tired at looking at ourselves?”
Seven videos, a sculpture and a live VJ performance provided some answers. In an evening of welcome, if patchy, experiment (including a speaking vagina, and the Chicago skyline judderingly filmed to a soundtrack of Walter Benjamin), two films stood out. Amanda Wasielewski’s Supervision: Wawina, MN cuts together old and contemporary footage of the lush, nondescript town of Wawina to the sound of elegiac messages recorded onto an answerphone in June 2006, just before it became the last place in continental America to switch from an analogue to a digital phone system. The messages are left by “phreaks”, phone hackers from all over America, for whom Wawina was the last hackable oasis.
The excellent short animation Wake Up, Freak Out – Then Get a Grip also looks simultaneously at “ourselves” and outside of us. Climate science is abstract and difficult at the best of times, so making ‘feedback loops’ – the way current changes in climate affect how the climate will change in the future – understandable and entertaining is tough. If it doesn’t make complete sense the first time around, Leo Murray’s ambitious and important film is intelligent and stylish enough to be an enjoyable watch several times over.
Caleb Klaces is a poet,and founder and Editor-in-chief of www.likestarlings.com, a website which pairs up established and new poets to create new poetic conversations. He reviewed Marcel Theroux’s Far North recently for RSA Arst & Ecology.