Headroom Spring 2018 lineup w/ Shana Moulton, Betzy Bromberg, and Nazli Dinçel

We’re thrilled to announce the Spring 2018 lineup for Headroom with three incredible visitors and an exciting collaboration with our friends at Vertical Cinema! Stay tuned for more info about each…

Friday, Feb 09 at 7pm, co-presented with Vertical Cinema:
SHANA MOULTON, screening and performance
at the Drewelowe Gallery, 1st floor of the Visual Arts Building, 

Shana Moulton creates evocatively oblique narratives in her video and performance works. Combining an unsettling, wry humor with a low-tech, Pop sensibility, Moulton plays a character whose interactions with the everyday world are both mundane and surreal, in a domestic sphere just slightly askew. As her protagonist navigates the enigmatic and possibly magical properties of her home decor, Moulton initiates relationships with objects and consumer products that are at once banal and uncanny. Her video work has been screened and exhibited internationally, including at Art in General, New York; Migros Museum, Zurich; Contemporary Museum of Art, Uppsala; Rencontres internationales, Paris; Aurora, Edinburgh; Internationale Kurzfilmtage, Oberhausen; and Gimpel Fils, London. She has recently performed An Evening with Shana Moulton at MoMA in NYC, the Hammer Museum in LA, and Kunsthaus Glarus in Switzerland. She is the recipient of a Creative Capital Grant and has been featured in Art 21, Artforum, Frieze Magazine, Art in America, and many others.


Thursday, March 08, at 7pm
at the Franklin Miller Screening Room, 105 Adler Journalism Building

Following A Darkness Swallowed (2005) and Voluptuous Sleep (2011), Betzy Bromberg’s third experimental feature, Glide of Transparency, goes further into translucent abstraction while conveying the intimate feeling of being transported to a sublimated inner garden. Glide of Transparency unfolds in three movements, each layered with its own artful sound design (field recordings of birds and insects, ambient audio, vocals, and a composition for acoustic instruments). The non-narrative progression, Bromberg says, is “a journey devoid of compass bearings, forging pathways without a path.” Luscious curves, vibrant colors, and the scintillating trajectory of light over matter, over filmic texture, echo fragmented memories of paintings we have loved, and, embracing love, bring us to transcendence.


Friday, March 30 at 7pm
at the Franklin Miller Screening Room, 105 Adler Journalism Building

Nazlı Dinçel’s hand-made work reflects on experiences of disruption. She records the body in context with arousal, immigration, dislocation and desire with the film object: its texture, color and the tractable emulsion of the 16mm material. Her use of text as image, language and sound imitates the failure of memory and her own displacement within a western society.

Born in Ankara, Turkey, Dinçel immigrated to the United Sates at the age of 17. Dinçel resides in Milwaukee, WI where she is currently building an artist run film laboratory. She obtained her MFA in filmmaking from UW-Milwaukee. Her works have been exhibited in numerous venues around the world including Tiger Shorts competition at IFFR, New York Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival and Dallas Contemporary.
She recently won the Marian McMahon Akimbo award at the 2017 Images Festival with Untitled (2016) and was also awarded Best Experimental Film at the 2015 Chicago Underground Film Festival with Her Silent Seaming (2014).


Canyon Cinema 50 Tour – 105 AJB, Friday & Saturday, Dec 1 & 2 at 7pm – FREE

Headroom is thrilled to present two programs—TWO!—on successive nights as part of Canyon Cinema’s 50th anniversary screening tour, commemorating half a century of distributing and preserving rare, experimental 16mm work in its original medium.

On Friday night, we’ll be screening a program called DARK SHADOWS, presented by guest-curator, Christopher Harris.

On Saturday, Canyon Cinema 50 Tour curator, David Dinnell, will present STUDIES IN NATURAL MAGIC, which offers lessons in place, materiality, and the relationship between.

Canyon Cinema is a nonprofit film and media arts organization that serves as one of the world’s preeminent sources for artist-made moving image work. 2017 marks its 50th anniversary. The organization celebrates this milestone through the Canyon Cinema 50 project, which includes a screening series in the San Francisco Bay Area, US and international touring programs showcasing newly created prints and digital copies, and an educational website including new essays, ephemera, and interviews with filmmakers and other witnesses to Canyon’s 50-year history.

The Canyon Cinema 50 tour was curated by David Dinnell, visiting faculty at California Institute of the Arts and former Program Director at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the film tour draws exclusively from Canyon’s vast collection. As one of North America’s oldest experimental film distributors, Canyon preserves and distributes over 3,400 moving image works across the country and the world, representing a diverse cross-section of avant-garde currents and movements that date from 1921 to the present day.


See below for much more info about both programs. As always, Headroom is free and open to the public!


Dark Shadows (FRIDAY)
Woman stabbed to Death, Stephanie Barber (1996, 16mm, 8.5min)
Back in the Saddle Again, Scott Stark (1997, 16mm, 10min)
Black and White Trypps #4, Ben Russell (2008, 16mm, 10.5min)
B/Side, Abigail Child (1996, 16mm, 38min)

Studies in Natural Magic (SATURDAY)
Catfilm for Katy and Cynnie, Standish Lawder (1973, 16mm, 3min)
Light Lick (Amen), Saul Levine (2017, 16mm, 4min)
Ciao Bella or Fuck Me Dead, Betzy Bromberg (1978, 16mm, 9min)
Swish, Jean Sousa (1982, 16mm, 3min)
28.IV.81 (Bedouin Spark), Christopher Harris (2009, 16mm, 3min)
Redshift, Emily Richardson (2001, 16mm, 4min)
A Study in Natural Magic, Charlotte Pryce (2013, 16mm, 3min)
Starlight, Robert Fulton (1970, 16mm, 5min)
Hand Held Day, Gary Beydler (1975, 16mm, 6min)
Portland, Greta Snider (1996, 16mm, 12min)
Degrees of Limitation, Scott Stark (1982, 16mm, 3min)
Shrimp Boat Log, David Gatten (2010, 16mm, 3min)
Boston Fire, Peter Hutton (1979, 16mm, 8min)
Orchard, Julie Murray (2004, 16mm, 10min)

DARK SHADOWS features four films that, each in their own mysterious ways, plumb the depths of the collective optical unconscious: Stephanie Barber’s repetition compulsion, Scott Stark’s return of the repressed, Ben Russell’s stroboscopic Rorschach test and Abigail Child’s daydream nation.

STUDIES IN NATURAL MAGIC features recent films by Saul Levine, Charlotte Pryce, and Christopher Harris; rarely screened films by Standish Lawder and Jean Sousa; sublimely filmed and acutely perceived portraits of cities, seas, skies, and landscapes by Peter Hutton, Julie Murray, Gary Beydler, Robert Fulton, and Emily Richardson; Betzy Bromberg’s audacious and energetic feminist punk city symphony; Degrees of Limitation, one of Scott Stark’s earliest films, a humorous 3-minute structuralist gem; and Portland, a mid-90s travelogue and playful Rashomon-like inquiry into the nature of truth by Greta Snider.



in Dark Shadows

Woman stabbed to Death, Stephanie Barber
WOMAN STABBED TO DEATH is a short film concerned with both the apathy of human receptivity and the perverse nature of free floating paranoia so artfully engrained in women. it is a tiny horror film, with the soundtrack skipping blithely over the literal graves of millions and the metaphorical grave of one’s feelings of safety.

Back in the Saddle Again, Scott Stark
A family’s playful interaction with a 16mm sound movie camera, singing along as a group with Gene Autrey’s title song in front of the camera, combines western fantasy, American kitsch, gender posturing, deterioration of the film’s surface, the wonderment of the cinematic process, and the use of controlled accidents to shape the form of the film. My only intrusion on the footage was to print it first in negative, which adds a bleak, mysterious edge to it, and to print it again in positive, which seems to answer many of the questions raised in the first part.

Black and White Trypps #4, Ben Russell
“Jesus Christ, look at the white people, rushing back. White people don’t care, Jack…”
– Richard Pryor

B/Side, Abigail Child
Child’s B/SIDE is a provocative exploration of the urban homeless, combining sensitive footage of their exterior situation and entering imaginatively into interior fantasies. Framed by footage of the encampment locally known as Dinkinsville on New York’s Lower East Side, where some of the homeless of Tompkins Square Park settled after the riots of June 1991, the movie begins with the encampment’s first night and ends with the fire and subsequent destruction of the lot in October of the same year. Applying rhythmic construction, poetic license and a generous eye to bodies in poverty, B/SIDE documents a gritty vision of late 20th century urban life.


in Studies in Natural Magic

Catfilm for Katy and Cynnie, Standish Lawder
In the early 70’s, a New York cat-lover and film-maker named Pola Chapelle produced a “Cat Film Fesitval:” which was shown in a large downtown NYC auditorium to an audience of more than a thousand cat-lovers. At the time, I lived with my wife Ursula and our daughters Katy and Cynnie, together with many, too many cats. I loved my family but not the cats. –SL

Light Lick (Amen), Saul Levine

Ciao Bella or Fuck Me Dead, Betzy Bromberg
“[Ciao Bella] shows a world of crowded, kinetic New York streets and hauntingly empty interior spaces, graced briefly by wisps of childish energy and the provocation of nearly naked women. Bromberg deftly contrasts that vibrant exuberance with a sense of devastating loss and the effect is at once brazenly personal (if elliptical) and incredibly powerful. Unfolding desire merges with the ever-present reality of the threat of losing what you love.” . – Holly Willis, LA Weekly

Swish, Jean Sousa
This film deals with the physical properties of the film medium, and pushing those distinctive features to their limit. The subject of the film is motion, and it is an attempt to get inside of it. It was made with a moving subject and a moving camera with an open shutter, the result being that each frame is unique, without the smooth continuity that is expected in film. The subject, a female body at close range, provides an intimacy and eroticism. At the same time it can be seen as a modern version of Futurist simultaneity.

28.IV.81 (Bedouin Spark), Christopher Harris
“…display[s] a concern with textures of light as well as the capacity of the human imagination to will celestial entities out of the relatively impoverished materials at hand. (Call them The Potted Plant of Life.) 28.IV.81 (Bedouin Spark) (2009) is a lovely miniature edited in-camera, in which Harris manipulates light around a child’s mobile so that a hanging nightlight with plastic silver stars becomes a glinting ersatz sky.” -Michael Sicinski, Cinema Scope Magazine

Redshift, Emily Richardson
In astronmoical terminology redshift is a term used in calculating the distance of stars from the earth, hence determining their age. redshift attempts to show the huge geometry of the night sky and give an altered perspective of the landscape, using long exposures, fixed camera positions, long shots and timelapse animation techniques to reveal aspects of the night that are invisible to the naked eye. The film has a gentle intensity to it, and is composed of changes of light across the sea, sky and mountains. It shows movement where there is apparent stillness, whether in the formation of weather patterns, movement of stars, the illumination of a building by passing car headlights or boats darting back and forth across the sea’s horizon.

The sound has been composed for the film by Benedict Drew, taking field recordings of the aurora borealis as a starting point, and using purely computer generated sound to create a soundtrack that reflects the unheard elements present in the earth’s atmosphere.

A Study in Natural Magic, Charlotte Pryce
Witness an alchemist’s spell: the transmutation of light into substance: a glimpse of gold.

Starlight, Robert Fulton
A Tibetan Lama. His disciple. The disciple’s wife, young boy and terrier. An old tugboat crossing the Mississippi River. A man in his seventh month of solitude. His hermitage built by his own hands. The man’s bloodhound; his cat. Clouds crossing the Continental Divide. A mountain stream. A girl. The sun.

Hand Held Day, Gary Beydler
“Beydler’s magical Hand Held Day is his most unabashedly beautiful film, but it’s no less complex than his other works. The filming approach is simple, yet incredibly rich with possibilities, as Beydler collapses the time and space of a full day in the Arizona desert via time-lapse photography and a carefully hand-held mirror reflecting the view behind his camera.

“Over the course of two Kodachrome camera rolls, we simultaneously witness eastward and westward views of the surrounding landscape as the skies, shadows, colors, and light change dramatically. Beydler’s hand, holding the mirror carefully in front of the camera, quivers and vibrates, suggesting the relatively miniscule scale of humanity in the face of a monumental landscape and its dramatic transformations. Yet the use of the mirror also projects an idealized human desire to frame and understand what we see around us, without destroying or changing any of its inherent fascination and beauty.” (Mark Toscano)

Portland, Greta Snider
The film is a documentary road movie about travel, the fallibility of photographs, and the merging of memory and imagination.

Three friends, including the filmmaker, rendez-vous in Portland by hitchhiking or train-hopping from different cities. After a week of arguments, soup kitchens, brushes with the law, and bad weather, each leaves with a different memory of the trip, refracted through the tensions and expectations of their triangulated friendship. PORTLAND reconstitutes the trip in a humorous mixture of footage from the journey (taken with a run-down Super 8 camera), interpreted re-enactments, and interviews with the involved parties. The result is a spirited look at independent women and fearless travelers.

Degrees of Limitation, Scott Stark
A single 100′ roll shot with a hand-wound 16mm Bolex. For each shot the camera was wound one additional time, allowing me to make it a little bit farther up the hill. Will I reach the top before the film runs out? A study in self-imposed limitations.

Shrimp Boat Log, David Gatten

Boston Fire, Peter Hutton
“BOSTON FIRE finds grandeur in smoke rising eloquently from a city blaze. Billowing puffs of darkness blend with fountains of water streaming in from offscreen to orchestrate a play of primal elements. The beautiful texture of the smoke coupled with the isolation from the source of the fire erases the destructive impact of the event. The camera, lost in the immense dark clouds, produces images for meditation removed from the causes or consequences of the scene. The tiny firemen, seen as distant silhouettes, gaze in awe, helpless before nature’s power.” -Millennium Film Journal

Orchard, Julie Murray
Much of the footage that comprises Orchard is of a 19c ruins that included a walled orchard in and area known as Rostellen in southwest Ireland. It is set deep in the woods and the crumbling brick and mortar of the broken walls has become the anchor for the roots of slender trees, so uninhibited for all this time that they reach twenty feet in height and have thick roots that follow like slow lazy trickles of water and in other places branch and wind over the brickwork in an apparently intelligent arterial arrangement reminiscent of the human body. Some footage of Central Park is in there, as well as Niagara Falls, the main Dublin-to-Cork road and a thin smoking woods on the outskirts of Rosslare, Co. Waterford

These are facts may be incidental to the film’s eventual form, which winds the images into an arrangement of continuous wandering. All this is attended by environmental whispering sounds until a voice calls out toward the end, in dream-bound recognition, to a figure from the far, far past. – JM


Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Cinematic Arts at 335-0330 or cinematicarts@uiowa.edu

HEADROOM is sponsored by the Department of Cinematic Arts, the Arts and Humanities Initiative, the Public Digital Arts Cluster, and Little Village Magazine.


Mike Stoltz at 105 AJB, Tuesday, Nov 14 at 7pm – FREE!


Join us for the season’s second Headroom event, with filmmaker Mike Stoltz in attendance to present a program of new and recent work on 16mm and video!

Mike Stoltz is a filmmaker whose work uses the tools of cinema to explore time, mythology, memory, and the medium itself. Both intimate and quizzical, his films reposition the familiar and nearby until office park architecture turns stroboscopic, kitsch relics are overcome with moss and mold, nature overtakes the man-made, and history folds in on itself. Stoltz has screened his work at numerous festivals including the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the New York Film Festival – Projections, the European Media Art Festival, Le Festival des Cinémas Différents et Expérimentaux, and the Toronto International Film Festival – Wavelengths, among many others.



Toward The Concrete – Films by Mike Stoltz
Ten Notes on a Summer’s Day (2012, HD, 4:30)
In Between (2010, 16mm, 4:30)
Under The Atmosphere (2014, 16mm, 15:00)
With Pluses and Minuses (2013, 16mm, 5:00)
Half Human, Half Vapor (2015, 16mm, 12:00)
Spotlight On A Brick Wall (2016, 16mm, 8:00)

Ten Notes on a Summer’s Day (2012, HD, 4:30)
“…The camera in Ten Notes on a Summer’s Day fixes on a young woman standing against a painted blue wall, the sun partially lighting her face, the sound of distant traffic in the background. Offscreen, a guitarist plucks single notes, and the woman hums along. When the music falls outside of her vocal range, she switches to a lower octave, her mouth turned up in a small grin. Later, she frowns slightly, seemingly unable to find her note. Gradually her confidence builds and her smile returns, though her humming is no longer anywhere close to the guitar’s pitch. Ten Notes is a marvel; it’s as unhurried and refreshing as this woman’s singing, which, though off-key, produces an unexpected harmony, a little song discovered in the process of its own making.”
-Genevieve Yue, Reverse Shot, Issue 33

In Between (2010, 16mm, 4:30)
“An exercise in permeable architecture, an attempt to walk through a wall.” -MS

Under The Atmosphere (2014, 16mm, 14:30)
“Filmed on the Central Florida “Space Coast”, site of NASA’s launch pads. Dormant spacecraft, arcane text, activated landscape, and the surface of the image work towards a future-past shot reverse shot.” -MS

With Pluses and Minuses (2013, 16mm, 5:00)
“…Stoltz shakes and dislocates audio and image with volume and pitch variations, editing the 16mm film in camera, varying the focus and the shot length of every frame, shifting background and foreground, turning and spinning the camera hand-held positions, and allowing sequences of black that punctuate the image’s algorithms. The filmmaker’s dance transforms abstraction into personal experience. He is an active agent of the surrounding world, and of the opportunities that open and close before us.”
-Mónica Savirón, LUMIÈRE Fall 2013

Half Human, Half Vapor (2015, 16mm, 11:00)
This project began out of a fascination with a giant sculpture of a dragon attached to a Central Florida mansion. The property had recently been left to rot, held in lien by a bank. Hurricanes washed away the sculpture.

I learned about the artist who created this landmark, Lewis Vandercar (1913-1988), who began as a painter. His practice grew along with his notoriety for spell-casting and telepathy.

Inspired by Vandercar’s interest in parallel possibility, I combined these images with text from local newspaper articles in a haunted-house film that both engages with and looks beyond the material world.

Spotlight On A Brick Wall collaboration with Alee Peoples (2016, 16mm, 8:00)
A performance film that navigates expectations of both the audience and the makers. A series of false starts. Dub treatment on the laugh track.” -AP&MS



Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Cinematic Arts at 335-0330 or cinematicarts@uiowa.edu

HEADROOM is sponsored by the Department of Cinematic Arts, the Arts and Humanities Initiative, the Public Digital Arts Cluster, and Little Village Magazine.

Headroom Fall 2017, or: An Embarrassment of Riches

We’re thrilled to announce the Fall 2017 lineup for HEADROOM!  Check back for details on each of the five (FIVE!) exciting programs listed below:

Thursday, Oct 12 at 8pm, Adam Khalil w/
INAATE/SE [it shines a certain way. to a certain place./it flies. falls./]
RAD Inc.

INAATESE 3History is written by the victors, but this film reminds us 
that the history of the oppressed can still be saved from being extinguished. Native American video artists Adam and Zack Khalil here reclaim the narrative of the Ojibway of Sault Ste. Marie, in Michigan’s Upper Penninsula, from the archives and museums that would confine it to the past. Using personal interviews, animated drawings, performance, and provocative intercutting, the Khalil brothers’ feature debut makes a bold case for the Ojibway people to be their own storytellers—while seeking a cure for the damage inflicted by colonization—in a spiritual reconnection with tradition. –MoMA, Documentary Fortnight 2016 Catalogue


Wednesday, Nov 8, Melika Bass
time and place TBD

SHED_Bass_still_1-copyMelika Bass makes slow-burning, abstracted narrative films and immersive installations. Her international screenings and exhibitions include: BFI London Film Festival, Torino Film Festival, CPHDox Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, amongst others. She was one of a dozen international filmmakers commissioned by Icelandic band Sigur Ros to create an original film for their Valtari Mystery Film Experiment. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Film, Video, New Media, and Animation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Tuesday, Nov 14 at 7pm, Mike Stoltz
105 Adler Journalism Building

stoltz_03 Mike Stoltz uses the tools of cinema (moving images, sound, special effects, projection, and montage) to explore time, mythology, memory, and the medium itself. His work at screened at TIFF’s Wavelengths, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the New York Film Festival – Projections, Edinburgh International Film Festival, the Echo Park Film Center, amongst many others. Stoltz will be presenting a program of his work on 16mm and video that reposition the familiar and nearby in a way that is both intimate and quizzical.
Friday/Saturday, Dec 1 & 2 at 7pm, Canyon Cinema 50 Film Tour Double Header
105 Adler Journalism Building

Bromberg_Ciao_Bella-1For their 50th anniversary, Canyon Cinema has put together an international tour of their 16mm catalogue, with many recent restorations and new prints. We’re happy to host back-to-back nights of programming, one from guest-curator Christopher Harris, and the second, Canyon Cinema 50: Studies in Natural Magic, presented by tour curator, David Dinnell. As a component of the Canyon Cinema 50 project, the touring program is meant not only to celebrate Canyon’s history but also to point the way towards the organization’s continued relevance as both a purveyor of and advocate for artist-made cinema, seeding the next generation of what founding filmmaker Bruce Baillie described as “a federation of willing devotees of the magic lantern muse.”


Sky Hopinka at FilmScene, Wednesday, Dec 07 at 7:30pm – FREE!!

Jaaji Approx 1

Join us for the final Headroom event of the season, with filmmaker Sky Hopinka in attendance!

Sky Hopinka is a Ho-Chunk Nation national and descendent of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians.  He was born and raised in Ferndale, Washington and spent a number of years in Palm Springs and Riverside, California, and Portland, Oregon and is currently based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  In Portland he studied and taught chinuk wawa, a language indigenous to the Lower Columbia River Basin. His work centers around personal positions of homeland and landscape, designs of language and the facets of culture contained within.  He received his BA from Portland State University in Liberal Arts and his MFA in Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

His work has played at various festivals including ImagineNATIVE Media + Arts Festival, Images Festival, Courtisane Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, American Indian Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Antimatter Film Festival, Chicago Underground Film Festival, FLEXfest, and the LA Film Festival.  He was awarded jury prizes at the Milwaukee Underground Film Festival, the More with Less Award at the 2016 Images Festival, the Tom Berman Award for Most Promising Filmmaker at the 54th Ann Arbor Film Festival, and 3rd Prize at the 2015 Media City Film Festival.



Visions of an Island
2016, 15 min, digital video, sound
An Unangam Tunuu elder describes cliffs and summits, drifting birds, and deserted shores.  A group of students and teachers play and invent games revitalizing their language.  A visitor wanders in a quixotic chronicling of earthly and supernal terrain.  These visions offer glimpses of an island in the center of the Bering Sea.

2014, 6 min, digital video, sound
Featuring speakers of Chinuk Wawa, a Native American language from the Pacific Northwest, Wawa begins slowly, patterning various forms of documentary and ethnography. Quickly, the patterns tangle and become confused and commingled, while translating and transmuting ideas of cultural identity, language, and history.

Kunikaga Remembers Red Banks, Kunikaga Remembers the Welcome Song
2014, 10 min, digital video, sound
The video traverses the history and the memory of a place shared by both the Hočąk and the settler. Red Banks, a pre-contact Hočąk village site near present day Green Bay, WI was also the site of Jean Nicolet’s landing, who in 1634 was the first European in present day Wisconsin. Images and text are used to explore this space alongside my grandmother’s recollections. Each serve as representations of personal and shared memory, as well as representations of practices and processes of rememberance, from the Hočąk creation story to Jean Nicolet’s landing, to the present.

Venite et Loquamur (Come All and Let Us Speak)
2015, 12 min, digital video, sound
Vidit homines inter se loquentes linguā, quam alii mortuam esse dicunt. Sed adhuc secum loquuntur. Eos secuti sum et mecum locuti sunt. Omnes de cubiculo tecti alti deciderunt, fortasse videre ad caelum res reponet.

Jaaji Approx
2015, 8 min, digital video, sound
Logging and approximating a relationship between audio recordings of my father and videos gathered of the landscapes we have both separately traversed. The initial distance between the logger and the recordings, of recollections and of songs, new and traditional, narrows while the images become an expanding semblance of filial affect. Jáaji is a near translation for directly addressing a father in the Hočak language.

2016, 11 min, digital video, sound

I’ll Remember You as You Were, Not as What You’ll Become
2016, 13 min, digital video, sound
An elegy to Diane Burns on the shapes of mortality, and being, and the forms the transcendent spirit takes while descending upon landscapes of life and death. A place for new mythologies to syncopate with deterritorialized movement and song, reifying old routes of reincarnation. Where resignation gives hope for another opportunity, another form, for a return to the vicissitudes of the living and all their refractions.

“I’m from Oklahoma I ain’t got no one to call my own.
If you will be my honey, I will be your sugar pie way hi ya
way ya hi ya way ya hi yo”
– Diane Burns (1957-2006)

Jaaji Approx 2

Headroom is sponsored by the Department of Cinematic Arts, the Public Digital Arts Cluster, and Little Village Magazine.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Cinematic Arts at 335-0330 or cinematicarts@uiowa.edu


Ruth Hodgins at FilmScene, Wednesday, Oct 19 at 7:30pm – FREE!



Ruth Hodgins, archivist and Programmer at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, will be in town to present a collection of avant-garde films from the historic Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection!

Living In the Stacks: A selection of titles from the Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection
A presentation by the Walker Art Center’s Bentson Archivist/ Programmer, Ruth Hodgins.

The following program attempts to reflect coalesce between the content in a collection and its “keeper”. Categorized into three parts, the program examines different moments in a career in parallel to different themes in the Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection. Titles include early soviet animation, narrative shorts, appropriated image, and European and American experimental moving image.




Ruth Hodgins is currently an Archivist and Programmer working at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, where she oversees the care, use, and scholarship of the historic Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection.  Previously, Ruth was the Distribution Manager at the Video Data Bank at the Art Institute of Chicago. Ruth received an MFA from The San Francisco Art Institute, and a BA From the Glasgow School of Art. She has contributed to the contemporary arts in various forms throughout her career including working as an artist assistant at the European Ceramic Work Center in the Netherlands, writer for The Daily Serving, and guest lecturer for various organizations including Loop Gallery in Seoul, The Glasgow School of Art, and University of Illinois Chicago.


This Headroom event is sponsored by the Departments of Cinematic Arts, Art & Art History, and English, the Public Digital Arts Cluster, and Little Village Magazine.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Cinematic Arts at 335-0330 or cinematicarts@uiowa.edu



Christopher Harris at FilmScene, Friday, Sept 30 at 8:30pm – FREE!

Reckless_Eyeballing_film_still (2)Visiting from the University of Central Florida, filmmaker Christopher Harris will be in town to share a program of new and recent work!

Christopher Harris’ award-winning experimental films include a long take look at a post-industrial urban landscape, an optically printed and hand-processed film about black outlaws, a pinhole film about the cosmic consequences of the sun’s collapse, a macro lens close up of a child’s nightlight and a double projection film about a theme park performance of Christ’s Passion. Harris recently completed two multi-screen HD video installations that reenact and reimagine the slave daguerreotypes commissioned by Louis Agassiz in 1850. He was awarded a 2015 Creative Capital grant in support of his upcoming film Speaking in Tongues. His work has screened at festivals, museums and cinematheques throughout North America and Europe including the 2014 Artists’ Film Biennial at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, the International Film Festival Rotterdam (2005, 2008, 2010), the VIENNALE-Vienna International Film Festival, the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the Leeds International Film Festival (2007, 2009), the San Francisco Cinematheque and Rencontres Internationales Paris among many others. Cosmologies of Black Cultural Production: A Conversation with Afrosurrealist Filmmaker Christopher Harris was published in the summer 2016 issue of Film Quarterly.

A Conversation with Afrosurrealist Filmmaker, Christopher Harris, in Film Quarterly
Christopher Harris in CinemaScope


Distant Shores
2016, 3 minutes, 16mm-to-HD, color, sound
A sunny afternoon on a tour boat in Chicago is haunted by the specter of other voyages.

2016, 4 minutes, 16mm-to-HD, color, sound
A performer lip-synchs to archival audio featuring the voice of author and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston as she describes her method of documenting African American folk songs in Florida. By design, nothing in this film is authentic except the source audio. The flickering images were produced with a hand-cranked Bolex so that the lip-synch is deliberately erratic and the rear projected, grainy, looped images of Masai tribesmen and women recycled from an educational film become increasingly abstract as the audio transforms into an incantation.

A Willing Suspension of Disbelief + Photography and Fetish, 2014, 17 minutes, three-screen 16mm-to-HD installation + split screen 16mm to HD installation)
“A three-channel video installation and a split-screen video installation in response to an 1850 daguerreotype of a young American-born enslaved woman named Delia, who was photographed stripped bare as visual evidence in support of an ethnographic study by the Swiss-born naturalist professor Louis Agassiz, who held that racial characteristics are a result of differing human origins.” (Orlando Museum of Art)

28.IV.81 (Descending Figures)
2011, 3 minutes, 16mm double projection, color, silent
“Footage Harris shot at a performance of Christ’s Passion, staged as an attraction at a Florida amusement park. Harris’ use of the pure filmic light continually disrupts these faux-holy scenarios from coming into being. This flimsy display of devotion is shown up by something genuinely overpowering, or at least recognizably real.” (Michael Sicinski, CinemaScope)

28.IV.81 (Bedouin Spark)
2009, 3 minutes, 16mm, color, silent
“A lovely miniature edited in-camera, in which Harris manipulates light around a child’s mobile so that a hanging nightlight with plastic silver stars becomes a glinting ersatz sky.” (Michael Sicinski, CinemaScope)

Sunshine State (Extended Forecast)
2007, 8 minutes, 16mm, color, sound (pinhole film)
“Somewhere in a quiet outer suburb of the Milky Way galaxy, we live our lives in the pleasant warmth of our middle-of-the-road star, the Sun. Slowly but surely we will reach the point when there will be one last perfect sunny day. The sun will swell up, scorch the earth and finally consume it.” (International Film Festival Rotterdam)

Reckless Eyeballing
2004, 14 minutes, 16mm, black and white, sound
“Eyeballing’s dominant motif is the image of Pam Grier from her Blaxploitation apex, with an unusual exchange of gazes—hers out at us, and the men in surrounding footage back at her. Harris is quite explicitly exploring the racial dimensions that Laura Mulvey left implicit (to put it kindly) within the Male Gaze question, sending Foxy Brown into the cinematic apparatus as a kind of test case.” (Michael Sicinski, CinemaScope)

Halimuhfack still C

Headroom is sponsored by the Department of Cinematic Arts, the Public Digital Arts Cluster, and Little Village Magazine.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Cinematic Arts at 335-0330 or cinematicarts@uiowa.edu

Deborah Stratman’s THE ILLINOIS PARABLES at FilmScene, April 22 at 7pm – FREE!

We are over the moon to host a screening of THE ILLINOIS PARABLES, which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and has gone on to sold out screenings at Berlinale, Ann Arbor, True/False, and Chicago’s Conversations at the Edge screening series.

Headroom Screening Series is a roving microcinema that collaborates with local venues to curate screenings and other media-related events and performances. It is always FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

With filmmaker, Deborah Stratman, in attendance!


The Illinois Parables
A suite of Midwestern parables that question the historical role belief has played in ideology and national identity.
2016, 60 min, DCP

An experimental documentary comprised of regional vignettes about faith, force, technology and exodus. Eleven parables relay histories of settlement, removal, technological breakthrough, violence, messianism and resistance, all occurring somewhere in the state of Illinois. The state is a convenient structural ruse, allowing its histories to become allegories that explore how we’re shaped by conviction and ideology.

The film suggests links between technological and religious abstraction, placing them in conversation with governance. Locations are those where the boundaries between the rational and supernatural are tenuous. They are “thin places” where the distance between heaven and earth has collapsed, or more secularly, any place that bears a heavy past, where desire and displacement have lead us into or erased us from the land. What began as a consideration of religious freedom eventually led to sites where belief or invention triggered expulsion. The film utilizes reenactment, archival footage, observational shooting, inter-titles and voiceover to tell its stories and is an extension of previous works in which the director questioned foundational American tenants.

The Parables consider what might constitute a liturgical form. Not a sermon, but a form that questions what morality catalyzes, and what belief might teach us about nationhood. In our desire to explain the unknown, who or what do we end up blaming or endorsing?


Deborah Stratman is a Chicago-based artist and filmmaker interested in landscapes and systems. Much of her work points to the relationships between physical environments and human struggles for power and control that play out on the land. Recent projects have addressed freedom, expansionism, surveillance, sonic warfare, public speech, ghosts, sinkholes, levitation, propagation, orthoptera, raptors, comets and faith. She has exhibited internationally at venues including MoMA NY, Centre Pompidou, Hammer Museum, Mercer Union, Witte de With, the Whitney Biennial and festivals including Sundance, Viennale, CPH/DOX, Oberhausen, Ann Arbor, Full Frame and Rotterdam. Stratman is the recipient of Fulbright and Guggenheim fellowships, a Creative Capital grant and an Alpert Award. She teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR SPONSORS: the Department of Cinematic Arts, the Public Digital Arts Cluster, the Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio, and Little Village Magazine.

This visit made possible by the Perry A. and Helen J. Bond Fund for Interdisciplinary Interaction.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Cinematic Arts at 335-0330 or cinematicarts@uiowa.edu

Mary Helena Clark at FilmScene, Thursday, March 31 at 6pm – FREE!


Visiting from Colgate University, filmmaker Mary Helena Clark will be in town to present a program of her engrossing and enigmatic short works. Parts narrative, puzzle, avant-thriller, and nimble material play—Clark’s films present a deft sensitivity to the poetics of process, each an engrossing investigation of the illusionistic space of the cinematic screen.

Headroom Screening Series is a roving microcinema that collaborates with local venues to curate screenings and other media-related events and performances. It is always FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

With filmmaker, Mary Helena Clark, in attendance!


Mary Helena Clark lives and works in central New York. Her work has been exhibited and screened nationally and internationally, including presentations at the Swedish Film Institute (Stockholm), The Gene Siskel Film Center, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Document Space (Chicago), the Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus, OH), Anthology Film Archives (New York), the Yerba Buena Center (San Francisco), the National Gallery of Art (Washington) and at the New York, London and Toronto International Film Festivals. She has curated film programs for Altman Siegel Gallery, San Francisco, and The Nightingale, Chicago, among other venues.


2009, 6 minutes (16mm)
Blue sky and blue sea meet on emulsion.

2011, 9 minutes (multiple digital formats)
A walk through the proscenium wings. You close your eyes and suddenly it is dark.

“In the dream we call cinema there is no either, no or. We move from cave to forest to theater and back again, certain only that we are elsewhere, at least until the reel runs out. Here is objective truth, or “hypnosis” by another name.” – Ben Russell

2008, 5 minutes (digital)
“Henry James had his figure in the carpet, Da Vinci found faces on the wall. Within this Baltimore wallpaper: a floral forest of hidden depth and concealment, the hues and fragrance of another era. Surface decoration holds permeable planes, inner passages. There emerges a hypnotic empyrean flower, a solar fossil a speaking anemone, of paper, of human muscle, of unknown origin, delivering an unreasonable message of rare tranquility.” – Mark McElhatten

2015, 5 minutes (16mm > digital)
Students of the Sanford Meisner school of acting play extremes of human feeling.

2012, 6 minutes (16mm)
“Using footage from Cocteau’s Orphée, Clark optically prints an interstitial space where the ghosts of cinema lurk beyond and within the frames.” – Andrea Picard

2012, 8 minutes (16mm > digital)
A spy film, built on the bad geometry of point-of-view shots.

2015, 9 minutes (16mm > digital)
Palms is constructed in four parts, each moving further away from a human subjectivity. Alluding to a state of disembodiment, the film’s images arrive like thoughts, encountering them as both agents of and extractions from the real world. Here our vision is monocular.

2014, 14 minutes (16mm)
An experimental detective film made in remembrance: keeping a diary, footnotes of film history, and the puzzle of depression.

What are you thinking?
I am thinking of how many times this poem
Will be repeated. How many summers
Will torture California
Until the damned maps burn
Until the mad cartographer
Falls to the ground and possesses
The sweet thick earth from which he has been hiding.
What are you thinking now?
– Jack Spicer, Psychoanalysis: An Elegy

TRT: 62 minutes
THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR SPONSORS: the Department of Cinematic Arts, the Public Digital Arts Cluster, the Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio, and Little Village Magazine

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Cinematic Arts at 335-0330 or cinematicarts@uiowa.edu


Julie Perini at Public Space One, Friday, Feb 26 at 7pm – FREE!

Perini_Minute Movies

Visiting from Portland, Oregon, filmmaker Julie Perini will be in attendance to screen and discuss her recent experimental and documentary work! Big, big thanks to guest curator, Anna Swanson, for making this event happen with the support of the Office of Outreach & Engagement.


Originally from Poughkeepie, NY, Julie has been exploring her immediate surroundings with cameras since age 15 when she discovered a VHS camcorder in her parent’s suburban home. Her work often explores the areas between fact and fiction, staged and improvised, personal and political. Julie’s work has exhibited and screened internationally at such venues as the Centre Pompidou-Metz (France), Artists’ Television Access (San Francisco), Visible Evidence XX (Stockholm), The Horse Hospital (London), Cornell Cinema (Ithaca, NY), Microscope Gallery (New York City), among others. She has been awarded artist residencies at Yaddo, Signal Fire, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, and Djerassi Resident Artists Program. She has received grants and fellowships in support of her work from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, The Regional Arts and Culture Council, the Oregon Arts Commission, and The Precipice Fund.

Her writing has been published by A.K. Press, Incite! The Journal of Experimental Media and Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts & Culture. She is a backcountry guide for Signal Fire, an organization that facilitates opportunities for artists to engage with the natural world. She holds an MFA from the University at Buffalo’s Department of Media Study and a BS from Cornell University. Perini is an Assistant Professor of Art at Portland State University.



Impressions of Portland

(2014, SD video + 16mm, 3min 19sec)
“Best Sleight of Hand in Making the Invisible Visible: This dense film operates on many levels. It is at once an essay about forgetting the past, a conceptual tour-de-force, a performance, a survey of Portland’s streets, and a vivid use of celluloid and digital imagery. But most of all it is an anguished critique of social amnesia and how blinkered perspectives can cover an ongoing injustice.” —Steve Anker, judge for the 2015 Northwest Filmmaker’s Festival at the Northwest Film Center at the Portland Art Museum, gave this film a Judge’s Award

White Lady Diaries
(2013, SD video, 5min)
WHITE LADY DIARIES brings together my research into racial identity and white privilege with my daily practice of making Minute Movies about my own life. — JP

Nebraska Diary
(2013, SD video, 3 min)
A diary film, made while in residence at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City, Nebraska. — JP

Arresting Power: Resisting Police Violence in Portland, Oregon
Co-directed with Jodie Darby and Erin Yanke
(2015, mixed-format video, 84min)

ARRESTING POWER documents the history of conflict between the Portland police and community members throughout the past fifty years. The film features personal stories of resistance told by victims of police misconduct, the families of people who were killed by police, and members of Portland’s reform and abolition movements. Utilizing meditative footage taken at sites of police violence, experimental filmmaking techniques, and archival newsreel, Arresting Power creates a space for understanding the impacts of police violence and imagining a world without police.
This film provides a historical and political analysis of the role of the police in contemporary society and the history of policing in the United States. It provides a framework for understanding the systems of social control in Portland with its history of exclusion laws, racial profiling, gentrification practices and policing along lines of race and class. It serves to uncover Portland’s unique history of police relations and community response.