Frame & Frequency is an ongoing International Video Art Screening Series presented by VisArts, that highlights artists whose new media, experimental film and video works explore contemporary visual culture, presenting an intimate panorama of the variety and breadth of video art in artistic practice today.
Artists include: Diana Abells, Johnathan Baker, Fair Brane, Billy Friebele, Zach Hill, Marin Martinie, Ismael C. Pena and Cassie Shao.
Diana Abells: “Power and Cool”
Power and Cool examines the myth of the gunslinger through animated collages of footage from popular Westerns. Taking its name from a chapter in Roland Barthes’ Mythologies, this video sets up a new narrative surrounding the gunslinger. Power stems from being cool, and being cool stems from an ability to be calm and collected in the face of chaos and danger. Here the gunslinger’s stare, stance and scheming are dismantled by a more messy reality. Their simple gestures and expressions are contrasted with a world of childlike play, and with humor in the face of the macho.
Diana Abells, (b. 1989, Massachusetts) is a visual artist based in Columbus, Ohio. She completed her BA in studio art and physics at St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2011, and in 2015 she earned her MFA in art from The Ohio State University.
She has recently shown her work at ROYGBIV gallery in Columbus, The Mini Micro Cinema in Cincinnati, and The Sculpture Center in Cleveland. She has also completed artist residencies at Vermont Studio Center, the Wassaic Project and St. Mary’s College of Maryland Artist House. Currently Abells teaches as a lecturer for the Department of Art at The Ohio State University.
Jonathan Baker: “Generalized Anxiety Disorder With Face Tattoos”
“Anxiety Attack is about global video culture clashing with contemporary rap culture, and a fascination with the morbid as well as couture.”
Johnathan Baker is an artist working mainly in lens based media. Using photography, video and 3D animation, his work explores the punctum of popularity and coolness through the frame of the screen, as well as mass media and its effects on one’s orientation to the world. He received his BFA in Photography from Herron School of Art and Design, and his MFA in Photographic and Electronic Media from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). He currently teaches in the First Year Experience department at MICA, and is the new Digital Arts and Technology Specialist at Goucher College.
Fair Brane: “Centered” and “Drink More Water”
“I use film as a social practice. Through my work, I aim to draw attention to hidden oppressive constructs rigorously at work in our society. I am fascinated by the nexus that experimental and immersive film can provide. Foremost however, I hope to continue the tradition of avant-garde and experimental social practice cinema.”
Fair Brane (Alyssa Johnson) is an artist living and working in Los Angeles, California. She received a BFA in Painting & Drawing from Tyler School of Art in 2011 and an MFA from Ohio State University in 2015, majoring in Painting & Drawing, with a minor in Cinema & Video Production. In 2010 she attended Yale University’s Summer School of Art under the Ellen Battel-Stoeckel Fellowship, and in 2013 she was awarded the John Fergus Scholarship. In 2017 Fair Brane was awarded the Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant from Queer|Art.
Billy Friebele: “Dispatches from the Echo Chamber”
“Exploring the lineage of technology as it shapes our world view, I amplify the cognizance of time’s passage. Field recordings combined with archival instructional footage, and 3D scans of a phonautograph machine highlight our continual process of charting, capturing, and amplifying sounds. Low-resolution public archival footage is layered in order to build high-resolution video. This process of copying, overlaying and reflecting, mirrors the essential operation of our technological instruments, revealing the nature of our current situation within the digital landscape – embedded within the echo chamber.”
Billy Friebele is an Assistant Professor of Art at Loyola University Maryland. A multimedia artist working in the Washington, DC area, he has exhibited at the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Orlando Museum of Art, the Art Museum of the Americas, among other places. He received an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Friebele co-founded the artist collective Freespace Collective, which develops projects that involve mapping, public space and community. His artwork focuses on the relationship between technology, human and nature. Through hybrid combinations of found objects and footage, analog and digital processes he explores inter-disciplinary connections.
“My sculptures and videos explore logics of assemblage that center contamination, absorption, wrongness, and mimesis. I’m interested in “versions” of things. Many of my materials have been found during walks around the neighborhood, unearthed from the cluttered corners of my closet, or picked at a dump. Each series is its own type of family. Each member provides a set of problems, solutions and challenges that helps to generate the next. Some resist each other while others pair perfectly. Some demand attention while others curl up within the corner. Either present in body or not, there is a “character” central to all my practices. This, or these characters are positioned against a set of prescribed assumptions about their identity and their utility. These manifestations of otherness generate forms and stories that navigate protection, queer genealogy and assimilation.”
Zach Hill is an artist and organizer currently based in Philadelphia, PA. Hill has exhibited and screened work both nationally and internationally at Haggerty Museum of Art (Milwaukee, WI), Western Exhibitions (Chicago, IL), High Tide (Philadelphia, PA) and Frontera Garibaldi (Mexico, City).
He has been awarded the Mary L. Nohl Fellowship for Individual artists, the Robert and Susan Heidenberg Endowed Fellowship Fund, the Vermont Studio Center Fellowship, and the Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship. Hill received an MFA from University of Pennsylvania and a BFA from Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design.
Marin Martinie: “Template Message”
“What exactly is the fundamental tension between still picture and motion picture? Pictures are information: they converge, get ordered and eventually become unreadable.”
Marin Martinie is a french cartoonist and animation director. He graduated from EnsAD Paris in 2018. He is interested in deconstructing classical forms of art in the fields of animation and comics. He lives and works in Paris.
Ismael C. Pena: “Persistence of Vision III”
“I utilize the language of drawing and music to make films. They become an introspection of myself through the observation of others and their surroundings. As an attempt at capturing universal patterns of behavior in human interactions, my work addresses the normal, routine, environment, communication and other topics at play in human relationships. The motivation to make work comes from the history of my experiences. I was born in the suburbs of Madrid where the absence of diversity compelled me to be exposed to other surroundings. At the age of 17 I was awarded a full scholarship to study at an international high school in India that had a strong mission statement for global understanding and cultural diversity. Since then, my work as well as my interests have been based around the idea of ever-growing and learning by exposing myself to other cultures. I generally organize my work into sequences of moments and vignettes. I develop each section individually around a common place, context or story. I use a variety of media depending on which medium and technique can illustrate each idea best. I use stop-motion, pixilation, mix media, rotoscoping and drawing. Currently, I am working with dialogue tracks in different languages to discover a set of specific phonetic sounds.”
Ismael Sanz-Pena is an animation filmmaker. After receiving his Postgraduate Diploma in Character Animation at Central Saint Martins London, he moved to Los Angeles to study Experimental Animation at the California Institute of the Arts. Ismael has since worked on music videos, commercials, promotional videos and independent films across the glove. Among other screenings his work has been exhibited in the National Gallery of London, Annecy, Hiroshima, Zagreb and Questors Theatre, the largest community theatre in Europe. He currently works as a Professor in animation at the Maryland Institute College of Art.
Cassie Shao: “There Were Four of Us”
“Throughout my art practices, I choose to explore and reflect the complexities and contradictions in humanity upon the dream realm. Despite being left often in isolated and growing surreality, my characters are forever unmoved by the situation. In order to evoke the otherworldly perspective, I blend together both digital and analogue materials to find similarities in the textures of technological formed shapes and organic brush strokes; and aim to create an immersive experience to take the audiences on a journey through worlds that exist beyond reality. I stare at the product of my subconscious brain from ten feet away; as I examine it, examine its relationship with and influences on me from different angles by displacing time and space, sound and visuals, as well as by distancing characters from the qualities of the character itself. During the process I witness with the audiences, both the deconstruction of time and animated films, and challenge the notion of how animation as an art form intersects with our existence and consciousness. I cannot answer the questions I may raise in my films, but they are worthy of being mentioned nonetheless. In the end, I piece together a non-linear journey full of emotions and of moments in life I remember as being profound that will become a reflection of life itself.”
Cassie Shao is an Animation Artist currently based in Los Angeles. She is a graduate of SAIC and Hench-DADA School of Cinematic Arts at USC. She works across the field of independent films, music videos, projection mapping, advertising as well as animated television series. Her last short film Synched screened at festivals such as MIAF, LIAF, Athens Animfest and Anim!Arte, and received two awards. Her collaborative project Black Bird with live action director Haonan Wang screened at Ars Independent, Cucalorus and KLIK etc. It also won several awards including Best Animation at Ibiza Music Video Festival. She recently completed her MFA graduation film There Were Four of Us and is sending it worldwide.
About In(Site) Project at VisArts:
In(Site) Project Space at VisArts places contemporary art in non-traditional exhibition spaces to encourage active looking, deep listening, sociability, interaction, and unexpected encounters with art. In(Site) Project Space features artists working in a variety of media.
For previous projects please visit:
Frame & Frequency 3 Vol. I
Frame & Frequency 3 Vol. II
Frame & Frequency 4 Vol. I
Frame & Frequency 4 Vol. II