A POTENTIALITY (2020, digital, 16mm film, 16 minutes)
Winner of the Alice Guy Prize Special Mention at FID Marseille 2020. Notes from the Jury: A film which meticulously reflects upon the materiality of time following specific histories. While focusing on details, the images prevent us from accessing the whole. This gesture reflects the subject where voice has been violently stripped from the people, left silenced. The Special Mention for Prix Alice Guy goes to “A POTENTIALITY” by Dana Berman Duff.
A POTENTIALITY is a continuation of my interest in using film to shoot printed material, as in the Catalogue series. I'm especially interested in the equivalence of the film grain to the halftone print dot at the base level of the construction of reproduced image and language.
This piece is built on a graphic project by Susan Silton in which she reprinted five pages of the New York Times from the 1930s. Her project has a disturbing resemblance to present day newspaper reports.
Opera "The Emperor of Atlantis" composed in 1944 by Viktor Ulmann, libretto by Peter Kien.
Catalogue is a silent 9-minute 16mm film that consider the time it takes to look at desirable objects for sale in a mainstream catalogue of designer furniture knock-offs. The catalogue presents de-saturated photographs of staged rooms shot and printed to resemble sets for film-noir era movies. This mediation hypothetically increases the objects' desirability by picturing them in a nostalgic historical moment that is, in fact, fictional. In these pictures, copies of designer furniture are indistinguishable from original pieces. In an effort to insert subjectivity, feeling, into the structure of duration, the film became a documentary of the filmmaker’s looking; each cut was determined by the rise and decay of desire for the object or for the image itself.
Desire is learned. Desire is cultivated. It’s a habit formed through continuous repetition of a particular class of interactions. Desire is the most important of all industrial products. — Gene Youngblood
Choosing that the duration of each shot be derived from my own subjectivity, my desire for the image or the object in the image, is meant to be tongue-in-cheek for according to Youngblood, there’s no such thing truly subjective desire: desire is a matter of capitalist conditioning. Hence, the catalogue at which the camera gazes is producing in me the feelings from which the structure of cutting is derived, feelings, it turns out, which are not really mine. It’s a tautology, a loop, a hamster wheel.
I feel that sound carries at least half of the information in any film—if one could divide it that way——music really controls the emotional life of a film. So for this work, I wanted to watch the images without added sound.
Toronto International Film Festival
Edinburgh International Film Festival
EXiS Experimental Film Festival (Seoul South Korea)
Antimatter Film Festival (Victoria, Canada)
Cairo Video Festival
Timishort Festival (Timișoara, Romania)
Filmmakers Festival (Milan)
AXWFF (New York City)
Onion City Experimental Film Festival (Chicago)
Northwest Film Forum (Seattle)
Experiments in Cinema (Albuquerque)
Echo Park Film Center, Los Angeles
“Bad Feminism” Dunlop Art Gallery Regina, Saskatchewan
Internationales Frauenfilmfestival Dortmund | Köln
Another Experimental Film Festval by Women (NYC)
Motivate Underground Film Festival, Harrisburg. PA
LaborBerlin microcinema (Berlin)
2022: REDCAT Los Angeles