Now in its second edition, Feelings Film Festival is an experimental art-house-comedy-video bonanza that takes place at the legendary Anthology Film Archives. Created and curated by artists Chloe Wise (dare we say, Matzochism?) and Adam Levett, it features work from art duo Mike and Claire, to model Ali Michael, to concept digital-art master Ryder Ripps (dare we say, internet users internetting all day?), to even Tim and Eric editor Doug Lussenhop and friends (billed as 2 Wet Crew), creating everything from under 30-second pieces that feature hands stroking plush carpets, to mini-documentaries about creating a fake pizza restaurant to terrorize people on Yelp.
I went to Feelings Film Festival II last Thursday night and was thoroughly impressed by what appears to be a new generation of video artists using everything from their iPhones to 3D CGI softwares—above all, it felt at home on the biggest screen of a theater arguably held as the spawning ground for experimental video art.
After the show, The Creators Project reached out to creators Levett and Wise for a few questions about why Feelings Film Festival has us feeling all these (you think I'm not gonna say it?) emotions.
The Creators Project: How did you and Adam find the films?
Chloe Wise (CW): We started by including some of our friends and peers who's work we are familiar with, and either asking them for specific finished work or encouraging them to create something previously unscreened for the event. We are so lucky to be surrounded by such imaginative, talented and original peers who create work we want to sit and watch on a giant screen. We are also both constantly familiarizing ourselves with new artists who's work deals with some of the themes and visual concerns of artists we are already including. A lot of the video work included in Feelings has a cohesive aesthetic language, with elements of music, humor, technology and so on. I love the music video-like fluidity of Leo Gabin's video, and the dark humor and beautiful animations of Doug Lussenhop (2 Wet Crew)'s work. We just reached out and hope that the artists are interested in the project!
Adam Levett (AL): It’s a mix of things, we want to include the most interesting and diverse videos that audiences may not have seen; that means we pull from everywhere. For the first edition we reached out to friends and people we knew mostly (Mike and Claire, Logan Jackson). For this incarnation we pursed more artists that we really wanted to show like Ryder Ripps and Leo Gabin. Chloe and I are always scouring the internet for new things. We want to have artists that don’t necessarily work in video create works for us too like Carly Mark. Ali Michael was like that too, she is know for being a model but has this really amazing art site. Claudia Mate we found on Instagram. Jason Harvey and and Bailey Scieszka were sent to us by friends. We want the festival to be a mix of established artists as well as foster new talent.
What guided you when arranging them in order?
AL: We work to create a flow to help guide the viewer through the screening, placing short films beside longer ones. Funny ones beside meditative ones. I think there is a thematic cohesion; death, sex, loneliness—these themes are expressed so differently in each work. We think of the screening as though you are cruising around the internet. Chances are you are after the same things but seeing them expressed differently. In this edition especially, we wanted to build towards the end and to us 2 Wet Crew's video was the perfect way to go. It deals with the idea of reality, consciousness and death in a really smart and silly way. The perfect encapsulation of what Feelings is about..
It seems like young video artists are really getting into it when it comes to 3D CGI. Do you think it's a trend that'll continue?
CW: I hope so, I think that Feelings is about the democratization of video visibility and exhibiting the work of young artists. Similarly I think that editing tools, software and the ability to use 3d animation is becoming democratized and more accessible. It's becoming more viable to be able to create work with high production value without high budget, and that's really important. The videos of Logan Jackson, Jason Harvey, 2 Wet Crew, Tara Sinn and Ryder Ripps all incorporated an element of animation that really added a dynamism to the flow of the works. Hope to see more of that in the work of our peers.
AL: We think it will continue for sure. 3D CGI seems like more of a tool than a trend. It gives artists the ability to create things impossible to film. I think it’s most effectively used in Jason Harvey's Bird Man. His use expresses ideas that would be far less effective or impossible had he not rendered the second half using CGI. Although some films were clearly bucking that trend in favor of visual motifs and tools that are more “organic,” using video and older technologies and hand drawn animation to express similar things.
Watch more films from Feelings Film Festival II below:
Click here to learn more about Feelings Film Festival.