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CALL FOR WORKS Video Slink Uganda
Seeking 3 minute videos or shorter by African-Diaspora artists for
Video Slink Uganda, a 2012-2013 apexart Franchise project
apexart Franchise Exhibition in Uganda: Feb 6th - March 6th, 2013
Artistic Directors: Paul Falzone and Marisa Jahn (REV-)
Ugandan video halls (or "bibanda") are often no more than small huts where
viewers pay a few cents to watch pirated DVDs on television screens.
Located in the majority of villages and towns throughout Uganda, they are
the only form of popular visual entertainment and have a wider audience than
television and newspapers combined. Numbering in the thousands, these
bibanda reach millions of Ugandans each month. So-called 'fine art' never
broached their corrugated walls. Until now.
'Video Slink Uganda' is a curatorial project that involves burning five
short-form experimental videos by contemporary African diaspora video
artists onto pirated DVDs that will be viewed by millions of viewers in
individual homes and bibanda.
A "VJ" is a local performer/pirate who translates Western films into the
primary local language of Luganda, acting as both translator and
commentator-making jokes, providing context, and acting as a central node of
distribution to the bibanda. In keeping with this tradition of viewership,
we will involve several VJs in translating these works of contemporary art
for Ugandan audiences.
'Video Slink Uganda's gesture of detournement recalls contemporary works
such as Chris Burden's on-camera hijacking of a television news anchor,
Negativeland's re-mix of a U2 album shopdropped into music stores in the
late 1980s, The Yes Men's subversive self-insertion into the mainstream
media, embedded art practices by artists such as Artist Placement Group in
the late 1960s, electoral guerrilla politics such as Mr. Peanut, the
life-sized tap dancing peanut who won 7% of the vote in his mayoral run in
Vancouver, and countless undocumented interventionist projects. 'Video Slink
Uganda' similarly reaches out towards new audiences in Africa and frames
their viewership not as passive and silent but as active participants in the
performative production of 'art.' By embedding experimental film into
Uganda's existing black market cinema and culture of re-translation, 'Video
Slink Uganda' raises larger questions about origination, authorship,
translation, and the complexity of colonialism.
'Video Slink Uganda' draws upon the artistic directors' experience as
organizers of media screenings in Ugandan bibanda with existing relations to
local audiences and VJs. The project will be documented with specific focus
on the audience's reception of the works and the VJs' involvement. 'Video
Slink Uganda' also draws upon the artistic directors' decade of curatorial
experiences curating, producing, and writing about experimental forms of
curation-shopdropping, embedded art practices, and media hijacks. Through a
series of cinematographic and installational translations, 'Video Slink
Uganda' operates on a syncretic economy whose currency is the slippage that
occurs between and through transposition.
Submission Deadline and Instructions
. Submissions due Sept 15, 2012 (early submissions greatly
. Videos should be no longer than 3 minutes.
. Either (a) Email your video (attachment should be no more than 10
Mbs) OR (b) Upload your video to YouTube/Vimeo/etc. Then email the link to
hello at rev-it.org along with the following attachments: curriculum
vitae/resume (2 pages max) and statement about the work (1 page max).
. Email the link to your video to firstname.lastname@example.org along with the
following attachments: curriculum vitae/resume (2 pages max) and statement
about the work (1 page max).
. Be sure to include contact info (name, email, phone number) on the
top of each page
. Please include the words "Submission: Video Slink Uganda" in the
subject line of the email.
. Due to limited funds we are unfortunately only able to offer the
artists a modest stipend of $100 for their video contribution. Stipends for
future exhibition opportunities will be determined at a future point in time
when venues are secured. We believe in compensating artists and will seek to
provide stipends through future exhibition opportunities.
. You will be notified in early October about the status of your
Contact: Marisa Jahn: 917-902-5396 * hello [at] rev-it.org
About the Organizers
Marisa Jahn is an artist/writer/curator/activist and and the co-founder of
REV-, a New York City-based non-profit organization that furthers
socially-engaged art, design, and pedagogy. She was a 2007-9
artist-in-residence at MIT's Media Lab and the editor of three books about
culture and politics-("Pro+agonist: The Art of Opposition" (2012),
"Byproduct: on the Excess of Embedded Art Practices" (2011), and "Recipes
for an Encounter" (2010).
Paul Falzone is an activist, media scholar, and filmmaker whose work has
appeared in a wide variety of conferences, publications and film festivals.
He earned his PhD from the Annenberg School for Communication at the
University of Pennsylvania and is currently Director of Peripheral Vision
International, a nonprofit organization that produces and distributes
advocacy media in East Africa.
The apexart Franchise is an open call for curatorial proposals for projects
from anywhere in the world other than New York City. Three winning projects
are selected by a jury each year and are presented by apexart.
REV- is a non-profit organization that furthers socially-engaged art,
design, and pedagogy. The organization derives its name from both the
colloquial expression "to rev" a vehicle and the prefix "rev-" which means
to turn-as in, revolver, revolution, revolt, revere, irreverent, etc.
from Franklin Furnace