Founded in 2009 and curated by Jaimie Baron, Lauren Berliner, and Greg Cohen, the Festival of (In)appropriation is a yearly showcase of contemporary short (20 minutes or less), audiovisual works that appropriate existing film, video, or other media and repurpose it in “inappropriate” and inventive ways. From Afro-Futurist fantasias and forensic historical revisions of the McCarthy hearings to South Pole conquests and love letters to Britney Spears, this eighth edition of the Festival promises an astonishing kaleidoscope of aesthetic methods, philosophical positions, and political impulses. Brace yourselves for a sophisticated testament to the enduring power and vast potential of appropriation cinema in the new millennium!
Whether you call it collage, compilation, found footage, détournement, or recycled cinema, the incorporation of already existing media into new artworks can generate novel juxtapositions and new meanings and ideas, often in ways entirely unrelated to the intentions of the original makers. Such new works are, in other words, “inappropriate.” This act of (in)appropriation may even produce revelations about the relationship between past and present, here and there, intention and subversion, artist and critic, not to mention the "producer" and "consumer" of visual culture itself. Fortunately for us, the past decade has witnessed the emergence of a wealth of new audiovisual elements available for appropriation into new works. In addition to official state and commercial archives, resources like vernacular collections, home movie repositories, and digital archives now also provide fascinating material to repurpose in ways that lend it new meaning and resonance.
Please enjoy the post screening Q&A with curator G. D. Cohen and moderator Constance Penley (Department of Film & Media Studies).