Circles and Spinning Wheels
Curated by Melody Owen
Posted by Ariel Frager
As a unifying theme, Circles and Spinning Wheels may have been the most literal of all TBA offerings. As promised, the selection of short video programming curated by local artist Melody Owen, there were lots of circles, turning and spinning, opening and closing. In her introduction Owen told the audience to fear not, if you don’t like one of the videos it will be over soon. The longest in the program was a whopping five minutes long, kind of like Sesame Street for adults.
Many of the videos were layers of images or trippy mandalas spinning in headache inducing ways. Very few were linear, one beautifully animated short showed a boy cutting animals open and surgically placing diamonds retrieved from his ear into their hearts before sewing the animals back up again. The standouts for me were Auto Gene, a filmed art installation that had a circle of umbrellas that opened and closed to the beat of Singing in the Rain. The familiarity of the song and the memory of Gene Kelly’s famous dance number mesmerized me into a blissful state. My other favorite, Eventide was a series of still images projected on the screen in rapt succession so you could barely grasp the details of the images. As image after image was displayed, it became clear that each image was taken at sunset and slowly the sun lowered into the horizon with each successive photo. The video and the program ended when the last picture showed a newly disappeared sun. Circles and Spinning Wheels was a lot like a condensed version of the TBA:09 festival as a whole: all of it inventive and new, just some things were more interesting then others.