Schedule – Gila Time-lapse Film Fest

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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24

Thursday, September 24 – Gila Time-lapse Film Fest

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm WNMU Light Hall; $5 donation at the door; Students free

Time­lapse films allow our human perceptions to stretch as we observe changes on the land that we otherwise would not as we go about our quotidian pursuits. We find time­lapse films to be instructive and fulfilling because they can compress a day, a month, a year into a short burst of film that we can perceive in an instant. Time-lapses show us that the world at different timescales is very strange, and much different than our everyday experience: it’s vibrating, buzzing, and moving. By viewing processes we take for granted at different timescales, we hope to change how we interact with the great natural forces that surround us, and find our society’s balance anew.

Join Peter Bill, artist, filmmaker, New Media Professor at Western New Mexico University, and the mastermind behind this film festival, as he talks about time-lapse filmmaking, its technical aspects, historical perspective, and zeitgeist behind time-lapse.

After his presentation, we’ll screen the time-lapse films selected for this festival.

Photo courtesy Braden King, 2014

Photo courtesy Braden King, 2014

Thursday, September 24 Take a Walk on the Wild Side, Keynote Address with Godfrey Reggio

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm; WNMU Light Hall; $10 suggested donation at the door; Students Free

Beyond solar panels, sustainable development.

We see the world through language. Should our languages no longer describe the world in which we live, then indeed, not only the blind cannot see. “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” (Wittgenstein)

The Homeric poems caution, “Fire, their brilliance, their flaw.” This arguably may now read: technology, their brilliance, their flaw. The incantations of modernity tell us technology is something we use, we’re in charge, it’s neutral. Or is it Mary Shelley’s, not Hollywood’s, Frankenstein? Technology is as ubiquitous as the air we breathe. We do not use technology, we live it. As the new and comprehensive host of life it is our environment, the new terra firma, the sun that never sets. Being sun gazers, we become blind to the world we live in. That most present is most unseen. As Einstein said, “The fish will be the last to know water,” as we shall be the last to know technology. Being sensate, we become our environment; we become what we see, hear, smell, touch and taste; we become technology.

Anything we could have said about the Divines, we now say about technology: it is remaking the world in its image and likeness. Its truth, the truth; its language, 0 1; its shibboleth, “Pray for more.” In this twilight of the real, adrift in the Cloud, we are all together, all at once the cyborgs of wonderland.

Being also so human an animal, we might consider to “Take a walk on the wild side.” Resist destiny. Act free in deed. Live in an uncreated future. Or, we continue on the path to wonderland, infested with -isms, tuned to destiny, the rooted future.

Godfrey Reggio is an inventor of a film style which creates poetic images of extraordinary emotional impact. He is prominent in the film world for his Qatsi trilogy, essays of visual images and sound which chronicle the destructive impact of the modern world on the environment. His other films include Songlines, Anima Mundi,
Evidence, and Visitors.

Born in Louisiana, Reggio spent 14 years in a Roman Catholic religious order, living in community, dedicated to prayer, study, and teaching. Based in New Mexico during the sixties, he taught grade and secondary school and college, and co-founded Young Citizens for Action, a community organization project to help gang members. Following this, Reggio co-founded La Clinica de la Gente, a facility that provided medical care to 12,000 community members in Santa Fe, and La Gente, a community organizing project in northern New Mexico’s barrios. In the 1970s, he co-founded the non-profit Institute for Regional Education, and co-organized a multi-media public interest campaign on the invasion of privacy and the use of technology to control behavior.

220px-Koyaanisqatsi_posterKOYAANISQATSI: FILM ONE OF THE QATSI TRILOGY, Film by Godfrey Reggio

WNMU Light Hall, 8:30 to 10:30 pm, immediately following Godfrey Reggio’s keynote

Introduced with selections from the Gila Time-lapse Film Festival

$5 suggested donation at the door, Students FREE

Koyaanisqatsi, the first film of the Qatsi trilogy, is a Hopi word meaning “life out of balance.” Created between 1975 and 1982, the film is an apocalyptic vision of the collision of two different worlds: urban life and technology versus the environment. The haunting musical score was composed by Philip Glass.

Koyaanisqatsi attempts to reveal the beauty of the beast. We usually perceive our world, our way of living, as beautiful because there is nothing else to perceive. If one lives in this world, the globalized world of high technology, all one can see is one layer of commodity piled upon another. There seems to be no ability to see beyond, to see that we have encased ourselves in an artificial environment that has remarkably replaced the original: nature itself. We do not live with nature any longer; we live above it, off of it, as it were. Nature has become the resource to keep this artificial or new nature alive.

The meaning of Koyaanisqatsi is up to the viewer, as art
 has no intrinsic meaning. This is its power, its mystery, and hence, its attraction. It stimulates viewers to insert their own meaning and value. The film’s role is to provoke, to raise questions that only the audience can answer. This is the highest value of any work of art, not predetermined meaning, but meaning gleaned from the
experience of the encounter.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25

Friday, September 25 – SACRED WATER: THE INDIGENOUS PERSPECTIVE Presentation and films by Victor Masayesva

3:15 to 5:15 pm, Light Hall, WNMU; $5 suggested donation at the door, Students Free

In this introduction to his films, Hopi filmmaker Victor Masayesva will speak about several converging topics: the spirituality of water, indigenous communities’ relationship to time, calendars, and environmental discord. He’ll speak to humane approaches to technology, with a keen awareness of their impacts on human societies, including the Hopi people.

Immediately after Masayesva’s talk, we’ll show three of his films.

Logo BlackPaatuwaqatsi – H2opi Run to Mexico (56 minutes)

Environment, culture, prayer and beliefs all converge in this meditative depiction of running. The sacred and the profane are bridged in the act of running in which individual expended energy merges with the natural world. Paatuwaqatsi is distinct from the typical gloomy representations of impoverished Native American communities. Inspiring and uplifting, it offers profound insights into traditional prayers for water in contemporary Native America.

Time Keepers – Calendario Desconocido (15 minutes)

With the ending of the great Maya Cycle and advent of the new, several indigenous communities have become more aware of traditional calendar and time keeping. With a feeling of urgency, they are watching the effects of climate and environmental upheavals within the context of their time keeping practices.

Color of Wilderness (20 minutes)

This film challenges the predominance of American conceptualization of wilderness, and presents diverse social perspectives on the meaning of wilderness for people of color. It’s a call to the public to become involved in the diversification and perpetuation of color in wilderness.

Hopi filmmaker Victor Masayesva has been honored with numerous awards, including the University of Arizona Distinguished Alumni Award, the Gold Hugo at Chicago Festival, Two Rivers Visionary Award, Taos Festival’s distinguished filmmaker award and others. He is at the forefront of experimental filmmaking in the Native American media community, and is a prominent advocate for the indigenous aesthetic from the international community.

Masayesva has curated programs and been a resident artist at several art centers, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of America Art in New York, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Art Institute of Chicago. He has been a guest artist and juror at film festivals in many countries, and his films are available in several languages. Masayesva continues to reside in the village of Hoatvela in Arizona.

220px-PowaqqatsiPOWAQQATSI: FILM TWO OF THE QATSI TRILOGY, Film by Godfrey Reggio

Light Hall, 9:00 to 11:00 pm, immediately following “Thinking Like a Watershed” panel

Introduced with selections from the Gila Time-lapse Film Festival

$5 suggested donation at the door, Students FREE.

The overall focus of Powaqqatsi, the second film in the Qatsi Trilogy, is on indigenous peoples of the Third World — the emerging, land-based cultures of Asia, India, Africa, the Middle East and South America — and how they express themselves through work and traditions. What it has to say about these cultures is an eyeful and then some, sculpted to allow for varied interpretations.

Where Koyaanisqatsi dealt with the imbalance between nature and modern society, Powaqqatsi is a celebration of the human-scale endeavor: the craftsmanship, spiritual worship, labor and creativity that defines a particular culture.

It’s also about contrasting ways of life, and in part how the lure of mechanization and technology and the growth of mega-cities are having a negative effect on small-scale cultures.

“Powaqqatsi” is a Hopi Indian conjunctive — the word “Powaqa,” which refers to a negative sorcerer who lives at the expense of others, and “Qatsi,” or life. Powaqqatsi, says director Godfrey Reggio, is not a film about what should or shouldn’t be, but rather “an impression, an examination of how life is changing…. What we sought to capture is our unanimity as a global culture.”

Powaqqatsi is a record of diversity and transformation, of cultures dying and prospering, of industry for its own sake and the fruits of individual labor, presented as an integrated human symphony, with Philip Glass’ score providing the counterpart, performed with native, classical and electronic instruments.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26

220px-Naqoyqatsi_posterSaturday, September 26  

NAQOYQATSI: FILM THREE OF THE QATSI TRILOGY – Film by Godfrey Reggio

Introduced with selections from the Gila Time-lapse Film Festival

WNMU Light Hall, 1:00 to 3:00 pm; $5 suggested donation at the door, Students FREE

More important than empires, more powerful than world religions, more decisive than great battles, more impactful than cataclysmic earth changes, Naqoyqatsi chronicles the most significant event of the last five thousand years: the transition from the natural milieu, old nature, to the “new” nature, the technological milieu.

Nature has held earthly unity through the mystery of diversity. New nature achieves this unity through the awesome power of technological homogenization.

Naqoyqatsi is a reflection on this singular event, where our subject is the medium itself, the wonderland of technology. The medium is our story. In this scenario human beings do not use technology as a tool (the popular point-of-view), but rather we live technology as a way of life. Technology is the big force and, like oxygen, it is always there, a necessity that we cannot live without, and it is consuming the finite world of nature. It is in this sense that technology is Naqoyqatsi, a sanctioned aggression against the force of life itself – war life.

Naqoyqatsi takes us on an epic journey into a land that is nowhere, yet everywhere, where the real gives way to the virtual. As the gods of old become dethroned, a new pantheon of light appears in the integrated circuit of the computer. Its truth becomes the truth.

11014694_864365743600983_922321780808583951_nGILA TIME-LAPSE FILM FEST  7:45pm – 9:30pm FREE

Intersection of Yankie and Texas Streets in downtown Silver City

Wait until dark for the Gila Time-lapse Film Festival to begin. We’ll project the selected short films on the side of the Murray Hotel. Peter Bill, film professor at Western New Mexico University, choreographs this street performance, with spontaneous trumpet riffs by Danny Reyes, composer and WNMU music professor. Winners of the film fest will also be announced.