Vol 2 • Ex-Trauma: The Opposite of the Traumatic

Annette Arlander, Yvon Bonenfant & Mary Agnes Krell (cur/eds) • ISBN 978-1-906113-04-9

Photo courtesy Kathleen Irwin

Ex-Trauma: The Opposite of the Traumatic, the second volume of the Experiments and Intensities series, asks what, for contemporary post-industrial, post-Freudian societies, is an challenging question. Beyond the trite pronouncements of the New Age, is there such a thing as an event, or a human experience, that has the power of the traumatic over the psyche and body, but that does the opposite? What it to un- (rather than de-)traumatize, to have an effect as powerful as the traumatic but one which is – well – positive, for lack of a better term? Can we, as artists, even imagine the precise qualities of such events?  The video contributions here – sometimes works for video, sometimes documentation, sometimes audiovisual essay – all explore, albeit imperfectly, the edges of this impossibly utopian question.

Table of Contents

Woven strands of processed silk invite us into a nest of skin

Curatorial-Editorial Statement and Introduction

Yvon Bonenfant

The second volume of Experiments and Intensities takes us on a journey through and around an impossibly utopian notion – a sort of opposite of the experience of the traumatic, which we’re calling ‘ex-trauma’. We’re seeking not the expression of, or recovery from, trauma – though these themes certainly come up – but rather, we wonder whether the traumatic has an inverse, and if so, whether artists can help us identify it.

  • Sonification - Boynton - Thumbnailvideo artwork

    The Sonification of Morecambe Bay

    An audiovisual work • artist: Neil Boynton
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The Sonification of Morecambe Bay

The Sonification of Morecambe Bay

An audiovisual work • artist: Neil Boynton

Neil Boynton

The Sonification of Morecambe Bay is a video about observation; about how, using time-lapse photography, durational events in the environment can be brought within the limits of our perception. Weather data captured concurrently with the images control elements of the soundtrack. An altered and heightened engagement with time and landscape.

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Winter Garden

Winter Garden

A performance for video • artist: Essi Kausalainen

Essi Kausalainen

Winter Garden is a performance made for the camera. It was filmed in a winter day on ice, near the city of Kuopio, Finland. Conjoining beauty and horror, strength and fragility, the tropical and the Arctic co-exist, and the tension between ‘striving for’ and ‘striving against’ is set in stark relief as blooms freeze.

  • Emails from Weyburn project - Irwin - Thumbnailvideo artwork

    Undeleted: Emails from the Weyburn Project

    A work in video • artist: Kathleen Irwin, using anonymised communication from the public
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Undeleted: Emails from The Weyburn Project

Undeleted: Emails from the Weyburn Project

A work in video • artist: Kathleen Irwin, using anonymised communication from the public

Kathleen Irwin

After acting as producer, co-maker and scenographer on a site-derived performance work in an abandoned mental hospital, Irwin received a number of emails that problematized its history, and shed light on human engagement with this site – a site interwoven with so many intimate narratives that explore the space between mental health, the ‘state’, authority and the personal. After time moves on, after ‘healing’, if it comes, what might be next?

  • Candy Darling - Defrance - Thumbnailvideo artwork

    Candy Darling (excerpt)

    Excerpt from Candy Darling • full crediting details are at www.candydarling.be
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Candy Darling (excerpt)

Candy Darling (excerpt)

Excerpt from Candy Darling • full crediting details are at www.candydarling.be

Silvia Defrance

This excerpt from Defrance’s short feature Candy Darling takes inside part of the psychological world that Steve Shagollan of Variety magazine called a Freudian Alice in Wonderland for adults with an ominous landscape. Its quirkiness and idiosyncratic vision move beyond received narratives of sex, trauma and consequences to ask visual questions about the nature of what remains in our psyches, our mirrors, our bathroom sinks and on our hands after encounter and survival.

  • Sounds and Visions - Newall and Lauke - Thumbnailvideo artwork

    Sounds & Visions: Dreaming the Silence as an Un-trance-lated Performance

    An audiovisual essay • artists: Helen Newall and Karen Lauke
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Sounds & Visions: Dreaming the Silence as an Un-trance-lated Performance

Sounds & Visions: Dreaming the Silence as an Un-trance-lated Performance

An audiovisual essay • artists: Helen Newall and Karen Lauke

Helen Newall & Karen Lauke

This short video essay is a hybrid form fusing critical and creative heuristic responses to hearing loss and tinnitus. The sounds are created out of a palette of described tinnitus noise; the visions are representative of synaesthetic response to sound, and the text charts a journey through all of these, throwing up interesting psychophysical and aesthetic questions about ‘ideal’ life experience.

  • Scenes in a Mirror - Hopkinson et al - Thumbnailvideo artwork

    Scenes in a Mirror (Extract)

    A collaborative work of videodance • Bill Hopkinson (director), with Laura Haughey (performer-creator) and Alan Martin (performer-creator)
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Scenes in a Mirror (extract)

Scenes in a Mirror (Extract)

A collaborative work of videodance • Bill Hopkinson (director), with Laura Haughey (performer-creator) and Alan Martin (performer-creator)

Bill Hopkinson, Laura Haughey & Alan Martin

This short dance theatre film stages fracture and reconciliation in relationship. Exploring representations of ability and disability, it is an experiment in integrated practice and equal collaboration, where the dancers choreographed and operated the cameras. It challenges us to think differently about ability, relationship and pleasure.

  • The Opposite of Trauma - Bonenfant - Thumbnailvideo artwork

    The Opposite of Trauma (The Skin Walks)

    Documentation of performance for public space • Yvon Bonenfant (artistic director) and the Galloping Cuckoos (performers)
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The Opposite of Trauma (The Skin Walks)

The Opposite of Trauma (The Skin Walks)

Documentation of performance for public space • Yvon Bonenfant (artistic director) and the Galloping Cuckoos (performers)

Yvon Bonenfant

Bonenfant directed a process during which the ensemble Galloping Cuckoos explored a range of skin sensations associated with attempted ex-traumatic states and then translated these into postures and ‘walks’. These were then walked through three cities: Paris, London and Cardiff, suggesting other ways of somatic being to passersby, sometimes almost invisibly.

  • Making Glass - Parker - Thumbnailvideo artwork

    Making Glass; Glass

    A video essay and video art • Kayla Parker (artist, performer, animator), Stuart Moore (camera and edit on Making Glass, sound on Glass), Sundog Media (Producer)
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Making Glass; Glass

Making Glass; Glass

A video essay and video art • Kayla Parker (artist, performer, animator), Stuart Moore (camera and edit on Making Glass, sound on Glass), Sundog Media (Producer)

Kayla Parker & Stuart Moore

In this practice-led exploration of modalities of écriture féminine, I map the shifting subjectivities generated by Glass, a stop-motion animation that performs femininity through close examination and play with glass fragments found among the briny debris of an urban beach.

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    Room with a View

    A video essay and video art • by Iris Garrelfs with responses by Harold Offey
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Room with a View (abridged version)

Room with a View

A video essay and video art • by Iris Garrelfs with responses by Harold Offey

Iris Garrelfs

Room With A View is a kind of film made by Iris Garrelfs as part of an Urbania Collective residency at Park-a-moor in the Lake District, 2008. Made possible by Grizedale Art, with Harold Offeh responding to internal and external spaces. A whimsical meditation on expansive vision and the interplay between inner and outer spaces, where a prosaic compost toilet gives an in to the quiet small experiences that surround and suffuse us.

  • Year of the rat - Arlander - Thumbnailvideo artwork

    Year of the Rat - Dripping (Short)

    A performance for and with video • by Annette Arlander
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Year of the Rat - Dripping (Short)

Year of the Rat - Dripping (Short)

A performance for and with video • by Annette Arlander

Annette Arlander

In Arlander’s words: With a lilac scarf on my shoulders I stand in the sea, take water in a jar, and pour it back to the sea on the northern shore of Harakka Island, Helsinki, approximately once a week before sunset between 26th January 2008 and 24th January 2009 during the Chinese year of the rat.