Chance Ecologies In Motion
Nate Dorr and Nathan Kensinger
(10 min, 2015)
The first chapter in an ongoing documentation of the transformation of Hunter’s Point South, Queens, this film captures the final season of its unique post-industrial landscape, where 30 acres of land had been left abandoned by the city, becoming an overgrown simulacrum of nature. Hidden in the brush, artifacts and debris hint at its history as a landfill, where marshlands were covered with rubble to create grounds for successive waves of industry. During the summer of 2015, the artists of Chance Ecologies engaged this wild space to create archaeological digs, guerrilla radio stations, movement workshops, sculptures, performances, and more, celebrating its diverse species and ecosystems in the weeks before its demolition.
For the Birds
(10 min excerpt, 2015)
In the fields of Hunter’s Point South, Queens, private readings were done for the bird species that inhabited the site or that were passing through the area. Each reading existed as a set of aligned “chance” occurrences in situ at the landscape, addressing the artist’s practice of observation in the field and research into animal thought. For the Birds started as a reaction to the artist’s studies about the 19th century biologist T.H. Huxley’s zoology text The Crayfish.
(4 min excerpt, silent, 2015)
Excerpted from her single-channel video installation, Chipley’s Ascendance chronicles the radical transformation of Hunter’s Point South days after the commencement of a large scale development project. Filmed using a drone, the film offers a perspective on the New York City skyline that will one day be seen exclusively from the residential towers that will be built on the site.
Iron Triangle (III & IV)
Nate Dorr & Maya Edelman
(8 min excerpt, 2016)
Iron Triangle began in 2015 as a documentary project to capture Willets Point, Queens, during a pivotal moment of its transition from an active business district of scrap yards and autobody shops into an empty development limbo with an uncertain future. The film posits a fantastical final chapter to this process: one of regrowth. For sites like this one, which can lie fallow for years before being redeveloped, this may be closer to reality than we expect.
Buried River Reminence
(10 min, 2016)
Reminence is defined as the continuation of a sound that is no longer heard. Buried River Reminence is an attempt to reconnect with a portion of the original course and soundscape of the Flushing River. The video documents the artist marking the original river’s course with a white chalk line, while playing hydrophone recordings made in the submerged parts of the river. Robert Moses, the creator of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, viewed the Flushing River’s natural state as an impediment to his vision for the 1939 World’s Fair and to a system of roadways he would later build, and so he removed landscape from nature and turned it into a landscape concrete, creating an artificial nature that was much more manageable. Buried River Reminence undermines this artificial landscape, by adding back hidden natural elements and redacted physical attributes.
Undomesticated Species, Blindness & Bliss
Natalia Roumelioti (ntilit) with collaborators Christine Krishna Washburn, Tamio Shiraishi, Karla Carballar, Moritz Lehner, Maria Fernandez Pello
(8 min, 2016)
Undomesticated Species, Blindness & Bliss documents a performance about an act of unsolicited human kindness towards several species found along the Newtown Creek, where pigeons, geese, ducks and cats were fed daily for several years by a local worker. This gesture helped sustain life in a polluted area that is scheduled to become a new filtration plant for the creek’s toxic waters, a new project that will in in turn uproot and destroy these animals’ nests and habitats, to make space for more human infrastructure, a vicious circle of good intentions.
Dylan Gauthier & Edmund Mooney
(10 min, 2016)
Impossible Bridge documents an eponymous performance at Plank Road, the former site of a bridge that once connected the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens over the Newtown Creek. This 45-minute-long performance, created for Chance Ecologies: Newtown Creek, functioned as a floating sound sculpture consisting of a wooden boat, a hand-built radio transmitter, two hydrophones, and sound exciters that turned the bridge’s former pilings into resonant loudspeakers. Dressed in protective hazmat suits and conveying their bodies and the hydrophones over the surface of and through this polluted waterway, the artists enacted a temporary, underwater audio bridge to span Plank Road’s long-disused crossing, as a poetic rendering of infrastructure loss and a neglected chapter of the city’s industrial past.
nana domain (Matthias Neumann, Scott Schwartz, Catherine Rehwinkel, Megan Hicks, Jeffrey Benjamin, Matthew C. Lange, et.al)
(10 min, 2016)
BBQueens is a site-specific action creating an inverted archeological process documented on video. It takes the embodied narratives of the site surrounding the former NY World’s Fair and suggests alternative readings to be interpreted by future archeologists excavating the area. Special attention is given to the Westinghouse Time Capsules buried next to the museum, which are intended to be unearthed in 5000 years.
The screenings will be following by a short Q&A with the artists. Click here for more information on the day’s other events.