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CULTURE

Five Art DVD Magazines

by Tim Yu
on 19 March 2007

The format of these DVDs vary but the content is consistent: collaborations between musicians, artists, directors and designers that often feature experimental and innovative styles and techniques. Here are five our favorites.

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Reline 2 is the second in a series of abstract and progressive audio visual works. Comprised of films by 19 artists from around the world, the videos enliven otherwise static architecture with customized software and unique processing methods. Most of the shorts are integrated with electronic music. We recommend wearing headphones to further isolate yourself from the outside world and immerse yourself in theirs. This synchronization with electronic soundscapes helps to embellish the visual effects and further enhances the created landscapes.

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Some of the works are somewhat eery and feature horrific imagery, but most are just imaginative landscapes. From brown to green by Scott Pagano and musician Twerk is a folding, almost Escher-esque music video (still from video pictured above). By cutting together architectural images they seamlessly blend effects to give a layered kaleidoscope effect. Matched to Twerk's music the images glitch in time with electronic scratches. You can preview the video here.

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Reline 2 concludes with Laser Graffiti Writer by Tenzin Wangchuck , featuring music by the Venetian Snares . Digital effects enable Wangchuck to deface the side of a building with a flare, writing "Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hum " (a buddhist mantra) in tibetan script.

Reline 2 is curated by Scott Pagano and Pheonix Perry, and is available for $19 Microcinema International. Watch the trailer here.

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ArtDisk recently released their inaugural issue of their annual publication. It is comprised of three segments: Art trailers, a compilation of 30 to 60 second videos from artists in 10 different countries; Curated, featuring curating works by Kara Hearn; and Short Talks, including interviews with artists such as Gary Schneider and Barbara DeGenevieve. We enjoyed Hannah Walsh's Uh...Ummm, a critique on public speaking culture. She humorously edits together top politicians like Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice and Hilary Clinton stumbling over their words and using "uh" and "umm," highlighting the fact that even accomplished public speakers sometimes need a little help.

In Places by Erik Olofsen opens the art trailer segment with a slow motion short (also the image for cover). Olofsen falls into a city skyline made out of a bed of foam. Set on a loop, this giant falls into the city, collapsing skyscrapers and homes over and over.

The DVD is $5 at Photoeye.

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Compiler.02, the second installment of the Compiler series, is titled From Here to the Ocean. It is an homage to George Greenough, who pioneered in-water surf photography and cinematography, developed the modern surfboard fin and inspired the short-board surf revolution. The DVD includes narrative and abstract films, music clips and surf and skate films ranging from two seconds to 25 minutes. They are all tied together though the theme of one's longing for the "great, deep, violent and mysterious ocean."

Keeping in line with the George Greenough dedication, our favorite from this compilation is Subway Sessions by Drew Heitzler. He documents the New York City surf culture, recording the long ride out on the A-line to Far Rockaway, Queens (the only decent waves in the area) and follows the surfers right into the water. Influenced by '70s surf films and recorded on grainy Super-8 film to match, Heitzler's take is refreshing, and surprises with the discovery that the characters were riding waves during the September 11th attacks.

Available for $25 at Compiler.

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Chaise Two is a more comprehensive collection of various artforms and media, featuring several different segments including animation, performance and processing, books and drawings. Stickers and posters are available as PDFs and there are also full length video features including Freestyle by Elena Elmoznino, which documents canine musical freestyle dance (above right). The DVD is accompanied with a CD of mostly electronic music by Kid Koala, DJ Squeak E Clean and Daybre among others.

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The first segment of Chaise Two showcases animation and features some of our favorite works of the whole collection. Camp Lakachian by Something Inventions (left) uses stop-motion techniques to produce a 20 minute sing-along love-story epic taking place at a summer camp. Featuring laugh tracks and quirky lyrics (written out at the bottom of the screen for sing-a-long purposes), coupled with talking furry creatures, it's sure to give you laugh.

Also worth mentioning is Debate Breath by David Tinapple, who edits together the 2004 presidential debate into ten minutes of in-drawn breaths, isolating the two candidates in silence. Oddly enough it makes you want to breath. It's interesting to asses your feelings toward each candidate even though they aren't saying anything.

Chaise Two is free with a self-adressed stamped envelope. Visit Chaise Magazine for more info. See the trailer here.

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The Stash series largely deals with branded content, but the motion graphics, design and creativity do not take a back seat. Rather than diluting the artform the artistic nature of these works only enhance the desired message and effect, oftentimes producing a creative and concise advertisement can be an art form in itself. You might have seen some of the work on TV or at the cinema, but it is the best of commericial motion graphics all in one place. The newest Stash, 30, is stuffed with 70 minutes worth of the creativity and innovation. Even better, this month's issue features the second round of the psst! pass it on project; 70 artists from all over the world collaborating on nine short films which is not to be missed.

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Orville Redenbacher is brought back to life by Digital Domain in a 30-second spot for his popcorn. By putting Mr. Redenbacher back on the screen, ad agency CP+B is able to place him—and his popcorn—back into the minds of consumers.

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Also included in the Stash 30 compilation are some music videos, the best of which is U2's Windows In The Skies by The Mill NY. By searching through hundreds of hours of archival footage and editing snippets of lyrics together, The Mill creates the illusion that famous vocalists like Billie Holiday and David Bowie are singing U2's song. They finesse time warps, use speed changes, and at times, complex mouth manipulations to hit the required synchronization. If you haven't already, it's something that needs to be seen to be believed.

Stash is edited by Stephen Price. For a subscription and to see other works included in the compilation visit their site here. Stash 31 is due out 15 April 2007. Keep a lookout for the psst! pass it on project.

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