Looking Back into the Future – a symposium on artist moving image practice

Poster by Ella Sutherland. Image by Nova Paul.

With over 40 years of artist moving image production in New Zealand, what is the current state of local practice, and how do we create a dynamic and sustainable future?

Featuring film screenings, discussion and an artists' workshop, Looking Back into the Future invites the New Zealand artist moving image community to Auckland this August 29-31. Over three days a range of international and local presenters come together to consider issues of the surrounding production, networks and value in moving image.

Presented by CIRCUIT Artist Film and Video Aotearoa New Zealand in association with Elam School of Fine Arts at The University of Auckland, and with the support of the British Council and Creative New Zealand, Looking Back into the Future takes place at three venues.

Beginning at the Academy Cinema 8pm, Thursday August 29, All Divided Selves is a film by UK film-maker Luke Fowler. Based on the work of radical Scottish psychiatrist RD Laing, the film examines Laing's assertion that mental illness is a natural result of modern day social systems. As the film progresses from the 1960s onwards, we see the impact of Laing's theories on the medical establishment, and the less forgiving response to Laing's latter day career as a celebrity poet.

Day 2 (August 30) at Elam School of Fine Arts begins with a roundtable session examining every facet of the artist moving image economy: from curation to collection. International and local speakers gather to ask: how can institutions better support new models of moving image practices? How do we develop networks and exchanges that generate meaningful dialogue and sustainable engagement? Panelists include Benjamin Cook (Director LUX, London) and Dr May Adadol Ingawanij, (University of Westminster/Bangkok Experimental Film Festival), plus local speakers Alex Monteith (Artist, Academic, Elam School of Fine Arts) and Michelle Menzies (Curator, Adam Art Gallery). In the afternoon three film screenings curated for the symposium feature recent work from New Zealand, Asia and the United States, and are followed by discussions about networks and distribution. 

On Day 3 (August 31) keynote speaker Benjamin Cook, (LUX, London) leads a workshop for artists entitled The Auratic Film. In an age of digital technology and endless reproduction this workshop asks; can the moving image be described as having a distinct presence or aura?