Death of the Mechanical Man Featured in the Montreal Underground Film Festival

Michael Drews’s “Death of the Mechanical Man”

“Death of the Mechanical Man,” a 21-minute film directed by Big Robot’s Michael Drews, made its premier in October of 2016, deep in the City Market Catacombs. For its debut, Big Robot accompanied the film live, conjuring up memories of silent films.

Watch the trailer on Vimeo.

Now, the short film has been chosen as part of the 2018 Montreal Underground Film Festival (MUFF). The festival celebrates low-budget filmmaking and promotes films that challenge the constraints and conventions of mainstream Hollywood. The independent filmmakers, writers, teachers, and cinephiles of MUFF are committed to seeking out edgy films bristling with a sense of creative freedom, energy, and experimentation.

For more information about the festival, visit the MUFF website.

Big Robot creates media-enriched art and music, interweaving aesthetic expression with computer interactivity. Their blend of audio-visual design with acoustic instruments forms a multi-dimensional performance at the crosspoints of virtual and physical gesture, sound, and space.

To learn more about Big Robot, visit their website.

Moving Image Archive Director Gains International Attention

Rachael Stoeltje

Rachael Stoeltje’s interest in film started when she was a child growing up in Austin, Texas, but now that passion has grown to international levels: The director of the IU Libraries Moving Image Archive has been named the 2018 Coordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations board chair, leading meetings in Paris, Bangkok, Prague and beyond.

Read the original article from News at IU‘s Allie Hitchcock.

“I love the collections. I love working with students; that’s been incredibly satisfying,” Stoeltje said. “I love my international work, and I think for libraries in general, it’s an exciting time.”

The Coordinating Council, a partially UNESCO-founded organization created in 1982, is the umbrella organization of the eight professional organizations supporting preservation of audio, video and film archives around the world.

Carolyn Walters, the Ruth Lilly Dean of Indiana University Libraries, has been a longtime supporter of Stoeltje’s work at the Moving Image Archive. Working together to harness the mounting interest in film preservation at IU, Walters and Stoeltje first transitioned the university film collection into a secure home at the Auxiliary Library Facility, formally created the Moving Image Archive, then imagined a community space in the ground floor of Wells Library to encourage access and use of the collection.

Along the way, the strength of IU’s commitment to preservation, and the intensity of Rachael’s passion for film — especially as a primary source for learning — caught the attention of both national and international colleagues.

“Rachael sparks enthusiasm when she speaks about nearly any film or related preservation project,” Walters said. “With her new leadership role at this international level, Indiana University’s extensive collections will be incredibly visible to a worldwide community. The talents of our experts here at IU, already well known, will be illuminated in a way that greatly strengthens our efforts to preserve and share film with scholars everywhere.”

The term “everywhere” means just that. Stoeltje became chair of the Coordinating Council through her work serving on the International Federation of Film Archives Executive Committee; she also serves as the head of the training and outreach program in the federation. Through this work, which she is extending to the Coordinating Council’s mission, she has worked with the federation’s training and outreach coordinator and secretariat to find new ways to meet requests for assistance from Mexico to Myanmar.

Some countries’ archivists deal with standard needs to find new preservation methods, while others have larger issues like natural disasters occurring at the same time. On one visit to Sri Lanka, for example, the expert volunteer in the field dealt with badly deteriorating films in a storage unit. In Tunisia, members of the federation are helping open a cinema.

“It’s been a pretty enormous range,” Stoeltje said. “Trying to meet all those needs with volunteer workforces is challenging.”

Traveling all over the world to work with an international member base helps Stoeltje stay connected. The Coordinating Council and the other federations within it also try to keep an international viewpoint. The Federation of Film Archives, for example, runs its conferences in three languages simultaneously.

Another universal task Stoeltje is working on is collection digitization among changing digital platforms. Concerns that the Coordinating Council and archivists in general had 20 years ago are completely different today, so she is seeking new platforms to best serve everyone.

Back home in Indiana, Stoeltje continues to expand IU’s Moving Image Archive, a collection that has tripled in size over the past nine years. On top of her international concerns, Stoeltje stays busy by hosting regional and national visitors interested in the archive, mentoring student interns, leading film-related areas of the Media and Digitization Preservation Initiative and contributing to IU’s international presence and prominence in film studies.

“The archive has been an invaluable partner to IU Cinema since opening,” said Jon Vickers, founding director of IU Cinema. “In a short amount of time, Rachael has led the transformation of the archive and brought international prominence to IU’s moving image collections. Now she is essentially leading the organization that serves as the umbrella for preserving the world’s motion picture heritage. This speaks well to her leadership and good work, but also for all of us at IU who work in film and media.”

She credits the impressive growth and impact of the archive to support from IU Libraries and university-level leaders, who clearly understand that today’s libraries can offer more than ever before. Stoeltje said it’s exciting to play a part in the evolution.

“There’s been a shift from 10 years ago when people wanted to know, ‘How many books do you have in the library?’ to a better understanding of the diverse and relevant services and materials that IU Libraries provides.”

Exit Zero: The Documentary | Screening and Q&A

Exit Zero: The Documentary, a 2015 film by Chris Boebel and Christine Walley, tells a personal story of the lasting social and environmental impacts of deindustrialization and the key role it has played in expanding class inequalities in the United States. The film weaves a portrait of a family caught in its community’s struggles with job loss and pollution.

After the documentary, writer/producer Christine Walley will be available for a Q&A session about the film and its message.

The event will occur on March 8, 2018 at 5:00pm at the Steelworkers Union, Local 1999, on 218 South Addison in Indianapolis.

This event is sponsored by the IU Department of Anthropology at IUPUI and the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute.

2017 Heartland Film Festival accepts films from two School of Informatics and Computing students

Sam Mirpoorian (left) and Hannah West (right)

From News at IUPUI.

Two Media Arts and Science students in the School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI had their entries accepted into the 2017 Heartland Film Festival held recently in Indianapolis.

Sam Mirpoorian, who received his bachelor’s degree in May and is now enrolled in the master’s program, and Hannah West, a current senior, produced their films under the guidance of Media Arts and Science faculty member C. Thomas Lewis.

Sam Mirpoorian’s short, “Little Warriors,” received this year’s Indiana Spotlight Film Award, winning $5,000 and adding to accolades already earned at the Indy Film Festival, the Napa Valley Film Festival and the Global Impact Film Festival.

“Little Warriors” captures a group of Indianapolis youth and their impassioned attempt to introduce legislation that would address climate recovery. (You can even watch the trailer on Vimeo!)

Mirpoorian created the film for his senior capstone project. He attributes much of his success to the support he received from the program and his advisors.

“The program is very hands-on and truly allows for filmmakers like me to explore and unleash their abilities and interests,” he said. “I mostly want to thank professor Lewis, as he provided excellent guidance and made sure I stayed on course.”

As an undergraduate, Mirpoorian also produced “Under the Bridge: The Criminalization of Homelessness,” which received critical acclaim last year and has been released for commercial distribution.

West’s film, “Not in Vain,” was a class project created for the Video for Social Change course. She, too, credits Lewis for her success. “I’m very thankful for his help, support and guidance on this project, as well as throughout my undergrad degree work,” she said.

“Not in Vain” explores Indiana’s opioid crisis, a topic close to West’s heart. “Moving forward, it would be great to find a way to have this film shown in Indiana public schools,” West said. She pointed out that opioid abuse is a problem that is affecting many Hoosiers as early as high school, and she hopes that the film could create a dialogue with students.

The Media Arts and Science undergraduate degree with specialization in video production and sound design introduces students to the latest technical skills required in the video and sound industry and prepares them to develop, produce and ultimately deliver a professional-quality product.

“In the Media Arts and Science video courses, we educate students to create professional-level films that engage in important social issues. It is truly rewarding when we see our students get the recognition they deserve for their hard work,” Lewis said.

LGBTQ Film Festival Indy will screen “Left on Pearl”

“Left on Pearl” is an award-winning documentary about a significant but little-known chapter in the history of the Women’s Liberation Movement. On March 6, 1971, International Women’s Day marchers turned left on Pearl Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts to seize and occupy a Harvard University building at 888 Memorial Drive and declare it a Women’s Center. Hundreds of women, veterans of the antiwar and civil rights movements – among them some of the earliest out lesbian rights activists – participated in this effective action.

The screening will be on Saturday, November 11, at 2pm at the DeBoest Hall of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. A Q&A session with the film’s executive producer will follow. More information is available at LGBTFilmFest.com.

Video installation by Ragnar Kjartansson and The National headlines summer exhibitions at the Herron Galleries

This summer, the Herron School of Art and Design will feature the first Indiana exhibition of “A Lot of Sorrow,” a video installation by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson and indie-rock band The National.

“A Lot of Sorrow,” one of Kjartansson’s most well-known and acclaimed works, is a six-hour, single-channel video of a performance recorded at MoMA PS1 in 2013. For this piece, Kjartansson, best known for his durational performance and video work, invited The National to play their hit song “Sorrow” live on stage repeatedly and continuously for six hours, nine minutes, and 35 seconds. As hours pass and fatigue sets in, the band members experiment and improvise, yielding unexpected outcomes while Kjartansson periodically steps on stage to offer food and drink.

Kjartansson explores the creative potential of repetition by stretching a single pop song into a six-hour concert. Filmed with multiple cameras, Kjartansson’s large-screen video projection becomes an immersive experience that ARTnewscalled “astonishingly riveting,” and The New YorkTimes critic Roberta Smith described as “unimaginably expansive.”

The video will start from the beginning each day, allowing interested visitors to watch the entire 6-hour performance during gallery hours.

“A Lot of Sorrow” debuted at Luhring Augustine Bushwick in New York City in 2014 with more recent screenings at The Art Institute of Chicago, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.

An opening reception will take place from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, July 7 in conjunction with the Indianapolis Downtown Artists & Dealer’s Association’s (IDADA) monthly First Friday art tour. The exhibition runs June 14 to September 2, 2017 in Herron’s Berkshire, Reese, and Paul Galleries. All Herron exhibitions are free and open to the public.

Also on view this summer in the Herron Galleries:

  • “Mirror Mirror,” featuring new paintings and a site-specific installation by New York-based artist Jaqueline Cedar (June 14 to September 2) in the Marsh Gallery;
  • “Fold, Staple, Riot: The Art and Subculture of Zine Making” highlighting local and national self-publishing communities (June 14 to July 15) in the Basile Gallery;
  • New work by Herron alumnus Samuel Levi Jones (B.F.A. Photography ’09) from July 26 to September 2 in the Basile Gallery.

Parking is available courtesy of The Great Frame Up Indianapolis in the visitor section of the Sports Complex Garage (west of Herron’s Eskenazi Hall), or on the upper floors of the Riverwalk Garage (south of the Sports Complex Garage) until 6 p.m. Park on any floor after 6 p.m. Bring your parking ticket to the Herron galleries for validation.

To view the original press release for this event, visit the Herron School of Art and Design website.

Reading at the Table Series to feature Jane Schultz

Mercy Street“Mercy Street” Consultant for PBS Series on Nursing in Civil War, 2014-16

Nov. 16, 2016, 11:30am-1:00pm

University Place Conference Center, Room 200

Jane E. Schultz, Ph.D., Department of English

Professor Schultz’s scholarship on health and hospital services during the Civil War earned her the invitation to consult with producers of the PBS series “Mercy Street.”  Based on events that hospital workers recorded in their diaries and letters, the series illuminates the complex negotiations of diverse constituencies that gathered to promote sick and wounded soldiers’ survival.

It’s those historical records and diaries that Schultz first encountered at the National Archives in the 1990s that launched her on what she described as her serious work of describing the experiences of these nurses.  “More than 21,000 women in the Union alone provided hospital services, seven times as many as was estimated at an earlier time,” Schultz said.  And many wrote their experiences down because people in the 1860s realized they were passing through something transformational.  Few have known about this aspect of the Civil War.  Schultz said, “At long last, the public can be witness to the fascinating and sometimes dramatic stories that circulated through the health and hospital quarters of the Civil War.”  [From IU Communications news release January 28, 2016]

The annual Reading at the Table series provides an opportunity for members of the IUPUI community to celebrate published books written by IUPUI faculty or staff. During each luncheon, the featured author/editor will read from his or her work and open the floor to discussion. Seating is limited; registration is encouraged and can be completed on the campus Events Page. Walk-ins will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis—if space is available. Purchase of a buffet-style lunch for $13.00 (dessert and soft drinks not included) is required to attend this event.

Death of the Mechanical Man premiers in City Market Catacombs

dotmm-with-eventbriteOn October 25, 2016, at 7 pm, the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute presents the premier of the new audio-visual sci-fi experience, Death of the Mechanical Man. Developed by Big Robot, this work brings together silent film, acoustic instruments, and computer interactivity to create a multi-dimensional performance of sound and space in the heart of the brick barrel arches and limestone columns of Indianapolis’ City Market Catacombs.

This event is supported by our partners at Sun King Brewing. Additional support provided by the IUPUI Department of Music and Arts Technology and the Donal Tavel Arts and Technology Research Center.

The City Market Catacombs are an undeveloped historic asset and are not handicapped accessible. The Catacombs feature a very rough, uneven dirt floor. This event is not navigable for guests with walkers, canes, strollers, or wheelchairs. We recommend closed-toed shoes. Alert to people with breathing sensitivities: The Catacombs are a musty, sometimes damp area. Guests assume all personal liability for entering the catacombs for this free, public event.

Film database of child welfare court, delinquency court proceedings now available to IU faculty

INDIANAPOLIS — Faculty throughout the Indiana University campus system now have access to almost Indiana University-logo150 videos shot in juvenile courts, detention centers and prisons that can be used to train future social workers, probation officers, counselors, correctional officers, teachers and others who will work with abused, neglected and at-risk youth.

The footage is available through the Institute for Juvenile Court and Corrections Research. It was created through a collaboration between the Indiana University Research and Technology Corp. and Calamari Productions, an Emmy Award-winning film production company based in Indianapolis. Three videos are available to the public.

The project was made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.

IU alumna Karen F. Grau is founder and executive producer at Calamari Productions. She received approval from the Indiana Supreme Court to film inside the courts in 1998 and began filming in 1999. The most prominent content in the database focuses on child welfare, both abuse and neglect; juvenile justice and delinquency; and children in adult prison.

“The goal of filming was to illuminate the cycle of misery that seems to hover over our juvenile courts and understand how we can all find solutions to some of our most vexing social issues,” Grau said. “Over the past 17 years, we have amassed thousands of hours of content and produced dozens of documentary films that have led to breathtaking outcomes, nationally and around the globe. The ability to explore what all of this truly looks like on the inside is vitally important as new legislative initiatives are considered around the country, and before those on the front lines make decisions that affect the lives of the children entrusted to their care.”

Calamari Productions’ footage has been cataloged and tagged in the database. It is available to IU faculty across all academic disciplines through a service hosted by IU Libraries in Bloomington. Faculty can log in to the database using their IU network ID and passphrase to search for and stream the videos.

“IJCCR fits well with IU Libraries’ mission to support and strengthen teaching, learning and research,” said Jon Dunn, assistant dean for library technologies. “Building on our solid history of leadership in online access, this collection leverages the Avalon Media System open source software platform co-developed by IU Libraries and Northwestern University. We are pleased to be a partner in preserving and providing access to this valuable collection that will serve as a resource for a wide range of disciplines.”

Dean Michael A. Patchner said the IU School of Social Work works closely with the Indiana Department of Child Services to educate and train the next generation of case managers and leaders who will impact the lives of Indiana’s most vulnerable children. He said the IJCCR database will add to the state-of-the-art education the students receive through the Indiana Child Welfare Education and Training Partnership.

“Now, for the first time, our students will be able to watch actual footage of how parents and children react when caseworkers must remove children from their homes, or what it is like to testify in court, or what life is like in a juvenile detention facility,” Patchner said. “We know that the skills our students learn help them handle such situations. Now our students can see those skills being used in real situations and understand how they work in the real world, in some of the most difficult situations any of us can imagine.”

Documentary Screening and Conference | The Story of 1915 in Armenian Documents

You are invited to the documentary screening at IUPUI titled “The Story of 1915 in Armenian The Story of 1915 Image.pngDocuments” on April 25, at 7 p.m. in Campus Center Room 307. The director, Serdar Koc, and Turkish historian Mehmet Perincek will talk about the groundbreaking 2015 EHRC Grand Chamber Decision.

“1915 in Armenian Documents” is a documentary which reveals the history of 1915, when the Ottoman Empire was struggling for its very existence and foes were pressing on all sides. “1915,” documents the inhumanity of war and suffering, armed rebellion and the demise of an empire during World War I. Serkan Koc, who directed the documentary, says “1915” is a factual recounting of events by witness testimony. It is a product of extensive archival research that sheds light on a dark time in history.