Even on the brightest days, darkness often surrounds us. Whether it’s internalized feelings of turmoil or external shadows encroaching, it can be a struggle to escape. But if we pause to examine that darkness, beauty often emerges. It’s those moments that make our sometimes-painful excursions into that darkness both rewarding and life-affirming.
The artists whose works are featured here all approach this darkness in different ways, but the outcome is always cathartic and cleansing, presenting a renewed sense of faith in the self and the organic order of nature.
David Hall’s video work utilizes colors and layered effects to illuminate the harsh realities of life. Alex Schaefer’s manipulated photography places the artist himself into each piece, externalizing an inner battle for sanity. Polynoid’s motion graphics pieces focus on transformation and the move from isolation to integration. Susi Sie’s creations elucidate light and dark in the natural world around us, intermingling and juxtaposing different forms and materials.
Curated by Thomas D. Rotenberg, a writer, video artist, and curator based in Brooklyn. His films have played at festivals across the country and he previously curated Standard Model Catastrophes, Josh Graham’s career retrospective that was on display at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP throughout December of 2014. Instagram: @tomr4
Participating Artists & Work:
David Hall: Mother Satan, Don’t Turn Out The Light (2015), The Puberty Of Big John Christ (2015)
Alex Schaefer: Damages (2014-2015)
Polynoid: 458nm (2006), Mem (2009), Loom (2010)
Susi Sie: Black (2011), Float (2011), Emergence (2012), Silk (2013), Soundscapes (2013), Cymatics (2013), Echoes (2015)
Please join us on 5/7 for the opening of 'Examining Darkness.’ David Hall and Alex Schaefer will be in attendance. This will be the premiere of David Hall’s two short films, both of which were made specifically for the Made in NY Media Center’s 360° projection system. There will also be a one-time-only live performance at 7pm by composer Mick Barr, playing his scores to both of David’s films.
David Hall is a filmmaker, record label owner, publisher, and professional troublemaker. After graduating from Concordia University’s Film Production BFA program in 1999, he worked with producer Kevin Tierney for two years, wrote spec scripts and episodic television and taught editing and post production at community college.
Through his company, Handshake, Inc. (founded in 2006), he has produced videos for Decibel Magazine and a variety of bands, including Brutal Truth, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Today Is The Day, SubRosa, Dragged Into Sunlight, Wolves In The Throne Room, and Portal.
David has also produced, directed and edited three concert films shot at Maryland Deathfest, and is currently in post-production on his debut narrative feature, which will be scored by Luc Lemay of Gorguts, and in pre-production on a documentary focusing on the life of audio engineer Billy Anderson.
David Hall sadly lives in London, Ontario.
Alex Schaefer is a recent graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and currently resides in New York City where he works as a camera assistant on feature-length and short films. He has had the opportunity to intern for Director of Photography Reed Morano, ASC for the films The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete (Sundance, 2014; dir. George Tillman Jr.) and And So It Goes (dir. Rob Reiner) as well as intern in the photography department at Saturday Night Live with photographer Mary Ellen Matthews. Instagram: @alexschaefer
Polynoid is the design/storytelling loving collaboration of Jan Bitzer, Ilija Brunck, Csaba Letay, Fabian Pross and Tom Weber. Founded in 2007 as a creative platform and playground for our own films and experiments, Polynoid today is using that same spirit but combining it with the resources of a production studio. “Our narrative technique combines new forms of storytelling with a shared interest in progressive sound design to create a minimalist, photo real and abstract sensory experience.” Twitter: @polynoid
Susi Sie is a Berlin-based artist on a mission to explore the physical and mathematical nature of unusual forms, substances and materials to show the hidden beauty and magic of our natural world that constantly surrounds us. Strictly applying analog techniques and refusing any computer animations or effects, Susi’s haptic and detailed work is above all a highly personal study of the genuineness, perception and authenticity of things. Her work has been featured by internationally renowned online platforms such as Fubiz, Vimeo Staff Picks, Colossal, Motionographer, and Arte Creative. She does what she loves. And loves what she does.
Mick Barr has been an active musician for over 20 years. The instrument he works and writes with is the electric guitar. His main focus has been sculpting fast technically intricate music in the settings of metal, experimental, improv and chamber composition. He has a vast output of recorded work under many different names and projects including Crom-Tech, Orthrelm, Ocrilim, Octis, Oldest, Mossenek and Krallice. Barr received a 2009 grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts.
Caley Monahon-Ward is a multi-instrumentalist whose past work includes playing with Extra Life, Snowblink and Nat Baldwin, and current activity with Voice Coils and Feast of the Epiphany. He has performed at venues ranging from Death By Audio to the White House.