Festival Forum

Festival Forum

e-flux / Experimental Film and Video Festival in Seoul (EXiS)

Clip from Roh Youngmee, 1021, 2021.

October 28, 2021
Festival Forum
A selection from EXiS 2021
October 28–November 11, 2021
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e-flux is very pleased to feature this year’s Experimental Film and Video Festival in Seoul – EXiS, which wrapped its 18th edition this past September in theaters in Seoul, screening over 120 films and featuring curated programs, retrospectives, and performances in addition to the main competition.

For this special feature in e-flux Video & Film’s ongoing series Festival Forum, EXiS presents seven short films from the festival showcasing current aesthetic approaches in Korean moving images for e-flux audiences, accompanied by a recorded conversation between EXiS 2021 programmer Inhan Cho and e-flux’s Lukas Brasiskis​. Reconsideration of the essayistic storytelling through critical employment of the digital style, scrutiny of technology and its impact on the everyday, as well as artistic forecasts of the looming crisis are among shared techniques and concerns in the selected films by Korean artists.

With films by Kim BoyongYun ChoiEllie Kyungran HeoJeon Junehyuck, Eunsol Kim​Roh Youngmee, and Ji Hye Yeom, streaming on e-flux Video & Film for two weeks from Thursday, October 28 through Thursday, November 11, 2021.

Watch them here.


Roh Youngmee, 1021, 2021
33 minutes

From the internet, I collect information on events, accidents, births, and deaths that occurred on October 21 from 1920 to 2020 throughout the world. I compile 100 years’ worth of data that share this keyword. 1021 is an animation narrating the lives of protagonists October and Haima, but it can also reflect the life of anyone. Most of the events on that day that the artist discovered through her collection process reveal similar patterns throughout history.

Kim Boyong, Peninsula Tour, 2020
29 minutes

Peninsula Tour begins one day, by memorizing the route on Google Earth departing from Seoul, passing through Pyeongyang and Sinuiju, and arriving at the Chinese continent. To be connected to the world through technology presents an experience that separates my body from the land and fragments time and space. When the land and the body fail to create a coherent relationship, are we truly connected to the world? Peninsula Tour is a discontinuous journey that seeks a continuous world, in a hyperlinked society that arbitrarily edits time and space.

Ji Hye Yeom, Black Sun X: Casper, Witch, and Handstanderus, 2021
19 minutes

Black Sun X: Casper, Witch, and Handstanderus traces the trajectory of catastrophes from their nascence to the present. It weaves together fragments of loosely connected narratives under “Black Sun X” that implies constantly swelling catastrophes. This work consists of three narratives: Casper who was a beloved cartoon character in popular culture, a witch-hunt that occurred during the transition period between feudalism and capitalism in the wake of the Black Death (and continues in today’s disturbing situation); and Handstanderus who are a group of people trying to find new ways of thinking through plants.

Eunsol Kim, Alpha and Omega, 2019
3 minutes

Alpha and Omega is a data audiovisual that focuses on the earthquakes that hit Pohang in 2017, and the different reactions of people living in Seoul and those in Pohang. I converted ten years’ worth of data on the seismic activity in the two cities into light and sound. The data was displayed on a graph in light and sound with Seoul’s data on the horizontal axis and Pohang’s on the vertical axis. Sound is L-Seoul’s data and R-Pohang’s data. Alpha and Omega deals with the emotional differences in people’s responses due to asymmetries in information and experience.

Yun Choi, Doomsday Video, 2020
14 minutes

Doomsday Video is a fictional archive of the ongoing year 2020 and an instruction for doomsday. In the era of the pandemic, borders are shut down, social distances are inscribed into our daily lives on planet earth. Choi calls for help on seven art colleagues: all female friends, who live and work in differents part of the world. Choi and the seven colleagues explore the possibility of solidarity under physical paralysis, interchanging stories of doomsday. Can we hold hands at a distance? How much can we believe the story of past and future when now/here is delayed? Can the grounds we each walk on get together and make a bridge? Can our voices come together to become slogans that someone will sing some time? With the image data and stories collected from these questions, Kimberly uses photogrammetry to construct a 3D space of each of the seven correspondent’s standing ground as well as a common ground to gather all their voices. Doomsday Video shares the smartphones and webcams grabbing and surveying, and tries the primitive ways of solidarity and contact such as telepathy, hand spa, and songs handed down by oral tradition.

Junehyuck Jeon, Time Reversed Time, 2021
17 minutes

In the summer of 2019, a family takes their last trip with their father, husband, or father-in-law. My father-in-law passed away one day in January 2021 when it was snowing. I looked up photos and videos of him with my wife, and fixed my gaze at the record of that trip from two years ago. His body was with us then, but often his mind was beyond our reach. What was he looking at, how was his time going? 

The time of this work moves forward as a whole, but continues to reverse in frame units. The cinematic time of eight, eleven, and fourteen frames, which is going backward, is in line with the way he experiences time with dementia. Like the scenery from a train rushing in front of him, his time moves forward, but his memory continues to backtrack.

Ellie Kyungran Heo, Plantarians, 2017–20
32 minutes

An English-style garden, a plot of earth in New York’s Central Park, a garden and a cemetery in Maastricht: Plantarians asks, “What does it mean to have a garden?” Divided into episodes, the film studies the capacity of garden plants to respond to the particularities of their surroundings. At the same time, it tracks the lives of the contemporary men and women who cultivate, enjoy, eat, obsess over, and even grieve with and for these plants.

Inhan Cho in conversation with Lukas Brasiskis
Recorded video discussion, 43 minutes

This past September, EXiS held its 18th edition in theaters in Seoul, South Korea, screening over 120 films and featuring curated programs, retrospectives, and performances in addition to the main competition. In this recoded interview, EXiS 2021 programmer Inhan Cho discusses this year’s edition of the festival with e-flux’s Lukas Brasiskis, and the selection of films picked for e-flux audiences.

About Experimental Film and Video Festival in Seoul – EXiS
The Experimental Film and Video Festival in Seoul – EXiS was founded in 2004 by Moving Image Forum in order to screen experimental films and contemporary moving images that explore the unknown forms and territories of cinema. The festival values artists’ films made with an original vision that take on challenges and aesthetic adventures, and is one of the few places in South and East Asia that still screen works by artists who work with celluloid film.

About Festival Forum
Festival Forum presents collaborations with established and emerging moving-image festivals from around the world. The series aims to promote a closer dialogue between the artistically entangled but often institutionally disconnected fields of film and contemporary art, and explore field-specific approaches to programming and/or curating the moving image. Over time it hopes to accumulate a record of, and insight into, the formal, topical, geographical, political, and institutional considerations at stake in the presentation and dissemination of moving-image works today. Previous collaborations include International Short Film Festival Oberhausen 2020, Images Festival 2021, and New York Kurdish Film and Cultural Festival 2021.

For more information, contact program@e-flux.com.

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October 28, 2021

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