With great honor the Institute for Experimental Arts announces that our production, the amazing video poetry film “The Life we Live is not Life Itself” recieved the highest award, the Avant-Garde prize for top film in the Fotogenia Film Festival.
The whole festival has been a magnificent feast of diverse forms and voices. The finalist list included some of the best videos we have ever seen. So to come out on top is incredibly humbling for all of us.
FOTOGENIA IS THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL FILM POETRY & DIVERGENT NARRATIVES FESTIVAL IN MEXICO, that promotes a space with an alternative conception of films, a celebration of experimentation and avant-garde framework, the love of curiosity and research of the seventh Art. Everyone is invited, taking into consideration the disruptive nature of the selected works.
FOTOGENIA is a Film Festival held in the heart of Mexico City that celebrates cinema itself, experimentation with its nature, formats, genres, narrative and all the freedom to explore the audiovisual image without restriction.
Sarah Tremlett , the grand judge of the finalists wrote about the film:
A big yay for Ian Gibbins and Tasos Sagris winning the DELLUC / Avant Garde award at FOTOGENIA! I really enjoyed being one of the judges judging the finalists of this important award. The Life we Live is not Life Itself, is a huge technical achievement that complements and extends the pathos /political integrity of the poem. A wholly constructed alien world where the sea sits at the end of a narrow passageway and faces on adverts slowly change. How can we live authentic lives when ‘society’ is built by anonymous often ethically unaccountable corporations? Society, we have learnt is out of our control, yet something the man in the street also pays for (in both senses of the word)? and yet humans still say ‘we’, still believe in a just society. Thank you for this wonderful poetry film that speaks volumes!
The life we live is not Life itself- Tasos Sagris & Whodoes (GR)- Ian Gibbins (Australia)
poetry / spoken word: Tasos Sagris
videographer / compositor / editor: Ian Gibbins
artificial face generation: Generated Media, Inc
3D models: Sketchfab.com
“The life we live is a series of illusions… a fleeting smile… mistaken decisions… dangerous, unpredictable… yet, we will meet again, as lovers… parents… children… and you will know who I am…”
Tasos Sagris’s poem, with its haunting soundtrack by Whodoes, offers us an extended exploration of lives lived in parallel, at cross-purposes, in and out of love, around the world, from the innocence of children to the wisdom of elders. There are the good times when summer seems to last forever, and the bad, when persecution and misadventure could land us in prison, with nothing but rain to hear our voice. But what is the reality? What is mere illusion? Can there be more to life than simply living?
The raw footage for the video was shot mainly in and around the city of Adelaide, its suburbs, the nearby Fleurieu Peninsula and Yorke Peninsula, South Australia, supplemented with images from around Greece and Sweden. But nothing in the video is quite as it seems. Most scenes have been composited and animated from multiple sources. So we look down a city laneway and see friends walking along a beach. A derelict shed opens out onto a fairground, lit by mysterious warning flags. Storm clouds, ominously aglow, gather behind skylines. And after the rain, floodwater surges across plazas, covers the floors of ruined buildings.
Who inhabits these strange places? Whom will we meet there? Look carefully in the malls and side-streets: we can see our fellow walkers, and then, again, again… And in windows of city buildings, in old frames hung on walls of broken brick and cracked concrete, we see the faces of the young and old, the boys and girls, the men and women of our imagination, our desires, our reconstructed memories. As alluring as they seem, none of them is real. Rather, they are the product of artificial intelligence, trained on thousands of our fellow humans, and generated by cold, unfeeling algorithms.
No video can truly capture the inner thoughts that inspire a poet’s words. Instead, we can construct a world in which the real and unreal seamlessly merge, creating environments beyond day-to-day experience, yet somehow familiar, somehow recognisable as elements in the shared narratives of our lives.
Is this Life? Who amongst us is truly Living? Let’s see. And perhaps we will meet again … on another rainy afternoon… “like now, like now.”
Ian Gibbins –
YOU CAN WATCH THE FILM HERE: