First Sneak Peek at Utopia 1.0 for Gear VR at San Diego Underground Film Festival!

Thanks to dynamic duo Ryan Betschart and Rachel Nakawatase for bringing me to this year's San Diego Underground Film Festival. Films, tacos, old friends and new, and ... as if the rooftop views of sunny SD weren't enough, we had VR headsets to transport us to Utopia 1.0. 

Utopia 3.0: Samsung Gear VR version is here!

Thanks to Wave Farm, for their generous support, and to the NYU VR Lab - especially, the talented Mahe Dewan, pictured here - Utopia 1.0 can now be experienced on the Samsung Gear VR headset. Now, we just need to figure out how to publish to the Google Play store - luckily there's Hardware HackLab next week.


Utopia 1.0 remix Berlin-based collective THALAMUS on Cashmere Radio

This is so cool - another creative collaboration with someone I've never met. Lou Omat saw my film Utopia 1.0: Post-Neo-Futurist-Capitalism in 3D! at Impakt in The Netherlands, and recently asked to include it their radio program on 'Speculative Future Realities.' You can have a listen here [Utopia 1.0 comes in at 5:10 - 5:50 and 33:30 - 34:00]. I love seeing ideas and projects continue to transform and it reminds me of how every piece I make is collaborative, and part of an already existing conversation. Thanks for sharing, Lou Omat.

Utopia 1.0 screens Films of Note, The Sugar Club, Dublin

Thanks to Nicky Gogan for inviting Utopia 1.0: Post-Neo-Futurist-Capitalism in 3D! to screen at Films of Note at The Sugar Club! Thanks also to my fellow Flaherty Seminar fellow Alice Butler for attending, and to all of those who packed the house! 


Utopia 1.0: Post-Neo-Futurist-Capitalism in 3D! screened with Dig! July 27th, 2016. The Sugar Club, Dublin, Ireland

Utopia 1.0: Post-Neo-Futurist-Capitalism in 3D! screened with Dig! July 27th, 2016. The Sugar Club, Dublin, Ireland

The beautiful venue - a music hall. Wish I could have been there in person.

The beautiful venue - a music hall. Wish I could have been there in person.

This Sunday: UTOPIA 1.0 screens at Happy Lucky No. 1 in Conjunction with Temporary Agency's Wild Seeds Exhibition

The Temporary Agency presents

WILD SEEDS Exhibition with Book share & screenings by Annie Berman, Rebecca Goyette, Kevin Kelly, Clara Darrason and Andrew Erdos

Sunday, March 27th,  4-7pm
@ Happy Lucky No. 1, 734 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY

What better way to celebrate this Sunday than in Second Life with a Salem ghost bitch at NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory in a landfill. Watch all of this in a screening of film and video and celebrate the final event in our series in conjunction with the current exhibition WILD SEEDS.

Screening Menu:

Utopia 1.0: Post-Neo-Futurist-Capitalism in 3D!, 2015, USA, Directed by Annie Berman, 20 min.

As the sun begins to set on the once-bustling online pseudo- reality Second Life, filmmaker Annie Berman sends her avatar in to investigate the decline of this utopian world.

Ghost Bitch: Arise from the Gallows, 2015, USA, Directed by Rebecca Goyette, 38 min.

Rebecca Goyette’s alter ego Ghost Bitch, is a freelancing apparition of her direct ancestor, Rebecca Nurse, hanged as a Salem witch. Ghost Bitch performs as a history-reenacting aerialist by day and a dominatrix by night, alchemizing puritanical pain and conjuring subconscious pleasure for tourists of historic Salem, Massachusetts. 

Proximity + Priority, 2015, Kevin Kelly, 13:31 min.

An attempt to sign up for New York City's Department of Sanitation's 'Adopt-A-Basket' program leads the artist to perform an ontological action on the trash basket itself. Scenes from old and repurposed landfill landscapes are intercut, while voiceovers from a frustrated community leader and poetic narrator are heard.

Song of The Sun, Erdos & Darrason, USA, 2014-2016, 8 min.

For their first collaboration, Andrew Erdos and Clara Darrason present Song of the Sun a video and sound installation realized the Navajo Nation. Song of the Sunconsists of a video depicting the Sun’s surface activity - the swaying lava and gasses dancing on the star, its eruption, coronal mass ejections and solar flares. 

Temporary Agency is a nomadic collective initiated and operated by artists Natalee Cayton, Kiran Chandra, Dominika Ksel and Amanda Turner Pohan. Temporary Agency brings exhibitions, screenings, lectures, performances and ideas outside of general institutional ideologies and capitalist frameworks to a public platform, collaborating with artists and community members to nurture a sustainable space of education, information and creativity.

NYC PREMIERE OF UTOPIA 1.0: POST-NEO-FUTURIST-CAPITALISM in 3D! at The Museum of Modern Art's Doc Fortnight, Feb 20th and 21st

I am thrilled to announce that Utopia1.0: Post-Neo-Futurist-Capitalism in 3D! will have its NYC Premiere at The Museum of Modern Art's Doc Fortnight

 Saturday, February 20th at 2:30PM and Sunday, February 21st at 5:30PM. 

The film will accompany Time Passes by Ane Hjort Guttu.

Tickets will be released two weeks in advance starting at 9:30 a.m. at the main lobby information desk and online. There is an advance charge of $1 for Museum members and $2 for the general public if tickets are purchased one day or more in advance. There is no advance reservation fee for tickets purchased on the day of the screening.

Doc Fortnight 2016

February 19-29, 2016

The Museum of Modern Art (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters)

Doc Fortnight, MoMA’s annual international festival of nonfiction film, celebrates its 15th year with 10 days of important new discoveries in documentary cinema. Featuring the New York premieres of recent films by first-time and established artists—many of whom will introduce their work in person—the festival offers fresh ways of seeing and understanding the world. Combining short and feature-length work, Doc Fortnight highlights the growing ambition and experimentation within the documentary field at a time when documentaries are commanding more popular and critical attention than ever.

This year’s Doc Fortnight underscores the founding principle of the festival: that cross-fertilization among experimental, fiction, and nonfiction films enriches our understanding of the increasingly complex world in which we live.


L'EMERGERE DEL POSSIBILE's Francesco Cazzin Reviews Utopia 1.0: Post-Neo-Futurist-Capitalism in 3D!

A thoughtful analysis of Utopia 1.0: Post-Neo-Futurist-Capitalism in 3D! this week in L'EMERGERE DEL POSSIBILE.  Thanks also to Dedda DeAngelis for generously submitting the English translation below. 

Utopia 1.0: Post-Neo-Futurist-Capitalism in 3D! (USA, 2015, 21') is based on Second Life, a virtual reality videogame from which Berman draws a cinematic reality essentially coextensive not only to the reality of video places but also to the expansive one, defined in time and space, in which we live daily. Berman’s short actually moves further away from other cinema works dealing with the world of videogames, such as for example Phil Solomon’s masterpiece, Rehearsals for retirement (USA, 2007, 11') or Harun Farocki’s latest experimental works, merged in the Parallel I-IV tetralogy (Germany, 2014, 43’). In the end her short materializes into an experience that ultimately dismantles the video ludicity that is, at least formally, its structure, in order to recover a primal, fundamental absence. Moreover, the Utopia in the title is specifically what is missing (Thomas More), besides the composition of an otherness, which reaffirms its present absence while fading away and appearing beyond its presence.  Thus the utopia of the video becomes a cinematic heterotopia; which is what Utopia 1.0: Post-Neo-Futurist-Capitalism in 3D! actually is, as a film and not as a videogame. After all, the channeling of the videogame apparatus of Second Life turns out to be the acceleration of relationships which determine the nature of the place as such, as another reality, a second life, specular to an earlier, invisible one, which is nothing else but our everyday life.  On the contrary, Utopia 1.0: Post-Neo-Futurist-Capitalism in 3D! is instantly a suspended place, a “placeless place”, whose only move is to be while not being and to find  its placement in its very displacement. “If you can imagine it, you can create it”, but the avatar through which the player lives a second life claims now all its ontological substance, since it is not played any longer, but seen. By sliding her videogame into cinema, Annie Berman not only transvalues the merits of Second Life, she also makes them absolute, which is to say she unties the bonds that define them as a videogame. For this reason if Second life is a utopia Utopia 1.0: Post-Neo-Futurist-Capitalism in 3D!  is a heterotopia, since it is not any longer an absence but the very presence of such absence; and cinema is precisely what makes such negativity present. Thus clearly such negativity does not disappear, it stays present and Utopia 1.0: Post-Neo-Futurist-Capitalism in 3D!  is such permanence. That said, we must examine the fact that the negativity, the video game is not totally deleted; what is left is the graphics, which means, at a deeper level, that what remains is the absence of time. The absence of time, the very nature of Second Life, is devastating from the cinematic viewpoint, for the simple and not banal reason that the director, as Gilles Deleuze teaches after Tarkovskij, is the one who works with blocks of time, the one who carves them.  The 3D in the title refers to nothing but this: there is only space, the fourth dimension is absent, and such absence is, as we have guessed by now, the present absence we mentioned, an absence that cinema only can make present.  What makes it present?  The eternity of capitalism, thus its emptiness.  If cinema works with time and if time, in Marxist terms, is what capitalism is based on, then we could say that Utopia 1.0: Post-Neo-Futurist-Capitalism in 3D!, because of its absence of time, is really heterotopic insofar as it is utopic. But the term utopic will not designate the impossible site (οὐ-), but rather the beautiful site (εὖ); beautiful, mind you, not because there is no capitalism, but because of its inherent inaccessibility and impossibility.  Post-neo-futurist capitalism is not a joke, it simply does not exist. It exists there, in the impossible beauty of the digital and synthetic site.  Now, one of two things: tertium non datum. Annie Berman is not a reactionary, she certainly does not want to admit that if timeless capitalism exists there, it cannot exist here, since here it implies space and time. Her criticism results rather from an abolition of the law of the excluded middle: capitalism exists here and there, with or without time.  There is a place, which is far from utopic and which deviates from the very coordinates of capitalism, which would claim to be the excluded middle. This place is cinema, the film itself.  Deleuze wrote: “This is the old curse which undermines the cinema: time is money. If it is true that movement maintains a set of exchanges or an equivalence, a symmetry as an invariant, time is by nature the conspiracy of unequal change or the impossibility of equivalence, thus it is money.” And there certainly is an eternity in capitalism, so much so that it is not enough to eliminate the fourth dimension in order to stay out of it. It is as though, in spite of the imperviousness of capitalism and inside its boundless space, there were holes, or heterotopies where the balance of power, as usually understood and defined, is overturned.Broadly speaking we call these places Film, which does not mean that cinematically there is no capitalism, (films are and will continue to be produced) but rather that a product (of capital) cannot be cinematic. There is therefore something that evades capitalism and this is Cinema (what the protagonist of Utopia 1.0: Post-Neo-Futurist-Capitalism in 3D! finds at the end of her search).  And by cinema we mean all the environments defined in space and time which allow, within capitalism, an experience unrelated to it, an event not only different in its mechanical technique, but which cannot be controlled by its police  (for Utopia 1.0: Post-Neo-Futurist-Capitalism in 3D! the experience is plasticized in the Oculus Drift).