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WHERE FROM HERE [2020] a short film w/ New York Artist Lenore Malen

Where From Here (2020) commissioned by the Finnish Cultural Institutes, explores virtuality and dis-connectivity in a time of pandemic and breakdown in New York and Helsinki. 

Photo Credits. Top: Lenore Malen; Bottom: Christopher Thomas

A cinematic collaboration between artists Lenore Malen and Samir Bhowmik, it’s starting point is a phrase by Gianpiero Petriglieri on the virtual:  “We sense too little and can’t imagine enough.” 

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Where from Here is a series of six intertwined short films, performances, monologues alternating between the backdrops of The Hudson Valley, New York City and the Helsinki archipelago. This back-and-forth remote correspondence between the artists over a period of two months works like a chain letter, constantly dependent on interpretation and improvisation, and thus it’s conclusions remain open ended. 

Where From Here [Helsinki] – Preview Clip 2/6 from Samir Bhowmik on Vimeo.

The Finnish episodes, featuring the performer/Singer Dallas Ulla and take place on the Helsinki Archipelago: Vuossari, Jätkäsaari and Kruunuvuori. 

The New York episodes featuring Actress Jessica Weinstein were filmed in an abandoned garden in Hudson NY, a nearby cemetery, and in Soho, New York.

The film, Where From Here, will premiere in November and December 2020 through three installments of 6 episodes.

PUBLISHED: The Battery is the Message [2019] Communications + 1 Journal (Open Humanities Press)

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THE BATTERY IS THE MESSAGE: MEDIA ARCHAEOLOGY AS AN ENERGY ART PRACTICE
When media start to explode in your hands, it deserves a description. When it causes airplane evacuations, general panic and hysteria, it warrants an examination. When it quietly dies in your pocket before the end of an eight hour work day just like the other two billion smartphones, it deserves an explanation. It is reasonable to believe that a ‘Thermal Runaway’ event is far more spectacular than a quiet smartphone death. Leakages take place, fire and toxic chemicals are involved, possibly leading to personal bodily injury. It can be traumatic. Thermal Runaway is today one of the prime modes of battery failure. Chemical reactions within raise its internal temperature, and if not dissipated, the temperature keeps rising that will further accelerate the reactions causing even more heat to be produced, eventually resulting in an explosion. Especially a Lithum-ion cell above a certain temperature, its internal chemical reactions out of control, will explode.

LINK: http://www.communicationplusone.org

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NOTE: The thoughts in the following article came about during the Community Power Bank(CPB) workshops at Pixelache Helsinki in 2015–16.The project recycled Lithium 18650 batteries with community participation and re- purposed them to build power banks for handheld media devices. The workshops were conducted at the Museum of Photography and at the OSCE (Open Source Circular Economy) Days in Helsinki, Finland. All acknowledgements are due to the participants and colleagues in this project. For more information see: http://samirbhowmik.cc/2016/06/22/community-power-bank-recycling-lithium-ion-battery-workshops-2016/