Ghosts to AI, mermaids to musicals, digital animation to Super 8 – this programme of artist’s shorts centre speculation, imagination, and dreaming as key strategies, shifting our notion of what is and could be possible.
Inventing mythologies, cosmologies, and systems that depart from normative sense-making become bridges to worlds beyond the internalised fictions of capitalist fixity. Grounded in queering as an imaginative praxis, these films by queer Southeast and East Asian filmmakers ask: how might we find and grow pockets of the eerie, comical, or cosmical in the everyday, and what might these adventures enable?
Content warning: Self-harm, blood
Programmed by April Lin 林森. This event is presented in collaboration with Queer East.
Khairullah Rahim: Shapeshifter(s) (2021, 2 mins)
Shapeshifter(s) is an experimental short film that looks into the uncanny parallel between the policing of pigeons and marginalised folks.
Asuka Lin: A.I. Mama (2020, 5 mins)
A young programmer attempts to revive their lost mother by building an A.I. with human memories.
April Lin 林森: TR333 (2021, 10 mins)
In collaboration with ecologist Dr. Nalini Nadkarni, a speculative documentary which imagines a new species of tree and invites you to a conversation with the inhabitant spirit.
Yarli Allison: Datafication (Act 1): May Ian Valley 0101 (2021, 6 mins)
A mixed-media film imagining the daily influences of AI emergence and gamification on one’s behaviour, taking the most intimate sexual encounters as departure.
Huh Need-you: How to Become a True Post-Human (2020, 6 mins)
An attempt to discover an escape from the existing order, to be reborn as a post-human being.
Nuka Nayu, Harry Appleyard: Book of Permutation = Tale of a Dying House (2021, 9 mins)
A story of incantation and birth in the form of a funeral, as told by window-keeper spirits in a house.
Commissioned as part of the Bagri Foundation’s Chang/ce series.
Natalie Khoo: A Spider, Fever, and Other Disappearing Islands (2021, 21 mins)
An experimental documentary which connects the director’s migration from the Indonesian Riau Islands to Singapore with a spider spirit’s migratory route, where memories of colonial ghosts, sisterhood, and disappearance are woven together.
Club Ate (Justin Shoulder & Bhenji Ra): Ex Nilalang: From Creature ~ From Creation (Ep.4) (2017, 14 mins)
The final work in a series of films that uses myth as a form to explore the intersections of queer identities of the Filipino diaspora.
Fuyuhiko Takata: Cambrian Explosion (2016, 2 mins)
A mermaid dreams of becoming human in this gory, romantic music video.
Royston Tan: Cut (2005, 13 mins)
A musical, all-singing, all-dancing, attack on censorship in Singaporean movies.
This screening includes a post-screening discussion with filmmakers.
Image credit: Fuyuhiko Takata, Cambrian Explosion, 2016