Phosphors provides a unique setting for digital art at Citizen Jane Film Festival

The installation broke the format of the festival and gave attendees freedom to roam.

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The cold late-October weather didn’t stop the Citizen Jane Film Festival from breaking from the norms of film showcases. Phosphors, a digital art installation held outside in the North Village Arts District on Saturday night, projected digital art pieces onto the sides of houses and warehouses and allowed viewers to walk around for a different perspective on short film.

One of the first visible pieces at Phosphors was projected onto the side of a white house. It showed a woman on a porch swing, staring stoically forward as she pumped her legs and swung, seemingly eternally. This unsettling image was a compelling start to the event.

Across the road was an endlessly moving keyboard full of emoticons and other symbols. It was a greater distance away behind a fence, so the view wasn’t completely clear. This gave a sense of separation between the viewer and the film, and the contrast between the tangible and the projection was clever.

Just a few yards from the keyboard was another film behind a fence. This one consisted mostly of silent shots. It featured nature scenes, including a frog climbing up glass and close-up shots of insects. This was followed by a time lapse of people walking in the changing angles of the sun. It juxtaposed these natural shots with scenes of machinery and planes, and continued in this pattern. The cinematography was intriguing and engaging in its simplicity.

Another location showed more traditional short films. These, unlike the others, had audio, and many told stories. One film promoted self-love and acceptance by featuring nine women talking about their insecurities and how they had flipped those insecurities into appreciation. Another showed paint dripping onto a sheet of paper and a young woman in sunglasses bathed in red light. These shots alternated with shots of a goldfish in a bowl in the same red light. Another film featured a redheaded woman narrating her life.

This uncommon setting made the films stand out. Seeing them projected in a less structured setting added more dimension to the project. The freedom to walk around between films was untraditional and more relaxing than a typical, sit-down theater. Overall, I enjoyed many of the pieces and thought the setting brought a new perspective, though the pieces themselves would likely have a niche audience.

Edited by Brooke Collier | bcollier@themaneater.com

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