Prismatic Ground Presents

Prismatic Ground Presents

10 Episodes

One of the most creative and galvanizing venues for film exhibition to emerge during the pandemic, Prismatic Ground is a festival centered on the intersection between experimental and documentary film. This selection of shorts from its first edition in April 2021 offers an eclectic cross section of formally and politically radical work. Highlighting filmmakers whose approach to image-making eschews traditional narrative in favor of abstraction and sensation—and whose techniques span animation, archival collage, 16 mm photography, and digital technology—Prismatic Ground shows how avant-garde techniques can be deployed to confront violent histories of colonialism, genocide, and capitalism, introducing audiences to a cinema of radical potential.

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Prismatic Ground Presents
  • Loose Corner

    Episode 1

    Directed by Anita Thacher • 1986 • United States
    Starring Catherine Lloyd, Owen Roth, Jeffree Clapp

    Like the challenges to our assumptions posed by “Alice in Wonderland,” issues of scale, materiality, and relationships are raised within a child’s “game-like” structure in this film/installation w...

  • Reckless Eyeballing

    Episode 2

    Directed by Christopher Harris • 2004 • United States

    Taking its name from the Jim Crow–era prohibition against Black men looking at white women, this hand-processed, optically printed amalgam is a hypnotic inspection of sexual desire, racial identity, and film history.

  • my favorite software is being here

    Episode 3

    Directed by Alison Nguyen • 2021 • United States

    This video work by visual artist Alison Nguyen centers on a computer-generated woman raised by the Internet in isolation in a virtual void. From the apartment where she has been placed, Andra8 works as a digital laborer, surviving off the data fro...

  • Maat
    Episode 4


    Episode 4

    Directed by Fox Maxy • 2020 • United States

    Unfolding as an exhilarating stream-of-consciousness collage of phone videos, found footage, computer games, and digital detritus, MAAT is an at once playful and pointed exploration of Indigenous identity and activism.

  • A New England Document

    Episode 5

    Directed by Che Applewhaite • 2020 • United States, United Kingdom

    Using found footage with selected images and text from the Marshall Collection at Harvard University’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, A NEW ENGLAND DOCUMENT reconstructs the genocidal impulses of two ethnographers’ ...

  • Letter From Your Far-Off Country

    Episode 6

    Directed by Suneil Sanzgiri • 2020 • United States, India

    Shot with 16 mm film stock that expired in 2002—the same year as the state-sponsored anti-Muslim genocide in Gujarat—and filmed amid the anti–Citizenship Amendment Act protests in Delhi, LETTER FROM YOUR FAR-OFF COUNTRY finds filmmaker Su...

  • A Demonstration

    Episode 7

    Directed by Sasha Litvintseva and Beny Wagner • 2020 • Germany, Netherlands

    Inspired by the existence of taxonomies of monsters at the heart of early modern European science, A DEMONSTRATION explores and reinterprets a way of seeing the natural world that is almost impossible to imagine from tod...

  • Two Sons and a River of Blood

    Episode 8

    Directed by Amber Bemak and Angelo Madsen Minax • 2021 • Mexico

    The self-made family unit of two dykes and a trans man imagine a kind of erotic magic that will allow for procreation based solely on desire.

  • Bodies in Dissent

    Episode 9

    Directed by Ufuoma Essi • 2021 • United Kingdom

    BODIES IN DISSENT is an exploration of the body as a central site of remembrance and resistance, exploring ideas around “bodily insurgency” and using the body as an archive, a point of return, a position of refusal, and a broker between transgenera...

  • Melting Snow

    Episode 10

    Directed by Janah Elise Cox • 2021 • United States

    Two tons of snow—flown from New Hampshire to Puerto Rico in 1952 in order to “gift” Puerto Ricans a “white Christmas”—become a metaphor for the colonialist paternalism of America’s relationship to Puerto Rico.