Attend: Program Notes

UniMadEx: Experimental Film and Video from UW-Madison Students, Graduates, and Faculty

Union South Marquee Theater, Thursday, December 10, 7:00pm»

As part of our ongoing efforts to share program notes for upcoming local screenings, here are synopses for the films to be showcased at the inaugural UniMadEx screening organized by the Wisconsin Union Directorate Film Committee.

Editor’s Note: In an effort to maintain the spirit of experimental program notes, the synopses below are generally unedited and presented as they will be seen in the program for the UniMadEx screening at the Marquee Theater on Thursday night. We at the Madison Film Forum are excited by the mix of undergraduate, graduate, and faculty work to be screened, and we hope the evening will have the energy of old “Open Film and Video Shows” sponsored by the Independent Film and Video Collaborative back in the day. 

General content warning: This program contains some graphic descriptions of animal violence, pouring blood, depictions of repeatedly gagging and spitting up food, and flashing lights.

Artist Working | Rebecca Kautz, MFA 2018

Artist Working is a year-long durational performance that will conclude on January 1st, 2017. For one year, Rebecca Kautz has worn the same uniform everyday without washing it. Kautz explores perceptions of the artist in society and challenges the archetype of the artist “at work.” She offers a divergent example of the artist working, notions of value, and what art can be. Follow the last few days of the project on Instagram (@kautzart4d) and her blog at

I Have Intimacy Issues | Amy Cannestra

“For the first minute or so, Cannestra gives us nothing but a rough, lunar-looking surface with low-key spooky music in the background. After this blank interval (surprisingly un-boring, by the way), a woman in dull-red high heels—shot just from the shins down strides onto the surface, now revealed to be something like a rough concrete floor. The red shoes strike various poses, all of which suggest power and authority. I won’t spoil what comes next, but it’s simultaneously disturbing and amusing, and well worth the anticipatory build-up.” – Michael H. Hodges, Detroit News

Paper Lake | Maggie Snyder, MFA in Performance & Video Art, 2015

Paper Lake is a short film that explores how interior landscapes and states of being intersect with exterior spaces. Paper Lake uses the lake as a metaphor for an emotional state and a depth that wishes to be examined.


Seep | Noah Huber, BFA Class of 2017

My film was made from textures found in the house I lived in. It has been described as a person mining for teddy bears and also an instance of sleep paralysis where you can’t make out any faces but you know someone is there.


Tote that barge!/ Life that bale!/ birthday renaissance | Mike Lind, Art History B.A. and Fine Arts B.F.A., class of 2017

A somber midday glow illuminates the fallout of what appears to have been a party. The essential party favors occupy the space, but the absence of life renders it dull and unfamiliar. Ambiguous imagery and aural cues hint at death, eventually overarching what should have been a celebratory occasion. A layer of dust has collected, and you wonder how long it’s really been.


A Short Piece about Peace | Hamidreza Nassiri, PhD student in Film Studies, Communication Arts

“As I saw the new threats to peace,
I decided to make a response.
This is just a very quick attempt…
It’s an experiment…
I hope it will have some influence,
even if it is just a very small one…”

Editor’s Note: Be sure to read David Klein’s response to A Short Piece about Piece at LakeFrontRow.

Schism | Zheng Xu B.A., Class of 2017 and Joyce Wu B.A., Class of 2016

Some days, our discontent and disappointments overwhelm us.

LOVING YOU TO DEATH | Simone and Max B.S/B.A., Class of 2013

LOVING YOU TO DEATH depicts a domestic pig awaiting slaughter. An unseen narrator guides viewers through the butchering process while extolling the virtues of “conscious carnivorism.” As promises of self-sufficiency and ethical satisfaction echo with the uncertain ring of android speech, an anxious edge appears.

Always | Stephen Hilyard, Professor of Digital Arts

This piece is about loss, and to some extent, regret. This piece originated with the song “You Were Always on my Mind,” in particular the lyrics which seem to me to describe a relationship that is far closer to reality than is normally found in a love song, this is a song steeped in regret, rather than passion or pain. I wanted to create a piece that deals with the ways that we fail to achieve the ideal of romantic love, whilst at the same time recognizing the beauty and pathos of this essentially human impulse.

View from a Window | Will Doty, Class of 2018

In the contemporary, ultra-atomized world, we live our lives through screens and build our realities through them. In part one of this work, called “TV and Pain”, I wanted to show this constructed reality via a video constructed from various sources. In the second half called “View from My Window”, the constructed reality is projected onto the actual reality until it reaches critical mass. I constructed these videos out of any material that I could find: footage from my cell phone, advertisements, YouTube videos, music samples, whatever. My goal was to make these bits of “trash” into a narrative with rich, organic visuals about the strangeness of the world in which we live.

À Propos de Notre Négligence (About Our Neglect) | Christian Memmo, B.A., 2nd Year Undergraduate

Our world is in a constant struggle, attempting to balance the forces of nature and humankind at the tipping point of a comfortable medium. Billions of us walk, talk, laugh, eat, drink, and enjoy life without giving a second thought to the wake of environmental impacts left behind. Since 1950, carbon dioxide levels have surpassed historical records by nearly two hundred percent. Filmed in and around Madison, About Our Neglect critiques the overall effects of mankind on the planet in an attempt to inspire the audience to acknowledge and improve practices in their own life for the sake of environmental consciousness.

Goblin Market | Ariel Gochberg, M.F.A Candidate, Class of 2018

Goblin Market is a performance that draws from the Christina Rossetti poem “Goblin Market.” The creatures lure young women in with their luscious, perfect fruit that when tasted drives the taster into a gluttonous lust. Desire left unchecked can be all consuming; the fruits of our lust can destroy us.

Playboy | Kira Broadnax | B.A., Class of 2017

The 1970s housewife of your kitschy vintage dreams has a sexual awakening courtesy of Hugh Hefner. Featuring: Katya Korolkov, Liam Van Deren, Jourden Schultz, & Sam Broadnax