MOCA’s Annual Optic Nerve Film Festival

September 14, 2012. 7:00 and 9:00 p.m.

The Museum of Contemporary Art will present Optic Nerve 14, its annual festival of short films and videos by artists, with two screenings on Friday, September 14 at 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. The 14th rendition of this popular event will feature 16 innovative films all less than five minutes in length, selected from a national call for submissions. MOCA’s Optic Nerve is recognized nationally as an important forum for emerging artists working in film. In addition to the screening at MOCA, Optic Nerve 14 will also be screened at Big Screen Plaza in New York, NY and at the de la Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space in Miami’s Design District on October 13. Since its inception in 2000, over 200 artists have been featured in Optic Nerve, many of whom publicly presented their work for the first time. The event is free with museum admission ($5 adults; $3 seniors and students with ID; free for MOCA members, North Miami residents). Space is limited.  Reservations are required.

At the conclusion of the 7:00 pm screening, MOCA Executive Director and Chief Curator Bonnie Clearwater will announce which one of the films will be purchased for the museum’s permanent collection. Audience members will also vote for their favorite film by ballot. A reception will be held between the 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. screenings with complimentary wines by Rex Goliath and cocktails provided by Zignum Mezcal.

Finalists were selected from 271 submissions by a jury of art and film professionals: Brian Bress, Artist and Winner of Optic Nerve XIII (2011); Bonnie Clearwater, MOCA Executive Director and Chief Curator, Stephanie Dodes, Curator of Big Screen Plaza, New York City; Jillian Hernandez, MOCA Education Outreach Coordinator and PhD Candidate in Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University and Carlos Rigau, Education Coordinator at the de la Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space and Founder of General Practice in Miami.


Cara Despain (Salt Lake City, UT), Timbre, 4 min 35 sec. This stop motion animated video was recorded live as a sonic performance with layered and distorted sounds.

Jared Dyer (Philadelphia, PA), Bill Cosby Gives a Lecture., 1 min 46 sec.  This film was adapted from images from obscure films and videos found on the bottom of the sale bin at video stores.

Bill Fontana (San Francisco, CA), Acoustical Visions of the Golden Gate Bridge, 3 min.  The iconic structure is transformed into a live musical instrument with microphones and vibration sensors installed in ten different locations, that map in real time the percussive sound of the expansion joints, echo patters and reverberations of two pairs of fog horns. A video camera installed under a large expansion joint captures a dance of shadows.

Alexa Gerrity (Los Angeles, CA), Marked by Mercury, 5 min. A variation on the myth of Narcissus, this film depicts a girl who finds a mirror in a wooded landscape and becomes submerged and trapped in its watery dimensions.

Yoni Goldstein & Meredith Zielke (Chicago, IL), The Jettisoned – Three Channel Work Excerpts, 5 min. This film consists of excerpts from the international happening The Jettisoned by Yoni Goldstein and Meredith Zielke which was performed in Chicago, Warsaw and Mexico City.

Joshua Hagler (San Francisco, A), The Evangelists (excerpts), 3 min. Four individuals are depicted as “evangelists”: the artist’s former neighbor who set fire to their previous apartment building; the artist’s father, a devout Evangelical Christian; a cartoonist made famous on MTV; and a sometimes-homeless man who makes predictions about 2012. 

Hillerbrand + Magsamen (Austin, TX), Whole, 3 min. This artist collaborative draws upon the Fluxus practice of incorporating humor, performance, video and everyday objects to create a new kind of “suburban fluxus” that recontextualizes objects and possessions to challenge presumptions of the everyday. 

Lee Hunter (San Francisco, CA), Last Night, 1 min, 14 sec. This voyeuristic short film was inspired by the horror film genre.

Yuliya Lanina (New York, NY), Dodo Valse, 4 min, 4 sec.  Blue skies and green pastures serve as a backdrop to scenes of Arcadian bliss where anthropomorphized plants and animals live and love in an ephemeral world of heavenly utopia.

Liz Rodda (Austin, TX), Cut, 2 min, 45 sec. This video introduces unexpected contradictions and supplements perception with a disruptive counterbalance that ultimately expands on the intangible nature of desire and how it shares the same mental space as futility.

Deirdre Sargent (New Haven, CT), Making Her, 4 min, 31 sec. A rejection of meaningless interactions in which everything is supposed to be exchangeable and all values are convertible in the name of money.

Joel Swanson (Denver, CO), The End, 15 sec. This video loop appropriates the words “The End” of ending title sequences from popular films.

Carmen Tiffany (Hollywood, FL), The Accident, 4 min, 36 sec. The artist draws on the artifice and promise of children’s media and toys with life’s often visceral realities. Exploiting the societal underbelly of the rural American West, the artist seeks to create lineage between pathetic social entropies and utopian ideologies installed in modern childhood.

Rodrigo Valenzuela (Seattle, WA), Diamond Box, 5 min, Oral history is mixed with elements of fictional narrative to explore the lives of illegal migrant workers.

Doug Garth Williams (Oakland, CA), Back and Forth, 2 min, 43 sec. This film explores how easily perceptions can be altered.

Juan Carlos Zaldivar (Miami Beach, FL), Shift, 5 min.  A character born from a tree, has his face stolen by a wild dog.  The character wanders the landscape looking for a home and regains his vision through an unsuspecting turn of events.

Museum of Contemporary Art
770 NE 125th Street
North Miami, Florida 33161

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