Narratives of Brahmaputra

A workshop on 8mm filmmaking by Desire Machine Collective is underway in Guwahati


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Los Angeles-based Echo Park Film Center are in Guwahati to assist enthusiastic filmmakers shoot a documentary on 8mm camera. The film, to be shot after a two-week workshop at Periferry, will be processed using green ingredients – caffenol, tea and local dyes. Echo Park Film Center, a non-profit media arts organization located in Los Angeles, has been dedicated to producing affordable access to communities to film and video resources through various initiatives.

Lisa Marr and Paolo Davanzo will guide a group of participants into the beautiful world of filmmaking. To their credit, Echo Park Film Center have 9000 experimental films and documentaries, shot on microcamera since 2002. They have curated and instituted several touring film festivals, held classes in various marginalized neighbourhoods and been consultant and advisor to various film programmes. They have also developed EPFC Filmmobile, and eco-friendly school bus that shows and teaches films in underprivileged communities.

In a visit to South East Asia, Echo Park Film Center collaborated with Vietnamese artists and produced a brilliant city symphony on contemporary Hanoi, with references to classic cinema of 1920s. The artist couple will conduct a two-week workshop at Periferry, Guwahati, starting on December 23, which will be attended by students and filmmakers from different parts of the country. The group will showcase their collective output in an open day at Terra Mayaa, Guwahati.

They focus in popularizing non-conventional and self-improvised film processing techniques, which coalesce the charm of film and suppleness of digital medium, and absorb the essence of Brahmaputra and Guwahati. In the later half of January, Paolo Davanzo and Lisa Marr will take part in a workshop in the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad.

Narratives of Brahmaputra, a project by Desire Machine Collective, of which this workshop is a part, along with many other events and activities, seeks to create alternate cartographies of the river and the riverfront in Guwahati. With a background of specific regional and historic concerns between land and water, by creating a mapping of the myriad users and usages of the space, the project will inspire further inquiry and ultimately new approaches to the spatial usage of the riverfront as a public space.

Periferry is a space for experimentation and new media approaches, public and community arts, which are based in and relevant to the immediate local and aim at the empowerment of the community and reclaiming the public space. Spaced at the revamped MV Chandardinga, and managed by Desire Machine Collective since 2007, Periferry has been a platform to various media and art events. Periferry formerly hosted "A Slow Flow" in 2009, an international residency that instigated micro-inventions, workshops and installations, conducted by artist Bart Vandeput. In 2012, during a residency, Austrian artist Michael Aschauer captured the banks of Brahmaputra onto his 9 km panorama.

Desire Machine Collective, employ film, video, photography, and multimedia installation in their works.In addition to their tireless activities forging artistic networks and spaces, Desire Machine Collective have presented their work in a number of group exhibitions including, Everyone Agrees: It’s About to Explode at the 54th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, India Pavilion, Venice and Being Singular Plural, at the Solomon Guggenheim Museum New York (2012)

The following are links to some of the recent exhibitions by Desire Machine Collective:

link to their website – http://www.desiremachinecollective.in/