Ben Rivers, Ben Russel

The Rare Event
2018

16.2. 19:30 Eng. subtitles Akademie der Künste
17.2. 13:00 Eng. subtitles Arsenal 1

48 min. English, French.

Shot in a creaky, wooden-floored Parisian recording studio at an inaugural three-day “forum of ideas” focusing on the manifold possibilities of “Resistance” (the title of Jean-François Lyotard’s unrealized follow-up exhibition to his 1983 “Les Immateriaux”), occasional collaborators Ben Rivers and Ben Russell have produced what initially appears to be a structuralist document of a philosophical discussion in-the-round. This “appearance dimension” is deceptive, of course, and with the aid of an immersive 5.1 sound-mix, a Green Man, a Green-Man-shaped-Infinite-Void, a dose of kinetic digital magic (courtesy of US-based artist Peter Burr), and an impressive cast of thinkers, critics, curators, and artists, a document of Resistance slowly transforms into The Rare Event – a portal that joins all dimensions into one.

Ben Rivers, born in 1972, is an award-winning artist and filmmaker. His films have been exhibited worldwide at numerous galleries and festivals. Between 1995 and 2005 he co-programmed the Brighton Cinematheque. He is currently a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University. After A Spell To Ward Off The Darkness (2013) this is his second collaboration with Ben Russell.

Ben Russell, born in 1976 in the USA, is an artist and filmmaker currently living in Los Angeles. His work’s focus lies at the intersection of ethnography and psychedelia. He has received several grants; his work has been awarded and exhibited worldwide. He is co-founder and curator of the Magic Lantern Cinema in Providence, Rhode Island. In 2012 Forum Expanded presented Austerity Measures, his collaboration with Guillaume Cailleau about the Exarchia district of Athens.

Production Luz Gyalui, Ben Rivers, Ben Russell. Production company Luma Foundation (Feldmeilen, Switzerland). Directors Ben Rivers, Ben Russell. Director of photography Ben Rivers, Ben Russell. Editing Ben Rivers, Ben Russell. Sound design Philippe Ciompi. Sound Philippe Ciompi. Commissioned by LUMA Foundation. With Tuomo Tuovinen (Green Man), Etienne Balibar, Federico Campagna, Manthia Diawara, Timothy Morton, Jean-Luc Nancy, Elizabeth Povinelli, Gayatri Spivak, Dorothea Van Hantelman.

Films

Ben Rivers: 2003: Old Dark House (4 min.). 2004: We The People (1 min.). 2005: The Hyrcynium Wood (3 min.), The Bomb with a Man in his Shoe (16 min.). 2006: This Is My Land (14 min.), Astika (9 min.), The Coming Race (5 min.), Terror! (24 min.). 2007: Dove Coup (2 min.), House (5 min.). 2008: Ah, Liberty! (19 min.), Sørdal (7 min.), Origin of the Species (16 min.), A World Rattled Of Habit (10 min.). 2009: May Tomorrow Shine The Brightest Of All Your Many Days As It Will Be Your Last (14 min.), I Know Where I’m Going (30 min.). 2010: Slow Action (45 min.). 2011: Sack Barrow (20 min.), Two Years At Sea (88 min.). 2012: The Creation As We Saw It (14 min.), Phantoms of a Libertine (10 min.). 2013: A Spell To Ward Off The Darkness (96 min., with Ben Russell). 2014: Things (21 min.). 2015: A Distant Episode (20 min.), The Sky Trembles and The Earth is Afraid and The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers (96 min.), What Means Something (66 min.), There Is A Happy Land Further Awaay (20 min.). 2016: The Hunchback (29 min., with Gabriel Abrantes), The Shape of Things (2 min.), Urth (20 min.). 2018: The Rare Event.

Ben Russell: 2000: Daumë. 2002: Terra Incognita. 2004: Extra Terrestrial (with Robert Rhyne). 2005: The Red and the Blue Gods. 2008: Tjúba Tén/ The Wet Season (with Brigid McCaffrey). 2009: Let Each One Go Where He May. 2010: Trypps #1-7 ((2005–2010)). 2011: River Rites, Austerity Measures (8 min., Forum Expanded 2012, with Guillaume Cailleau). 2012: Ponce de León (with Jim Drain). 2013: Let Us Persevere In What We Have Resolved Before We Forget, A Spell to Ward off the Darkness (with Ben Rivers). 2014: Atlantis. 2015: Greetings to the Ancestors, YOLO. 2016: He Who Eats Children (25 min., shorts). 2018: The Rare Event.

Photo: © Ben Rivers, Ben Russell