Transmissions Festival, program two | Chicago Reader

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The most imaginative and accomplished of these experimental videos is Steven Matheson's Apple Grown in Wind Tunnel (2000), in which people use an underground radio network to trade home remedies in the midst of what seems to be an ecological disaster. Images of stagnant water, toxic waste, power lines, vials of insects, and a needle penetrating skin either illustrate the tale or add to the mood of desperation. In The Vision Engine (1999), Anthony Discenza indulges his fascination with blurred images that pulsate to the beat of an equally amorphous sound track, human shapes emerging at times as in a Rorschach test. Blithe Riley's Four Poses is little more than an exercise in digital manipulation, showing four sketches of a female torso and then superimposing them in a rapid montage. And in Mannered, Kyle Harris and Gabriel Cyr present a perplexing repetition of images from Fritz Lang's Metropolis and barely decipherable intertitles, all supposedly dealing with issues of gender, romance, and digital obsolescence. On the same program, which runs about an hour, works by Bas van Koolwijk, Cesar Pesquera, Bjorn Melhus, and Thomas Ankersmit.

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