I am a videographer, documentarian and abstract artist. I also teach video skills to youth. These are a few samples of my work.
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Intro 2 min.
Director: Marie Alarcon
Cinematographer: Marie Alarcon
Beginning in the winter of 2005/2006, I worked on Freedom Country with Dr. Therese Saliba, through the help of The Arab American Community Coalition of Seattle (AACC). This film highlights the struggle of the Malkandi family as they sought asylum from Iraq and Iran. Sam Malkandi is an Iraqi Kurd seeking asylum from the ethnic cleansing under Sadam Hussein’s regime. Malkandi was picked up for deportation through the pretense of terrorist affiliation, though those charges were never brought against him. Never charged with a crime, he was held for 4 1/2 years because of inconsistencies on his asylum application.
This is the first test edit for a longer piece that incorporates live drums looped as well as live percussion using the amazing natural phenomenon of “ringing rocks” found at Ringing Rocks Park in Bucks County.
This is also an experiment in choreography through editing by using live dance performance and reordering it for dramatic effect.
Last but not least, I’ve incorporated “photo booth” style test footage which I am still working out. Photo booths give such an amazing inky quality that is incredibly moody, though we often think of it as light hearted because of the subject matter. I’m trying to reframe the cultural implications as we take a look at what the actual quality of the film suggests.
That being said, this is a TEST, with a 4 min full project in the works and coming soon.
This piece was part of a larger collaborative project that sought to draw connections between the ideological methods of colonialism and the ways in which gender is enforced. Each member of the group took a different approach and we didn’t always agree, but that’s the wonder of collaboration.
This is my individual contribution to the larger piece.
I have to say that there are problems with this piece that I struggled with both during the process as well as now. Using a white persons body is problematic in drawing parallels to colonialism of peoples as separate from colonialism of the body. Under perfect circumstances I would have been both in front of and behind the camera, but the person I used was someone whom I trusted and who trusted me and that’s the most I could ask for during that time period.
I also find the feminist perspective of gender to be problematic and want to be mindful that the way we speak of choice and inscription is complex.
Instrumentation, Performance, Videography and Concept:
Marie Alarcon & Giles O’Dell
This Collaborative, two channel installation
Welcome to Karaoke 3000xqs v9.301 subset14-x (a.k.a., It’s Your Turn Now!); an experience in the virtual world of reality where the complacent observer formerly reduced from a cultural participant to a passive consumer, is actively encouraged to become a mean machine of cultural critique. “How?” you might ask. Well, an average listener might hear a song hundreds or thousands of times throughout their life. While many people appreciate the “catchiness” of these hit songs they do so without interrogating the meaning of the lyrics that they’re hearing over and over. Karaoke 3000 recontextualizes fragments of popular song lyrics through Burroughs-esque “cut-ups” in order to give the performer an opportunity to reconsider their meaning and to critique prevalent patterns in popular songwriting. Karaoke 3000 also addresses the artificiality and authenticity of musical performance by inviting participants to genuinely engage in live performance while the audience and back up band are virtual creations. By critiquing contemporary mass media and its ubiquity in daily life, attention is brought to the fact that most people never pause to consider the business mechanisms that generate and deliver content, much less the implications of the messages within this content. The absence of education in media literacy makes it extremely difficult for the observer to critically analyze the meaning of the music and the mass media events that promote it, thus reducing the observer from a cultural participant to a passive consumer. Meanwhile media consolidation creates an artificial superstardom by creating the illusion of a popular movement: a “media sensation” that is designed and planned by the manufacturers, rather than growing organically from the populace. Furthermore, live audiences at many of these performances are hired props making it impossible for the consumer to gauge the authenticity of a star’s status. This could be considered a virtual experience within the physical world.
::Music- John Stone, Marie Alarcon
::Sound design- Marie Alarcon
::The Bird Dancer - Stephani Hyland
::The Mollusk Dancer- Alexis Larson
Mollusk is a video poem and improvisational collaboration which explores confinement.
Recorded at “”The Cliffs,” a historical landmark at Fairmount Park, in the Strawberry Mansion area of Philadelphia. Through a focus on environment, this video shows how nature can overturn even the most prestigious space. As the dancer who is rooted in our reality emerges from the hearth, she slowly and insecurely sheds her shell only to find herself exchanging the ruins of home for a charred open field. All the while she is haunted by a masked figure; perhaps a side of herself, perhaps a spirit guide. This guide also emerges from underneath a protective mask, giving freedom to herself and the other, yet there are no happy endings. What do we do once we realize we were chained? This improvisation was guided by writings from The Poetics of Space, by Gaston Bachelard. In particular the sections “Shells, and “Nests.” We also considered a poem by an anonymous writer, on the subject of birdhouses. These two writings, combined with a fire in an adjacent field to The Cliffs, only an hour prior to filming, allowed for a dynamic, unplanned session.