Official Selection at London Short Film Festival 2019

OVER THE MOON to announce that SLAP has been selected for the BAFTA qualifying London Short Film Festival 2019!! The full LSFF 2019 programme and exact screening date will be announced on in December. 

SLAP is written, directed and produced by Simone Smith, and stars Charlotte McDougall.

School, gum and teddy bears. An unsettling and surreal girl-pop tale about a nine year old feeling the pressures to fit in. Devoid of acceptance from her peers, Melissa’s mind unravels…

SLAP website 

SLAP is BAFTA nominated for Best Short Film!!!

Very happy to announce that our short film SLAP has been nominated for a BAFTA in this year’s Best Short Film category! ♡ I am so very grateful and proud of our cast and crew, and the incredibly supportive parents of our young cast who helped make this all possible. I wrote, directed, produced, edited and sound-designed SLAP on a tiny budget of under £1k. It took 3 years of energy and commitment to see it through to the end, a dedicated cast and crew of talent who worked for free, so it feels incredible to receive this recognition today. Thank you to the Bafta team and judges for this gift, and I send everyone on the SLAP team all my love and gratitude for your amazing work. Thank yoooouuu!!! x

The Face of the Earth

I’m very pleased to announce that my BAFTA New Talent winning short film RED has been selected to screen as part of THE FACE OF THE EARTH exhibition held in Argentina. The work forms part of a reboot of the video installation of Eduardo Pla Videomundo Virtual.

Videomundo Virtual was a work realised for the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations, in the year 1995. It consisted of a structure in the form of a sphere that contained 6 televisions reproducing scenes from different parts of the world, about works made by the organisation.

The work proposes a connection between two moments of history around the concept of Globalization: the first 1995, a moment in which an optimistic discourse of a near future was imposed, which would connect from solidarity, fraternity and prosperity to the inhabitants of the entire planet. It is worth noting that at this time the European Union was emerging, the NAFTA free trade agreement (USA, Canada and Mexico) was consolidated and in turn the Zapatista insurrection and the strikes in France that gave rise to the alter-globalist movement.

The second 2018: more than twenty years later we can say that the concept advanced and took a much more explicit form and dimension. After events such as the world crisis of 2008 or the Arab Spring, the illusion became facts that allow us to have a position and perspective on the matter.

The selected videos will replace the videos of the original installation to give an account of the new image that manifests itself today with respect to this “unified civilization”.

Integrated Global Capitalism

While there are many spheres from which to understand Globalization, the concept of CMI encompasses a set of more specific problems that define many of the features of the civilization in which we place ourselves. These range from the transformation towards a liquid economy to the production of industrial subjectivities, passing through deterritorialization, the mediatization of experience or information traffic, within the framework of a series of programs of neoliberalism.

These programs, originated during the Cold War, have the common objective of centralising power, for which they implement different types of operations on the social fabric, strategies that go from war to advertising campaigns, in order to create consumer profiles and / or suitable scenarios for the effectiveness of an elitist market. The ability to copy or cancel other ways, forms of organisation or thought that contradict their intentions, is probably the most effective tool of neoliberal thinking applied to the CMI process: this issue crosses the language in its matrix, which even affects the field of criticism, where everything seems to be a trap. The problem of the image All the changes produced and produced by the aforementioned programs require a work in the image of society, in their ability to imagine and in their way of seeing the world. This strategy does not represent anything new, but it has a long trajectory of development: it could be said that it is a format initiated in the Baroque period with the propagation of the images of the counter-reform hand in hand with the invention of the printing press. In these times, these tasks are the joint responsibility between the media and the production of cultural goods that influence the advertising media. Already in 1986 Laymert Garcia dos Santos mentioned:

“The media constitute a kind of wall of language that proposes uninterruptedly, models of images through which the receiver can conform - images of unity, images of rationality, images of legitimacy, images of justice, images of beauty, images of scientificity .” 

Nowadays, the problem of the image is dimensioned to the complexity of the media from which it is possible to generate and propagate images, incorporating both the perspective of the machines (satellites, drones, cameras in cell phones), as well as the digital image and virtual reality. In the field of art and aesthetics this involves dealing with reified signs, media and tools loaded with a priori political discourse, so it becomes necessary to look for conjunctures and ways of developing ideas, which escape the phagocyte structures of capitalism, what represents a huge demand.   

Precarious lovers 

The concept of maximum productivity, the exponential decrease of leisure time and the accelerated perception of time, produce a shortage of mental time that results in a poor conscience. Regarding this, Bifo Berardi speaks of the reconfiguration of social relations from technical development, which becomes a general desensitization, with ethical implications: “Sensitivity exists in time, and cyberspace has grown so dense that the The sensitive organism (as a conscious singularity) no longer has time to extract meaning and pleasure from experience “. 

What undoubtedly is also one of the factors that affects artistic production:  “Artists no longer seek rupture. Instead, they look for a path that can lead to a balance between irony and cynicism, a way of suspending, at least for a moment, the execution, the death sentence.” 

“The terms denunciation and commitment no longer make sense when you are a fish that is about to be cooked.” 

In this exhibition call, the selectors of the work are interested in reviewing and touching on those fundamental issues of the treated problem, evaluating above all the type of artistic works that offer some resistance to the idea of “unique thought”. Beyond all optimism or pessimism, the production of art is a resistance to a system that proclaims efficiency and productivity, whether that is enough or not. 

Seduction vs. Production

“That which the discourse has to fight against is not so much the secret of an unconscious as the superficial abyss of its own appearance and whether it has to triumph over something, it is not about the ghosts and the hallucinations gravid with meanings and contradictions, but about the brilliant surface of the nonsense and all the games it allows.” - BAUDRILLARD, J. (1994) 

All these factors that have been mentioned form a particular plot that, in its evolution and complexity, reaches a critical point, or a certain vector of collective intelligence. A sum of these vectors is what makes it possible to find the reverse of a problem, to be able to apply other logics and strategies to its approach. In this sense, it is important to mention the struggle of women, which nowadays becomes a totally transcendent phenomenon when it questions the basis of many conventions on which society is structured, conventions that until then seemed static and immovable. It is feminist logic itself that raises that vector climax. Beyond the question of gender and any sexist appreciation, appealing to the feminine aspect of humanity seems to be a possible way to confront the language traps that hinder thought and social action. In the same way, this call invites to arouse the feminine aspect of thought, as well as other logics that can be considered non-hegemonic. 

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