The following films were created during the 2022/23 BRIClab Video Art residency. The BRIClab Video Art residency is a year-long residency that makes equipment, classes, and studio/editing facilities available at no charge to professional Brooklyn-affiliated visual artists. The residency brings together artists who have a strong desire to explore video and audio as distinct mediums or as part of an interdisciplinary approach to art-making, providing technical skills and mentorship to enact their creative vision.
Watch the full films live on Brooklyn Free Speech TV:
Tuesdays | Thursdays | Saturdays
June 13th-August 26th from 8-9pm Brooklyn Free Speech HD, Spectrum 1993, Optimum 951, Verizon 47
Isabella Vargas (she/her)
Born in Portland, Oregon; based in Brooklyn, NY.
Isabella Vargas crafts poetic documentaries, combining captured footage and drawn animations to rewrite narratives about her intersectional identities of Latinidad and disability. Sometimes isolated from her multiple communities, being a multiply disabled Latina, Vargas questions marginalization of people with intersecting identities of disability, ethnic identity, and queerness, and how prejudice and struggle stem from generational trauma. In tandem with her art practice Vargas works with the organization RespectAbility and gleans her narratives from direct interaction with members of the communities for whom she is advocating, striving to give a platform to their voices. Her storytelling has threads of nonfiction, recounted through a metaphorical yet ever truthful voice, as she augments the visibility and audibility of marginalized voices.
Vargas has had screenings at New York Lift Off, Revolution Me Film Festival, and Painted Ladies Collective, all NY; YoFi Yonkers Film Festival, NY; Oregon Short Film Festival; WYO Film Festival, Cheyenne, WY; and Miami Independent Film Festival, FL. She has been a UnionDocs fellow and received a Merit Award from Docs Without Borders. Vargas holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College.
BRIClab Video Art 2022/23 Project Title: Living Like a Ghost
Still from Living Like a Ghost, 2021. Video, 7:17.
Still from Living Like a Ghost, 2021. Video, 7:17.
Still from Stranger, 2017. Video, 4:36.
Linda Ryan (she/her)
Photo credit: Julia Weiss
Born in Binghamton, NY; based in Brooklyn, NY
Linda Ryan is a Brooklyn-based choreographer, facilitator, and arts researcher. She is currently an artist-in-residence in the BRIClab video art program. Her artistic work pulls from movement, video art, and immersive media to explore physical embodiment through digital means. Much of her artistic work deals with gaze and is oriented by, though not always explicitly about, her experiences as a visually impaired artist. Linda holds a BA in dance from the George Washington University, where she studied under Dana Tai Soon Burgess, Maida Withers, Anthony Gongora, and Matt Reeves. She previously completed residencies at PlySpace, Keshet Dance+ Center for the Arts, and the Institute for Electronic Arts at Alfred University.
BRIClab Video Art 2022/23 Project: FOCUS MACHINE, 2023, 10:10
FOCUS MACHINE is a short film exploring connection, disorientation, and sight through movement guided by GoPro action cameras. The dancers act as both performers and directors, using “action camera choreography”, a multi-disciplinary movement & video practiced developed by the filmmaker over the last 6 years. FOCUS MACHINE offers an interpretation of Linda’s visual experience as a dancer experiencing visual and vestibular impairment.
OlaRonke Akinmowo (she/her)
Born and based in Brooklyn, NY.
OlaRonke Akinmowo is a collagist, paper maker, print maker and stop motion animation artist. She is also a Set Decorator for Film/TV and the Creator/Director of The Free Black Women’s Library, an award winning social art project featuring 6000 books written by Black women and Black non-binary folks, free oublic programming and a Reading Room located in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. In her work she illustrates and explores the concepts of Blackness and madness and the undeniable overlap between the two. She hopes to make the invisible visible, and create space for beauty, confrontation and transformation. She has received artist fellowships and residencies from New York Foundation for the Arts, Women’s Studio Workshop, Robert Blackburn Printmaking Shop, the Brooklyn Arts Council, and the Metropolitan Museum. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Hyperallergic, Teen Vogue, and BUST magazine. She is also a proud mom, union member, cultural worker, busy body, book fairy, plant fiend, and dance machine. Follow her on Instagram @setdressslay and @thefreeblackwomenslibrary to stay connected.
BRIClab Video Art 2022/23 Project:The Myth of Sanity, 2023, 16 mins
The Myth of Sanity is an experimental hybrid film that explores the implications, restrictions and elusive nature of rational behavior. It is a trippy Afro-Surrealist joy ride that combines live action moments withstop motion animation vignettes in an attempt to unsettle and encourage its viewers to think deeply and playfully about their fears, rituals and survival strategies. She hope that it inspires its viewers to conjure more and also contemplate the query, what is the benefit of performing sanity in an insane world?
Stephanie Powell (she/her)
Born in Yokosuka, Japan; based in Brooklyn, NY.
Stephanie Powell’s work looks critically at the power dynamics around the Asian-American female body. Being half Japanese and half White American, she is interested in the nomadic movement within mixed-race bodies which has influenced their research in dance, performance and somatic movement therapy. Powell received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2001) and has exhibited at Vox Populi, Philadelphia, PA; Guild Hall, East Hampton, NY; Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; Sgorbati Projects, NYC, NY; and Mallorca Landings, Palma de Mallorca, Spain. She has received grants from the Sustainable Arts Foundation, Jerome Foundation, and the Illinois Arts Council. She received residencies through apexart, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Creative Capital’s Aljira Emerge, Briclab’s Video Art Program and in the Fall 2023 with the LMCC on Governors Island, NYC
BRIClab Video Art 2022/23 Project:Hannya and Onna (the demoness and the young woman), 2023, 9:50
Stephanie Powell’s short film Hannya and Onna (the demoness and the young woman) combines childhood photos and slow to static imagery that contemplates the impact family cultural objects have on femininity. The objects are Noh theater masks that are traditionally worn by men to perform female roles, and the artist incorporates these masks in their work as a conduit to question the authoring of gender.
Tatiana Florival (she/her)
Born in Piscataway, NJ; based in New York, NY.
Through surreal animated collages, Tatiana Florival builds imaginary worlds and scenes that contemplate society, culture, and other mystifying aspects of human life: death, nature, and the relation between the mind and the body. She assembles live action footage, motion-capture puppetry, animated drawings and photography, and special effects in order to create imagined universes. Florival’s films are equally anchored in the recognizable and the impossible– she’s interested in observing historical and cultural happenings, and translating those observations into imagined landscapes, characters, and stories. She holds a BFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design, and has exhibited at Ortega y Gasset Projects, Studio 9D, Kunstraum Gallery, the Bijou Theater, and Expose Gallery. She has had residencies at Baxter St at the CCNY, Mass MOCA, and Alfred University.
BRIClab Video Art 2022/23 Project: tolof (The Only Land of the Free), 2023, 18:30
tolof (The Only Land of the Free) follows the story of an imagined country that has just gained its independence. Brought to life through a mix of puppetry, live-action, and magical realism, the film follows a family of five as they navigate their new lives in a post-revolution society.
Tusia Dabrowska (she/her)
Born in Warsaw, Poland; based in Brooklyn, NY and Berlin, Germany.
Tusia Dabrowska is a Jewish Polish American artist who works at the intersection of storytelling, performance and media. Her collaborations have been seen in the US and internationally, including (in NYC unless otherwise mentioned) at AlphaNova (Berlin), Circle1 (Berlin), mhProject, BRIC, Gibney, MAD, Fuse Factory (Columbus, OH), Open Source Gallery, The PrintScreen Festival (Tel Aviv), and TAFNY. She is the co-founder of Temp. Files, a video publishing cooperative, online publication, streaming site, and remote residency. Her time-based work received support from BAC, QAF, Puffin Foundation, Berlin Capital Fund, and the Asylum Arts.Tusia was the artist in residence at Signal Culture (2017), BRICWorkspace (2017-2018), KonventZero (2019), mhProject Space (2019 and 2020), BRIClab video art (2022-2023), LABA (2023) and Wave Hill (2023).
BRIClab Video Art 2022/23 Project: Dystopiany, 2023, 14:13
We must take radical steps fast: The self-amplifying threats of climate and tech-induced social collapse are on our horizon. In response to doomsday scenarios both real and those peddled by fear-mongers, Dystopiany (pronounced dystopianee) is a story of a post-human migrant fleeing to the megapolis only to realize that it is collapsing as the world is transforming in the regeneration of the geo- and the genome. The script was generated using a large language model trained on 23 end-of-the-world texts primarily located in New York City, a megapolis which, if we are to survive, we must reimagine.