UCR’s Student Video Festival

On May 31, just before UCR Video Festival began, students faculty and the public roamed the halls of the Culver Center. While they patiently waited for the doors of the screening room to open, they admired the the artwork from the “Foreplay” exhibition that still hung on the walls. The art from UCR’s finest artists would soon be accompanied by the unique and personalized videos of some of UCR’s most talented video art students as well.

The festival was composed of over 20 short videos that showcased the top work of several video art students at UCR. As the screening room doors opened, the line to enter grew and trailed through the museum.  At 7 p.m. the first screening began. Students, family members and the public all sat in the bright orange seats to witness the videos that would only be displayed for that night until 10 p.m.

Artistic Director of the Culver Center of the Arts Tyler Stallings welcomed the audience. He expressed how honored he was to have his venue be the home to this years 2012 Video Festival. Stallings stated, “It is special that the Culver Center has the privilege to showcase these exceptional videos to the public.” As the lights dimmed and only the screen was illuminated, the viewers were welcomed by Shannon Louie’s video, “Technology” that featured quick shots of old and new technology varying from the first computers to today’s iPhones.

All 22 of the videos that were screened had a short time frame to be created. Video Art Professor Hilja Keading said her students were only given eight weeks to compose and edit their videos. In the end, students from both her introduction and intermediate moving images classes nominated the top videos to be exhibited in the festival. Not only did Professor Keading’s students put the effort into creating their personalized videos, but they also curated the festival themselves.  The sequence of the show was strategically formatted to balance out the more serious and dark videos, like Sarkis Ter-Minasyan’s vision of a priest faced with his past, with films that left the audience with tears in their eyes from laughter, like Kei Hojo’s insight into a new Japanese student looking for an American girlfriend.

Student Christian Logan expressed how her class as a whole wanted to present everyday concepts differently through their videos and allow the viewers to experience multiple emotions while viewing their work. Christian’s video was shown second in the sequence and the concept of her work derived from the question, “Do you believe creation exists or is it juxtaposition?” Her split screen video presented two different images in the same shot. One of her favorites was an outdoor shot of a pink rose that was quickly overlaid by a burning sun. She explained, “People seem to overlook the minute details in the world. I wanted to capture them and show they have power.” Her take on the sublime was an example of how the beautiful and dangerous could be experienced at the same time.

On this night the Culver Center of the Arts was privileged to hold some of the finest creations at the Video Festival. Philosophy student Gabriela Miranda expressed what a pleasure it was to see so many of her fellow students work when she stated, “We pass each other everyday at school and fail to realize how much talent we each have to offer one another and the world.”

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