In 2015 SIFF begins hosting a residency for cinema and sound artists, in partnership with Syros Sound Meetings. Twelve artists will collaborate and produce original cross-media projects that deal with the theme of khôra, a key term in ancient and contemporary philosophies of place.
An investigation of place begins in obscurity. So the phenomenon of place, what sets ground and boundary, what unifies the field of human experience, will always have to be examined in context. Khôra is an actual place on the island of Syros, and locations around Greece tend to have their own khôra. But it is also a word with a specific historical legacy, from Plato through Kristeva, from the ancient through the contemporary.
The residency will take place at the Syros Institute, housed in the refurbished 16th century Jesuit Monastery of Ano Syros, a site that offers a rich historical context for the residency projects. Participants have the opportunity to work with two internationally acclaimed guest artists, Michael Pisaro (composer, California Institute of the Arts) and Deborah Stratman (artist & filmmaker, University of Illinois at Chicago), who will also contribute their own projects. The resulting works will be screened as completed or in-progress pieces during SIFF 2015 in a special showcase screening.
SIFF hosts this residency in the hopes of creating a space for production within the framework of the festival, bringing the production and exhibition of film closer together, as well as creating an opportunity for artists to engage with certain places οn Syros and to create site-specific pieces.
Michael Pisaro (b. 1961; Buffalo, New York) is a guitarist and composer. A member of the Wandelweiser Composers Ensemble, he has composed works for a variety of instru- mental combinations. He has a long-standing composer/performer collaboration with percussionist Greg Stuart. Recordings of his work (solo and collaborative) have been released by Edition Wandelweiser Records, Εrstwhile, Another Timbre, Slubmusic, Cathnor, Potlatch, Senufo Editions, Winds Measure, HEM Berlin and on Pisaro’s own imprint, Gravity Wave.
Artist and filmmaker Deborah Stratman makes work that investigates issues of power, control and belief, exploring how places, ideas and society are intertwined. Recent projects have variously addressed freedom, sinkholes, surveillance, the para- normal, sonic warfare, levitation, musical insects, faith and comets. She lives in Chicago where she teaches at the University of Illinois.