Launching Okta Collective’s online exhibition and event programming for Vorspiel / transmediale & CTM 2021, we will present James Benning’s two moons, from 2018. James Benning is an independent filmmaker from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Benning has been making films and installations for over 40 years and has made a considerable contribution to American experimental cinema. Prior his REDCAT screening in 2019, Benning gave a sneak preview to the audience: “For two moons, you see the same thing twice. But it’s not the same.” This isn’t the first time Benning, who studied Math prior to Filmmaking, has captured a repeated phenomena. Benning’s films have included, 10 Skies, 13 Lakes, and Two Cabins, among other collections. In two moons, Benning films both a full moon and a gibbous moon rising. Though filmed only one night apart, the first full moon rises in an initial cloudy blue and a final pink twilight and the gibbous moon rises, more directly, up through darkness. Benning, described in an email to us: Each night the moon on the average rises 45 minutes later than the night before. And each night the moon rises in a different place, as much as 30 degrees. The two shots were filmed from the exact same location, but the camera was pointed at slightly different angles due to the moon's shifting positions. Though the moon, dependable, rises according to schedule, Benning’s film illuminates how the moon is constantly transformed by the nebulous environment that cradles it. Claude Monet painted, twenty five times, haystacks at different times of day and in different seasons. In Les Meules à Giverny, this constant subject, without variation, is portrayed through endless variation in its surrounding light and weather. The moon is also an object dependent on forces outside of it, in order to rise and fall according to the mathematics described by Benning. Perhaps, now, during this time of physical distancing, this constant cycle of sun and moon rising and falling in day to day life feels relentless. However, cosmic relationships are no doubt more complex and fragile than they seem. We know now more than ever that cannot underestimate our interconnectedness. To attend this screening, it is best to RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
with the subject two moons. We will subsequently send details on how to best experience the film within your home. The livestream will also be available on this Facebook event page and on our website, which will launch soon, www.okta-collective.com
Okta Collective is an international artistic research and curation group focused on the realms of weather and emotions, indigenous histories, and somatic practices in a time of climate change and ecological degradations. Okta, in meteorology, is a unit used to measure cloud cover, equivalent to a cloud cover of one eighth of the sky, which raises the question of the objectification of nature. As a collective, we are interested in exploring how the unquantifiable has attempted to be reconsidered and re-evaluated.