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In Writing

Cara Tolmie's picks of the web

February 2013

Follow Cara Tolmie's choice picks of the web. Tolmie is featured in an article by Louise Gray in The Wire 348.

lll is the trio of Paul Abbott (drums), Seymour Wright (alto) and Daichi Yoshikawa (electronics). Last September we did a performance together in a boat shed in Whitstable, titled Aggregation, Swell Units, that brought together me, them and the set from a film I had been shooting with Bristol’s video commissioning agency Picture This, just the week before. I think the language that the three of them have developed is something very special – lumpy, eloquent and brutal.

Symbiopsychotaxiplasm by William Greaves (1968)
This is a film essentially about the making of a film, set in Central Park, New York City. I’m doing a residency at the moment with London's Chisenhale gallery in partnership with Victoria Park, preparing a new performance to take place in the park in July. This film has been a brilliant reference, when it comes to thinking about the strangeness of people performing (deliberately or not) and improvising in parks. It’s very cheeky.

I was in Oslo last month participating in a symposium relating to the Her Noise Archive titled Vocal Folds where AGF did a live set. Her performance made a huge impression on me. She had this amazingly agile way of dancing between voice and electronics. It had something very human it it.

The Marriage Of Maria Braun by Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1979)
I watched a lot of Fassbinder films last year. I think there is something unique that Fassbinder tries to create in his films, with a chaotic equality among his characters, and their strange anarchic energy. The people in his films don’t feel like simple vessels, inserted just to fulfil a narrative. There's a kind of freedom to them that seems to reach out to viewers.

Keiji Haino live
This performance was one of the best things I saw last year at Glasgow's A Special Form Of Darkness festival, curated by Arika. It was right at the end of a weekend full of extremely intense events, definitely a powerful thing to be in the same room with. I think everyone's bodies and minds were over-stimulated and exhausted, which gave this performance a peculiar power. It was quite overwhelming but also elating.

Born In Flames by Lizzy Borden (1983)
The first time I saw this film, it was years ago at a screening hosted by Cinenova at Transmission Gallery in Glasgow, an artist-led gallery I was on the committee of. It tells the fictional story of a woman's revolution in dystopic 80s New York with a great soundtrack from Red Krayola among others. I was really excited when I found it online recently. I appreciate the strength of a film that was created with pretty meagre means of production. I believe it’s always possible to communicate creatively the things you care about with whatever means you have available at the time.

The Colour Of Pomegranates (Sayat-Nova) by Sergei Parajanov (1968)
This is something I return to a lot. I suppose you could try and describe it as visual poetry, but that feels too reductive to me. It's poetic without being overly earnest and communicates on its own terms using its own language. It’s also visually beautiful, with a lot of unique imagery that always stays with me after I watch it. Parajanov is one of those directors who manages to imbue his audacious humour into the work whilst rejecting irony and retaining an utmost seriousness.

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