Recallathon: Collaborative videos of Torsten Zenas Burns & Darrin Martin (DVD compilation)

Torsten Z. Burns and Darrin Martin

2009, colour, English


What If?, 15:20 minutes, 2009
A role-playing workshop where participants reenact a fictional polyamorous romance leads to a group wedding and honeymoon between characters based upon two obscure Marvel superheroes and two internationally renowned art personalities. The happy foursome are Stelarc, an artist whose cybernetic mission in life is to render the body obsolete; Orlan, an artist whose actual redefinition of her own body via plastic surgery confronts representations of woman throughout art history; the Scarlet Witch, a mutant superhero who has unlimited powers over probability, and the Vision, a “synthezoid” whose mechanically fabricated body contains a human soul. What If? unfolds the entangled story that brought this romantic foursome together spanning the gulf between genders and representations; the body and technology.

The Abominable Freedom, 41 minutes, 2006
Originally shot video and appropriated film is woven together to create a musical celebration of the flesh. An egg from the missing link holds a skeleton key to our educational future. On a parallel world, life coaches made of bone & fur activate televisual coursework including circular zooming studies, spectral-mating, and etheric birthing techniques. The spirit of Manifest Destiny eludes its colonial past to refuge deep within our pagan libidinal nature.

Volcanica, 9:30 minutes, 2004
A feel good glimpse into a full-bodied lava canal, horror and hippies transmigrate through a portal that began through a hole in the head and activate a redefined eruption.

Learning Stalls: The Man Probe Examples, 6 minutes, 2004
Psychic surgery lessons performed by the two artists utilizing charged organic and inorganic substances used as imaginary probes that seek to refresh the innards.

I Am Today's Lesson Plan, 10:20 minutes, 2003
In the search of new mind/body experiences, Burns, Martin, and other workshop participants enact paranormal interactions, intersexual dynamics, pseudo-testing methods, and staged quasi-therapy sessions. Available on at Video Data Bank on Soft Science, a curation by Rachel Mayeri.

Learning Stalls: modular syllabi and organic exchange, 23 minutes, 2003
A unique edit of the artists' 33 chapter installation Learning Stalls: Lesson Plans, modular syllabi... utilizes video as a trans-disciplinary curriculum exploring diverse speculative fictions and reimagined educational practices. Psychic surgery meets physical therapy as matter and anti-matter merge under the guidance of astral professors.

Currents, 19 minutes, 2001
Pseudo-psychological procedures are explored using metaphorical exchanges via electroconvulsive therapy. Instructed and choreographed by otherworldly beings tuned in on tele-visual short wave radios, the perfomers' trials and errors exist somewhere between an effort to create electricity using the body as a conduit and utilizing an electrical charge as a necessity of survival. Just add water and the characters mutate while attempting to clarify workshop syllabi for their own erotic unlearning.

Recall, 14 minutes, 1998
Mediated exercises of reflective therapy sessions and staged fire prevention methods used in camping are coupled with the artists' own physio-dynamic interactions. The result opens up an arena of slippage that questions the very nature of human intimacy and distance through the framework of the controlled experience and its surveillance as a reliable record of memory.

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