Magic Lantern Cinema Presents: Masses and Swarms

Magic Lantern Cinema Presents: Masses and Swarms  | Events Calendar
Still from HUNDRED HANDS by Monica Duncan. Courtesy of the artist.

Bray Animation Studios, Monica Duncan, Leonard M. Henny, JODI, Karl Kels, Rick Liss, Len Lye, Marie Menken, Chris Oakley, Alice Anne Parker (Severson), Hans Richter


UnionDocs | 322 Union Ave.

Curated by Seth Watter

From the earliest Lumière actualities to the latest disaster film, cinema has given apt expression to masses and what they seemingly do best: massing. This program presents a survey of crowds, masses, and swarms in their many and varied manifestations: from the elemental to the complex, and from the archaic to the contemporary. Though often hidden beneath a veneer of solidity, masses and swarms are the very stuff of life. Gathering and dispersing, contracting and expanding, are the formal figures most proper to them. They exist at the level of particles and parades, demonstrations and desktop icons, spermatozoa and shopping mallers. Even the grain of film, the noise of video, the pixilation of a buffering stream—they, too, with their swirling and spreading, justly merit the name of “crowd.” Wherever division, multiplicity, and movement co-exist, masses and swarms are sure to follow: on the street, in the density of a throng; in the depths of the body, cell against cell.