New New Age Film Festival
Apr 11 - May 17, 2008
Double Bind: A psychological predicament in which a person receives from a single source conflicting messages that allow no appropriate response to be made.
Mike Bouchet's latest work, „New New Age Film Festival“, is a classic "Film Festival" of feature length movies the artist has created from compiling existing popular commercial films. For this installation at Galerie Parisa Kind, 38 films will be presented over the course of a 5 week schedule- 3 films per day, (2 on Saturdays) shown twice during this time, allowing for multiple viewings.
In keeping with Bouchet's concept of "Misappropriation" the films cover a wide variety of combinations. Most are binary constructions (2 films conjoined), using a variety of split screen and video effects: dissolves, super-impositions and even the simple swapping of audio and video sources. Each film is combined in a method particular to it's respective content. The general effect is that the viewer can watch multiple films simultaneously on the same screen.
The double binds also cover a variety of emotional experiences; some of them are jarringly disparate as in Hill Hogs, while others become strangely fluid combinations as in the compression of the entire Children of the Corn series 1-7. The Hollywood three-act structure and standardized production techniques keep the films strangely seamless. The question of form vs. content that is often toyed with in Bouchet's work is prescient in this film festival.
The title "New New Age" refers to our times- the deployment of modern psychology into marketing and advertising as a dominant pervading force in our culture on a grand level, and our "top of mind" headspace on a more personal level. Modern commercial film's ability to throw us into a trance and mainline a distinct and particular emotional state is a very clear example of this phenomena. For Bouchet, the films are a way to exaggerate the "Double Bind" communication effect rampant in our highly and richly fictionalized visual culture. By conflating multiple emotional states he creates a psychological effect that reveals both the highly manipulative effects of films, as well as their "over the top"' and simple absurdity.
Divorce of reality- non plausibility- cognitive dissonance… our newly acquired ability to perceive and cultivate this low level schizophrenia is endemic. The modern film-viewing mind has become both keenly attuned to and insulated from this waking hypnosis.