A new exhibition is on display at the Elizabeth Holden Gallery at Warren Wilson College. “Echoes and Anomalies” features projections and accompanying prints by Hogan Seidel and Gabby Sumney. It will be on display through October 7, 2023.
“Warren Wilson’s Art Department is overjoyed to play host to these two media artists, whose work embodies the spirit of our vibrant Media Arts and Photography concentration,” said Charlotte Taylor, Assistant Professor of Media Arts and Photography. “Our department offers media arts courses in animation, film and video production, and both traditional and experimental darkroom cinematography and photography, with an emphasis on the ways these practices disrupt systems of inequality and embrace accessible processes that celebrate radical joy. ‘Echoes and Anomalies’ similarly inhabits intersections of analog filmmaking, handcrafted animation, and experimental media, centering a process that is both visible and accessible in the material of production and exhibition.”
In 2019, Hogan Seidel and Gabby Sumney decided to tackle a yearly collaboration called Sorrow Halved–from the German idiom “Geteilte Freude ist doppelte Freude, geteilter Schmerz ist halber Schmerz.” or “A joy shared, is a joy doubled. A sorrow shared is a sorrow halved.”
The two queer artists took a shine to the idiom as they considered ways to subvert traditional notions of authorship and the experimental film canon in their practice and their teaching. The “sorrow” of singular creative genius that is often hailed in the experimental film world felt counter to the lessons they were bringing to their students and to their approach to making queer art.
For one year, Sumney and Seidel took the same strip of 35mm clear leader and passed it back and forth every month. There were no restrictions on how to interact with the strip or limitations on materials. The artists were simply responding to each other through gestures.
Although Sumney and Seidel were able to produce three collaborative animations since 2019, the collaborative journey faced disruptions at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both artists moved out of Boston where they met, and the process of exchanging film material through the mail became more difficult. Their interactions shifted to virtual spaces like FaceTime, audio messages, and texts.
This work deals both with the collaborative practice they continued, as well as the singular work they have both made over the last 4 years. The title of this show, “Echoes and Anomalies,” pays tribute to what it means to be collectively bound to another artist–the aesthetic and conceptual frameworks that overlap in this environment.
Gabby Sumney (any pronouns) is an experimental media artist and cinematographer who makes films, videos, prints and expanded cinema works that explore issues of race, migration, sexual orientation, gender identity and ability status. Sumney is also an assistant professor of film production at Pennsylvania State University and the creator of “This Week in Experimental,” a weekly newsletter focused on providing resources to experimental artists seeking creative, intellectual and exhibition opportunities.
Born and raised in the American South, Hogan Seidel (they/them) is an interdisciplinary artist with a creative presence in Boston and Seattle. Their moving image art has been featured in prestigious festivals, including Alchemy, Analogica, Onion City and Istanbul Experimental. Their work has been shown at museums and galleries such as the Belvedere Contemporary Art Museum, The Boston Center for the Arts, Cyber Arts New Media Gallery, Fountain Street Gallery, Gallery 263 and the Clemente. Hogan has received funding and support for their work from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Collective Futures and the United States Artists Grant. They are a recent alum of The Studios at MASS MoCA Artist Residency.
Seidel holds a BFA and MFA in media art from Emerson College and an M.Ed in arts education from Harvard University. Seidel has taught experimental film, art history and digital media art as affiliated faculty at Emerson College, the University of Massachusetts Lowell and Evergreen State College. They are currently working with the Interbay Cinema Society to host workshops on experimental filmmaking for Seattle artists out of the Northwest Film Forum. They are also the co-editor of Analog Cookbook, a biannual journal with UNC Press dedicated to promoting accessibility in celluloid filmmaking.
The Elizabeth Holden Gallery is open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday 1-4 p.m.