‘Capital in a single shot: Creative Collaboration in Southeast Asian Artists’ Moving Image’, ASEACC, Cebu, the Philippines.

Activity: Talk or presentation typesPresentation


This paper will discuss a recent creative collaboration between Space Cell (South Korea), Forum Lenteng (Indonesia), Los Otros (Manila) and Hanoi DocLab (Vietnam), which was instigated by Jangwook Lee (Space Cell) as a creative response to Karl Marx’s Das Kapital and was screened for the first time at the 2019 Asian Film and Video Art Forum in Seoul. For the project, forty participants were invited to record videos addressing the theme ‘Capital’ following an agreed methodology. Within each collective, the participants interpreted the theme by engaging with the specific environmental and historical contexts of their locality. These were then edited into single channel video works of up to 60 minutes. The overarching concept was to invite a reconsideration of the filmmaker as ‘artist’, extending that role to include ‘curation and organizing’ and to focus attention and discussion on methodology. Drawing from interviews with the participants, and a critical reading of the films themselves, my talk will attempt to do two things. Firstly, it will consider this collaborative practice in relation to Mariam B. Lam’s work on “minor regionalism” and Nora A. Taylor’s work on economies of artist exchange in the region. It will also take an ecocritical approach, following Anna Tsing, and will discuss each of the films: Space Cell’s Photosynthesis (2019, 50 min); Hanoi DocLab’s Wages of the Earth (2019, 60 min); Forum Lenteng’s Feeding Frenzy (2019, 60 min) and Los Otros’s We Only Brought What We Could Find In Time (2019, 60 min) in relation to how they make visible and audible the often invisible networks and entanglements of colonial, capitalist and ecological histories of the region. Finally, it will consider how, what Ngo Thanh describes as the “suffocating logic of capital”, is experienced and ‘interpreted’ by the filmmakers.
PeriodJul 2020
Event title11th Biennial Association for Southeast Asian Cinemas Conference (ASEACC) Cebu, the Philippines
Event typeConference
LocationCebu, PhilippinesShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational