Public Engagement

General Public


Saturday, March 3, 2018 at 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Auditorium (Room N101), Sheila C. Johnson Design Center 66 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10003

“Dream Machines,” assembles a series of short films exploring the ethereal borderlands between unconscious desires and conscious thought, visionary dreaming, and spaces of somnambulistic sanctuary. Films by an international roster of historical filmmakers and contemporary artists, have been selected by writer Deena Denaro-Bickerstaffe and experimental filmmaker Albert Nigrin, who will be introducing the screening.

OPHELIA – Nadja Verena Marcin

OPHELIA is a video based on an architectural, interdisciplinary performance by Nadja Verena Marcin. Drawing on masterworks from art history—such as John Everett Millais’s painting of the same name, “Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank” (Jeff Koons, 1985), and “The Werld” (Daniil Kharms, 1939), Marcin​ floats under water. Wearing a breathing mask and Ophelia’s dress, the artist quotes text from Daniil Kharms’ "The Werld" about our limited human subjective perception. The image of a nineteenth-century Ophelia, supported via a breathing mask and reconfigured within a technologically constructed reality, becomes a metaphor for our current state of existence in the Anthropocene Period. 2017; 3 min.

Aurelia or Echo In Her Eyes: Part 3 – Albert Gabriel Nigrin

"Aurelia is an experimental film which poses the problem of defining the relationship between dreaming and waking consciousness. It was mostly shot on location in Barcelona, Spain at the then unfinished Sagrada Familia church designed by Antonio Gaudi. It is based in spirit on Gerard de Nerval's novella Aurelia. 1985; 13 min.

Meshes of the Afternoon – Maya Deren

In a seemingly ordinary Los Angeles home, the film's protagonist, played by the filmmaker herself, gets caught in a eerie loop of symbols (a knife, a rose, a mirror, a key), repeated movements, and alter egos. 1943; 12 min.

Dreams That Money Can Buy – Hans Richter

The ultimate Dada/Surrealist cinematic experience. Dreams That Money Can Buy brings to life the dreams of seven people who find themselves in the office of a mind-reading psychiatrist.  When he looks into their eyes he sees the reflected images of their unconscious worlds.  These visions are then manifested on the screen, in saturated, surrealist colors, and are based directly on the drawings, paintings, and scripts of six leading modern artists: Man Ray, Max Ernst, Alexander Calder, Fernand Leger, Marcel Duchamp, and Hans Richter.  1946; 80 min  


Natalie Fizer & Emily Stevenson co-founders of Pillow Culture


WriterDeena Denaro-Bickerstaffe studied experimental filmmaking at Bard College and focused on exhibition design as part of her Industrial Design degree at Pratt Institute. She is a multi-disciplinary designer, media producer, and journalist whose work ranges from award-winning, “subvertisements” and culture-jams to highly interpretive designs and experiential marketing projects. Deena’s work hovers at the intersection of new media, digital fabrication and experience design and combines in-depth professional experience in media production, knowledge of storytelling, and curatorial/editorial expertise. 

FilmmakerAlbert Gabriel Nigrin is an award-winning experimental media artist whose work has been screened throughout the world. He is also a Cinema Studies Lecturer at Rutgers University, and the Executive Director/Curator of the Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center, Inc. -- a non-profit organization which screens and promotes independent, experimental and artistic cinema in New Jersey via the New Jersey Film Festival, and the United States Super 8mm Film + DigitalVideo Festival.

Hosted by MFA Interior Design, Parsons, The New School.

image credit: Nadja Marcin

Sponsor: Leesa             Sponsor In-kind: Glant Textiles

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