Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival

International experimental and artists' film festival in Scotland


Installations programme

Times: Thurs 2 March 11am – 6pm, Fri Sat and Sun, 10am – 6pm.
Free entry.

Opening tour and reception
THURSDAY 2 MARCH: 7.00pm – 8.30pm

Join us on a guided tour of our moving image installations around the town of Hawick, our participating artists will be on hand to introduce each one!

Tickets: Free, un-ticketed event.
Location: Crown Buildings, High Street, Hawick & various venues – check for more details soon!

Buccleuch Church On The Kirk Burn

Jacques Perconte / looping / 2016 / France / World Premiere

In the Ettrick forest, on the Kirk Burn, wind blew down hundreds of trees around the Buccleuch Church. At this magical point, the alchemy of light in time can be amazing, and generated by chance, this journey in the forest opens thousands of paths for our inner experiences…


Jacques Perconte (1974) is a leading figure on the French avant-garde film scene. He experiments with digital images, codecs, and compression algorithms. Thematically he focuses primarily on the relationships of contemporary culture and technologically advanced civilizations with nature.


Edith Loops

Andrew Kötting and Anonymous Bosch / 00:07:06 / 2016 / United Kingdom / Scottish Premiere

Edith Swan Neck is seen cradling King Harold’s body in a remarkable sculpture at Grosvenor Gardens on the sea front in St Leonards-on-Sea. The sculpture is the focus of the camera’s gaze as it digs in like an archaeologist looking for signifiers and meaning. The site resonates as does the adjacent beach on which children are seen shooting arrows into the eyes of King Harold. The looping projection allows the audience to reflect upon all things Edith and her role as the great visionary and pagan Queen to these muddled isles.


Andrew is a filmmaker, writer and artist who trained at College of Art and Design in Ravensbourne and at Slade School of Fine Arts in London. After several award-winning experimental short films, Andrew’s first feature film, “Gallivant” (1996) was a road movie about his three-month journey along the coast of Britain, with his mother Gladys and his daughter Eden who suffers from the very rare Joubert’s syndrome. Alongside performance, short films and installation works, his subsequent feature films have all been released in the UK: “This Filthy Earth” (2001), “Ivul” (2009) and “This Our Still Life” (2011).



Kathryn Ramey / 00:07:00 / 2016 / USA & Germany / European Premiere

An unfaithful remake of Man Ray’s 1926 “Emak Bakia” made without the use of a motion picture camera, ELONA EM EVAEL/LEAVE ME ALONE is a nonsensical response to brutality alongside a celebration of silver process.


Kathryn Ramey is a filmmaker and anthropologist whose work draws on the experimental processes of both disciplines. She has exhibited her work internationally and currently teaches at Emerson College in Boston, MA, USA.


House Arrest: Domestic Actions 1-11

Zoë Irvine & Pernille Spence / 00:18:00 / 2016 / United Kingdom / World Premiere

House Arrest: Domestic Actions 1 – 11 focuses on small scale resonant actions. Using familiar items such as eggs, tea cups, kitchen utensils etc, the artists perform a sonorous choreography to camera where actions allow for subtle transgressions.


Zoë Irvine

Zoë is an artist primarily working with sound, exploring voice, field recording and the relationship between sound and image. She is also a sound designer for moving image.

 Her artworks range from carefully crafted individual pieces for broadcast and installation, to participative events. As a field recordist, Irvine has a particular love of soundscapes and composition in which distance, context and power relations become perceptible.

Her large scale works include DIAL-A- DIVA, a global 24 hour live phonecast concert experienced by phone, and Magnetic Migration Music a suite of works over a 10 year period exploring found cassette tapes from all over the world. From 2013 – 2015 Irvine was artist in residence at the Scottish Parliament, collaborating with composer Pippa Murphy.

Pernille Spence

Pernille Spence is an artist based in Scotland who has been creating moving image works, installations and performances since the mid 1990s.
 She has created work for the sky, working with a team of skydivers, been lifted into the air by 22 giant weather balloons and devised a series of performances that took place in over 50 locations in the landscape alongside railway lines from Aberdeen to Glasgow.

Exhibiting nationally and internationally her work has been shown in many galleries and festivals including the National Review of Live Art, Glasgow, the European Performance Art Festival, Warsaw, the Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art, Germany and the Dean Gallery, Edinburgh.

Zoë Irvine and Pernille Spence have previously collaborated on performance work for Cabin: Codex. This is their first in a series of performance to camera works.



Rachel Maclean / 00:30:00 / 2016 / United Kingdom / 

Wed 1 Mar – Sun 9 April 2017; Festival hours: 2 – 5 March, Thurs 12.00pm -5.00pm, Fri 11.00am-5.00pm, Sat 10.00am-5.00pm, Sun 12.00pm-5.00pm

A solo show by Rachel Maclean, exploring Scottish national identity and its founding mythologies. Presenting a body of film and print work in which Maclean is the only actor or model, she invents characters that toy with age and gender and refer to an array of historical figures, contemporary politicians and national stereotypes creating a complex and surreal vision of modern Scotland. The exhibition is being staged in partnership with Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival also based in Hawick who are curating Rachel Maclean’s work at the 2017 Venice Biennale.

A Touring Show from Edinburgh Printmakers.
Image courtesy of Edinburgh Printmakers and copyright of the artist.


Rachel Maclean (b.1987, Edinburgh) is a graduate of Edinburgh College of Art. Working across film, print and photography she constructs fantasy narratives that play with issues of identity, social values and politics.

Recent exhibitions include: ‘Wot u 🙂 about?’ (2016), HOME, Manchester and Tate Britain, London; ‘We Want Data’ (2016), Artpace, Texas; ‘British Art Show 8’ (2015); ‘Ok, You’ve Had Your Fun’, Casino Luxembourg (2015); ‘Please, Sir…’, Rowing, London, (2014); ‘The Weepers’, Comar, Mull, (2014); ‘Happy & Glorious’, CCA, Glasgow, (2014), part of Generation, 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland. Recent screenings include: Alchemy Film & Moving Image Festival (2017); Athens and Luxembourg Film Festival (2016); Moving Pictures, British Council and Film London, (2015-16); Impakt Festival, Utrecht, The Netherlands, (2014).

Free admission, Disabled access

In Medias Res

Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof / 00:11:00 / 2015 / Canada / UK Premiere

In Medias Res is a hybrid cinema installation that puts in dialogue analogue media (mosaic, painting, photography, film) with digital (interactive moving image), and those with representations of human bodies over the last six centuries.


Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof is an artist and scholar, whose work often explores the intersections of art, bodies, and technology. Her contributions as a filmmaker to experimental cinema have been recognised with numerous awards, commissions, and grants, as well as in over 130 public presentations of her films at major international film festivals, art museums and centres, most notably: Toronto International Film Festival; International Film Festival Rotterdam; Centre George Pompidou in Paris; Museum der Moderne in Salzburg; Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria; and ZKM in Karlsruhe. Izabella’s writings on art, cinema, screendance, technology and culture, have appeared in academic journals, and in anthologies on media arts and on screendance, including most recently chapters in the Oxford Handbook of Screendance (2016) and Dance’s Duet with the Camera (2016).

Relics of Lumen (2016), Font Màgica (2015), This Town of Toronto… (2012), The Garden of Earthly Delights (2008), Echo (2007), Pulsions (2007), fugitive l(i)ght (2005), sea-ing (2004), her carnal longings (2003), Scintillating Flesh (2003), Song of the Firefly (2002), Light Magic (2001), Vibrant Marvels (2000).



Nazare Soares / 00:20:00 / 2016 / Norway / European Premiere

Omen is a cinematic seance, a place for the shamanic drum to manifest, through evoking an animal power retrieval ritual. Somatic experience is created by using temporal illusion techniques.


Nazare Soares (b. 1981, Madrid) has a degree in Moving Image Arts from Brighton University. She spent three months studying at the Academy of Art of Palestine in 2013. In 2006 she worked for a year in Tokyo, after which she moved to Brighton. In 2015 she enrolled in MFA programme at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Her current research locates the essence of cinema elsewhere, investigating the notion of anachronism and its connection to light and sound; spirit and spectre, ontology and hauntology. Her work has been exhibited at numerous art centres and festivals worldwide.


Parlor Walls

Webb-Ellis / 00:21:10 / 2016 / United Kingdom / Scottish Premiere

Parlor Walls takes Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 as a starting point to explore alienation in the digital age, and the strangeness of contemporary human experience.


We are British/Canadian artist filmmakers working in film, installation, and performance.

Our work often reveals the story of its own making in which coincidence and fiction play a significant role.

We are storytellers, weaving together the images, chance encounters, stories, and sounds of our personal experiences into work that seeks to address the universal – what it is to be human in these strange times, and the boundaries between self and other.

Images and ideas move from one project to the next, shifting and altering with each reconfiguration. The subject matter is never fixed.


Ruins Rider

Pierre-Luc Vaillancourt / 00:49:20 / 2016 / Canada / UK Premiere

Filmed in the lost territories of the Balkans, Ruins Rider portrays the secret ruins that triggered trances over the past centuries. Using an array of hypnotic pulsating flickers, filmmaker Pierre-Luc Vaillancourt conceived an explosive kinetic experience. Accompanied by a powerful soundtrack by Marc Hurtado, Ruins Rider is a visceral experience of hypnagogic archeology and raw energy.

Contains flicker or strobe effect


Renowned for his challenging and powerful cinematic vision, filmmaker Pierre-Luc Vaillancourt has developed a body of work investigating trance and liminality. His work has been described as cultural guerrilla of striking force and produce visceral and hypnotic experiences marked by a powerful energy charge. Vaillancourt’s films and videos have been presented at the Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art, Russia National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Lausanne Underground Film Festival, Kiev Foundation for Contemporary Art, Festival du nouveau cinema, Fylkingen, Raw Territories, Bunkier Sztuki, Wro Art Center and in many international festivals, museums and cinematheques.


Swings and Roundabouts

Jessie Growden / 00:10:00 / 2016 / Scotland / World Premiere

An exploration into the circular and cyclical motions, thoughts and feelings, through images that imagine the circular and move in the round.


Jessie Growden started making films in 2014 as a participant in an Alchemy Film & Arts initiative. She is a founding member of the Scottish Borders based Moving Image Makers Collective. Her films explore place and landscape through a playful approach with small cameras placed to experience moments.


The Power to Tell: Selected Works from The Moving Image Makers Collective.

Moving Image Makers Collective / 00:56:34 / 2016 / United Kingdom / World Premiere

Selection of works from the Moving Image Makers Collective, a dynamically evolving group of film and moving image creatives who are based in the Scottish Borders:

Cheers me long by Joy Parker
Prism by Jane Houston Green
Fiddle by Irene Young
Yarn by Kerry Jones
Turning to Ashes by Frank Brown
Backwords by Nicoletta Stephanz
Remedy by Dorothy Alexander
Living the Dream by Ann Vance
Circles #3 by Jessie Growden
celluloid by Jason Moyes
.plan by Farpeek
Growler by Tamsin Growden
On the Cusp by Patrick Rafferty
Beach Hut by Jason Baxter
The Search by Chris Maginn
Merzfrau: Bloomed by Sarahjane Swan & Roger Simian
i131 by Dawn Berry


MIMC held their first community film screening at the Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival in April 2015. Since then they have had further screenings of new works at the Heart of Hawick Cinema, Edinburgh Artists’ Moving Image Festival and the 2016 Alchemy Film Festival. 

MIMC also presented Beyond the Shutter at The Haining in Selkirk, in September 2015, which featured nine installations, a continuous screening of short films, a performance piece and a workshop by Edinburgh filmmaking collective Ethel Maude. 

MIMC members come from a diverse range of backgrounds and include authors, poets, photographers, filmmakers, playwrights, painters and mixed media artists as well as complete beginners.

The collective meets once a month at various locations around the Borders to present new work for peer feedback, as well as inviting specialist speakers and filmmakers to share their skills with the group and to screen their own work.


Thought Broadcasting

Nick Jordan / 00:19:40 / 2016 / United Kingdom / World Premiere

Thought Broadcasting is a film about psychosis and surveillance. A composite of fact and fiction, the film draws upon real-life accounts of a schizophrenic disorder: the belief that one’s thoughts are being transmitted and heard by others. Set against the proliferation of mobile phone masts in the urban and rural landscape, the film reveals a fragmented inner world of paranoid delusions and acute anxiety, off-set with revelations of mass surveillance and data gathering by government security agencies. Thought Broadcasting will be screened as part of an installation of found objects, including analogue video equipment, archive letters, photographs, schematic diagrams and illuminated signage, salvaged from a psychiatry training video unit and abandoned television station.


Nick Jordan is a visual artist based in Manchester, UK. Working predominantly with short film, the artist’s practice also includes drawing, painting, objects, publications and collaboration. Combining themes of natural and cultural history, Jordan’s work has been shown widely at international festivals and exhibitions, including recently at Innsbruck International Biennale (Austria); Kunstmuseum, Bonn (Germany); Whitstable Biennale (UK); Musée du Quai Branly, Paris (France); BFI London Film Festival (UK); Haus der Kulturen, Berlin (Germany); São Paulo International Short Film Festival (Brazil); Kassel Dokfest (Germany); Documenta Madrid (Spain).


Thresholds (Proximity Distance and Loss)

Robbie Coleman / Jo Hodges / 00:09:24 / 2016 / United Kingdom / Scottish Premiere

A speculative collision of two ideas separated by three years.

Sound – “Lost Cosmonaut” Developed as a FM radio broadcast in 2013. In June 1962, two Italian amateur radio enthusiasts picked up what they claimed to be the last broadcast of a crippled Russian spacecraft orbiting the Earth and abandoned by the State.

Vision – “Middlehope” Black and white photographs of abandoned Northumbrian village taken 16th June 2016. The houses deemed too remote to be supplied with modern services and lacking adequate vehicle access were finally abandoned to the elements in the early 60’s.


Jo Hodges and Robbie Coleman are public artists based in Scotland with a diverse, context led practice that explores relationships, systems and change. They research and experiment at the intersection of environment, culture, science and technology and work across art forms creating both temporary and permanent public works. 

Jo and Robbie curate Sanctuary Lab, an annual 24 hour participatory public art event located within the Dark Skies Park. The event brings together artists, scientists, cultural theorists and members of the public to explore ideas relating to darkness, technology, culture and the designation of place.


Words Needed

Maja Borg, Johanna Gustavsson, Maya Suess, Atom Cianfarani, Karin Michalski, Ann Cvetkovich / 01:08:00 / 2014 / Canada, Germany, Sweden, United States / UK Premiere

Four pieces expressing visual dialogues, making political claims and depicting a possible utopian world. Words Needed is a concept curated by artist Anna Linder where moving texts are projected in public spaces. Together they create a collective feeling that interprets and describes a possible and utopian world.

Queer Ecologies by Maya Suess is a diary style, video text piece, made up of one or two sentence installments. Instead of addressing “Dear Diary,” or God, the writer directs her internal musings to a Mushroom, or the larger organism that a mushroom springs from, a Mycelium. While the writer expresses her personal struggles and misgivings about the human condition, she compares her experiences to the supernatural life of the mushroom species. The language is both scientific and poetic. 

In 1936, philosopher, activist, communist Simone Weil writes Open letter to a working comrade after a series of successful occupations of factories throughout France. I find her letter in 2013 and fall headlong. Throughout 2013, in the midst of the viscous neo-liberal politics of our time, the artist Johanna Gustavsson reads and re-reads, re-writes and cuts-up the letter a thousand times in the company of north American rapper Angel Haze. Weil is on the other side of organizing for change while we have it right in front of us. Weil gives meaning to our struggle, we have presence and importance, we are her comrade. 

The Alphabet of Feeling Bad by Karin Michalski and Ann Cvetkovich defines terms from A to Z such as “depression”, but also everyday negative feelings like the impression of being stuck at an impasse, of feeling numb or not able to work, of being overwhelmed by demands, of not being adequate and not getting on, and provides them with a different meaning. Negative feelings are not understood as individual failure or sickness. Rather the question is raised of how these could be collectively sensed as “public feelings” but also politicized in the context of neoliberal working conditions and of homophobia, sexism and racism. 

Craftsmanship by Maja Borg is a filmic meditation on the importance to be included in language – to be seen by words, using experimental film techniques. The video installation is paying homage to Virginia Woolf and is a dialogue of sorts crafted from the only surviving audio recording of the author – a 1937 BBC broadcast labelled ‘on craftsmanship’.


Maya Suess makes drawings, installations, videos, performances and other mischievous entities. Her performative installations use music and playful aesthetics to explore identity, sexuality and practical magic. She’s received a 2013 Toronto Arts Council grant for her drawing series Becoming, and was commissioned for portrait for the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives. She was also a 2009 fellow at the BRIC/Rotunda Gallery in Brooklyn NY, and a recipient of a 2009 Independent Artist’s Grant from the New York State Council on the Arts. Maya holds a BFA in Media Arts from Emily Carr Institute, and an MFA in contemporary performance from Simon Fraser University. 

Atom Cianfarani’s practice is founded in a love of garbage and an ecological preservationist ideology. Cianfarani examines urban bioremediation, using the urban waste-scape to generate renewal. Her recent work explores survivalist practices and apocalypse strategies. She has been a leader in sustainable design for the last decade ranging from creative director of the first sustainable fashion collection to walk in Bryant Park NYC, lead Designer of the cutting edge Environmental Restaurant Habana Outpost, Brooklyn, and designing green roofs all over North America. She has also exhibited visual artworks at Momenta, NYC, The Doris McCarthy Gallery, Toronto, On, The Center for Book Arts, NYC among many others. 

Johanna Gustavsson is an artist and educator currently based in Stockholm. Her work focuses on feminist, race and class related issues, through mediums such as text, performance, and social interactions. Her work has included numerous collaborations like Radikal Pedagogik, Malmö Free University for Women, the YES! Association, I want a president…, Nobody Puts Baby In A Corner and Produktionsenheten. She is educated at Valand Art Academy in Gothenburg, and at the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York. 

Karin Michalski works as artist, filmmaker and film- and videoart curator in Berlin. She studied Film Directing and Production at the German Film- and Television Academy Berlin (dffb) as well as Journalism and Political Science at the Universities in Mainz and Berlin. With her films and videos such as “The Alphabet of Feeling Bad”,”working on it”,”Monika M.”, “women videoletters – a second text on war and globalization” and “Pashke and Sofia” she has been invited to numerous festivals and exhibitions. She edited the art magazine “FEELING BAD – queer pleasures, art & politics”. 

Ann Cvetkovich is Ellen Clayton Garwood Centennial Professor of English and Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of Mixed Feelings: Feminism, Mass Culture, and Victorian Sensationalism; An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality, and Lesbian Public Cultures; and Depression: A Public Feeling. She co-edited (with Ann Pellegrini) “Public Sentiments,” a special issue of The Scholar and Feminist Online, and (with Janet Staiger and Ann Reynolds) Political Emotions. She has been coeditor, with Annamarie Jagose, of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. Her current writing projects focus on the current state of LGBTQ archives and the creative use of them by artists to create counterarchives and interventions in public history. 

Maja Borg was born in Norrköping, Sweden, in 1982 and is an internationally award-winning visual artist and film director working across documentary, fiction and experimental film. Shooting and directing local projects since her childhood, she has gone on to work on films in Europe, Asia, The Middle East and USA. Maja directed a feature film Future My Love and is an active participant in the discussion about the expansion of cinema and society at large. 

Anna Linder is the curator of Words Needed. Born 1967 in Storuman, Lapland, lives and works in Gothenburg and Stockholm, Sweden. Active in the field of film and art with a focus on experimental moving images, she has participated in various cultural projects, working as a independent artist, curator and producer. Her work has been selected for festivals and art exhibitions, in Sweden as well as abroad. She’s worked at Filmform – The Art Film and Video Archive as a producer and curator and with her own independent projects. She was a member of the artist group High Heel Sisters and started the experimental Film Fylkingen festival. Her films and videos “Spermwhore”, “13 Related Sewing Machines”, “densen, Sister Drag and cum pane – the one you share your bread with” have been exhibited and screened at IFFR Rotterdam, Images Festival Toronto, Edinburgh IFF, Tribeca Film Festival, Palm Springs Int´l Shortfest, Int. Short Film Festival Oberhausen, ICA London, The Swedish Insitute in Paris, The Modern Museum in Stockholm and at Arsenal Experimental in Berlin.
Anna has worked as a curator for The Cinemateque in Stockholm and Gothenburg, the 4th Moscow Biennale together with Raketa and Swedish Queer experimentals for Videogud. Currently she’s the Researcher of Queer Moving Images at The University of Gothenburg and works on her new film project “Kronotorpet”


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Alchemy Film & Arts is a registered Scottish Charity: SC042142.