Visiting curator showcase: Dmitry Frolov & Machinima / September 8 2023

AV-arkki is hosting a visiting curator showcase on September 8 2023 to honor Dmitry Frolov’s visit to Helsinki. Frolov stays in Helsinki from September 6–10 2023 in occasion of a special screening Ukraine Experimental: Desirous Bodies, Malign War in Kino Regina on Thursday, Septeber 7 at 21:00.

On Friday, September 8 from 16:00 we warmly welcome you to join us for another showcase co-curated by Dmitry Frolov: Machinima, based on a theme programme for International Short Film Festival Oberhausen 2023. The screening is held in Töölönkatu 11A, the new office of AV-arkki – Centre for Finnish Media Art, Frame Contemporary Art Finland, and Baltic Circle. The screening is followed by informal get-together with Dmitry Frolov. The admission for the Machinima showcase is free, but we kindly ask you to preregister for refreshments. Dmitry Frolov’s visit is made possible with the support from the Ministry of Culture and Education.

Dmitry Frolov (b. 1988, Kaliningrad) is an art and film curator and researcher based in Berlin. He holds a BA in Сultural Studies from the Russian State University for the Humanities and an MA in Film Programming and Curating from Birkbeck, University of London. He has curated a variety of screenings, panels, performances and exhibitions dedicated to such artists as Maya Deren, Chris Marker, Tony Conrad, Vladimir Kobrin, Yoko Ono, Michael Snow, Annabel Nicholson, James Benning, Alain Cavalier, Aura Satz, Cao Fei, Ana Vaz, Cyprien Gaillard, etc. His texts have been published in Iskusstvo Kino, Spectate,, and other media. Since 2017, he has been working as a curator at the Moscow International Experimental Film Festival (MIEFF).

Machine + Animation + Cinema

The seemingly meaningless three-word combination in the title of this film screening is a transcription of the term “machinima”, a style of filmmaking that utilises video games or game engines to create real time animated moving images. It originated in the late 1990s as a form of grassroots activity on the Internet and achieved prominence as an artistic medium in the 2000s. This elusive and ever-changing media phenomenon turned out to be one of the main concerns at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen 2023, which revealed its various facets in the annual Theme programme. In it, machinima was presented as a way of exploring identities in virtual space, a convenient and cheap way of creating remakes or homages, a method of ideological critique, digital puppetry, etc. For the show in Helsinki, the curators of Theme, Dmitry Frolov and Vladimir Nadein, prepared a representative selection of works from different sections in order to demonstrate the possibilities of this young and promising art form.

A Woman on the Internet (or, The Eternal Scream)
Jamie Janković | UK | 2021 | GTA V, Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball | 23 min
This experimental documentary explores the jarring juxtapositions of friction, toxicity, joy and liberation that trans people, queers and femmes experience when playing as their own custom character creations in video game spaces.

Sidings of the afternoon
Gina Hara | Canada | 2021 | Minecraft | 4 min
“Each age demands its own form.” (Hannes Meyer) Gina Hara made this film during a pandemic, trying to reflect shifting perceptions of the urban space around her, as well as her relationships with nature. She drew inspiration from Maya Deren’s film, Lászlo Moholy-Nagy’s light works and Bauhaus urban design.

Hardly Working
Total Refusal | Austria | 2022 | Red Dead Redemption 2 | 20 min
Non-player characters, which normally remain in the background of video games, are put in the spotlight in this essay film. Creating a semblance of normality, they appear as Sisyphus machines, whose labour routines, activity patterns as well as malfunctions paint a vivid analogy for work under capitalism.

We are such stuff as dreams are made on
Sam Crane | UK | 2021 | GTA V | 10 min
Sam Crane approaches other gamers in GTA Online and tries to perform Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Will everyone he meets try to blow him up? Or can he find someone to listen to these words written over 400 years ago and perhaps reveal a glimmer of humanity inside this world of chaos and extreme violence?

featured image: film still from Woman on the Internet (or, The Eternal Scream). Courtesy of Jamie Janković

Machinima / Machine + Animation + Cinema, September 8 2023, Töölönkatu 11A

AV-arkki has promoted and distributed Finnish media art since 1989. AV-arkki’s promotional efforts have made the artists’ participation in this event possible. If you want to hear the latest news from our distribution, subscribe to our newsletter!