Ann Arbor Film Festival


March 20th-25th, 2018

Michigan Theater
603 E Liberty St,
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

I'm excited to announce that my video work 'Dessert-Disaster' will be a part of the Ann Arbor Film festival this year.

The Ann Arbor Film Festival is the oldest avant-garde and experimental film festival in North America, founded by George Manupelli in 1963. The six-day festival presents 40 programs with more than 180 films from over 20 countries of all lengths and genres, including experimental, animation, documentary, fiction, and performance-based works.

Thousands of influential filmmakers and artists have exhibited early work at the AAFF, including Kenneth Anger, Brian De Palma, Agnes Varda, Andy Warhol, Gus Van Sant, Barbara Hammer, George Lucas, Les Blank, Matthew Buckingham, and James Benning.

BRIC Media Fellowship


I'm honored to have been awarded the  2018 Media Art Fellowship. I will be using BRIC's facilities and resources to create an installation version of my video 'Dessert-Disaster' and create a new piece temporarily titled 'Death and Television'. 

Other grantees include: Chloë Bass, Mildred Beltre, Sarah E. Brook, Esperanza Cortes, Caroline Falby, Michelle Gevint, David Cutler Kenndy, Jemila MacEwan, Julie Petrusak, Kamran Shahraray, and Pacifico Silano. 

More about us here.

'The Uncertain Archive' at Zumzeig Cine (Barcelona), co-presented by Laboratorio Reversible

Still from 'Jennifer, Where are you?" (1981) by Leslie Thornton

Still from 'Jennifer, Where are you?" (1981) by Leslie Thornton

January 30th, 2018

Zumzeig Cine
Calle Béjar, 53, Barcelona

Curated by Alison Nguyen
Co-presented by Lab Reversible

A screening series of film and video artists whose work subverts the codes of mass media, often appropriating found images. These pieces question the technology that forms our perception of gender, authority, space and history. 

Works include:  Jennifer, Where Are You? by Leslie Thornton, The Truth by LJ Frezza, Domestic Landscape: Eclipse by Sabrina Ratté, Funhouse by Scott Kiernan, The Time That Remains by Soda_Jerk, Danse by Brian Murphy, Beirut Outtakes by Peggy Ahwesh,  Dessert-Disaster by Alison Nguyen,  Eden 2.0 (Episode 1) by Ololade Adeniyi, No Sell Out ... or i wnt 2b th ultimate commodity / machine (Malcolm X Pt. 2) by X-PRZ,  bilateral by Lily Jue Sheng and Trans Trans (Transformers Transformed) by Bradley Eros and Tim Geraghty.

'Burn' at Zumzeig Cine (Barcelona), co-presented by Crater Lab


"Burn" is a screening series of filmmakers and video artists who use forms of appropriation, dematerialization and manipulation of electronic signals in their works. These pieces subvert the visual codes of mass media , repositioning materials such as commercials, pornography and Hollywood movies. By burning contemporary archives, these artists create new texts that challenge our way of seeing the dominant social constructions.

We can see burn (or the second law of Thermodynamics) by Bradley Eros,  Escales by Sabrina Ratté,  The Neutral Zone by LJ Frezza,  Eden 2.0 (Intro, Ep. 1) by Ololade Adeniyi, you can't plan a perfect day sometimes it just happens by Alison Nguyen,  Point, Line, Plane by Lily Jue Sheng & Antonia Kuo,  Beirut Outtakesby Peggy Ahwesh,  Enduring Ornament by Josh Lewis and MM Serra,  Palaces by Sarah Halpern,  Syntax Workers (Cues) by Scott Kiernan and Astro Black: Armageddon in Effect by Soda_Jerk.

'Distributed Presence' at Outpost Artists (NYC)


December 20th, 2017

Outpost Artists Resources
1665 Norman St

Distributed Presence is a screening, performance, and panel event inviting artists, curators, and critics to explore the politics of media art within the context of representation of artists of color, and in consideration of all their intersecting identities. 

Screenings and performances are curated by video and performing artist Samantha CC, organizer of ongoing series The Great BE, and will feature Jerome AB, Alima Lee, Miko Revereza, Ololade Adeniyi, and Alison Nguyen. In addition to a discussion of the work presented during the event, panelists will address a range of topics, including the clash between an "obligation" to political content versus abstraction or other various subject matter, and how to ensure long term inclusivity rather than a temporary wave of tokenism.

Alison Nguyen / Monica Savirón at Microscope Gallery (NYC)

Still from 'Dessert-Disaster' (2017) by Alison Nguyen

Still from 'Dessert-Disaster' (2017) by Alison Nguyen

Monday November 13, 7:30pm
YES: Alison Nguyen / Monica Savirón
Artists in person

Microscope presents the first 2017-18 edition of our emerging artist series YES with a screening of film and video works by Alison Nguyen and Monica Savirón. Both Brooklyn-based artists’ bodies of works include 16mm films and videos that are situated within the tradition of “found footage” or “appropriation”, terms that fall short of conveying the painstaking processes of “seeking” each of them undertakes in selecting their imagery from sources including vast archives of daily newspapers, 16mm film vaults, and the web.

Nguyen, in her most recent video “Dessert-Disaster”, draws attention to visual trends and similarities between imagery used in the advertising of dessert products and that used in the documentation of natural and artificial disasters. Through the juxtaposition of the two in split screen, she reveals the TV and cinematic inspirations for dizzying movements of chocolate and other visually striking manipulations of otherwise inert candy bars. Similarly, in “you can’t plan a perfect day sometimes it just happens”, Nguyen culls brief sequences of camera lens flare from American commercials to reflect upon their function of “visual shorthands for authenticity and spirituality used in white-dominated mass media”. Earlier works by the artist in the program – shot on Super 8mm and 16mm film – are abstractions and more formal investigations of light and color.

Savirón’s works in the program – with the exception of her first piece “To Begin With” (2012) – mostly draw from existing still photograph that is repurposed and given new life within the filmstrip. For instance, in “Broken Tongue”, which “pays homage to the diaspora of the different waves of migration” to the US, the artist rephotographed images printed in the New Year’s Days issues of The New York Times, from its first publication in 1851 until 2013. Her latest work “Answer Print” – a term used to describe a print struck to preview the image and sound of a movie before final printing – is a perpetually decaying 16mm film consisting of deteriorated copies of 9 separate movies as well as anonymous film rushes and camera tests. With its fading red hues and accumulation of other imperfections, the work despite its title is unable to “answer” the question of how it will look or sound at any of its future projections.

Nguyen and Savirón will be in attendance and available for Q&A following the screening.

More info here.


Found Footage Workshop at Negativland

Poster by Bradley Eros

Poster by Bradley Eros

I'm teaching a Found Footage Workshop with artist Bradley Eros at Negtivland Motion Picture Lab in Ridgewood. This workshop focuses on the theory & practice of found footage filmmaking, emphasizing analog and digital methods and techniques as well as a philosophy of collage composition. Strategies will include elements of critique, homage, voyeurism, parody, deconstruction and fragmentation, as they relate to analog film artists such as Joseph Cornell & Bruce Conner; digital artists like Hito Steyerl and Soda Jerk; and hybrid artists like Peggy Ahwesh, Leslie Thornton, and Camille Henrot. 

The Found Footage Workshop will be divided equally between screenings, discussion, and practical explorations. Each participant will be given a thumb drive of heterogeneous found footage as starting point, and they will produce their own investigations through a variety of manipulations and interventions using editing, re-filming, and projection processes. 

More info:

Transient Visions: Festival of the Moving Image (NY)

Still from 'Dessert-Disaster' (2017) by Alison Nguyen

Still from 'Dessert-Disaster' (2017) by Alison Nguyen

I'm thrilled to be screening two new video works 'you can't plan a perfect day sometimes it just happens' and 'Dessert-Disaster' at Transient Visions Festival of the Moving Image at Spool Contemporary in Johnson City, NY.

Saturday 10/21/2017
Spool Contemporary Art Space, Johnson City, NY
Program: The Olympics Are Coming to Johnson City
Curated by Carl Schrecongost
7FF On¢idia (Ж, 8.5 min, 2016, Brazil/Bolivia/Cape Verde/México/Germany)
MIRROR - MRR (Micah H. Weber, 17 min, 2017, USA)
you can't plan a perfect day sometimes it just happens (Alison Nguyen, 8.5 min, 2017, USA)
Your Cage Is Ready (Kit Young, 4.5 min, 2017, USA)
Gibraltar Point (transformed) (Penny McCann, 6.5 min, 2017, Canada)
Nu Dem (Jennifer Saparzadeh, 9.5 min, 2017, Austria/Greece/USA)
The Truth (LJ Frezza, 5 min, 2017, USA)
TRT: 59.5 min
Program: Signals in Passing
Curated by Brian Murphy
Undiscovered Country (Neil Zusman, 11 min, 2017, USA)
Interior Repetitions: I (Jamie Hahn, 7.5 min, 2016, USA)
Pulse Generator Pastry (Charles Woodman, 4.5 min, 2016, USA)
Mammaries (Monica Panzarino, 4 min, 2016, USA)
from this side of space to the other side of the signal (Benjamin Rosenthal, 10 min, 2017, USA)
As if the color was looking at you (Sara Bonaventura, 10 min, 2017, Italy/USA)
Music of Desire (Kristin Reeves, 8 min, 2016, USA)
Ritual of the Rhizome (Eric Souther, 12.5 min, 2016, USA)
Emergence (Jason Bernagozzi, 3 min, 2017, USA)
Dessert-Disaster (Alison Nguyen, 1 min, 2017, USA)
TRT: 71.5 min
Audio & visual performance by Jonas Bers & Nathan Cearley

NYSCA Film & Media Grant

I'm honored to be the recipient of a NYSCA 2017 Electronic Media & Film Finishing Funds Grant for my video 'you can't plan a perfect day sometimes it just happens.' Supporting a wide variety of media artists from around the state, these grants assist selected artists in the completion of their film, video, sound, new media, web-based, and installation work.

Still from 'you can't plan a perfect day sometimes it just happens' by Alison nguyen

Still from 'you can't plan a perfect day sometimes it just happens' by Alison nguyen

Residency at Signal Culture

I'm excited to be an Artist/Researcher in residence at Signal Culture in Owego, NY from May 11th-22nd. I plan on creating a hybrid essay to accompany my film 'you can't plan a perfect day sometimes it just happens.' as well as expanding signal-based audio/visual experiments with my ongoing project 'Death & Television.'

Screen Shot 2017-07-21 at 8.35.09 PM.png

The Whitney: Dreamlands Expanded

For the 10th and final event of “Dreamlands: Expanded“, a series of expanded cinema events organized by Microscope in collaboration with the Whitney Museum of American Art as part of the exhibition “Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905-2016“,  I will be a part of a new multi-projection and sound performance The Owl Flies at Twilight composed by the Optipus collective & orchestra in its largest configuration to date featuring 28 artists.


Projections in various formats by Bradley Eros, Lary Seven, Katherine Bauer, Rachael Guma, Genevieve H-K, Kenneth Zoran Curwood, Joel Schlemowitz, Tim Geraghty, Sarah Halpern, Simon Liu, Alison Nguyen, Lily Jue Sheng, Antonia Kuo, Gill Arno, Scott Kiernan, Shona Masarin & Andrew Hurst.

Sound organized by Mia Theodoratus (strings), Michael Evans (percussion), Victoria Keddie(electronics), with: Richard SylvarnesGabriel GumaRachelle RahmeZach LaytonLaura OrtmanDavid GrollmanKevin SheaJake NaussbaumRachael Guma.

Optipus is a nomadic group of chameleon artists, cine-scientists in search of a laboratory, shape-shifting according to site-specific requirements. The group embraces the ephemeral cinema of unfixed forms and open composition. Optipus’s members emerge in myriad collaborations, producing works and events, soundtracks and invented instruments, video edits and film loops, and expanded cinema and immersive installations. Optipus has been previously seen at various venues including The Kitchen, Anthology Film Archives, Participant Inc., New York University, Microscope Gallery, Bobby Redd Project Space (The Church), Millennium Film Workshop and others.

Satellite Miami

Two of my moving image works will be a part of Doppelgänger Projects' presentation 'Invocations' at Satellite Miami:

Satellite Miami Art Fair
The Parisian Hotel
1510 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139

December 1 - December 4, 2016

Featured Artists: Janine Biunno, Ida Gavois, Alison Nguyen, Laura Splan, and Cave Collective

An inherent essence of the human race is its capability to communicate and create new methods for translating ideas and experiences. In turn, as a species, our communication patterns evolve and develop. We are now host to over 6000 spoken languages and numerous written forms. With the onset of coding, SMS, emoji, gifs, and stickers in the digital age, we have now constructed an era of Neo-Hieroglyphics.

Invocations delves into the deconstruction of forms and movement to cultivate new meaning and space. Does the refinement of geometric systems forge a different kind of understanding? Does the formulation of contemporary rituals, binding technology and basic primal urges, summon new dialects to comprehend?