2018 School of Moving Images

New media society is pleased to announce its first [summer] School of Moving Images to be held in June and July 2018. New Media projects in collaboration with the Cultural Section of the German Embassy, Goethe Institute, and Austrian Cultural Forum in Tehran (OKF) will host a series of seminars, workshops, screenings, and talks together with artists, filmmakers, and lecturers from Iran and abroad. These programs offer a diverse selection of disciplines, working methods, and mediums around the subject of moving images: from experimental cinema to video art and from animation to augmented reality. From using negative film to new technologies create moving images different working strategies from interview to found footage, and from video essay to expanded cinema. The school hopes to facilitate a space to share knowledge and experience in the absence of academic and professional institutions by tracing a wide range of topics such as the progress of moving images in art history to the socio-political aspects of experimental cinema, by referencing key figures and art pieces. Parts of the workshop is also designed to cover the practical/technical side of the medium, to help participants in the process of their projects, helping them to enhance their work by knowing more about editing and sound. Reaching an understanding of experimental ways of expression and extending the medium’s definition and potentials by various means such as group projects, feedback sessions, and film screenings are the aims of this interdisciplinary summer workshop.

Amirali Ghasemi
Anahita Hekmat
Nebras Hoveizavi
Pouria Jahanshad
Michael Pilz
Sonya Schönberger
Fatemeh Shakib-Hossseini
Neda Zarfsaz

Michael Pilz

Experimental Cinema Workshop

Michael Pilz was born in 1943 in Gmünd, Lower Austria, close to where the „Iron Curtain“ used to separate Austria and Czechoslovakia. Years of 1952-55 he spent as a choirboy in Monastery boarding school in Zwettl. In 1954 he started to take pictures and work with 8 mm film. In 1956 he moved to Vienna and became influenced by the work of Jackson Pollock, Karl Prantl, Robert Frank, Jean-Luc Godard, Michelangelo Antonioni, Robert Bresson, etc.

Later on, he developed a growing interest in the technical, material, and mental aspects of cinematography as well as the various ways of expressing the subconscious in the film which lead to his experimental period of the sixties. He had, above all, experimenting with different cameras and the film material itself (all forms of direct treatment such as painting, scratching), handheld and out-of-control-moving cameras, and absurd, that is to say, anarchist staging. He took various approaches to examine pure („basic“) cinematic phenomena. Unfortunately, most of that experimental material has been lost.

During the seventies, Pilz worked as an author and director in different genres for various departments of ORF, Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (cultural programs, entertainment, and documentaries, including the movie Franz Grimus, 1977).

Since 1983, Pilz has engaged in delivering occasional lectures and holding workshops on aesthetics and experimental filmmaking, mainly abroad.

In 1988-90 he made Feldberg – an experimental fiction feature film without dialogue.

During the last two decades, Pilz has been concentrating mostly on producing films shot on his extensive travels.

In this workshop, Pilz will explore Austrian experimental cinema with a focus on Kubelka and Kern (cultural contexts, cinematic traditions, political, social, and economic conditions, methods of expression, and distribution) as well as his work.

Screening of Two Films by Michael Pilz, “Cage” And “Rose and Jasmine”

Monday, June 11 and Tuesday, June 12, 2018 – 7 pm


140 minutes, Beta SP, 4:3, color, PAL

In August 1992 we met for a four-week international symposium on dance, music, and film. As a result, the video State of Grace is a cinematic attempt to a maximum of exertion and a maximum of relaxation basing on the thoughts – among others – by John Cage and Chuang Tzu.

It was just a beautiful memory to me, it was something like I built up together with fifty more people and then also what we did with the girl, it had a very nice atmosphere, just really the air stopped, I didn’t do it for them but more I have taken their energies into me to do something together like if you make contact with somebody and you don’t know where it will lead, your movement goes somewhere, and it worked very well, and then I walked out and the game was going on and I lost this feeling and from that point on, when I lost it, it was not so interesting, my wife told me.

Your wife?

Yes, she told me at the beginning it was so solid, the atmosphere and the air in the room that you could have cut it, and she saw that my God, what will happen here till the end if it goes on like this, she was afraid at a point that it would go too far maybe, because

It is so –, and then I lost, I just forgot when I entered again, when I went out maybe this experience to me was too much, I forgot about going on with it, it was just somehow, a satisfaction, I should go home instead of running the whole.

Maybe you should not have been so satisfied.

Yeah, but how can you do that? Yes, You should get a lot of satisfaction during the work and then you are not so surprised when there is satisfaction at the performance.

Ferenc Kálmán,

In dialogue with Raffaella Giordano, from the film

Rose and Jasmine

Video, 106 minutes

Digi-Beta, 16:9, color, stereo

In ancient China, before an artist began to paint anything – a tree, for instance – he would sit down in front of it for days, months, years, it didn’t matter how long until he was the tree. He did not identify himself with the tree, but he was the tree. This means that there was no space between him and the tree, no space between the observer and the observed, no experiencer experiencing the beauty, the movement, the shadow, the depth of a leaf, the quality of color. He was the tree, and in that state only could he paint.

Michael Pilz, Vienna, April 2010

Anahita Hekmat

Augmented city
In-Situ / AR/VR / Video

2 weeks / Collaborative group projects

In this workshop, we explore a specific neighborhood in the city of Tehran. We discuss geographical, historical, sociological, political, cultural, and designed layers that compose this place. We map this neighborhood with collected data. We also embody the experience of being present in this place by walking through it.

With simple programming tools, participants develop Augmented Reality elements. They can experiment with these tools with site-specific projects where layers of documented or fictional elements are added to the city. Further, these elements are used in a video narration. 

Participants will deepen their technical knowledge of video and sound editing. They use storytelling to create their narrative of the place. Collected data and information are used as a departure point for a fictional, staged, abstract, or documentary video work. Participants learn how to use fragments of information as a departure point of the creative process.

Sonya Schönberger

Interview/ Stories around Us

Sonya Schönberger combines her studies of ethnology and experimental media design in her artistic practice. In the last eight years, she has built up a long term project to create an archive for which she conducts conversations with contemporary witnesses of the Second World War in Germany and the USA With the help of this ‘Archive of Memories’ she examines the effects of one nation’s traumas on succeeding generations.

New Media Public Talk | Sonya Schönberger 

The stories around us

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 – 6 pm

In her artistic practice, Sonya Schönberger combines her studies of Ethnology and Experimental Media Design. In the last ten years, she has built up an archive through a long-term project, for which she conducted interviews with witnesses of the Second World War II in Germany, the USA and Israel in a private frame. With the help of this “archive of memories”, she examines the effects of a traumatized nation onto following generations. For her artistic transformations of this content, she uses different media such as photography, theater, film, installation or audio formats.


During the lecture, the artist will talk about her own artistic works that deal with archives and testimonies. In her work, she focuses on the interview as a tool for collecting individual knowledge. The lecture will be followed by a discussion.

The event will be held in English and open and free to the public.

Pouria Jahanshad

Socio-political aspects of experimental cinema

Pouria Jahanshad was born in 1974 and graduated as a civil engineer from Tehran Polytechnic University. His area of expertise and studies is the mechanism of representation in cinema and contemporary art, and his main concern is the critical confrontation with the artwork and deliberating social and ideological functions of it. He also has been researching and teaching in the field of city, culture, identity and sexuality, and relations between these issues and art. He’s published several articles about these phenomena. Even though he considers himself a researcher and critic rather than a filmmaker and artist, he has made a various documentary and experimental movies during the last 10-15 years ago and has designed and performed video works for several multimedia theaters in and out of Iran. His movies and videos have been shown in more than 10 international festivals in America, Spain, Sweden, Greece, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, etc. Jahanshad has collaborated with different media and journals as a critic for years, such as Cinema-Truth magazine, The Profession: artist magazine, Farabi magazine, Tazarv magazine, Goft-o-Gou magazine, Filmography magazine, Shargh newspaper, websites of Rybon Documentary, Documentary Ambassador, And Documentary and Anthropology & Culture, and polish magazine Metropolis M. As lecturer In addition to teaching in several universities and art/research institutes, he’s been presented in television, Tehran, MOCA and different art galleries as guest and expert discussing relations between art and other social and anthropological sciences fields. Pouria Jahanshad, in collaboration with Dr. Behnam Sedighi (social scientist), has been trying to theorize the term “social documentary” In recent years. He is the director of Fresh Documentary Event Group at the moment. He has presented in several national and international film festivals as a jury member.

Amirali Ghasemi/ Nebras Hoveizavi 

Video in Transition/ Interdisciplinary Workshop

This experimental course is designed by Nebras Hoveizavi, a video artist and photographer who graduated from CalArts in Photo & Media, and Amirali Ghasemi, artist and curator, the founder of Parking Video Library and the Limited Access Festival. Video in transition can be useful for artists who are coming from various backgrounds and have some experience with video and tending to redefine their practice or interested individuals who are less familiar with the media and about to start experimenting with it.

The course consists of six four-hour sessions, including three hours of lectures and workshops in two parts led by Hoveizavi & Ghasemi and a one-hour session with guests at the end of each session. There will be screenings and talks by guest artists during the workshop.

Nebras Hoveizavi will review the history of video art, a series of video artists’ works and their pioneering experiences with this new media, as well as their reception in critical circles. She will focus on the significant impact of video art on the analysis of contemporary art.

 Amir Ali Ghasemi, in parallel with the individual and group projects of the participants, will give weekly and practical exercises to examine the interdisciplinary aspects of this media. Meanwhile, he will invite video artists from different fields for each session. In conversation with them, the participants can study the background and the paths taken by each artist which will help them to gain a practical perception of the medium.

Neda Zarfsaz

Experimental Video

This workshop is based on practical projects that guide students as much as possible to educate the expression of their visual idea. This course is a collaboration with the artist’s personal experiences and shows the impact of contemporary art when we take moving images and animation as a form of art. The course is designed by John DeGans and David Green of the University of Bedfordshire in England and is taught by Neda Zarfsaz. The course includes film screenings and examples of Dada, surreal, documentary art, and online lecture with international artists related to the field from Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States, besides the participants’ presentations. 

John DeGans is a filmmaker and university professor of film production at the University of Bedfordshire in the United Kingdom; David Green is a filmmaker and university professor of documentary and media production at the University of Bedfordshire in the United Kingdom and director of the Berlin International Short Film Festival.

Neda Zarfsaz holds an MFA from the Valand Academy of Gothenburg University. In 2013, she was awarded the MOP CAP residency award at Gasworks in London and the Adlerbertska Hospitiestiftelsen award in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2011. Her piece “Big stones without little stones” is selected for Abu Dhabi Art Fair, “Small is beautiful”: curated by Fabrice Bousteau: The UAE Pavilion, Abu Dhabi, UAE (2013); Her Solo and Duo shows are “Body, Space, Perception”: (with Mina Zarfsaz), Azad Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran (2016); “Illuminato”: Etemad Gallery, Tehran, Iran (2015); ” Between Black and White”: Mohtasham Gallery, Urmia, Iran (2013); “From outside or otherwise”: (with Claudia Djabbari): Mottahedan projects, Dubai, UAE (2013); “Connect”: (with Diana Riesco Lind): Backa Culture House, Gothenburg, Sweden (2010); and her selected national and international group exhibits are included “Blue Gold”: Etemad Gallery, Tehran, Iran (2016); “Surveiling the Naked City”: Haugesund Kunstforening, Haugesund, Norway (2016); “Light-Meter”: Momayez Gallery, Iranian Artist’s Forum, Tehran, Iran (2015); ” Good news from Iran”: Mottahedan Projects, Dubai, UAE (2015); “Belichtungsmesser”: Sammlung Lenikus, Vienna, Austria (2015); Limited “Access International Festival”: Parkingallery, Tehran, Iran (2014); “Tehran/NYC Portal Collaboration”: Lu Magnus, NY and M-40 Tehran, Tehran and NYC (2014); “Good News From Iran”: Endjavi Barbe Art Projects, Pasinger Fabrik, Munich, Germany (2014); “Black Gold”: Shirin Art Center, Tehran, Iran (2014); “Chi Controlla i Controllori”: Galleria Clou, Ragusa, Italy (2013); “Open Doors Project”: Fórum Eugénio de Almeida, Évora, Portugal (2013); “Surveiling the Naked City”: Atopia, Oslo, Norway (2013); “Drawing Week 1″: at Homa Art Gallery in Tehran, Iran (2013); “Kunstort ‘in- between’”: Gelsenkirchen, Germany (2012); “La Turo de Babel”: Galleri Rotor, Gothenburg, Sweden (2012); “Time’s Memory Remembrance of Objects”: Mohsen Gallery, Tehran, Iran (2012); 6th Iranian National Biennial of Sculpture: Niavaran Artistic Creation Foundation in Tehran, Iran (2011); “The Winter Sighed to the Spring”: Röda Sten, Goteborg, Sweden (2011).

Fatemeh Hosseini-Shakib

British Experimental and Independent Animation in the 1980s: Leftism, Resistance, and Alternative Approaches to Animation

The 1980s is a historic moment in British history. With the advent of 1980s Thatcherite and neoliberal economics, not only took the Britain into  the realm of resistance, political actions, strikes, and working-class struggles, but also revived leftist ideals in the domain of social realist cinema with movements  such as the British New Wave and “Free Cinema” and the alternative animated film. This decade was a significant period in the field of social and cultural criticism.

According to Van Norris (2016), this era  of the history of British animation coincides with the “second wave  animation”, in which animation goes beyond being the children’s medium and entertainment, acts as a medium to convey contemporary experiences, various artistic expression,  adult concerns and serious issues. 

This decade is also the beginning of academic animation education and the introduction of animation in scientific circles as a kind of personal and alternative way expression and a serious subject for consideration and study; we can see the emergence of experimental animation screening programs and the pioneering animation festivals. 

This atmosphere led to the emergence of various styles of British animation with a native tone and accent and with domestic concerns, which was in many cases in sheer contrast with American commercial animation. 

Famous studios such as Aardman Studios made some of their most interesting experimental works in these years

The program “Experimental Independent Animation in the British 1980s: Leftism, Resistance and Alternative Approaches to Animation” is scheduled for two three-hour sessions to explore the roots and study the socio-cultural  and artistic atmosphere of this decade of British history , to show and analyze some of the most important works of this period.  The artists, approaches and outstanding works of this crucial period in English animation will be introduced.

Fatemeh Hosseini-Shakib is an animation and media researcher and lecturer born in Tehran, Iran 1971.  Having completed her PhD in animation studies in the UK (UCA, Farnham) in 2009, Fatemeh was a Lecture in Animation Theory at the Animation Department of the University for the Creative Arts at Farnham/UK from 2007 to 2009 before her return to Iran to work as a lecturer in animation theory/aesthetics at the Animation Department, Faculty of Cinema and Theatre of Tehran Art University, Iran. She has served as the Head of Animation Department (2015-2018) and is the founding member of ‘Animation; Experiment’, part of the Iranian New Media Society Collective. She has also been a Jury Member for a few Iranian Animation Festivals, including TIAF (9th Edition of Tehran International Animation Festival – 2015). Besides her teaching, research and supervision of MA animation Thesis and Practical final film projects, Fatemeh is a scriptwriting and R&D consultant to some Iranian animation studios. 

Fatemeh’s main research interest is aesthetic realism in animation within social and historical contexts and its relation to the evolution of techniques and technologies especially in CG animation. Another ongoing preoccupation and research is Iranian animation; making sense of and documenting its rapidly changing history.

Fatemeh is currently the ASIFA Iran Representative, a Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of ANM (animation: an interdisciplinary journal), Sage Publications Ltd. Since 2010 (edited by Professor Suzanne Buchan) http://www.uk.sagepub.com/journals/Journal201763#tabview=boards and member of the SAS (Society for Animation Studies), Academic Member since January 2003.