Follow the Silver Remix

Patricia Pisters on Vimeo.

In only 2,5 minutes I follow silver from the mines into its transformation in monetary coins. On all continents silver is an old basis for monetary value; in many languages the word silver is synonymous for money: “l’argent” in French, “plata” in Spanish, “rupee” in India.  Silver was also connected to luxury objects (in spite of its reputation of being ‘the poor men’s gold’). In this video assemblage I have only included flashes of references to the luxury of silver in objects from Europe, China and India. Most silver is found in Peru and Mexico, but most consumption of silver is in India; in 2015 one third of the world consumption of silver was in India.

Silver has anti-septic and anti-bacterial qualities of silver that allows medical appropriations in for instance surgical instruments, which is alluded to by a reference to the television series The Knick where a black doctor in NYC around 1900 introduces silver in the operation room. Probably the purity of silver also explains its legendary power to kill vampires, represented here by Nosferatu. Of course silver’s reflecting qualities have been at the basis for the invention of photography and film. Even in the digital age, silver is still important, not only as conducting material in many camera’s, phones and computers. But also in digital silver printings, in digital touch screens, and in the return of the silver screen for 3D projection.


In the middle of this remix of Follow the Silver, Andy Warhol addresses silver as the metal of the past and the future. Looking back at the Hollywood stars (Katharine Hepburn as silver moth in Christopher Strong, by Dorothy Arzner in 1933!) from the midst of the Space Age, he reflects on all this shiny silver from his Silver factory. But of course silver has also been a main ingredient in making mirrors, and so silver is also connected to narcissism. Warhol’s Screen Tests have transformed in the countless 15 minutes (or seconds) of fame in our selfies culture. And in the transmutations that the fashion industry provokes as exemplified by some silver metallic references to this aspect of contemporary culture. Finally, silver is the metal of the moon, which is where both Bjork and the NASA take us to in the last seconds of this trajectory to follow silver. Silver is hard to grasp. It remains mysterious. More is hidden. 

The Blackout Period

The Blackout Period from Patricia Pisters on Vimeo.

Referendum Day, 23rd June 2016. A day I collaborated with Ian Magor at a videoworkshop as part of the Whitechapel Indefinite Visions events. Electricity was on our mind. The skies were full of lightning. The referendum was on our mind. Officiall, it was not on the mind of the British media since the day was a "blackout period" as far as coverage of the referedum was concerned. We wondered what images and sounds were finding their way into the (un)consciousnessof the British voting public. This compilation of memories from the campaign and more nostalgic, personal recollections are the result. 

Despair Has No Wings

Despair has no wings from Patricia Pisters on Vimeo.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Jean-Luc Godard's film Alphaville of 1965.

See also Film Studies for Free's Celebration of Alphaville's birthday on May 5th 2015.

Watching Alphaville fifty years after its making in 2015, most striking is the enduring presence of wounds of the Second World War. The ruins, scars and the horror of the war can be felt in every image of this film, even if it is set in the future. But what is even more striking is that so much of the films traumas related to the past, and related to the cold logic of modernity, still resonates with today’s reality. Just replace ‘Alphaville’ with ‘NSA’ and think of Lemmy Caution as Edward Snowdon, and the future that Godard captured in Paris of the 1960s represented by the totalitarianism of the Alpha 60 machine has transformed into the more invisible algorithms of the billions of metadata patterns that trace, predict and control our steps in today’s global digital networks. The allegory I mention in this video-essay not only concerns to the past and an imaginary future, but to the actual present of our control societies that have taken the snake-like intricateness and hard to grasp modulations announced by Gilles Deleuze about twenty-five years ago.

‘In control societies, the key thing is no longer a signature or number but a code [that function as] password […]. The digital language of control is made up of codes indicating whether access to some information should be allowed or denied. We’re no longer dealing with a duality of mass and individual. Individuals become “dividuals” and masses become samples, data, markets, or “banks.”’ Gilles Deleuze, ‘Postscript on Control Societies’ (1990)


Emoticons from Patricia Pisters on Vimeo

This video has also been publised and peer reviewed in [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film & Moving Image Studies, 2,1, 2015. See for this publication here.

In The Neuro-Image: A Deleuzian Film-Philosophy of Contemporary Screen Culture (2012), I suggest that cinema gives us increasingly intensely direct access to character’s brain worlds. Our audio-visual images co-evolve in resonance with the knowledge we have of principles of the brain and with a philosophical understanding of the complex entanglements between bodies, brains and world.

The short video-experiment Emoticons departs from a common principle studied in affective neuroscience that facial expressions relate to basic affects that are at the core of more complex emotions and feelings. I took these basic emotions as simple guidelines for evoking a memory or an association with each mood. They all include a reference to film and other audio-visual media. Consciousness has become cinematographic consciousness.

This project was originally conceived as a mini-installation consisting of two video-channels. One video shot and projected in a 360⁰ pan, expressing events inside a brain space. The other video of a talking head projected on a dummy, pronouncing thoughts associated with each basic emotion.

With great thanks to filmmakers Igor Kramer and Pepijn Schroeijers to suggest transforming some theory into practice and to help create a ‘neuro-image’ of my brain.  

Below a photo impression of the double channel video installation-version of Emoticons. Pepijn Schroeijers, Igor Kramer, Patricia Pisters at SIN (Straattheater Instituut Nederlands, NDSM wharf Amsterdam, May 2014). 

  • boosheid
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  • Crystal Cove

    Blue is the warmest color. Egg yolk jelly fish filmed in Monteray Bay Aquarium. Summer sounds of crickets recorded in Crystal Cove, California 2014. This film was screened in the Programme A Taste of Red, Yellow and Blue in EYE Film Institute Netherlands on March 31, 2015. 

    Analog - Digital

    On the left or top analogue photos made with a Lomography camera (Diane Mini) and different typse of 35 mm film (black & white, 200 & 800 ASA sometimes with color effect on film stock). On the right or below digital photos made with a Samsung Gallaxy EK-GC 110. Both are simple amateur cameras but they allow investigating some basic differences between analogue and digital. The tags will grow so all To Be Continued. See the first 100 comparisons below.

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