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Persistent Visions Program 1: Always and Only Place

Saturday, Mar 18, 2023 at 5:00 pm

Location: Redstone Theater

With Ben Balcom, Emily Chao, Claudrena N. Harold, Julie Niemi, Kurt Walker, and Josh Weissbach in person 

Here are warped records of unexplained disappearances and lost transmissions, abandoned projects and utopian fantasies, echoing in one place then another, moving through time. Fermented ephemera unearthed from the roots of American decay.  
Program features:
Light Signal 
Emily Chao. U.S. 2022-2023, 11 mins. 16mm-to-DCP. New York premiere 
Zero Woods of the Wild Place 
Josh Weissbach. U.S. 2023, 12 mins. 16mm. World premiere 
Gospel Hill 
Kevin Jerome Everson, Claudrena N. Harold (Black Fire). U.S. 2023, 5 mins. 16mm-to-digital. New York premiere 
Growing Up Absurd 
Ben Balcom, Julie Niemi. U.S. 2023, 15 mins. 16mm-to-DCP. North American premiere 
I Thought the World of You 
Kurt Walker. Canada. 2022, 17 mins. 16mm-to-DCP.  U.S. premiere 

Includes admission to Persistent Visions Program 2.

Tickets: $15 / $11 senior and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / free for MoMI members at the Senior/Student level and above. Order tickets. Please pick up tickets at the Museum’s admissions desk upon arrival. All seating is general admission. Review safety protocols before your visit.

About the Filmmakers:

Ben Balcom is a filmmaker currently living and working in Milwaukee, WI. He is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and is the co-founder and co-programmer of Microlights Cinema. Combining elements of documentary, fictional narrative, and abstraction, Balcom’s films investigate the relationship between cinematic artifice and ordinary affects. His films have been exhibited at the European Media Festival, Media City Film Festival, Anti-Matter Media Arts, Alchemy Film, Ann Arbor Film Festival, and Slamdance. 

Emily Chao is a filmmaker and independent curator based in the Bay Area. Her short nonfiction films primarily focus on identity and diaspora, history and representation, and the interaction between space and memory. She is a co-programmer of Light Field, an international exhibition of moving image art on celluloid in the SF Bay Area, and a member of the Black Hole Collective Film Lab in Oakland. 

Kevin Jerome Everson is a Professor of Art at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. He is the recipient of the Guggenheim, Berlin, and Rome Prizes, Heinz Award & Alpert Award in Film and Video; Everson’s practice encompasses photography, printmaking, sculpture, and film—12 features and over 200 shorts to date—including 11 short film collaborations with UVA colleague Claudrena N. Harold. 

Claudrena N. Harold is a Professor of African American and African Studies & History at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. She is the author of When Sunday Comes: Gospel Music in the Soul and Hip-Hop Eras (2021); New Negro Politics in the Jim Crow South (2016); The Rise and Fall of the Garvey Movement in the Urban South, 1918-1942 (2007). In collaboration with UVA colleague Kevin Jerome Everson, she worked on The Black Fire, 11 short films (2013-2023) that have screened internationally at festivals, art institutions, and biennials. 

Julie Niemi is an independent curator, filmmaker, producer, and writer based in New York and originally from Oklahoma. Her projects grapple with counter histories in the United States. They typically look to the built environment and place-making as a starting point for inquiry, utilizing scraps of local archives and natural resources to tell a longer story of unknown persons, regional places, nameless figures, and collectives. Currently, she is the managing editor of Mezzanine, Los Angeles, co-runs Diagram Press, and is part of the working group Collective Question. 

Kurt Walker is an award-winning filmmaker from Vancouver, Canada. He makes movies concerned with place, experience, and connection, and have been presented at Spectacle Theater in New York, Torino Film Festival, DOXA, and doclisboa, where his debut film Hit 2 Pass received the Universities Award for Best International Competition Feature Film. 


Josh Weissbach is an experimental filmmaker who lives in a house with his wife, two daughters, three cats, four chickens, and lab mix next to a once-abandoned village. His films and videos have been shown worldwide at Ann Arbor Film Festival, Slamdance Film Festival, European Media Art Festival, Mono No Aware, Chicago Underground Film Festival, and others. He is the recipient of a 2021 Artistic Excellence Award from the Connecticut Office of the Arts, a 2020 Moving Image Fund Early Development Grant from the LEF Foundation.