Get to Know Indie Filmmakers Emily Perstring

In this week's installment of our weekly look at some of the most interesting independent animators working today, we are pleased to introduce Canadian multimedia artist Emily Perstring and her visually striking and playful use of 16mm film and vintage analog video tools. Her work will be presented.

In a nutshell: Time-traveling academic punk that blends analog and digital to create mystical dreamscapes, like watching early 1980s television on a broken portable TV while ingesting small doses of mescaline.

Where to Start: Head Cleaner (2015). Have you ever wondered what goes on inside a VCR? Director Perstling's utterly imaginative short uses digital and analog tools to exorcise the ghosts of the 1980s from a broken VCR. Trippy, smart, spellbinding, and mesmerizing, it is unlike any other animated film.

Next to watch: Insect Express (2016), Gryphon Rue's music video is a psychedelic clash of human hands, insect flight patterns, and geometric shapes, backed by an almost menacing soundtrack.

Other major works: House on Fire (2020), Signal film for the Ottawa International Animation Festival (2020), The Witch's Work (2018)

Influences: Paul Rubens, Pee Wee's Playhouse through which he raised me in camp absurdity and multimedia magic. Second, Genesis Breyer P. Orridge is important to me as an artist and as an occultist. In terms of animators, I am enamored with Mary Ellen Bute's electronic experiments."

says: "When you do something that you think is lo-fi (because it embraces technical malfunction or contains destructive glitches), it is certainly, as with everything, in dialogue with mainstream aesthetic standards. I think we can question the cultural narrative of technological advancement, authorial control, and structural coherence. In my own work, it is part of a feminist agenda, a critique of some of the values of the industry."

Currently in production: "Passion of the Hedge Rider," a media installation in which animated images are projected onto six stained glass panels suspended from the ceiling in an arrangement reminiscent of a medieval chapel. A short film called "Hedge Rider" will also be shown, in which analog video textures are synthesized onto hand-drawn 16mm film.

Pictured above: "Hedge Rider" [17]