Puzzling: The Audience is Tested

The Audience is Tested is grounded by the idea that cinema itself is a test; a controlled environment for delivering stimuli to viewers. The audience, both those present in the theater, and the idea of an audience, is the subject of this screening. This opening program considers the act of presentation and the moment of reception – it implicates the audience, engages with direct address, plays with the authoritative voice, and explores the canned liveness of cinema. This screening is about you.

Aki Sasamoto, performance, 2018, 15 min – in person
Fritz Heider and Marianne Simmel, An Experimental Study of Apparent Behavior, 1943, 3.5 min, 16mm
Owen Land, New Improved Institutional Quality, 1976, 10 min, 16mm
Liz Magic Laser, The Thought Leader, 2015, 9.5 min, digitalin person
Laure Prouvost, It, Heat, Hit, 2010, 6 min, digital
Vanessa Renwick, Yawn, 1998, 2 min, digital
Jim Trainor, The Presentation Theme, 2008, 14 min, 16mm
Lucy Raven, RP31, 2011, 4.75 min, 35mm


Flaherty NYC’s PUZZLING: About the Series
A puzzle is something puzzling– it expects deduction and solution, while at the same time describes a condition of open confusion. The six-part series “Puzzling” considers these concurrent modes to explore different registers of knowing, the generative possibilities of uncertainty, and the film form as a choreography of sense and stimuli. How can a puzzle, as a challenge and as a structure, destabilize or shape the world? How are the boundaries of sense and non-sense policed? Human and non-human test subjects, compromised figures of authority, and metaphysical detectives populate the series, alongside inquiries on communication, abstraction, and agency.