On a chilly but pleasant afternoon, a group of people sat at tables in Soho art space Recess, poring over strips of film. One person scratches designs onto a strip, another adds metallic star-shaped stickers. Croatia-born artist Željka Blakšić, who also uses the name Gita Blak, has been conducting what she calls a “direct filmmaking workshop.” In it, 16mm film strips are directly altered through the use of collage, drawing, scratching, and other tactics. Each person’s customized film strip is individual, but soon they will all be assembled into one motley creation, fed into a projector, and screened for all its creators to behold.
I almost wish that we could take this one at face value, and learn in earnest how to combat the shadowy organization that is (obviously!) slowly infiltrating the upper echelons of government, business and media in order to implement a new world order through a complex system of signs and symbols. Sadly, that’s not the case. Despite what you might have heard about the nefarious Illuminati connections of Jay-Z, Beyonce, Obama, and Kim Kardashian, The Base is not here to help us take the mofos down. Instead, the leftist community organization believes that “Illuminati theory helps oppressed people to explain our experiences in the hood.” So they’ve put together a pamphlet redirecting attention to ways in which citizens can tackle the very real issues of oppression and exploitation. Come along, and channel your abundant conspiracy theory energy into thinking about social change.