July 23, 2018

Hangouts: Steph Berrington

Steph Berrington in Studio.

Steph Berrington

For this interview, Steph and I sat out on the comfy couches in the bookstore of Plug In ICA. Steph is an arts administrator, editor and programer working primarily with book publishing and film distribution. (We love stories!) Their interests centre around gender in film, life, and pop culture. They've approached the Summer Institute as a cultural worker and curator, rather than a practicing artist and has been treating the Summer Institute as more of a research residence.  Their background in film and publishing has resulted in research for new methods of distribution in both film and literature.  They are looking at digital technologies, internet platforms and the potential opportunities and risks that they offer to independent film and literature under late capitalism. As a DIY publisher myself, it was so wonderful to hear Steph's thoughts about dissemination and creative autonomy for artists. They mostly focused on film curation and enjoy the challenges that curation involves. The restrictions or limitations involved in the curation process is a puzzle waiting to be solved.

Steph talked about how a lot of established arts and art institutions are slow to adapt to new technologies and accommodate industry needs. This, and their passion for film and books, are driving forces in their curatorial research. They are particularly interested in the effects of digital technology in film publishing and what that means in terms of the ethics of art and film. Independent film makers already receive very little money, and often have to pay for their film to be submitted and screened (if chosen). Usually it would be sent physically, but with digital technology there's risk for autonomy when a digital file is sent. There is no guarantee that the film will be deleted after screening, or that it won't get leaked online somehow. For Steph, this brings up questions of ownership and distribution. It appears as though there are.......plot holes....in film morality.

So far Steph has enjoyed the opportunity to think and participate in dialogue with others. They were very excited for Evelyn Forget's seminar on Universal Basic Income and really appreciated listening Ilana Harris Babou's artist talk. Steph is so glad to have been a part of the DIS Summer Institute. They find that it's hard to make time for their practice and give themselves the breathing space to sit and absorb information, the Summer Institute has been great for doing all of that and more.

Sun Sign: Aquarius

Thanks so much Steph, keep that energy!

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