Still From Children Of Nan

Wed, Apr 24, 2019,7:30 Silver Eye Center for Photography
4808 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
Free with registration

Channel Silver Eye

Real Magic, Real Black: Alisha B. Wormsley & Li Harris

Channel Silver Eye presents two films by Pittsburgh, PA based artist Alisha B. Wormsley, and Houston, TX based artist Li Harris. In their films, Children of Nan and Cry of the Third Eye, the filmmakers look to the experiences of Black American motherhood, gentrification and notions of abduction and survival. They pull from the genres of science fiction and magical realism to build experimental, multi-dimensional worlds in which to explore these concerns.

Alisha Wormsley's film, The Children of Nan, takes place in a dystopic future, where Aditi 34 has only known life underground in a lab where she was created with her three sisters. Their maker, the Scientist, keeps them locked away for their "own safety." Her only connection to the outside world is an archive that gives her insight to how they came to be underground. She and her sisters start to have visions of their mother, NAN and the outside world and even one another in a different life. One by one her sisters begin to disappear and Aditi 34 must escape the lab, go above ground and search through time and space for her sisters and NAN.

Cry of the Third Eye is a new opera film, that follows the story of a young girl who wonders what’s really going on in the hood as she searches through the redevelopment of historic Third Ward Houston, Texas for her lost dog. This interdisciplinary performance piece touches on identity, gentrification and abduction, and is presented as a semi-silent short film with live musical narration performed by the writer, composer and director, Lisa E. Harris.
HD video, live vocal performance with electronic theremin and sampler, 29 minutes

Channel Silver Eye is a microcinema series based in our Penn Avenue gallery. Several times a year we present a selection of experimental films and videos based around a different theme programed by curators and artists from around the country. Popcorn and beer is served during the screening, questions and answers with the programmer and artists are at the end.

Image Credit: Still from Children of Nan

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Participating Artists

  1. Alisha B. Wormsley is an interdisciplinary artist and cultural producer. Her work is about collective memory and the synchronicity of time, specifically through the stories of women of color. Wormsley’s work has been honored and supported with a number of awards and grants to support programs: The People Are The Light ( part of the Hillman Photography Initiative), afronaut(a) film and performance series, Homewood Artist Residency (recently received the mayor’s public art award), the Children of NAN film series and archive, There Are Black People in the Future body of work. These projects and works have exhibited widely. Namely, the Andy Warhol Museum, Octavia Butler conference at Spelman University, Carnegie Museum of Art, Johannesburg SA, Studio XX in Montreal, Project Row House, the Houston Art League, Rush Art gallery in NY, the Charles Wright museum in Detroit and most recently the Mattress Factory. Currently working on: a public park design around community and sustainable water, a temporary installation in Pittsburgh's Market square, and creating a public program to put her text "There Are Black People In the Future" in residence to open up discourse around displacement and gentrification. Wormsley has an MFA in Film and Video from Bard College and was awarded the Postdoctoral Research fellowship in art at Carnegie Mellon University.

  2. Lisa E. Harris, Li, is an interdisciplinary artist, performer and composer from Houston Texas, USA. Li is a trained classical voice/opera singer from Manhattan School of Music and is certified as a facilitator of DEEP LISTENING, the sonic philosophies of composer Pauline Oliveros, from the Rensellaer Polytechnic Institute. Li’s work focuses on the energetic relationships between body, land, spirit and place. She uses voice, theremin, movement, text and new media to explore healing in performance.

    Her two new opera films “Cry of the Third Eye” and “Children of the Lost” use vocal composition and film to amplify the quelled voices of youth and displaced people due to rapid gentrification in Houston’s Third Ward. Harris attained a Bachelor of Music Degree from the Mannes College and a Master of Music Degree from Manhattan School of Music.