Embodying the Intention: The Selected Works of Clint Enns

Programmed by Klaus W. Eisenlohr. Presented by Directors Lounge at Z-Bar in Berlin, Germany on June 17, 2015.

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Clint Enns is a video artist currently living in Toronto, Ontario. He originally studied mathematics before changing his focus to the study of cinema and media studies. His work is multifaceted and eclectic, and therefore resists easy classification. Mostly using found material, he manipulates analogue film, screen captures video chats and computer games, transforms videos into ASCII code, uses lo-fi toy cameras, close-circuit feedback and found footage. He has presented his works in festivals and alternative cinema spaces and writes about cinema.

Although his work is primarily short in length, it is intended for theatrical presentation, and not as installation work, single or multi-channel, as most other media artists do. His being in favour for the screening format, and the playful anarchy of his films, reflect also the vibrant micro-cinema culture that exists in both Toronto and Winnipeg: communities that create and discuss films and that are open to a new generation of filmmakers and video artists working in unconventional and non-academic ways (though many established and academic elders contribute to the community such as Guy Maddin, Mike Hoolboom, Phil Hoffman and John Porter, all from Canada) These are the kind of communities that echo the old days of Cinema 16 where Amos Vogel and his peers showed a mixture of avant-garde films, splash films, instructional and science movies together with subversive political films.

In Enns’ work you may find traces of the joyful, deconstructing practice of Nam June Paik, who used magnets and other tools to bend the beam of the cathode in order to distort the television image. Enns nowadays also uses scripting and electronic errors in order to create or alter his images.  Still, it seems as if the artist is using a quote of Paik for his work: “When too perfect, lieber Gott böse” (When too perfect, dear God turns angry). With this show at Z-Bar, Clint Enns invites us to a microcosm of electronic and analogue images, which can only be seen as the antithesis to the over-real, sharp, high definition images, and as an ironic response to some overly serious avant-garde heroes, emblematic of the Cult of the Bolex.

His mathematical studies have not only provided Enns with the knowledge to use algorithms for the creation of his images, but have also liberated some diabolic and playful humor (all out of love), which sometimes requires a savvy viewer to fully read the irony embedded in the image.


On light, or the Ingression of Forms | 2007 | 2 min. | Circuit Bent Webcam->DV 
light is the first bodily form video | 2007 | 3 min. | Circuit Bent Webcam->DV
Let Me ASMR You | 2014 | 3 min. | DV
Back + Forth | 2009 | 3 min. | Super 8
747 | 2011 | 1 min. | DV
The Death of Natural Language | 2007 | 3 min. | DV
Connecting With Nature | 2011 | 2 min. | DV
Spider-Man Vs. MacroVision | 2010 | 2 min. | DV
Prepare to Qualify | 2008 | 3 min. | Circuit Bent Atari -> DV
I for NDN | Collaboration with Darryl Nepinak | 2 min. | 2011 | VHS->DV
Self Improvement | 2010 | 3 min. | VHS->DV
whiplash | 2010 | 1 min. | VHS->DV
putting yourself out there | 2009 | 2 min. | DV
Softly Through the Night | 2011 | 1 min. | VHS->DV
winnipeg stories: sacrificial memories | 2008 | 5 min. | Super 8/Video 8->DV
Splice Lines | 2012 | 1 min. | DV
Ten Skies | 2012 | 3 min. | DV
The Everden | 2013 | 16 min. | Pxl2000->DV