Shock, Fear, and Belief: The Films and Videos of Madi Piller

Shock, Fear, and Belief: The Films and Videos of Madi Piller, edited by Clint Enns and Mike Hoolboom (Toronto: Pleasure Dome, 2016).

Introduction by Clint Enns and Mike Hoolboom

Animated Self-Portraits
Animating Community by Clint Enns
Animated Self-Portraits / Autoportraits Animés by Various Artists

I Felt Like an Octopus: An Interview with Madi Piller by Mike Hoolboom

Throwing Voices: Madi Piller and John Straiton by Stephen Broomer

Vive Le Film
A History of the Dead and the Long Living (Copied and Pasted) by Christine Lucy Latimer

Untitled, 1925
Following South by Stephen Broomer
Amidst Dust and Chaos by Genne Speers

Photo Series by Madi Piller

Filmography compiled by Mike Hoolboom

Introduction by Clint Enns and Mike Hoolboom

Beyond the Pleasure Dome, in the various underground cinemas where comrades gather to watch films, lies the realm of the unknown, the space in which strange and unique visions are realized. Despite the joy of creation, art making can be quite difficult and, as the song goes, we often get by with a little help from our friends. In addition to being a wonderful moving image artist, Madi Piller is one of the most generous people working in the Toronto moving image community. She embodies selflessness, always willing to provide an eye, an ear, and a shoulder, in addition to friendship and resources, to any artist working in the fringe moving image scene. Her encouragement of other artists’ practices has led to the creation of a substantial number of fringe moving image works, including the artwork commissioned for her major curatorial projects, namely, Eleven in Motion (2009), Hello Amiga (2012), OP ART Re-Imaged (2014), and The Frame is the Keyframe (2016).

Madi began her work on the other side of the lens, as a producer of commercials in Colombia. A chance Toronto connection led her to the grail of super 8, and the small miracle of Exclusive Film Lab (and the Splice This! Fest), twin engines of practice that helped bring her to Canada, where she embraced a materialist practice. Steeped in the frame-by-frame wonders of animation, her work began to migrate between analogue video, digital way stations, and film emulsion. Her animated comrades taught her that the best movies were short, condensations of experience, whether offering personal portraits, landscape retakes, or abstract reveries.

This publication was a response to Madi’s new black and white trilogy, a work inspired by her grandfather’s long ago trek from Romania to Peru, and of course by the inner and outer treks she has made as an artist. She’s entered a new moment of prolific risk-taking, offering up a lifetime of close attentions with typical generosity. We at Pleasure Dome are so pleased to be able to present her work on a special evening when we’ll all raise a glass and wonder how she managed it. For those who couldn’t make the show, no worries, the pages to come bear witness, and of course there are the movies themselves: living memorials, dream science.