Locative Cinema Commission


The Locative Cinema Commission is a joint project of ZER01: The Art and Technology Network, The Banff New Media Institute at The Banff Centre, and the New Frontier program at the Sundance Institute.

“There is no there there” – Gertrude Stein

Gertrude’s Stein’s oft-quoted observation about the loss of the physical architecture of her past may also suggest another kind of place of embodied memories and constructed narratives. Place becomes dual, both manifest and mobile in our consciousness, operating between the poles of rooted memories and inspirational imagination, between the strangely familiar and the eerily faraway, between the forgotten and the magical.

Place has traditionally been documented through cartography, story and song. Such tales reveal complex landscapes inscribed, written over and remixed with shared and conflicting narratives. But do these strategies of place through the ages provide us with the insight we need to see individuals and value collectives in a telematic age? Can new forms of navigation find a new place between the disembodied experience and physicalized imaginary of contemporary society?

The 2010 01SJ Biennial l has issued a challenge to Build Your Own World, claiming that the future is not about what’s next; it’s about what we can build to ensure that what’s next matters. Fundamental to the conjuring of such worlds is the way in which the artistic imagination can use the tools at hand to provide access to ideas, methods for exchanging new interpretations, and markers that allow people to navigate between mixed reality and hard imagination.

The Locative Cinema Commission navigates this terrain, bringing attention to narratives of place and space and seeking new forms of description and experience. How can we illustrate the layers that inform our understanding of place in a hybrid age? Does more and more information obscure our vision or hardwire us for the future? Is it possible to transgress the boundaries of San Jose and end up in Mexico City? Is it possible to climb a peak in Banff and arrive in Hades? Can a pair of snow boots in Park City step through a wormhole into the future or suddenly slip into forest of giant petunias?

Joint Project

The Locative Cinema Commission is a joint project of ZER01: The Art and Technology Network, The Banff New Media Institute, and the New Frontier program at the Sundance Institute We are soliciting proposals that can generalize the platform of specific places such as San Jose, California, Banff, Canada, or Park City, Utah to describe the world that you want people to see. We understand the notion of ‘locative cinema’ as an apparatus through which you can share your vision using place in ways that are both specific and generic or at least transferable. All variations on how to present your work will be considered, from cell phones to the black box of the cinema, from mixed reality to street theatre, from GPS to handhelds, from distributed to ambient. Proposals will be evaluated on their ability to engage people using place as a key element of the experience.


The commission will be realized via a residency at The Banff New Media Institute to be completed by July 2010. The new work will be presented at the 2010 01SJ, the 2011 Sundance Festival and the 2011 Banff Summer Arts Festvial. As such, the work must be realizable in San Jose, Park City, and Banff. Residency costs will be covered. There is a $4,500 artist commissioning fee and up to $5,000 for production and residency costs, plus substantial in-kind support from The Banff Centre. In addition, reasonable presentation costs, including necessary travel, will be covered.

You should be prepared to provide:

  • 2 page conceptual proposal, which should include the relationship of your project to place
  • 2-page technical proposal, which outlines the basic parameters of how you imagine the project to be produced and to work and/or any issues you intend to resolve during your residency. Be sure to include presentation requirements to the best of your ability
  • proposed budget. The budget should indicate any confirmed or likely additional funding, if costs exceed the commission funding.
  • list of key collaborators describing their role and no more than 1 paragraph short bio of each person.
  • complete resume(s) of key personnel
  • links to examples of past work and any storyboards, etc. related to your proposal. The submissions are due Monday August 3, 2009 and will be reviewed by a jury consisting of representatives from the 01SJ Biennial, Banff New Media Institute, and New Frontier/Sundance Institute. The jury’s selection is contingent on confirmation of the details of the proposal.
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