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Good Symptom: Episode 1, September 2023

Episode 1, September 2023

Featured in this Episode:

  • “My phone needs to charge so this’ll be a little far away” ~ 02:40 | Tobi Springer | 2022 | Netherlands
  • “Results May Vary” ~ 04:07 | Tiffany Jiang | 2022 | USA
  • “Für Lilith” (“ლილიტს”) ~ 09:35 | Mariam Elene Gomelauri | 2023 | Tbilisi, Georgia (Sakartvelo)
  • “According To Sun Ra, None Of Us Are Real” ~ 04:38 | Naima Lowe | 2020 | USA

Episode Extras:

  • “And so we begin,” an introductory essay by Good Symptom curators M Freeman, Rana San, and Chelsea Werner-Jatzke
    Read the Essay (PDF)

My phone needs to charge so this’ll be a little far away ~ 02:40 | Tobi Springer | 2022 | Netherlands
In “My phone needs to charge so this’ll be a little far away,” director, animator, and sound designer, Tobi Springer, pairs conversational interview snippets and personal essay with an improvised, lulling piano score and evocative hand-drawn, reflexive animation. Fleeting in ordinary time and everlasting in tender originality, My phone needs to charge so this’ll be a little far away is a trans-genre journey into being and becoming and wondering what the future holds. A world premiere in Good Symptom.

About the Artist
Tobi Springer is a British-Dutch animator and filmmaker with a penchant for old-school and traditional animation techniques. Their work tends to explore themes of queerness and grief and the feeling of otherness that accompanies these themes.

Results May Vary ~ 4 minutes 7 seconds | Tiffany Jiang | 2022 | USA
In a deft assemblage of deteriorating found footage, the nostalgia of a scratchy old record, and a kind of fragmented lyric essay rendered in text-on-screen, Brooklyn-based, second-generation Chinese American filmmaker, Tiffany Jiang, questions the reliability of family history and photo albums, considers the possible outcomes of child rearing, and wonders about having children at all. Queer and non-binary, Jiang renders a dreamy assemblage. Results May Vary is at once of the archive and the archive revitalized, wary and interrogatory, melancholy and hopeful.

About the Artist
Tiffany Jiang is an award-winning Chinese-American filmmaker who gravitates towards stories about identity struggles, cultural taboos, and personal traumas. Tiffany is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Media Studies at The New School.

Für Lilith / ლილიტს ~ 9 minutes 35 seconds | Mariam Elene Gomelauri | 2023 | Tbilisi, Georgia (Sakartvelo)
This is how I started to understand myself through hate speech, Georgian filmmaker, Mariam Elene Gomelauri tells us halfway through the disarmingly self-aware, Für Lilith / ლილიტს, a reexamination of Gomelauri’s gender-identity formation in the conservative, post-Soviet Republic of Georgia. Turning the camera first on themself in a spacious yet startlingly reflexive opening sequence, Gomelauri rewinds early childhood memories punctuated with a present-day voice of experience coupled with a compilation of home movies, personal artifacts, photo-collages and excerpts from a 2008 Georgian commercial (so-called) comedy film. In Für Lilith / ლილიტს—about growing up genderqueer under the reign of religion, sanctioned homophobia (in classmates, in movies) and the cruel absence of affirmative queerness—Gomelauri offers us something personal and daring, something infused with mythic rage, veracity and equipoise, something that will resonate for countless numbers of us worldwide. A worldwide premiere in Good Symptom.

About the Artist
Mariam Elene Gomelauri is a 3rd year audio-visual arts student from Tbilisi, Georgia. Self-image, class struggles, social perceptions, gender and identity are some of the themes Elene’s filmography often centers around. They enjoy using various types of mediums in their work, generating visual images using artificial intelligence, creating costumes, as well working with analog technology, backed by experience of working as a darkroom laboratory technician.

According To Sun Ra, None Of Us Are Real ~ 4 minutes 38 seconds | Naima Lowe | 2020 | USA
Naima Lowe disrupts conventional notions of the biopic in this genre-nonconforming piece centering the mundane queerness of legendary Sun Ra—the prototype Afrofuturist and hugely influential jazz musician. Using improvisational strategies rooted in alchemic survival practices known as Black cultural production, Lowe couples her perfectly imperfect pre-recorded reading of this Sun Ra poem she wrote with an improvised video performance she performs. Captured by a fixed-frame, locked-down camera on auto-focus, Lowe stands behind a translucent shower curtain fully dressed. Calm as a well-practiced alchemist, she runs, pours, and drinks water. Certain spoken words appear as text on-screen as Lowe appears in and out of focus while water drops flow into ramifying moons. Infused with dreamy visual style and graceful poetic swings—a judicial racial slur leaps to drinking starlight, to disrupting hate speech, to breathing while Black. A genre-fluid classic, “According to Sun Ra, None of Us are Real” is a liberating tonic honoring the ordinary queerness of a Black legend.

About the Artist
Naima Lowe is Black queer disabled writer and artist who creates films, performances and texts using improvisational and collaborative strategies. With a BA from Brown University and MFA from Temple University, Naima has exhibited at Anthology Film Archive, Wing Luke Museum, MiX Experimental Film Festival, National Queer Art Festival and the Henry Art Gallery. Naima has been an artist in residence at Millay Colony, Vermont Studio Center, and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art. She’s currently a Mid America Arts Alliance Interchange Artist Fellow, recipient of the Mid America Arts Alliance Artistic Innovation Award, and recipient of the Jazz Road Creative Residency. Naima resides in Tulsa, within the Muscogee Creek Nation Reservation, where she spends her time being free and talking to animals.