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The Peckham Artists Moving Image Festival saw an exciting and wide-ranging programme of events held at galleries and venues across Peckham. The video-centric art festival was programmed with the intention of showcasing local and international artists working in moving image. Though thoroughly ‘local’, occupying public spaces such as Khan’s Bargains, PAMI proved to be expansive in the diverse medley of its concerns.
Peckham is bustling with small art studios and galleries nestled in the nooks amongst the general hub-bub of South London. This proximity generates a seamless tangle between the movement of the artworks placed inside the galleries and the movement outside the gallery walls. There are vague common or recurrent themes throughout the festival; an interest in 'cultural speed' and the augmented social conditions that arise from our human relationships within a hypermediated society.
Works such as Pascal Sisto's video installation 'Push / Pull (my luck is your misfortune)', a hyperreal video collage populated by vortices of traffic spiralling away and towards the viewer. An over-surge sent to the neurones lighting up familiar pathways like Christmas bulb fractals, it acts like a visual-drone hypnotising the audience through an imaginary tunnel. The series of talks and screenings held at the gallery Arcadia Missa, called 'ἄρχω', were described in the programme as a 'living archive' which appeared to accumulate through contributions from artists and writers for the duration of the festival. The gallery space was arranged to assume the role of a kind of do-it-yourself luminescent digital library, a fount of information scrolls out from several projectors across the space. A tapestry of bits that is overbearing and seems to borrow from a Hollywood aesthetic: an alien who learns our history by flicking through an encyclopedia at savant-like speeds; one source is listed ominously in the programme as 'the internet'.
One screening event curated by Paul Pieroni, 'KEEPING IT SLLOW AT SCREW'S HOUSE', deals inversely with this perennial increase in speed and instead shows the current and historical proponents within culture that seek a slower pace. At the Son Gallery Takeshi Shiomitsu's work 'Heavy Reflections' plays on a poster adorned screen construct; again we find an engagement with informatic overload, also present is an attempt at redistribution of information, redirecting the energies behind this ramping up of social and cultural speed.
Peckham has long been a scene with a lot on offer in contemporary art, more recently it has been thriving from an influx of art graduates and practising artists. PAMI reveals the underlying scene of a community whose mutual concerns are feeding an altogether greater network of artists, gallerists and curators.
All images by Art Licks PAMI Tour, September 2011. Image Copyright: Mariona Otero