CIRCUT presents: The Kalampag Tracking Agency: 30 years of Filipino Artists Films – 24/03/2016


CIRCUIT is proud to present The Kalampag Tracking Agency, a programme of Filipino artist films from 1985-2014, introduced by Manila-based artist and curator Shireen Seno.

Featuring animistic ritual, Imelda Marcos and re-purposed action movie footage, this programme offers an urgent response to the “cultural and libidinal complex of colonization” in the Phillipines.

‘Kalampag’ is a Tagalog word that roughly translates to a ‘bang’. Curator Shireen Seno describes the kalampag/bang as “an alert, a warning that something may worsen or interrupt the journey, versus the stable engine hum of a giant system, a well-oiled machine; like the rattling of loose parts that collide while in motion.”

Featuring works from the Philippines and its diaspora, The Kalampag Tracking Agency presents some of the most singular, fragile, and striking moving image works by Filipinos over the past thirty years. The programme utilises a variety of formats, techniques and textures; from 8mm and 16mm to HD and cellphone video; from found-footage and optical print experiments to ethnographic documents and video installations.

“This is a collection of works assembled not by theme, history, medium or other arbitrary concerns: this is a confluence of uncanny juxtapositions and pleasant contradictions, an experience not unlike revisiting a familiar place in a new light. But before you get to where you’re going, you hit a speed bump or a pothole and you hear a loud rattling coming from your car. Sometimes you think something’s amiss; sometimes it’s the sound of it that comforts you.” –
Shireen Seno.

The Kalampag Tracking Agency is an ongoing curatorial initiative between Shireen Seno of Los Otros and Merv Espina of Generation Loss (GEN_LOSS). Many of the screening prints of the 8mm and 16mm films created in the 80s and 90s that are featured in The Kalampag Tracking Agency are mostly missing or completely decomposed – some of the lucky ones have negatives and/or preservation copies left. From the nooks and crannies of several libraries and collections, to tiny islands in the Visayas, to the Los Angeles sprawl, Seno and Espina tracked down individual people and works in order to address the institutional and personal gaps of cataloging, archiving and storing. The screening versions of the films in this program come from crude U-Matic, VHS and Betamax transfers. The Agency is still in the process of tracking down the surviving prints.

Seno’s visit to New Zealand follows her participation in the Asia Pacific Triennial where she screened her her debut feature film ‘Big Boy’, which addresses the ‘myth’ of the close-knit Filipino family and the historical violence below the surface of Filipino life.

The Kalampag Tracking Agency: 30 years of Filipino Artist Films
8pm, March 24, The Audio Foundation, Auckland $10
8pm, March 31, The Pyramid Club, Wellington $10

Thursday 24 March @ Audio Foundation, doors 8pm
$10 // no presales

Thursday 31 March @ The Pyramid Club, doors 8pm
$10 // no presales

The Kalampag Tracking Agency

Image: Martha Atienza, Anito (2012) 8:08, Digital Video, Colour, Sound