Thursday, 2 December 2010

OKO at the Plaza Principle

A site-specific sculptural 16mm film loop installation, shot in the former TK Maxx space at Leeds Plaza Shopping Centre. The film was shot on Fomapan and Tri-X reversal 16mm stock, and subjected to different hand-manipulation techniques during processing and editing.

The two films were then installed as a double, looped projection using the architecture of the building. As the loops ran through the projectors, they gradually picked up dust and dirt from the surrounding environment. The films were shown for four days, until they disintegrated and the loops broke.

Exploiting the scale and architectural qualities of the abandoned TK Maxx store, the Plaza Principle included a range of contemporary art practice, but with an emphasis on sculpture, film and audio-visual work. Located in the empty shell of a former shopping space, the project existed in the context of economic recession and attempts by local authorities, business and commercial developers to disguise economic decline, commercial inactivity and property blight with a facade of cultural activity.

The Plaza Principle was curated by Chris Bloor and Derek Horton.

For more info on the exhibition and contributing artists see The Plaza Principle.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Unravel in the North... Huddersfield, Bradford and Leeds this weekend

Unravel has been travelling all over the UK... and this weekend we were back in the North!

Friday 12th @ Verve, Huddersfield

Saturday 13th @ National Media Museum, Bradford
(Bradford Animation Festival)

Sunday 14th @ 42 Gallery, New Briggate
(Cherry Kino, Leeds International Film Festival)

For more words and pictures please see the UNRAVEL blog.

Unravel 5/6 November 2010: Sheffield Docfest and BFI!

Unravel's busiest week yet....! As Maria and Chris caught the train back to London from their Scotland dates, OKO ran an Unravel session for Sheffield DocFest in the beautiful Town Hall.

Back in London, everyone involved in Unravel got together for the first time since AND Manchester to get hands-on with film at the BFI Southbank.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Screen Kiss [North by Northwest] @ Light Night

Screen Kiss (North by Northwest) 2010: photo courtesy Rick Harrison Photography
And back once again to the old TK Maxx space (our second home?)

For Light Night, Jo was invited to exhibit an expanded projector piece as part of Chris Bloor and Graham Hibbert's show - ‘Lecimy’ and other works.  Abstract film and video works created using both analogue and digital processes and minimalist sound composition were screened throughout the venue.

Screen Kiss (North by Northwest) transformed a minimal, hand-manipulated flicker loop into a fractured and pulsating expanded film through a suspended, spinning prism lens.

Thanks to Rick Harrison and Jon Davies for the photos. More to follow...

Screen Kiss (North by Northwest) 2010: photo courtesy Jon Davies

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

UNRAVEL at Abandon Normal Devices

It seems like we only just got back off the plane from NYC, but this autumn so far has turned out to be a busy one!

We've just joined Chris, Maria and Kelvin for our first workshop date(s) as part of UNRAVEL - an epic project that will create a hand painted film that correlates in length with the 874 miles between John O'Groats and Land's End - taking each metre between these two edges of mainland Britain as a ratio to equal one frame of 16mm film.

In collaboration with over twenty national and international film festivals across England, Scotland and Wales, this touring workshop aims to amass an epic sixteen hour film that will be created and manipulated by hand, by a diverse demographic of the people of Britain.

Abandon Normal Devices hosted UNRAVEL for a whole weekend of workshops at NoiseLab, a guerilla arts pop-up store in Manchester. 

Here's a video of the workshop, uploaded by AND:

For more info on how it went, photos and a list of future UK workshop dates, click here!

Monday, 12 July 2010

oko direct film workshop at Impressions Gallery [11 July 2010]

For the second day in our workshop weekend we facilitated a 16mm direct filmmaking workshop for Impressions Gallery, Bradford, as part of their Lazy Sunday programme.

It was great to run this alongside the Ben Rivers exhibition, which is on at the gallery until 5th September - if you have a chance, do check it out.

Everyone brought something different to the film - it was great to see so many different styles and techniques.  See below for some photos of the day...

oko super 8 workshop [10 July 2010]

We ran a super 8 workshop on Saturday at Red Eric studios.  A really good space, very relaxed - we definitely recommend!

See below for photos of the day...

And here's a link to one of the collaborative films made - telecined and uploaded  by Joe!

Super 8 workshop film. 10/7/2010 from joseph pratt on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

OKO/Lazy Sunday Direct Film Workshop! 11th July 2010

Lazy Sunday: Camera-less Film Making Workshop


@Impressions Gallery, Bradford
Sunday 11 July 2010, 12.00pm to 4.00pm

Join us at this practical introduction to 16mm camera-less filmmaking and create a handmade film and soundtrack.

This leisurely afternoon workshop led by experimental film collective OKO, will show that film can be immediate, accessible and fun! As well as experimenting with camera-less film techniques including drawing, scratching and painting on film, you’ll have the chance to collaborate on a collaged soundtrack over the course of the afternoon.

The workshop will finish with a screening of the film and soundtrack.
 at 3.30pm

This session is free and suitable for all ages and abilities. 
Feel free to drop by for half an hour, or stay for the whole afternoon.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

OKO Introduction to Super 8 Workshops - now booking!

OKO Introduction to Super 8 Workshops

@ Red Eric Studios, Leeds


Saturday 10th July
Saturday 14th August

6 places available on each workshop.

£40 full price/£35 concessions [NUS/unwaged/pensioner]

Book now for a place on OKO’s one-day practical introduction to super 8 filmmaking. This intensive workshop will demonstrate the accessibility and relative low cost of super 8 as a creative medium for artists and filmmakers.

As well as shooting on super 8 you’ll find out about the history of the format and how super 8 works, learn how to hand-process film and experiment with projectors.

The workshop will run from 10am-5pm, and will finish with a collective screening of the films made over the course of the day.

To provisionally reserve your place please email us at


/experimental film
/expanding cinema
/workshops and events

If you’d like to be added to our mailing list for future workshops and events:
email us at

Friday, 7 May 2010

Cinema Povera 16mm found footage workshop

Wow! Here's what everyone did at the 16mm found footage workshop at the weekend...

Video courtesy of Conor O'Grady - Thanks!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Cinema Povera weekend: photos!

We're just starting to get some photos through from the weekend!

See our Flickr page for a few,

plus the Art in Unusual Spaces' photostream.... [Thanks to Yvonne for these...]

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

OKO Introduction to 16mm workshop @ PSL

 Thursday 15th April we facilitated an introduction to 16mm filmmaking workshop at Project Space Leeds!

The workshop covered all aspects of D.I.Y. filmmaking processes - shooting, hand-processing and projecting. 

See below for an edited version of the film shot by the 6 participants and photos from the day.

Thanks to all at Lumen and Project Space Leeds.

Thanks to Rob [Lumen] and Mark Jaffe for the photos!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Cinema Povera: Spectres of the Spectrum - 2nd May 2010!

OKO are proud to present a special screening of Craig Baldwin's 'Spectres of the Spectrum'
Plus found footage films and performances

2-5pm, Sunday 2nd May
Old TK Maxx Unit, Plaza Shopping Centre, Leeds

Baldwin’s pioneering mash-up mines 50’s sci-fi, educational and industrial films, appropriated and re-born as a visionary sci-fi space/time travel epic:

“Through an increasingly abstract montage of live action, archival film, broadcast video and ‘exploded’ interviews, the fantasy narrative warps into disjointed, abstracted, audio-visual phrases, suggesting the breakdown of personal ego/memory, historical representation, and, yes, of course, space/time itself.”
[Canyon Cinema]

Plus found footage films and performances

featuring ‘Old Man of the Mountain’ by Harappian Night Recordings: a collaboration between Syed Kamran Ali and Harry Wheeler.

Craig Baldwin at Canyon Cinema
Other Cinema, San Francisco
'Media Meltdown' - an interview with Craig Baldwin

Friday, 16 April 2010

Cinema Povera: 'The Waste Land' - live expanded cinema performance

Cinema Povera: 'The Waste Land' - live expanded cinema performance

Saturday 1st May 2010

Old TK Maxx Unit, Plaza Shopping Centre, Leeds

Published in 1922 in the aftermath of the First World War, T.S Eliot’s epic poem of the 20th Century still divides opinion and remains as mysterious today as when it was first written.

Against the backdrop of a devastated Europe with the portentous rise of nationalism, social fragmentation and growing economic turmoil, The Waste Land was written in an atmosphere of uncertainty and creative experimentation. Europe had seen the unparalleled horror of the First World War with death on an unimaginable scale and the seeds of fascism were firmly planted in the ruins. In Britain, two million were unemployed after economic collapse, and the traditional social order was falling apart. This was a period of economic turmoil, hardship and desperation yet paradoxically it was also a time of unparalleled wealth and technological advance.

Written over a number of years and dedicated to his close friend Ezra Pound, The Waste Land is a complex work, yet it contains some of the most intense and beautiful lines ever written.
Chris Hall and Ian Harker present a new interpretation of the poem finding a striking resonance in today's confused and turbulent age of flickering images, financial crises, and permanent war. Although in later years Eliot distanced himself from interpretations of the poem as social commentary, the poem can be seen as a desperate search for the affirmative and a refusal of a barren society.

The Waste Land will be read as part of a multi-sensory expanded cinema performance incorporating live projection and a live performed soundtrack.

The performance will last an hour and admission is free.

Monday, 15 March 2010

'Cinema Povera' weekend: 1st & 2nd May 2010

C I N E M A  P O V E R A

experimental film/expanding cinema

re-processed film/re-claimed time/re-cycled space

Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd May 2010

Former TK Maxx Unit, Plaza Shopping Centre, Leeds

Taking place in a unique location in the centre of Leeds, OKO presents Cinema Povera*, a weekend dedicated to found footage film and live cinema performance.

Saturday 1st May

- Found footage workshop
Come and ransack the 16mm archives: join OKO filmmakers in creating a collective found-footage film and soundtrack.

- Evening event:
Premiere! A live cinematic interpretation of a 20th century epic poem by Chris Hall, Ian Harker, Violaine Bergoin, Harry Wheeler, Lee Hooper and Andrew Staveley - mixing spoken word, improvised sound and multiple projection.

Sunday 2nd May

- Screening event:
A short selection of films and projector performances followed by the main feature, Craig Baldwin’s ‘Spectres of the Spectrum’ (1999). Baldwin’s pioneering mash-up mines 50’s sci-fi, educational and industrial films, appropriated and re-born as a visionary sci-fi space/time travel epic.

*Cinema Povera – meaning literally, ‘Cinema of Poverty’, plunders the archives of collective cultural memory to re-process the past and re-imagine our present/future in imaginative and inventive ways.
Timings of workshop and events TBC. Watch this space!

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