Short Shorts 2015: Video Festival

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Short Shorts 2015: Video Festival
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Short Shorts 2015: Video Festival says
Somebody Else’s Problem
Curated by Rachel Reese

Please RSVP to
Opens 8pm, Videos begin around 9pm with intermission.

Whitespace Gallery
814 Edgewood Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307


The 2015 Short Shorts prompt uses the lens of the psychological effect known as “Somebody Else’s Problem,” or SEP, as a method to explore reactions and responses to recent American political and social events, particularly current, galvanizing American police brutality and racial discrimination cases. With protests and demonstrations fueling renewed national civil rights concerns, many of us are wondering what actions can make an impact, how to be involved, and how to transfer our individual passivity from SEP syndrome into collective forward action.


Paul Stephen Benjamin
Angela Bortone
Danielle Deadwyler
Emily Greenburg
Heejin Jang
Ayce Kartal
Dawn Kim
Christopher Lineberry
Joe Netta
Shannon Novak
Karl Salzmann
Paul Shortt
Weigang Song
Willie Stewart
R. Blair Sullivan
Evelyn Walker

Are there connections between the ways we access and share information online, and individual civic engagement thresholds? Specifically, has instantaneous access to digital information and imagery contributed to a state of mere voyeuristic empathy, or even learned helplessness? Overload of visual information can create an environment of apathy and also a false sense of public engagement through passive forms. Does being able to see more conversely contribute to less experiential involvement by allowing screen viewing to stand in for actual bodies in real space? Does it overwhelm any desire for curiosity or engagement? We want to read, see, and learn more, but simultaneously we are restless: attention spans and comprehension rates are rapidly diminishing.

The images we see and share online are of real people in real time and space, happening “live”. Or are they? With the ever-rising influence of the media, questioning who owns and controls information is integral to discussing voice within our democratic system. Which platforms—social media, the Internet, traditional print media—do we believe to be reliable? How has the global ubiquity of smart phones, illuminated, or alternatively hindered, the distribution and perception of current political events – especially those most recently related to abuse of police power and structural racism.

How do we transfer collective energy and motivation into thinking about isolated or localized events as “somebody else’s problem” into collective societal motivations and wants? And then how do we fight against an oligarchal system masquerading as democracy in order to start real conversations and, ultimately, change?

Image: Danielle Deadwyler, Failure to Appear, 2015, TRT: 1 min, 43 sec., courtesy the artist.
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By: Whitespace

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