2023, Video Installation / Single Channel Video
Large Print series
23 mins, 4k
Viewing copy on request
Large Print series
23 mins, 4k
Viewing copy on request
Line of Sight delves into themes of displacement, memory, and the interplay of language and technology, drawing inspiration from Ali Eslami's poetry collection bearing the same title. The film employs poetic mediums such as spoken word, code poetry, and ASCII art to navigate the intricate ways language articulates our inner realm.
It unfolds a complex tapestry of memories encrypted into codes, poems, and surreal narratives, revealing a dark blend of chaos, conflict, and entangled relationships to the viewer.
The distinction between the viewer, reader, and protagonist becomes obscure, fostering a cyclic movement between the inner and outer voice that morphs through each segment.
The film unfolds through a series of meticulously assembled vignettes and fragments, weaving a robust, coherent thread amid the protagonist's fragmented and dislocated reality. In a world where forging a coherent self seems increasingly elusive, Line of Sight ventures to explore this struggle through its experimental narrative.
Guarding a toilet at 3am, the silence and slight breeze touching my face, washing away the crawling fear of getting caught by the officer who was supposed to check on me to see if I’m standing upright at random times—such as 3:43am.
I have never daydreamed so intensely as the time I was serving mandatory military service in Iran. I couldn’t stop drifting in thoughts, side-tracked while marching with other 300-ish folks in lines.
Sometimes I wonder, have I gone mad thinking back on those times with good memories? Am I apologetic about the whole army thing? I do wonder how come those memories of supposedly the darkest times of life have become so lucid, bright, and dreamy.
I suppose all these memories cipher into lines of code that give a glimpse into the dark amalgamation of chaos, conflict, and messed-up ties. While both hands stuck to the gun, I kept simulating a computer to write down all those codes. Compile them on myself, on the officer who’s about to check on me in a minute, on the...
…still standing, perhaps upright, chin up, guarding a toilet at 3:55am.
A breeze plays with my cheeks and brushes the leaves.
"Line of Sight" / "خط دید" by Ali Eslami is an immersive collection of experimental poetry that embarks on a raw and unfiltered journey through emotions, memories, and a striking fusion of language and technology. Rooted in the author's experience of displacement and inspired by their Iranian heritage, this collection deftly explores the concept of "line of sight" as a bridge uniting fractured worlds.
Departing from Eslami's background in virtual reality and film, the collection emerged from a deep-seated need to express the inexpressible. Through a tapestry of poems, codes, ASCII pictograms, and absurdist stories, the author captures the struggle of existing between two worlds —the diasporic reality of life between present-day Amsterdam and the evocative echoes of Iran's past and present, narrated through the dual voices of introspection and projection.
Central to the collection are the "code-poems," a new form of artistic expression that blends abstract coding, inner dialogues, and external reflections. This novel approach draws a captivating parallel between human experiences and the intricate digital frameworks that silently govern our modern existence. As codes shape our world, Eslami's "code-poems" empower readers to navigate these mental landscapes, inviting them to engage not only intellectually but also emotionally.
The incorporation of ASCII art serves as a potent vehicle for the book's exploration of language's malleability and its capacity to mold realities. Eslami integrates early computer aesthetics to navigate the delicate interplay between language and imagery, offering readers a transformative lens. As technology surges forward, Eslami employs ASCII to reaffirm their cultural identity and to breathe life into the digital landscape.
The foreword offers a glimpse into the author's personal journey—a time of mandatory military service that paints a vivid picture of the dissonance between personal experiences and societal expectations. Memories become lines of code, and within them lies a narrative that resists the ordinary. Through this lens, Eslami invites readers to decode their memories and reconfigure their fragments into new constructs.
"Line of Sight" is more than a literary collection—it's an evocative map of emotions, a testament to the potency of language, and a tribute to the intricate interplay between identity's complexities and the shared human journey. It challenges readers to embrace ambiguity in the midst of displacement—a narrative both deeply personal and universally resonant.
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Rijksackademie Open Studios 2023, Amsterdam
- Editing, Direction, Sound: Ali Eslami
- Sound Engineering: Kenny Kneefel
- Production Assistant: Clemens Stumpf , Tomasz Skibicki , Ilse de jong
- Book Binding: Thekla Ahrens
- Video Documentation: Clemens Stumpf
- Photography - Sander van Wettum
Special Thanks to:
Rijksackademie workshop specialists, staff, and advisors