30 Quai des Charbonnages
Koolmijnenkaai, 1080 Brussels
Art Center for Digital Cultures & Technology



Bengal/Usa | 2000 | 16mm | color | sound | 20'00
The Glass System, made from images shot in New York and Calcutta, looks at life as it is played out in the streets. Every corner turned reveals activities both simple and unfamiliar: a knife sharpener on a bicycle; a tiny tightrope walker; a man selling watches in front of a department store on Fifth Avenue; a hauntingly slow portrait of the darting eyes of schoolgirls on their way home; the uncompleted activities of a young contortionist. The sound in the film (which is from a Bengali primer written by British missionaries) is a meditation on how the English language teaches ideas about culture which are often incongruous. The disjunction between what you hear and what you see evokes reflections about the impact of globalization and the hegemony of Western-style capitalism.

  • Mark Lapore

Thailand/Burma | 2002 | 16mm | b&w | silent | 10'00
The footage for Mekong was shot on a journey I made with my wife to the Golden Triangle area of the Thai-Burma border. The film is a song of desire and explores the overlapping sensations of intimacy and erotic longing with unfamiliar location and culture.

  • Mark LaPore

North Kolkata | 2005 | 16mm | b&w | sound | 35'00
A portrait of North Kolkata (Calcutta), this film searches the streets for the ebb and flow of humanity and reflects the changing landscape of a city at once medieval and modern.

  • Mark LaPore

Bodies emerge from vaporous passageways, figures traverse flooded streets. Silver packets dance as if sentient, while humans linger somnolent, or at the average tempo required by their trades. Alert, composed or unaware... in frame, in view, unknown. Kolkata, an actual city like all cities nests near a real and an imaginary meridian, contains crossroads of vital pathways and invisible currents. Burrabazar, Chitpur Road, unnamed locations. Immersed in a pandemonium of sonic distortion, the cawing of scavenger crows, the mad repetitions of competing sales pitches and torrential cries. These sound waves break against us, bracing and appalling, brute and... ordinary.

  • Mark McElhatten

Total 65'00

MARK LAPORE (1952-2005) was an experimental ethnographic filmmaker who made several films in the Sudan, India and Sri Lanka, as well as various parts of the U.S. over a period of nearly thirty years. A dedicated iconoclast and personal artist, LaPore strove to document and portray the cultures with which he connected in ways that were true to his experiences as a traveler as well as being honest reflections of people and scenes that he was witnessing. LaPore worked against conventions of ethnographic narrative, using cinema at its most fundamental level as an objective tool that could also be harnessed for personal response and expression. He was also an influential teacher at the Massachusetts College of Art, and many of his students have gone on to become significant filmmakers in their own right. LaPore's tragic and premature death on September 11, 2005, robbed American independent cinema of one of its most original and dedicated talents. - Steve Anker

Before We Knew Nothing