Author Archives: lanazcaplan


Light Work’s Urban Video Project presents

No Emoji for Ennui:
Lana Z Caplan, Ross Meckfessel, Alison Nguyen, Matt Whitman

January 27 – March 26, 2022
Thursday – Saturday, dusk – 11pm
Everson Museum of Art Plaza
401 Harrison Street

Plaza Projection Schedule
Jan. 27-Feb 5: Lana Z Caplan, Autopoiesis
Feb. 10-19: Ross Meckfessel, Estuary
Feb 24-March 5: Alison Nguyen, My Favorite Software Is Being Here
March 24-26: combined loop

In-person Screening
Thursday | February 24 | 6:30 p.m.

Screening + Q&A
Thursday, March 10 | 6:30 p.m. EST
Streaming Online

About the Program

No Emoji for Ennui is a group show featuring the work of Lana Z Caplan, Ross Meckfessel, Alison Nguyen, and Matt Whitman that explores the difficult-to-define emotional tenor of our time—one that often leaves us overstimulated and underwhelmed at the same time it demands endless positivity. The seductive surface of the touchscreen shatters and the polygon meshes underlying our shared social reality peek out from under the digital skin.

What does it feel like to be a person in a world in which our sense of self has been thoroughly disoriented by technological entanglement and co-opted by neoliberal capital?

By turns unsettling, contemplative, humorous, and filled with existential dread, the resulting show is a collective selfie of who and what we are now.

more information


Portfolio of Works

Artist Statement PDF


Documentation Video from Solo Exhibition
Gallery NAGA, Boston, September 2018

Includes 4K video, photographs, 35mm slides and 360-video installation.

This is my current research topic. In addition to the works exhibited in the video documentation above, a feature-length experimental documentary film and a publication of a book of photographic work are in progress.

Project Statement

My current multi-modal work in progress (2018-present), working title Shed on Passive Sands, uses news media; YouTube and public television programming, references to modernist photography by Ansel Adams and Edward Weston; popular folklore stories and songs; and streamed footage from public hearings to consider the current politically divided and environmentally threatened landscape of the coastal Oceano Dunes (one hour north of Santa Barbara, CA). I aim to pull up the history of this place from beneath the surface to populate the Dune site with a more profound sense of place and meaning, but also as a point of departure for conversation on the issues that extend far beyond this specific place. While the Oceano Dunes often appear as an empty, shifting landscape, through video, photography and virtual reality, my research weaves the rich histories of inhabitants spanning over 12,000 years – from the expunged Native American inhabitants, Cecil B. DeMille’s buried (and recently partially excavated) Ten Commandments ancient Egyptian film set, the proto-hippie squatters called the Dunites of the 1930’s, to the present-day ATV riders tearing up endangered species and polluting the air.

Selected Press

Podcast interview with Lana Z Caplan discussing this project
Exhibition Review on What Will You Remember


7:19, 4K video, 2019

Film Description

Autopoiesis (2019) is a short experimental film made with content sourced from the internet – clips of screen-recorded footage and sound, such as ski jumpers from the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, divers from Leni Riefenstahl’s film Olympia of the 1936 Berlin Olympics, self-hypnosis how-to videos, and Sun-Ra’s album Space is the Place. The video also includes overlays of text of current political and activist hashtags. As written in a review by arts writer and artist Heather Kapplow, “Autopoiesis intertwines complex ideas of utopia—Sun Ra’s speculative new black colony in outer space, Hitler’s Aryan nation, and the promise of a better world through hashtag activism—then counters it all by positing the impossibility of retreating or advancing, as the present moment is constantly buffeted with the darkness and struggle of current events.” I am responsible for all parts of production including sourcing and recording all the footage, editing and sound.

Selected Screenings

– Anarchivia (Mexico City, March 2019)
– ECHOFLUXX 19 (Prague, May 2019)
– AXW Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives (NYC, July 2019)
– VASTLAB Experimental Film Festival (Los Angeles, September 2019)
– Antimatter [media art] (Victoria, BC, October 2019)
– Transient Visions Festival of the Moving Image (Johnson City, NY, October 2019)
– Other Cinema (San Francisco, November 2019)
– Stuttgarter Filmwinter (Stuttgart, January 2020)
– Portland Underground Film Festival (Portland, OR, January 2020)
– Space Time Event Series (San Diego, CA, January 2020)
– Experimental Response Cinema @ Museum of Human Achievement (Austin, TX, January 2020)
– Cosmic Rays Film Festival (Chapel Hill, NC, March 2020)
– That One Film Festival (Livestream, September 2020)
– 27th Annual Chicago Underground Film Festival (Livestream, November 2020)
– Marseille Underground Film and Music Festival (Marseille, France, November 2021)

Patches of Snow in July

8:19, HD video, 2017

Film Description

Encompassing themes of media manipulation and environmental greed, Patches of Snow in July (2017) began as a reaction to the 2016 Presidential election. Mythology, religious fanaticism, climate deniers, environmental profiteers, natural disasters, and the end of radio, are reflected by a morphing landscape, poised for new devastation. Footage includes images I recorded of the Maui volcano Haleakala paired with a soundscape of collected audio simulating turning the dial on a radio, catching news and music clips. I am responsible for all parts of production including cinematography, editing and sound.

Selected Screenings

– Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival (Hawick, Scotland, May 2018)
– The Vast Lab (Los Angeles, May 2018)
– Microscope Gallery (Brooklyn, May 2018)
– Chicago Underground Film Festival (Chicago, June 2018)
– OpenEyes FilmFest (Marburg, Germany, July 2018)
– San Diego Underground Film Festival (August 2018)
– Festival des Cinémas Différents et Expérimentaux de Paris (October 2018)
– Antimatter [media art] (Victoria, BC, October 2018)
– Other Cinema (San Francisco, CA, October 2018)
– Kassel DokFest (Kassel, Germany, November 2018)
– Anarchivia (Mexico City, March 2019)
– AWAC Consciousness of Changing Climate (Berlin, July 2019)
– CineAutopsia – Festival de Cine Experimental de Bogotá (August 2019)
– Canyon Cinema Salon (San Francisco, November 2019)
– Royal Scottish Academy (Edinburgh, December 2019 – January 2020)
– Portland Underground Film Festival (Portland, OR, January 2020)

Selected Press

Critical essay on L’emergere del possibile about Patches of Snow in July


7:40, HD video, 2015

Film Description

Maelstroms (2015) uses animation, heat sensitive camera footage from US border patrol screens, military bombing drone monitors, and other collected footage, in a mediation on the dehumanizing use of image technology to control borders by land, air and sea. Maelstroms won the Audience Award at CROSSROADS Film Festival in San Francisco and has been included in numerous exhibitions and festivals around the world including the Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson. Review
“a harrowingly intense look at how modern surveillance imaging creates a dehumanizing gaze. The film cuts between US border-patrol footage, drone footage, and various other forms of surveillance, all of which are presented in disconcerting shades of grey, like a negative transfer. a harrowingly intense look at how modern surveillance imaging creates a dehumanizing gaze. The film cuts between US border-patrol footage, drone footage, and various other forms of surveillance, all of which are presented in disconcerting shades of grey, like a negative transfer. ” Rohan Berry Crickmar,

Selected Screenings

*Winner of Audience Choice Award* CROSSROADS 2016 (San Francisco, April 2016)
– Anthology Film Archives, Another Experiment by Women Film Festival (NY, NY, Feb 2016)
– Microscope Gallery Event Series (Brooklyn NY, October 2016)
– San Diego Underground Film Festival (San Diego, Nov 2016)
– Havana Film Festival (Havana, Cuba, December 2016)
– Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival (Hawick, Scotland, March 2017)
– Montreal Underground Film Festival (Montreal, May 2017)
– Chicago Underground Film Festival (Chicago, June 2017)
– Currents New Media Festival (Santa Fe, NM, June 2017)
– WDNX Festival of Moving Image (Winnipeg, October 2017)
– Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson (Tucson, AZ, October – December 2017)
– Experimental Response Cinema (Austin, TX, January 2018)
– That One Film Festival (Muncie, IN, April 2018)
– The Vast Lab (Los Angeles, July 2018)
– Other Cinema (San Francisco, October 2018)
– Revolutions per Minute Festival (Boston, February 2019)
– Anarchivia (Mexico City, March 2019)
– Pleasure Dome Screening Series (Toronto, December 2019)
– Royal Scottish Academy (Edinburgh, December 2019 – January 2020)
– LABOCINE Magazine, Unequal States, Issue 48, (July 2020)
– RhizomeDC Microcinema (August 2020)

The Loveliest Mountain of China

Installation Documentation, 2014

3 – 40″ televisions vertically wall-mounted
3 – computers
2 – wall-mounted horn speakers
Total running time of loop in installation: 45 minutes
color, HD, sound

Project Description

The three-channel video installation The Loveliest Mountain of China was filmed in the popular tourist destination Huangshan, China and installed in Beijing at the Inside Out Art Museum. This work lays bare the bones of the participatory documentary medium, deconstructing narrative film production modalities, and presents them across a wall space on three screens simultaneously. Comprised of three vertically hung monitors – one with interviews, one of fixed camera landscape views and one of “B-roll” of tourists posing in front of the mountain, a self-reflexive epi-narrative unfolds between the screens with an awareness of the illusion of ethnographic representation, gaps in translation, and the complexities of the politics of land use. The ecological impact of tourism and the illusion of transcendence is approached through the voices and perspectives of people who inhabit and visit – the locals and the tourists – the picturesque landscape of Huangshan (Yellow Mountain).

ARTnews Review
The Loveliest Mountain in China was described in a review of the work in ARTnews Magazine – “one monitor shows the Hunagshan mountains from several vantage points during shifting light and weather.  The next monitor displays tourists posing for pictures on a scenic overlook, and the third focus on people in the Huangshan tourism business – including porters, hotel employees and a local artist – explaining their impressions of the location where they earn a living.  Change is a constant: clouds hide the sun, gusts stir branches and ponytails, cell phones ring.  Caplan’s video highlights just how disparate experiences of the same spot can be, juxtaposing the magnificent spectacle of towering peaks with the bustle of tourism and the realties of everyday life. ” Joanne Sliver, ARTnews



Mexico City, Winter 2020-21

Including Autopoiesis
Streaming online and showing in cultural venues across Mexico City

Online: Friday, January 15, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. (CDMX time)

Program: Hologram Film projection # 7 / Program: Hologram
Stream: Facebook live
Filmmakers Program: Hologram
1. Federica Foglia-04/19/1968 (Italy)
2. Philippos Kappa – C wraps 9 (Greece)
3. Juana Robles – And a porcelain cat (Ireland)
4. Federica Leaf – Toad, Leaf, Grass, Rock (Italy)
5. Ildefonso Mercadillo – UP (Mexico)
6. Johannes Binotto – Prohibited Reproduction (Suiza)
8. Antonio Arango Vazquez – Untitled, Subtitled (Mexico)
9. Lana Z Caplan – Autopoiesis (USA)
10. Maxim Tatarintsev / +- (Russia)




November 9-22, 2020

Including Autopoiesis – Saturday November 14 at 9pm
Shorts Program 5 – Virtual Screening
live Q&A after screening

Now approaching its twenty-seventh year, CUFF is officially the LONGEST RUNNING UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL IN THE WORLD. The fest is an internationally recognized program that screens documentary, experimental, avant-garde and cult cinema, and showcases films that explore new approaches to established practices.


CutLog Moving Image Artists Screening

Online program curated from Scotland

November 2 – 23, 2020

‘Collected Dispersal’ Rosemary Taylor | ‘Patches of Snow in July’ Lana Z Caplan | ‘ Residual Minority’ Mieke Vanmechele | ‘Boy and the Sea’ Sarahjane Swan & Roger Simian | ‘Ruru’ Denise Batchelor | ‘ Emotion Over Raisin’ Ruth Waters | ‘Frozen’ Adonia Bouchehri | ‘The Hearing of the Eye’ Alessia Cecchet | ‘River Ghosts’ Jonathan Johnson | ‘Passage’ Richard Ashrowan




August 1-31, 2020
Online and Offline

Area Code Drive In Digital Showcase
Friday August 14, 8:30-10pm
Salem State’s O’Keefe Sports Complex

Including Lana Z Caplan’s film play and repeat.

Juried by Leonie Bradbury and presented in partnership with LuminArtz, works in the Video and Digital-Art section of the fair will be screened for drive-in viewing events.


NEW MEDIA FEST 2020 – July

IAM – Institut für Alles Mögliche Berlin – 09 July – 23 August 2020

Program 7 – Switching the Change
Curated by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne

Screening with Program 1 each Sunday, July 9-August 23, 14h-20h

Uri Kloss (Israel) – Word, 2017, 1:29
Fran Orallo (Spain) – Death Dance, 2017, 1:00
James Murphy (Ireland) – Moving Water, 2019, 1:59
Zlatko Cosic (Bosnia) – Even The Birds Know It, 2017, 2:55
Alan Sondhein (USA) – American Life, 2018, 6:03
Dmitry Kmelnitsky (USA) – URTH LING, 2019, 3:43
Brit Bunkley (New Zealand) – Pillard of Cloud, 2016, 4:00
Oleg Kharch (Ukraine) – Fakemet, 2019, 3:46
Lana Z Caplan (USA) – Canaries in the Mine, 2015, 8:19
Kristina Frank /Mervi Kekarainen (Sweden) – 2Rabbits in Purgatorio, 2019, 05:11
Arie Sigal & Ben-David Sigal (Israel) – Perlite, 2018, 4:17
Marcha Schagen (NL) – Melt Less CO2, 2019, 3:48
Adrien Gaumé (France) – Dry by innocence, 2018, 4’53”
Kate Walker (USA) – Cloudship, 2018, 14:33
Xia Han (China) – The Gift, 2019, 14: 23
Michael Carmody & Elissa Goodrich (Australia) – Common Time, 2018, 12:23
Boris Marinin (Israel) – Greenhouse, 2019, 3:19
Ausin Sainz (Spain) – Today, 2019, 5:00
Susanne Wiegner (Germany) – Sunrise, 2019, 5: 46
Gabriele Stellbaum (Germany) – Shame, 2019, 1:11




Featuring Maelstroms
Now streaming:

About Unequal States
Stories of the continued struggle against oppression through movements, resistance, and solidarity are often documented and presented in many forms as acts of resistance themselves. In these stories, the notion of “inequality” draws together different worlds, cultures, and dimensions/scales (micro/macro). From animations to documentaries, these films shed light on the pervasiveness of this inequality on all fronts by exploring social, scientific, and political perspectives in our fight against racism, injustice, and inequality.


Fine Art Photography Daily

June 11, 2020

The photographic series Postcards from the Hanging: Sites of Public Execution was featured on the prominent Fine Art Photography Daily website

“Trauma and horrific histories are held in landscapes in every corner of the globe. For the past twenty years photographer, filmmaker, and educator Lana Z Caplan has been documenting sites of public killings in her project, Postcards from the Hanging: Sites of Public ExecutionShe shares some stunning statistics in her statement, “The United States is one of only 20 countries in the world that continues to employ state sanctioned killing. In 2019 we ranked 6th in the world in the number of executions following (in order) China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt (execution totals not known for Vietnam, North Korea, and Syria).”  Her thoughtful examination of why our country continues to allow the death penalty adds another layer to its history of pain and suffering.”




Cutlog SSA Video Selection: June 2020

Cutlog SSA Video Selection: June 2020

June 8 – 28, 2020
After the success of our recent collaboration with the Society of Scottish Artists at the Open SSA + VAS exhibition earlier this year, CutLog are delighted to offer our online audiences the opportunity to view a selection of these works through our upcoming online screening program.
Including Maelstroms by Lana Z Caplan.


playlist of online experimental films & videos

Cabin Fever Playlist as of April25-340pm

Including links to full length versions of 2 films:

20:40 min, 2017 (Meditative and Calming playlist)
Sound by Alan F. Jones and Lana Z Caplan
Rhythms of the mundane become a meditation on leisure, work, and time. As the visual cycle repeats – passengers load, unload, reload, boats arrive, depart, arrive – the reading of the Italian ferryboat schedule – town names, times, and departures – morphs from announcement to chant, boats transform, deconstruct, and twist into a mindscape, rendering the unseen, the errata, seen.

3:30, 2007 (Animals playlist)
Footage from the 1933 film “The Big Cage” stripped of sound and re-edited onto clear leader followed by the removed optical soundtrack, also affixed to clear leader. Each strip of sound acts as a character, mimicking the actions in the film.

Cabin Fever Playlist featured on:

Museum of Modern Art




A Jurist for Nothing, 5:04, 4K video, 2020
audio by A.F.Jones

audio from the full length LP A Jurist for Nothing
released on Gertrude Tapes, Winter 2020

As the ringing alarm is consumed by static, fire haze hangs heavy on the California landscape of smashed cars, burning valleys, lost animals, and tented homes.As the ringing alarm is consumed by static, fire haze hangs heavy on the California landscape of smashed cars, burning valleys, lost animals, and tented homes.

– 67th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Germany (May 2021)
– Rock ‘n’ Roll Film Festival, Nairobi, Kenya (ROFFEKE), (January 2021)
– 22nd Annual Moviate Underground Film Festival, Harrisburg, PA (November 2020)

Experimental Response Cinema @ Museum of Human Achievement



Thursday, January 30, 2019, 7:30pm
Museum of Human Achievement (916 Springdale)
Austin, Texas

including #YouAreASystem, aka Autopoiesis

Experimental Response Cinema presents OVER AND OUT, its third celebration of resistance to the policies of United States president #45! Cathartic as well as a call to action, this screening of short films will address the current political landscape in ways both playful and incisive. With it, we affirm creativity as a vital and needed clapback to lies, greed, bigotry and ignorance.

You’ll laugh

you’ll cry

you’ll vote him OUT November 3rd…


Image: KNEE JERK, Kerry Laitala and students in her Advanced Processing Workshop at the San Francisco Art Institute





Space Time is happy to present an evening of contemporary, experimental Science Fiction videos.
Screening of works by James Fotopoulos, Lana Z Caplan, and Michael Trigilio  

January 17th, 2020
at Bread & Salt
1955 Julian Ave., San Diego, CA 92113
Doors: 7:30pm, Screening: 8pm

DignityJames Fotopoulos, (2012, 82 min.)
AutopoiesisLana Z Caplan, (2019, 7:20 min.)
Glimmer Exodus OvertureMichael Trigilio, (2019, 12:31 min.)

Facebook Event Page



January 16-19, 2020

Including Lana Z Caplan’s Autopoiesis in the special program “Digital Detox”.
Friday 17th of January 2020 at 5:30 p.m.

“For over 30 years, the Festival has been devoted to crossing the border between cinema and media art with an adventurous international programme comprising films, workshops, Expanded Media exhibition and performances for people of all ages. The Festival’s core are the international competitions for short film, Media in Space and Network Culture – flanked by a comprehensive programme. This year’s thematic focus is “Absence”. The Festival edition is located at the interface between a media-dominated society in all its facets and all of the things falling through or getting blurred by the grid of such a society: what is not said or depicted, the things pushed aside or rejected. We are longing for absence and its traces. Like a test strip, our Festival delves into the big house of absence – placing it at the macro focus.”

see program here




Society of Scottish Artists / CutLog
Artists Moving Image Exhibition

December 22nd and February 5th 2020
Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh

Including Lana Z Caplan’s Maelstroms and Patches of Snow in July

OPEN SSA+VAS, is presented in partnership with Visual Arts Scotland and will be the largest exhibition of contemporary art and craft to be held in Scotland this year giving an audience of over 30,000 people the opportunity to discover and enjoy artworks across all mediums.



New Media Fest 2020

New Museum of Networked Art & The Wake Up! Memorial
Launching 25 December 2019
curated by Agricola de Cologne, artvideoKOELN

Lana Z Caplan’s Canaries in the Mine is included in the collection “Wake-up – Climate Change!”, part of The Wake up! Memorial project. 

“NewMediaFest 2020 – an event structure to take place in an exchange between virtual and physical space – starting on 25 December 2019 in Ethiopia – running until 31 December 2020 – will honour and include all artists, curators and other cultural instances like festivals, museum , galleries etc which were collaborating with Agricola de Cologne during the past 20 years since 2000 – in the basic program online – there will be at least 12 physical venues- each month another one in another country presenting an individual Jubilee program – to be complemented by monthly features online in video, netart and soundart.”

View the videos here:




Lost and Found in Late Capitalism
curated by Shahbaz Khayambashi, Co-Chair, Pleasure Dome

Fri., Dec. 6, 2019
at the Small World Music Centre
180 Shaw St, Toronto, ON


Lost and Found in Late Capitalism, Curatorial Statement:
In recent years, with the election of right-wing and fascist politicians around the world, the link between fascism and capitalism has become impossible to ignore. As profit overtakes happiness as the endeavour of humanity and austerity becomes the way of the land, the citizens of the modern nation have no choice but to go with the pack or get trampled in the process. Of course, since it was left to fester for so long, capitalism has reached its inevitable zenith, reaching that time that we have been warned about for decades, the age of late capitalism. Existing somewhere between apocalypse and parody, the age of late capitalism has brought about dystopian ideals presented to its subjects as standard societal practices. No longer will people fight for their own rights, because their rights have been established as unrealistic, their fighting as criminal. Late capitalism is the current state of affairs. It cannot be stopped, unless people wake up to it, become aware of it. Perhaps the response from the art world could help that occur.

That is the idealistic background for Pleasure Dome’s Lost and Found in Late Capitalism, a response to this stage of late capitalism by using its own products. While capitalism continues to destroy our environment, wage wars on our people, and destroy our social fabric, this program will attempt to speak truth to power by speaking power’s language. This program consists of a series of short videos constructed from found footage, coming from a variety of formats, sources and levels of legality. These videos use footage from Hollywood films, business promotional videos, public domain artefacts and military footage to tell stories of life under the thumb of capitalism. It is through this re-appropriation of the products of capitalism that today’s artists can attempt to come to terms with the struggle of living under an unquestionable dictatorial system.


Beyond Human, Pete Burkeet (Ohio, USA), 2018.
Mad as Hell, Emily Pelstring (Kingston, ON, CND) and Meg Remy (Toronto, ON, CND), 2017.
Gone Sale, Matt Meindl (USA), 2018.
Public Domain, Jason Britski (SK,CND), 2018.
A Feverish Fascination, Imogen Clendinning, (Windsor, ON, CND), 2018.
Music of Desire, Kristin Reeves (KY, USA), 2016.
Painting with the Man, Freya Björg Olafson (Toronto, ON, CND), 2017.
What is an Object, Stephanie Deumer (NY, USA) 2015.
Maelstroms, Lana Z Caplan (CA, USA), 2015.
Flat Pyramid, Kevin Doherty (NY, USA), 2017.

Lost and Found in Late Capitalism




MANIFEST DISMANTLING @Boston Cyberarts Gallery

including Lana Z Caplan’s Patches of Snow in July and Maelstroms
program details here

Boston Cyberarts
150 Green Street
Jamaica Plain, MA


more information:

facebook event page:



Optronica2 at OTHER CINEMA

OPTRON2 at Other Cinema

curated by the magical Craig Baldwin

Other Cinema
@ ATA Gallery
992 Valencia St, San Francisco
November 2, 2019



Live A-V luv-fest fer sure, with distinctive, daring demonstrations of creative expression from four of Cali’s leading media-artists! Prodigal son Scott Stark proffers a para-cinema set featuring the premiere of CLYPPS and his in-house 35mm scope projector, while twinkling SLO satellite Lana Z Caplan orbits back with the NorCal launch of her 35mm piece Apollonian Light and her Autopoiesis short. SF stalwart Tommy Becker sets up screen-left with the debut of his Side Two of Tape Number One–music and poetry exploring our entangled relations with auto-mobile machinesAND here’s the unveiling of The Cube by ex-Austinite Bill Baird–musical performance-art inside a projection-mapped tent! PLUS a sprinkling of cine/sonic tricks by Ryan WorsleyBruce HaackBrett Ingramet al. Dizzying documentation of Brown/Gruffat’s Unsettling Texas filmperformance follows Russ Forster‘s theremin busking

“Other Cinema is a long-standing bastion of experimental film, video, and performance in San Francisco’s Mission District. We are inspired and sustained by the ongoing practice of fine-art filmmaking, as well as engaged essay and documentary forms. But OC also embraces marginalized genres like “orphan” industrial films, home movies, ethnography, and exploitation, as media-archeological core-samples, and blows against consensus reality and the sterility of museum culture.”