SHOW AND TELL #24: Alex Ingersoll

Alex Ingersoll is an Assistant Professor of Media Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Much of his work explores the aesthetic and sonic environments of our social imaginations of space and the tension among neglected and marginalized ideas and machines. Using experimental and animated approaches to the moving image, he is interested in the productive possibilities that come from our experiences and encounters that have undefined edges and features. You will be able to attend the UK premiere of his film Vestal Fire in our Blow Up programme.

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
To feel engaged, inspired, and heard. This, to me, speaks to the value and power of communities which helps me sustain my sense of happiness even during the darkest times.

2. What lies at the heart of your own desire to make films?
Making films has offered me the most productive chance to assemble audio, visual, and linguistic materials in ways that speak to my very being (and then hopefully to others). The ways in which we can show and hide materials (both visually and acoustically) let’s me play with affect and ideas in ways that other artistic practices don’t let me do.

3. What are the first things you do in developing a film idea in response to a subject?
I tend to consider elements that I’d like to put in conversation with each other in order to see what happens when they combine. An image, a line of dialogue, a sound, etc., what emerges from me sticking them together?

4. What’s your favourite film and why?
I’m a fan of Lynne Ramsay’s Ratcatcher (1999). She does a wonderful job of blending reality/fantasy, children/adults, sound/image, story/feeling, into a beautiful world. After seeing it for the first time, I’ve never really been the same person since. That to me is the very definition of powerful art.

5. Choose 1, 2 or 3 of your all-time favourite music tracks!
Freaky Eyes by Oneohtrix Point Never
The Glow Pt. 2 by the Microphones
Mean Weg by Arvo Part

6. From your favourite poem – could you give us a few lines that mean something to you?

we fall asleep

with one hand under our head
and with the other in a mound of planets

our feet abandon us
and taste the earth
with their tiny roots
which next morning
we tear out painfully

I Would Like to Describe by Czeslaw Milosz

7. If you were to die and come back as a person, animal or a thing, what would it be?
I’d like to come back as a stone.

8. What is your greatest extravagance?
Usually food. I love meals that have taken so much time and effort. It’s a beautifully human art and makes for incredible conversation, tradition, and memories.

9. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
Questions. Loose ends. Ambiguity. Unknowns. The idea of infinity.

10. What is your final word?