April Lin 林森

April Lin 林森

To April Lin 林森, moving image speaks multiple truths. Video, in turn, becomes an opportunity for them to dialogue, to dissect, to dream.

April Lin 林森 (b. 1996, Stockholm — they/them) is an artist-filmmaker investigating image-making as a site for the construction, sustenance, and dissemination of co-existent yet conflicting truths. They dream & explore & critique & fret & catastrophise & imagine & play with the potentials that the moving image holds — for a collective remembering of forgotten pasts, for a critical examining of normalised presents, and for a visualising of freer futures as, of course, imagined from the periphery.

April Lin 林森 uses video as a self-reflexive and cathartic tool, interweaving strands of auto-biography, world-building, documentary, performance, and the post-Internet, topped off with an inevitable garnish consisting of the other matters dialoguing with their brain and heart during the making process of each piece. Uniting their genre-fluid body of work is a commitment to centring oppressed knowledges, building an ethics of collaboration around reciprocal care, and exploring the linkages between history, memory, and interpersonal and structural trauma.

Their films have been shown and screened at, including but not limited to: LA Filmforum, MADATAC, Botkyrka Konsthall, Arebyte Gallery, Konstfack, Camden Arts Centre, Beijing International Short Film Festival, Tunis International Feminist Art Festival, Floating Projects, Underwire Festival, Chinese Arts Now, Lausanne Underground Film & Music Festival, and the V&A.

now i close my eyes the world i see is so beautiful

HD Video / 03:44 min / 2020

“now i close my eyes the world i see is so beautiful” samples lines from the Taiwanese New Wave film Yi Yi, and those borrowed words, those intergenerational whisperings in Chinese dialect, had me pondering at how ancestors and descendants create bridges — across time, and if you’re diasporic, across global space. These bridges feel all too easily invisible to me, but what would it look like if we were strolling on them? What if we jumped off? Would we create another bridge, or open up a new dimension?

The music video begins with me undergoing a self-conducted ritual, shaving my head to the bare scalp. I initiate a process of remembrance and imagining, and what follows are the adventures the many versions of my 爷爷 / yeye / grandfather and I have, roaming around together in different worlds. In our shared, “objective” reality, this man’s fondness brimmed at this eyes, never spilling over, careful not to stain. In the parallel dimension of this music video, we go on the journeys we were never able to, promenades becoming quests in the numerous destinations of Second Life. We relive the moments never captured on camera, aided by Google Street View. Images of us are projected on my skin, and shining these memories in their reverted form of captured light, I absorb their meaning once again.

I ingest these moments, feeding on them, nourishing them and nourishing myself on them, thus keeping the portals open to the worlds beyond, within, and between.

Reality Fragment 160921

HD Video / 14:02 min / 2018
(made as Qigemu, in collaboration with Jasmine Lin)

Our own histories are always under curation, and as such, our perspectives become the central point in the building of personal realities. How do these multiple lived worlds, each their own amalgamation of memories, sensations, thoughts, coexist with de facto presentations of distance, history, and totality? How is this coexistence mediated if one is an actor in the online realm? The Internet functions as yet another parallel universe, but likewise an explicit symbol of the traversing between the subjective and the objective — a symbol in the questioning of solitary truths.

“Reality Fragment 160921” follows two people in their process of reality-curation, as they create their own spaces against and via understandings of distance, as they go through the motions of growing themselves by growing their universes. We witness not only their movements, but also partake in the thoughts of two witnesses and how by seeing these two people, worlds are merged. In turn, we ask you, a viewer of this film and thus also a witness, to pay attention to your own movements of perception and reflect around the ways in which you build your own world. Who have you merged your world with, and what does that mean for the subjective truths you tend to?

The Gaze (Blicken)

HD Video / 06:27 min / 2018

“The Gaze” takes its point of departure in the experience of being racialised, a position that must continuously relate itself to the criminalisation and/or exotification of one’s own body. In “The Gaze”, the gaze is returned back and directed towards the Police and the authorities, making them the observed object. It is an act that aims to renegotiate the relations of subordinance in a supposedly judicial society that fails at protecting its black and brown citizens from the Police.

< Digital Traces >

HD Video / 18:15 min / 2019

Death is something that all beings experience, perhaps the one universal thing that unites all living things: across species, structures, and space. And yet, there remains a public hesitancy to engage with it, an implicit framing of death as something to approach as a tragedy, only ever accepted as the inevitable consequence of old age. At the same time, we are surrounded by death, especially as news of violence, illness, and conflict spreads within the digitalised and globalised world with increasing immediacy. Social media is a central pillar in the infrastructure of the online universe, and is equally pertinent in shaping the way we interact with death, including but not limited to the way we mourn, the way we understand the relationship between life and death, and the way we remember someone who has died. This can take many forms, from committing suicide on livestream platforms to viral homages following a celebrity’s passing. The ever-relevant question of death has thus entered into a new realm of understanding, a realm that is normal for younger generations of people whose formative years are entwined with the way that digital platforms encourage or restrict experimentation, mutual support, and personal expression. This normality means that death is entering a new paradigm of being felt, of being experienced, of being meaningful — and it is this paradigm that the film seeks to understand.

Join me as I delve into the intimate intertwinings of technology with death, gently investigating its past(s), present(s), and future(s).

vision of the world through my eyes

HD Video / 01:00 min / 2020

A freehand video, commissioned by Irregular Labs.