Alfred University News

Third Annual 'Light Matter' Film Festival coming to Alfred University

Alfred University will host the third annual “Light Matter” Experimental Film and Media Art Festival Nov. 3-5. Curated by James Hansen, assistant professor of art history, the three-day festival showcases the work of emerging and established artists from around the world, celebrating the avant-garde in cinema and media art.

"Light Matter" offers a unique platform for artists to explore new forms of expression and captivate audiences with their innovative creations. With over 90 films and more than 1000 minutes of programming, "Light Matter" pushes the boundaries of experimental cinema and media art. It is a celebration of the avant-garde, where visual storytelling takes on new and exciting forms.

This year's festival boasts a diverse selection of films and programs, ensuring there is something for everyone. Special programs at "Light Matter" will elevate the festival experience to new heights.

On Saturday, attendees will have the unique opportunity to witness a presentation by Tara Merenda Nelson, curator and director of Public Programs at Visual Studies Workshop, featuring Luther Price's 35mm slides, coinciding with the release of the book “New Utopia: Slides by Luther Price.” The event promises to be a captivating exploration of art in its most experimental form.

Although "Light Matter" is known for shorts programs, Saturday will include a presentation of renowned media artist Joost Rekveld’s abstract science-fiction feature film “Mechanisms Common to Disparate Phenomena: #59” (2023), in which all images were produced by analog electronic signals, in a re-enactment of antiquated ways of computer. A reflection on the independent 1961 discoveries of deterministic chaos by Edward Lorenz and Yoshisuke Ueda, “Mechanisms…” is a powerful film that has to be seen to be believed.

On Sunday, "Light Matter" will honor the legacy of late the legendary artist Paul Sharits with a special program. Audiences will have the rare chance to view two seldom-screened silent 16mm films, "Analytic Frame Study II" and "Declarative Mode." The Sunday extravaganza, a nearly four-and-a-half-hour shorts program, will also feature 16mm screenings of Marie Menken's "Excursions" and Joyce Wieland's "Hand Tinting," amongst an exciting selection of contemporary films It's a day dedicated to celebrating the rich history of experimental cinema.

In addition to these special programs, "Light Matter" will feature seven shorts programs running alongside exhibitions in the Harland Snodgrass/TS1 Gallery and the Immersive Gallery. The festival embraces a diverse range of themes, from feminism and visual abstraction to 3D and AI-generated content, ensuring a dynamic and thought-provoking experience for all attendees.

All screenings are free. For more information on the festival and a complete schedule with film information, please visit