Relict: A Phantasmagoria

Handmade magic lantern slides (wood, acrylic, film, ink) projected with antique magic lantern.

Relict is an experimental nonfiction magic lantern performance that investigates the intersections of cryptozoology, pseudoscience, religion, and fake documentary.  Adapting modern cryptozoological folklores to handmade magic lantern slides, Relict embraces the history of magic lantern phantasmagoria as a philosophical and political exercise in belief and scientific skepticism.  At Dissolving Sights, excerpts from Relict will be performed using an antique magic lantern.

Melissa Ferrari is an experimental animator, nonfiction filmmaker, and magic lanternist who seeks to acquaint folklores of the past with contemporary culture. In exposing peripheral histories, she aims to unveil the wonder that lies in the shadow of nonfiction, rather than fiction.  Her practice engages with the politics of contemporary cryptozoology and skepticism, the history of phantasmagoria and documentary, and the mythification of current science and pseudoscience.

Originally from Virginia, Melissa is now based in Los Angeles where she recently received an M.F.A. in Experimental Animation from CalArts. Her films and magic lantern performances have been shown internationally in venues such as the Ottawa International Animation Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Black Maria Film Festival, and Slamdance Film Festival.  Previously, Melissa worked as a nonfiction animation artist at Dusty Studio in New York City, where her work was featured in The New York Times Op-Docs, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, Nautilus, and PBS.


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