LA Film Forum Logo

Ism, Ism, Ism: Altered Surfaces

Ism, Ism, Ism: Altered Surfaces

As without so within, by Manuela de Laborde

Sat-Monday October 17-19, 2020, All Day

Los Angeles Filmforum presents

Ism, Ism, Ism: Altered Surfaces

Online, hosted by Los Angeles Filmforum

Q&A on Sunday October 18, 2020, 7:30 pm PDT

INFO:, 323-377-7238

Abstraction has been a recurring strategy in Latin American visual cultures since long before the European Conquest. Over the past century, and often in dialogue with artists elsewhere, Latin Americans working in diverse media have explored abstraction or “pure” explorations of color and form. Not surprisingly, filmmakers have participated actively in this process of exploration, often in collaboration with artists from other media. Enrique Pineda Barnet’s Cosmorama (1964) uses the kinetic sculptures of the Romanian-Cuban artist Sandú Darié Laver as a point of departure,.Other filmmakers proceed from urban and architectural references, such as Prague’s public transit system in Azucena Losana’s At Your Heels (2017), or the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Teo Hernández’s Nuestra señora de Paris (1981-1982), and render these in ways that cross back and forth between abstraction and recognizable representations, while still others reference the altered sensory perceptions and exaggerated color palettes of psychedelic experiences. Offering an abstract journey into theatrical spectatorship, the images in Manuela de Laborde's As Without So Within document reflective prop-sculptures, which are transformed into tools for creating visual fields. Manuel DeLanda creates Electric Arthropods with extreme enlargements of various insects, digitally manipulated and colorized with animated particle backgrounds, as part of his continuing search for the uncanny in the alteration of the everyday and the prosaic. Together, like the diverse approaches of the concrete, neo-concrete, geometric abstraction, “grupo Madí,” “grupo Ruptura,” and other movements in the visual arts, these filmmakers pursue colors, light, shadows, and forms as the basis for their work.

Tickets: Sliding scale, $20, $12, $8, $5, $0, at

For more information: 323-377-7238 or

Total running time: 73 min.


Manuela de Laborde is an artist and filmmaker from Mexico City. Laborde’s practice, by abstracting concepts from their concrete properties, looks to create [virtual] spaces and [regenerate] the image. Inspired by simplicity of expression, economy of detail, location of exhibition, her practice is a meditation on physical presence. To the eye, her work carries aesthetic claims and pleasure; yet in its presentation is performative and in its purpose, conceptual. In 2012 she exhibited her solo show, Maquettes, in Generator Projects, Dundee; in 2013 screened, Sun, at London MexFest with the live score of Camila Fuchs; her short films Viveros, The exponential Nature of Images and Le Visible et L’Invisible where shown at Antimatter FF, Jihlava IDFF and Milwaukee UFF; and this year her thesis film, As Without So Within, was screened at Toronto International Film Festival, Winnipeg WNDX (Best International Short), 25fps Festival in Zagreb (Grand Prix), FICM of Morelia and International Film Festival Rotterdam among others. Manuela studied Film & Video (MFA) at the California Institute of the Arts and an Art (BA) at Edinburgh College of Art. 

This screening is part of Los Angeles Filmforum’s screening series Ism, Ism, Ism: Experimental Cinema in Latin America (Ismo, Ismo, Ismo: Cine Experimental en América Latina). Ism, Ism, Ism is an unprecedented film series —the first in the U.S.—that surveys Latin America’s vibrant experimental production from the 1930s through today. Revisiting classic titles and introducing recent works by key figures and emerging artists, Ism, Ism, Ism takes viewers on a journey through a wealth of materials culled from unexpected corners of Latin American film archives. Key historical and contemporary works from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and the United States are featured. The online screenings in Fall 2020 will conclude the touring portion of Ism, Ism, Ism.

Ism, Ism, Ism is accompanied by a bilingual publication (from University of California Press) placing Latino and Latin American experimental cinema within a broader dialogue that explores different periods, cultural contexts, image-making models, and considerations of these filmmakers within international cinema. 

Ism, Ism, Ism was originally part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles that occurred in 2017-18. Explore more at

Lead support for Ism, Ism, Ism is provided through grants from the Getty Foundation.

Significant additional support comes from the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts.

Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.

Promotional Support for these online screenings from Berkeley Art Museum * Pacific Film Archive; WNDX Festival of Experimental Film, Winnipeg; Experiments in Cinema, Albuquerque; Lightbox Film Center, University of the Arts, Philadelphia.


Los Angeles Filmforum screenings are supported by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Department of Arts & Culture, the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles, the Wilhelm Family Foundation, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, and the American Cinematheque. We also depend on our members, ticket buyers, and individual donors.

Los Angeles Filmforum is the city’s longest-running organization dedicated to weekly screenings of experimental film, documentaries, video art, and experimental animation. 2020 is our 45th year.

Memberships available, $75 single, $125 dual, or $40 single student. Contact us at

Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @LosAngFilmforum #lafilmforum and on Instagram @lafilmforum 


Placeres de la carne 2

Placeres de la Carne

Placeres de la Carne

Horacio Valleregio

1977, 12 min, Super 8, color, sound, Argentina

Azilef 1



Luís Ernesto Arocha, 1971, 8 min., 16mm, b/w, sound, Colombia

AT YOUR HEELS3 smaller

At your heels

At your heels

Azucena Losana

2017, 2:36 min, 16mm, color, sound, Argentina/República Checa

Hernandez Paris

Nuestra señora de Paris

Nuestra señora de Paris

Teo Hernández

1981-1982, 22 min., 16mm, 18 fps, color, sound, France

10 Marisy Cosmorama smaller



Enrique Pineda Barnet

1964, 5 min., 35mm film transferred to digital, color, sound, Cuba

DeLanda Electric2017 11 26 10h01m04s660

Electric Arthropods

Electric Arthropods

Manuel DeLanda

2017, 3.30 min, color, sound, USA

Laborde AsWithin still4

As without so within

As without so within

Manuela de Laborde

2016, 25 min, 16mm, color, sound, Mexico/USA/United Kingdom.