Madi Piller (2016)

This publication about luminous Toronto artist Madi Piller was edited by Clint Enns and Mike Hoolboom for Madi’s retrospective Pleasure Dome screening at CineCycle, Dec. 3, 2016.

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Beyond the Pleasure Dome, in the various underground cinemas where comrades
gather to watch flms, lies the realm of the unknown, the space in which strange and
unique visions are realized. Despite the joy of creation, art making can be quite
difcult and, as the song goes, we often get by with a little help from our friends. In
addition to being a wonderful moving image artist, Madi Piller is one of the most
generous people working in the Toronto moving image community. She embodies
selfessness, always willing to provide an eye, an ear, and a shoulder, in addition to
friendship and resources, to any artist working in the fringe moving image scene.
Her encouragement of other artists’ practices has led to the creation of a substantial
number of fringe moving image works, including the artwork commissioned for her
major curatorial projects, namely, Eleven in Motion (2009), Hello Amiga (2012),
OP ART Re-Imaged (2014), and Te Frame is the Keyframe (2016).

Madi began her work on the other side of the lens, as a producer of commercials in
Colombia. A chance Toronto connection led her to the grail of super 8, and the
small miracle of Exclusive Film Lab (and the Splice Tis! Fest), twin engines of
practice that helped bring her to Canada, where she embraced a materialist practice.
Steeped in the frame-by-frame wonders of animation, her work began to migrate
between analogue video, digital way stations, and flm emulsion. Her animated
comrades taught her that the best movies were short, condensations of experience,
whether ofering personal portraits, landscape retakes, or abstract reveries.

This publication was a response to Madi’s new black and white trilogy, a work
inspired by her grandfather’s long ago trek from Romania to Peru, and of course by
the inner and outer treks she has made as an artist. She’s entered a new moment of
prolifc risk-taking, ofering up a lifetime of close attentions with typical generosity.
We at Pleasure Dome are so pleased to be able to present her work on a special
evening when we’ll all raise a glass and wonder how she managed it. For those who
couldn’t make the show, no worries, the pages to come bear witness, and of course
there are the movies themselves: living memorials, dream science.

Table of Contents

Introduction … 2
Clint Enns and Mike Hoolboom

Animated Self-Portraits
Animating Community … 4
Clint Enns
Animated Self-Portraits / Autoportraits Animés … 6
Letters and Ephemera … 17

I Felt Like an Octopus: An Interview with Madi Piller … 29
Mike Hoolboom

Throwing Voices: Madi Piller and John Straiton … 45
Stephen Broomer

Vive Le Film
A History of the Dead and the Long Living (Copied and Pasted) … 50
Christine Lucy Latimer

Untitled, 1925
Following South … 60
Stephen Broomer

Amidst Dust and Chaos … 63
Genne Speers

Photo Series … 65
Madi Piller

Movies … 100
Compiled by Mike Hoolboom
Biography … 108