Ditch Plains

FICTION

 

2011 | HDV | color | 30 min 

Shot in the East New York section of Brooklyn around the time of Hurricane Sandy, Ditch Plains (HDV, 30 mins) is a dystopian sci-fi street dance film featuring members of Ringmasters Crew.
Like avatars running the levels of an apocalyptic video game, Ringmasters Corey, Jay Donn and Marty McFly hallucinate the city and its networks as a space of terror, mutation and magic. “Flexing,” “bone breaking,” “pauzing” and “connecting” in nighttime streets, hotel hallways and a posh Park Avenue apartment, the dancers improvise dream-like scenes suggesting digital death matches, stop-and-frisk situations and catastrophic man-machine interfaces. Meanwhile, documentary shots of Far Rockaway show the city’s attempt to manage disaster in real life: police patrol the shattered flood zone as citizens line up with jerry cans. Scenes on iPhone screens play like Vine transmissions in a blacked-out world where no survivors or friends can receive them.
Referencing contemporary pop spectacles such as Step Up Revolution, as well as Jean Rouch’s The Mad Masters, Ditch Plains imagines a sort of End of Days street party while free-styling an abstract narrative about the fatal coupling of subjects and systems under conditions of permanent crisis.

Founded in 2007, Ringmasters Crew is a competitive street dance crew based in New York. Ringmasters Crew has appeared on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew, Entertainment Tonight and America’s Got Talent, as well as in music videos by Nicki Minaj and Black Eyed Peas.

DIRECTOR Loretta Fahrenholz
CINEMATOGRAPHER Till Megerle

ADDITIONAL CAMERA Loretta Fahrenholz, Connor Owens

EDITING Lena Hatebur, Steffen Martin
SOUND DESIGN Steffen Martin

MUSIC Dan Aran, Timo Ellis, Steffen Martin, Pharmakon

PRODUCTION COORDINATION Inka Meissner

TEXT John Kelsey

VOICE OVER Corey Batts

COLOR GRADING Ben Brix

TITLE ANIMATION Elisabeth Schulze

INTERLUDE-ANIMATION Steffen Martin

TITLES & GRAPHIC DESIGN Lina Grumm, HIT

VERLEIH Arsenal

CAST

Ringmasters Corey, Jay Donn, Marty McFly, Jim Fletcher, Vibez, Asha Flasha, Damian «Gucci-ino» Buchanan, Lil Buck, Spyda Da HatMan, Modesto Flako Jimenez, Princess Lockeroo, 8 Ball, Ace, Dez, DVS, Flizzo, Maze, Optimus, Problemz, Scorp, Lakela Brown, Marie Karlberg, Jackie Klempay, Michael Stynes, Vanessa Cintron, Prynce Ptah, Michael Sanchez

EXHIBITIONS solo & group

MoMa, Manhattan

Kunsthalle Zürich

Reena Spaulings Fine Art, New York

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Amsterdam

The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, Stockholm

Museum Moderner Kunst / Stiftung Ludwig, Wien

Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions

Hammer Museum, Los Angeles

Milano Film Festival, Italy

Artists Space at Frieze New York 2014

Kadist, San Francisco
Project Native Informant, London

Private Artmuseum, Warschau
KW Institute for Contemorary Art, Berlin

Galerie Buchholz at Art Cologne 2017

D21 Kunstraum Leipzig