Join us on the evening of 18 June for an online screening of Adam Khalil and Bayley Sweitzer’s 2018 feature film debut Empty Metal followed by a live chat Q&A with the artists.
Empty Metal is set in a world of mass surveillance, pervasive policing, and increasing individual apathy. The lives of several people, each inhabiting poles of American social and political consciousness, weave together as each attempts to achieve some kind of forward motion, sometimes in contradiction, and always under the eye of more controlling powers.
Followed by a live chat Q&A with Adam Khalil and Bayley SweitzerWatch live
Khalil and Sweitzer’s film follows five groups of characters, each emblematic of a different extreme political ideology, as they attempt insurrection against the status quo. A noise band is coerced into a dangerous assassination plot by a family of militant Native Americans who are aided by a Rastafarian computer hacker who is old friends with a Buddhist hermit whose son is a local militia leader.
This tangled web of marginalized voices is as diverse and contradictory as the nation that spun it, but there is a common thread: all the characters teeter on the dull knife blade that is contemporary American politics, but they refuse to fall right or left. Instead, they lash out from the soul, and under the radar, in an attempt to achieve what their mainstream predecessors have yet to accomplish.
Adam Shingwak Khalil is an artist and filmmaker from the Ojibway tribe born in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan; and Bayley Sweitzer is a filmmaker from Southern Vermont. Recent screenings include the Museum of Modern Art, Anthology Film Archives, e-flux (New York); Walker Arts Center (Minneapolis); LACMA (Los Angeles) and Tate Modern (London). Their works have also featured at the Whitney Biennial, Toronto Biennial and Sundance Film Festival and Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival.
Spike Island is currently working with Adam Khalil and Bayley Sweitzer on a major new moving image commission: Nosferasta, produced in collaboration with Gasworks, London. Nosferasta is set to be presented in exhibitions at both venues in 2021.