Comfort Stations

16mm | 26 min | color & b/w | 2018

All this material was found. From what we can gather, it makes up some sort of psychological test. A couple, seemingly non-professionals, created the test. We don’t have their names, only their initials: B and K.

In a box we found two film cans and a folder. Inside film can A there was a roll of 16mm picture negative. Inside film can B there was a roll of 16mm sound negative. Inside the folder there was a typed text. Underneath the title, Comfort Stations, it is stated that it is the transcript of a sound recording. The original recording — if such a recording exists — was not in the box.

In a sleeve taped to the inside of film can A, there was an additional text, which appears to be a short description of the test.

Here is that text:

The technique is comprised of a set of images and sounds. They were carefully selected from a large pool drawn from very diverse sources. They depict events that, according to theory, activate the senses. They contain only sufficient detail to identify an event; all potentially biasing details are absent. 

The technique requires two participants. Each participant takes turns being the interviewer and the interviewee. Pausing the film is required (see attached questionnaire for detailed instructions).

Participants should open themselves to experience the events with all their senses. They should remain open after each event concludes and prepare for further events.

Now, your viewing manner like your body language and your handwriting tells a great deal about the kind of person you are and how you relate to others. Just as not all of us write the same way, not all of us observe the same way. Gestures often say more than words. Through these little differences our individuality reveals itself. By observing yourself carefully while you observe, you can decipher hidden communication.

While a lot depends, of course, on what is being shown, there are some typical kinds of viewing behavior. Before you begin, check the positions that apply to you most frequently:

sitting in a stiff and formal manner.

vivid movements of arms and facial expressions.

almost immersed.

hands over eyes.

hand over mouth.

Before viewing, ask yourself the following questions:

What is my image?

What is happening in my image?

Is there love in this image?

What is my desired objective?

Dreams. What do I want them to be?

Am I the person I really want to be?

Am I the way I am?

And most importantly, after your experience of the events has concluded (preferably between 24 and 72 hours after the experience), please ask yourself the following questions:

Did I do what I did?

The moment I did it, when I did what I did, didn’t I do what I thought I should do when I did what I did?

I didn’t know then what I know now, did I?

If I knew then what I know now, wouldn’t I have done something different than what I did when I did what I did?

Am I willing to forgive myself for not knowing what I didn’t know when I did what I did before I knew what I know now?

Feel free to participate, but please remember to treat these experiences with the caution they require. We assume no responsibility for psychological difficulties, traumas, or pains that may come from employing this technique.

The detailed questionnaire mentioned in the description above was not in the box. We assume that it can be surmised from the text in the recording transcript. We did create the title and credits at the end of the roll, so a correction is due: not all this material was found.

Recording transcript (PDF)


Visionary Medium: Psychoanalysis and the Magic of Cinema, Husets Biograf; Copenhagen, Denmark 2022
S8 Mostra de Cinema Periférico; A Coruña, Spain 2022
Limits of Control – Films by Ojoboca, Museum of the Moving Image; New York, USA 2022
Worldmaking Media Collaborative Showcase, The New School; New York, USA 2022
Club Solo; Breda, Netherlands 2021
Art of the Real; New York, USA 2021
Sinema +++, Sinema Transtopia; Berlin, Germany 2021
Cinemancia Festival Metropolitano de Cine; Envigado, Sabaneta, Colombia 2021
LaborBerlin Summer Screening; Wilmersdorf, Germany 2020
Kunstverein Leipzig; Leipzig, Germany 2020
Festival Les Inattendus; Lyon, France 2019
Furstwurld; Joshua Tree, USA 2019
Kim Maxwell Studio; Ojai, USA 2019
California State University San Marcos; San Marcos, USA 2019
Counterpath; Denver, USA 2019
Anthology Film Archives; New York, USA 2019
Midnight Sun Film Festival; Sodankylä, Finland 2019
Standards; Milan, Italy 2019
Light Field; San Francisco, USA 2019
Stuttgarter Filmwinter; Stuttgart, Germany 2019
Microlights; Milwaukee, USA 2018
Prisme #1, Argentique du futur; Nantes, France 2018
REDCAT; Los Angeles, USA 2018
Festival de Nouveau Cinéma; Montreal, Canada 2018
The Lexington Film League Showcase; Lexington US 2018
Wexner Center for the Arts; Columbus, USA 2018
Microscope Gallery; New York, USA 2018
25 FPS; Zagreb, Croatia 2018 – Grand Jury Grand Prix
Avvistamenti, Bisceglie; Italy 2018
Curtas Vila do Conde; Vila do Conde, Portugal 2018 – Honourable Mention Experimental Competition
EXiS; Seoul, South Korea 2018
Edinburgh International Film Festival; Edinburgh, UK 2018
Independent Film Show; Napoli, Italy 2018
Hamburg International Short Film Festival; Hamburg, Germany 2018
S8 Mostra de Cinema Periférico; A Coruña, Spain 2018
Fronteira International Documentary and Experimental Film Festival; Goiânia, Brazil 2018
Courtisane Festival; Ghent, Belgium 2018
International Film Festival Rotterdam; Rotterdam, Netherlands 2018