They can’t hear themselves

It’s a mistake for the #mentallyill to go on the defensive about #gunviolence. #NTs will never accept #responsibility for their own #negativethoughtpatterns the way people who’ve had years of treatment have been taught. NTs, #gunnuts or not, always blame somebody/something else.

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CREATION by Sylvia Toy (Trailer) © 2018

CREATION is an experimental, greenscreen art film inspired by the Central African creator god, Mbombo, who created the world by vomiting it. The two main characters in CREATION are The First One (Night), who suddenly appears out of a void of light – i.e., a Big Bang event – and immediately vomits The Second One (God). The First One hates existence. The Second One loves existence so much that he/she begins vomiting all the parts of the Universe. My research has been developing characters, story, and the techniques for making the movie CREATION.
Assistant cinematographer, Lo Schafer.​ Additional footage by Mitch Martinez. Additional photography by Michael Lewis. Animations by Sylviatoyindustries with Lo Schafer. Special effects, music and sound by Sylviatoyindustries. Dramaturgy by Michael Lewis. Produced and directed by Sylviatoyindustries. Thanks to Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, Sonia Laura Armaniaco, Roberta D’Alois, Danny Germansen and DC Spensley.​
MATERIALS: Greenscreen, red felt backdrops, wood, wooden tables, plexiglass, leotards, painter’s coveralls, skullcaps, gloves, socks, theatrical makeup, styrofoam, foamcore, plastic bags, chicken eggs, balloons, found images, found sound, human actor.

New page on this website: Mythologies


In PASSAGES, the heart of the conflict is the philosopher King of the Gods, Sum’o’s, desire to experience giving birth like a human in his quest for transcendence.. His youngest sister, Sum’a the Enforcer hates humans because they have developed spoken language; one day during a confrontation, she accidentally kills a human. Sum’o’s older sister, Sum’i the Arbiter, is interested only in maintaining balance through observance of the laws, traditions and principles handed down by their ancestors.


“Night” is the identity chosen by The First One, who comes into existence out of the void of light and immediately hates being alive. This video exploring her character and developing her subtext is my second experiment showing her struggle to escape existence into a black hole. CREATION is a mythology based on Mbombo, the creator god in the religion and mythology of the Kuba of Central Africa, who created the world by vomiting various parts of it. I am in the pre-production phase of CREATION, composing a live action storyboard through a process of creating and uploading pre-production worldbuilding, story and character development videos. CREATION is shot splitscreen and chromakeyed; and montaged with shots from the natural world. There is no dialogue (vocalization and singing are improvised) and the movie will be subtitled and or intertitled as necessary. The sound of the world of the story will be gathered as much as possible from the characters’ movements and mixed with found sounds to enhance the ambience.


SEQUENCE 13 combines animation and live action an experimental, greenscreen art film inspired by the Central African creator god, Mbombo, who created the world by vomiting it. There is no dialogue. The soundtrack is original, minimalist music. The characters in SEQUENCE 13 are The Second One, a creator god who begins vomiting all the parts of the Universe, and one of his/her hatchlings. This is my first movie in which animation is a dominating component.

THE HARPY TRIBUNAL by Sylvia Toy, excerpt (rough) from Sylvia Toy on Vimeo.

A goddess disagrees with her sisters about The Humans and is put on trial for treason.


The Cape Experiments by Sylvia Toy are performance art events improvised by a large, greenscreenable cape, the environment, my husband, Michael Lewis, directing behind a handheld camera, and myself. These scenes were shot in Cold Creek, Nevada USA, which is located in the Toyabe National Forest near Mt. Charleston.

Updated page: Lucy, The First Human

LUCY, THE FIRST HUMAN by Sylvia Toy (remastered rough cut) from Sylvia Toy on Vimeo.

 

TITLE: Lucy, the First Human by Sylvia Toy (remastered in 2017)
YEAR: 2017
SPECS: 23:44 minutes, 16:9, H.264, AAC, Color/Stereo, Silent/No captioning
COUNTRY: United States

On Tuesday November 24, 2015, the 51st anniversary of Donald Johanson’s discovery of Australopithecus afarensis (“Lucy”) at the Afar Triangle of Ethiopia, my ‘Lucy, the First Human’ trailers on YouTube got a total of five hours of airtime. That means my Lucy came up in searches and someone probably shared her. That is a real thrill.

LUCY, THE FIRST HUMAN is video art/microcinema crossing genre into nonlinear science fiction fantasy. The subject matter is paleoanthropological. The setting is a barren, shadowy, womb-like or cave-like environment. There is only one character in the movie. She is based on the hominid, Australopithecus afarensis.

This movie is composed of a series of improvisations of what the first human would do, think, feel, and how it would develop. The solitary female character is like an infant, mostly sleeping in the beginning. In her waking hours, her primary interest is herself until things begin to suddenly and surrealistically appear in her “cave.” She gradually is drawn out of her self-absorption into the real world.

Updated page: VOICE, a performance art movie

TITLE: VOICE, a performance art movie (DVD)
YEAR: 2016
SPECS: 02:40 hours (159+ minutes), 16:9, H.264, AAC, Color/Stereo, English subtitles/No captioning
COUNTRY: United States

VOICE, A PERFORMANCE ART WEB SERIES is a 159 minute movie about Psyche Smith, a bipolar woman whose psychoses begin traveling in outer space just as she enters therapy. VOICE was shot splitscreen/greenscreen with one actress playing all three characters.

The world of VOICE is composed of original montages incorporating NASA footage, anatomical diagrams of the Human nervous system and documentary-style outdoor footage.

While the psychoses, Echo & Lyssa, tour outer space dressed to the nines in beautiful clothing, often including hats, Psyche – when not wearing the uniform of the depressed, a bathrobe – begins to find her own heart and starts painting again.

Psyche’s therapy sessions are portrayed through monologues given directly through “the Fourth Wall” to the camera.

VOICE is not an autobiographical downer confessional about bipolar disorder. VOICE is about the infinity of freedom and joy that one can achieve through self-discovery and following his/her bliss.

VOICE was an official selection of Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival, 2017, and received an Honorable Mention from LA Underground Film Forum in 2016. Since 2015, VOICE festival cuttings have screened in venues and festivals around the world – London, Marrakech, Berlin, Barcelona, Milan – including VisualContainer TV, HearteartH Project, International Video Art Exchange Program, and CM Projects’ Chemcraft Exhibit. Most recently (2017), VOICE FESTIVAL CUTTING 3 was selected by Underground FilmFest and Black Underground FilmFest, and given an Honorable Mention nod by Experimental Film Forum (Los Angeles).

I made this movie all by myself in my livingroom except for 2 follow shots by my husband. I created the montages. I created the sounds using my own voice and everyday sounds in my environment. There are 24 teasers in this Vimeo album:

VOICE a performance art movie COVER

“This is called Voice because she has a lot to say. And she makes you think.” Pamela Pitt review.

A limited edition of professionally authored DVDs is available on Etsy and Saatchi Art. Prices on my art films are equivalent to moderate prices on artist’s prints and or unique drawings and small paintings and sculpture.

Shortly after I made this #greenscreenart #video, I upgraded to #HighSierra, which is incompatible with my favorite editor, #FinalCutExpress4. I had to strip my OS, downgrade to #ElCapitan and reinstall Final Cut Express. I can’t open any of the timelines I created prior to this “disaster”. However, since this video has three layers of keyed clips (i.e., first I keyed out the green the figure is wearing, and in a new file, keyed out the red backdrop, etc.) I had begun creating  #AppleProResHQ files to used as my #source on different layers of the #timeline. It is so interesting how habits you develop as part of your #process, no matter what your practice (art, writing, law, business) can sometimes save your ass.

Sylvia Toy St. Louis | List of Work (Exhibition List | Videography), January 2018

Year of creation: 2008

Psychotic Artifacts. Exhibited in The Revolution Will Be Televised, Altered Esthetics Gallery, Minneapolis, MN, 2008.

Year of creation: 2010

Depression As Geography. Exhibited in ‘CologneOff VII, Marrakech and Turkestan, 2011.

Year of creation: 2011

Indigo Lady. Selected for L.A. Neo Noir Film Festival, Femmes Fatales Grand Jury Award, 2016.

Indigo Lady pre-production videos. Exhibited at Galerie Chartier, West Haven, CT, 2013; KAPAS Film Festival, Spain, 2012.

Runnn. Exhibited on Skye Arte TV, Italy, 2013-2014.

Traveling To. Exhibited in STREETVIDEO Art on the streets of Paris and at Larcade Gallery, Paris October 2012, March 2013.

TYFTB (thank you from the bottom), (remastered and re-released 2017). Pre-production video screened at Galerie Chartier, West Haven CT, 2013.

Year of creation: 2013

Lucy, the First Human (remastered and re-released in 2017). Featured in The Unstitute Projection Room, November – December 2017.

running out. Exhibited in Pineapple Underground Film Festival, Hong Kong, 2014.

VOICE Pre-production videos. 2013-2016. Exhibited in International Video Art Exchange Program, Marrakech (2016) and in the Chemcraft Exhibit, CM Projects, London (2015).

Year of creation: 2014

before chill. Selected for Creative Arts Film Festival and awarded Honorable Mention for Best Cinematography, Online festival, 2016.

Queen. Exhibited in “Clash,” Siger Art Gallery, London, November 2017.

Year of creation: 2014

The Sound of Being. Toured internationally in Magmart F.I.V.E., 2014-2015. Exhibited in CCIFabrika “Now&After17,” Moscow, RU, 2017.

Year of creation: 2015

The Blue Lady by Sylvia Toy. Exhibited in 1974-1978 UNL Alumni Exhibition, Eisentrager-Howard Art Gallery, Lincoln, NE, 2016.

Passages, a Myth. Excerpt, PASSAGES, A MYTH | DISCOVERY OF THE PREGNANCY OF THE KING, exhibited in Festival Miden, Kalamata, Greece, 2016 and at Visual Container, Milan, IT 2017.

KILLER JANE Pre-production videos. 2015-2017. Selected for L.A. Neo Noir Film Festival and awarded a Femmes Fatales Grand Jury Award, 2016.

Year of creation: 2016

THE HARPY by Sylvia Toy. Selected for Bucharest ShortCut CineFest, September, 2016.

VOICE, a performance art movie. Selected for Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival, 2017. Awarded Honorable Mention laurels by Los Angeles Underground Film Forum, 2016. Awarded Honorable Mention laurels by Experimental Film Forum, 2017.

VOICE Festival Cutting 2. Exhibited at VisualContainer TV (2016 and 2017) and toured in HearteartH to Barcelona, Berlin, Milan (2016).

VOICE Festival Cutting 3. Exhibited in Underground FilmFest, Munich, Germany, July 2017. Exhibited in Black Underground Film Fest, Rancho Cucamonga, California, October 2017.

Year of creation: 2017

THE HARPY Tribunal. Exhibited on Art Web Gallery, La Spezia, IT, online June-July 2017.

KILLER JANE by Sylvia Toy. Exhibited at Klanghaus, Oakland CA, May 2017. Selected for Chicago Amarcord Arthouse Film Awards, November 2017.

AND SO I SAID. Exhibited in Burnt Experimental Video Art and Film Festival, Montreal, December 2017.