Tourist is a trilogy of short films made in 2019 – 2020. The films research ethnographic gaze, non-human sound and moving image. They examine culturally significant public spaces and spectacles that are occupied, or governed, by a patriarchal economy of bodies. The films are made with a Super-8 camera, once widely used for home movies and memory-making. The score is a study of extinct and endangered species superimposed on sounds of the sites.

Chapter I: Sirens takes place in the Istanbul Summertime. The seafront is not a public beach, yet it has been claimed by local men. They spend their afternoons swimming in the Bosphorus around passing ferries, traveling between the European and Asian continents. In Greek mythology, Sirens are creatures of half-bird and half-woman whose melody lure sailors to their end. In this case the lack of women on site alludes to alternative romances. The soundtrack captures the mating call of the last male Hawaiʻi ʻōʻō, now extinct.

Chapter II: Thunder Mountain takes place on a dirt raceway in rural New York State. Every week local racers bring their modified dirt buggies and race for hours, while the audience drift off in this American tradition. The fan girls cheer for the riders while families look on from the grandstands. The hum of engines switches between the racetrack recordings and the sound of swarming bumblebees.

Chapter III: Plaza Orders takes place in Brasilia and Ithaca, New York. The film is an essay about documentation, networks of power, and authorship in the making of a city and a reflection on a woman trapped in a relationship with a diplomat in Brasilia. The unreliable narrator holds everything together. An essayist voice switches between different historical and personal points of view, mixing facts and non-facts, within the tensions between fear and humor.

Ege Okal (b. 1990) is a Turkish artist based in New York and Istanbul.

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