Aesthesia Portrait
a film by Joel Schlemowitz
2012, 16mm, b&w and color, sound, 60 minutes.

About the film

“Aesthesia” is the name of a cohort of artists in Burlington Vermont, who decorate their dwelling in Victorian splendor, print aphorisms on a letterpress, and compose philosophical treatises on the virtues of art and pleasure.  The film is an hour-long experimental documentary, produced in 16mm utilizing the analog film medium's tactile qualities to reflect the philosophy espoused by the film’s subjects in their preference for beauty over utilitarianism. Excerpts of the Aesthesian manifesto are heard on the soundtrack, along with 78s played on their antique Victrola gramophone.  Black and white scenes of the Aesthesians at the café, setting type on the letterpress, on the streets of Burlington in the role of the flaneur, are juxtaposed with experimentally-printed, color-tinted, images of their grandiloquently appointed residence and the text from their manifesto on the aesthetic experience, together with scenes from their soirees and a performance by Burlington’s Spielpalast Cabaret.

About Aesthesia
Read excerpts from the Aesthesian manifesto.

Filmmaker bio
JOEL SCHLEMOWITZ is an experimental filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY. Screenings of his films have included the New York Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, New York Underground Film Festival, Northwest Film Forum, and The Robert Beck Memorial Cinema. His work has received awards from the Chicago Underground Film Festival, The Dallas Video Festival, and elsewhere. Filmmaker website:

Stills from Aesthesia Portrait



Screening inquiries

© 2012 Joel Schlemowitz