FILMMAKER & SCREENWRITER→
Ioana Mischie is a Romanian-born cinematic storyteller (screenwriter/director), awarded for filmmaking, creative writing, interactive concepts and a Fulbright Grantee Alumna of USC School of Cinematic Arts. Her cinematic projects as writer/director have traveled to more than 60 festivals worldwide. Co-founder and Head of Storyscapes, an NGO focusing on transmedia storytelling and expanded narratives and research collaborator of CINETic, an Eastern European centre focussing on the interaction between neuroscience and groundbreaking audio-visual paths. Envisioning the world as a neo-creative playground, she deeply believes that storytellers are the architects of the future (Buckminster Fuller).
Instead of topics, I started to inhabit an endless chain of questions.
What is the purpose of our lives? What is the meaning of death? How can art heal/enchant/inspire? What makes us the same and what makes us different as human beings? What is our contribution to the entire human spirit? What traces do we leave after we disappear? How can we design more meaningful long-term strategies for our communities? How can we begin manifestos that can be continued after we are no longer alive? How is technology shaping our minds and how is our mind shaping technology? What is the role of storytellers in today’s world? What is the purpose of stories? Are we “storytelling animals”, like Gotschall believes, or much more than that? How can we democratize the process of artistic concept creation? How can we design ways to co-create?
After having one of the hardest years of my entire life on a personal, professional and spiritual level, I have gathered notebooks of dilemmas and inner doubts. Everything is a journey into the unknown. The topics I deal with are multi-layered and it is harder and harder to have a clear map. If in the past I tended to be over-specialized, now everything interests me in the most genuine manner. And I feel there is room for even more than the “everything” we can access through our contemporary means.
I practice and research transmedia storytelling (film / VR / poetry / expanded interactive works), visionary thinking, transmedia futurism on an artistic level. On a human level, I tend to explore topics such as vulnerability, transparency, human relationships, evolutive love, dreams, fears, noetic science, education, ethics, semiotics, philosophy, real-world problems and respectful manners to deal with them.
One recent topic that I added on the list is the power of archival. I believe it is highly important to find groundbreaking ways of archiving contemporary thoughts, stories, humans, contexts. For too many centuries, history was written in a one-sided manner only by the “winners” of a “battle”.
It would be wonderful if each of us would be able to preserve his or her own story so we could create a more multi-layered mosaic portrait of our world. I wish social media would act less as an addiction-driven and profit-oriented tool and more as a community-driven tool. Maybe in this way we could truly share different points of view, preserve them, debate them rather than ban the other if he or she doesn’t think alike.
In other words, the answers to this question are simply endless. I wish interviews would be editable one day so we can always question what we believe in, as our lives evolve and enrich us constantly.
If accessories count, I would be a slash between over-dimensional earrings, rings, belts, bags, hats. I love the way in which a micro-detail can change the entire context. Almost like an adaptation of the butterfly effect in clothing/jewel-ing.
If clothing is the exclusive one in focus, this summer I created a dress concept for the first time in years. I would be that piece of clothing because it embodies how I see the world at the moment – with a form of constancy and ever-changing-ness at once. Right now it is a completed prototype – soon to be weared by whoever will want to try it.
Government of Children is my current ongoing transdisciplinary soul project. I am spending my entire daytime listening to the visions of children on how they would shape society. I started this journey in LA during my Fulbright year and continued it in Bucharest, upon return.
It blends what I love the most in this world – art, education, civic imagination, visionary thinking, societal design. It is much more than a personal dream project, I believe it is a collective dream project in many ways. It will be soon released and we will be able to explore and debate it in-depth all together.
I am also hyper-passionate about facilitating transgenerational playgrounds and currently creating Fluid Futurism, a groundbreaking hub aiming to redefine ways in which we collaborate with each other. Maybe this is the most difficult to achieve at the imagined level, because we will need a lot of inter and intragenerational openness.
Some transdisciplinary projects that I admire are My grandmother’s lingo (a beautiful subjective journey into a disappearing world), Carne y arena (a highly strong experience in the form of a VR installation), Highrise (a witty archival of contemporary stories of the ones living in high rises worldwide).
And apart of works made by renowned artists, I am always inspired by projects created by children – their process, their creativity is captivating to trace and we have a lot to learn from them.
To me, Eastern Europe is a stunningly rare creative and spiritual home. It still has authenticity, picturesqueness and a form of purity of the soul, that I may hardly find at times in hyper-advanced societies. Last year, I was lucky enough to travel and work on four continents and this made me cherish our Eastern European roots even more.
There is a strong amount of creative freedom, maybe at times more than we are used to experience or handle. And so many gaps to fill in that it feels motivational on many levels.
However, it may also become tiring at times because sometimes the lack of material resources or infrastructure, the reluctant attitude of decision-makers may tear some dreams apart.
All in all, it is what we make it to be and it can easily turn from a chaosland into a dreamland if we carefully create wiser angles to explore it and to reshape it.
What I dream of is to have a more solidary Eastern Europe. As paradoxically as it may sound, Eastern European countries rarely partner with each other – each country acts like an island almost (aiming to partner with the Western world most of the time). What if we would learn to create organic Eastern European communities? What if we would talk more often about our collaborative presents and futures in meaningful manners? What if we would be more transparent and willing to learn from each other?
If we could succeed to reach this level of dialogue, vulnerability and openness, I believe Eastern Europea could be truly a needed global force on many levels. The perks would be countless and the rare talents we have around us would be less willing to leave. We have tremendous talent in so many fields – IT and film being some of them. We only need togetherness to being with.
My definition of fashion and fashion films is maybe way too open. Therefore, my answer might turn into a highly eclectic journey.
As an instant thought, “I am not a witch” by Rungano Nyoni is a magical film where the costumes are used as satire, as societal layers – they heal and hurt and judge and dictate the world. “Blink.And They’re Gone” by Jimmy Nelson is a global archival of tribes – their fashion is their identity, their pure blood.
At times, I could watch an abstract loop of a veil moved by wind in many unpredictable directions (like Magic Carpet by Daniel Wurtzel, discovered via Adrian Damian or the Red Scarf performance made by Lance Weiler at the Forward Slash Story artistic residency in Kenya). Or at times I may watch a series of Super 8mm diary films and filter them into fashion slices unwillingly.
In LA, towards the end of my scholarship I was spending many hours observing and filming the Venice Skatepark, admiring the humans of California using their skateboards is order to move freely. Watching and filming them skate was both a profound fashion and choreography experience to me – watching them being bold and brave on those four micro-wheels, watching them knowing how to fall in order not to get too hurt was a stunning sensorial experience.
I sometimes wish catwalks would move into real places and fashion films would also embrace increasingly marginalized places such as – villages, passive neighbourhoods and revitalize them. If we keep having fashion weeks only in the glam places of Paris or New York, it will become harder to reach a needed level of profoundness or universality. I would personally be more intrigued by how can we design fashion for the homeless, for the ones in urgent need, rather than how to design fashion for red carpets. If I would be a fashion designer, this is where I would ideally begin.
Apart of the social and practical layers of fashion, I am also intrigued by the intersection between fashion and technology, fashion and ecology, fashion and body-ology.
What are the borders of fashion? I sometimes believe fashion is part of us more intrinsically than we may think – made of gestures, thoughts, attitudes, rhythm, more than textiles at times. But if so, can we consider, for example, Viens, a VR experience made by Michel Reilhac a fashion journey, although all the characters are lacking any form of clothing? Can a naked body be perceived a fashion icon?
These are all provisory thoughts, to be refined, continued, expanded or simply put aside. I just hope they can become premises for deeper conversations on how we can address real-world problems as artists, doctors, fashion designers or simply as transdisciplinary human beings.