Glass Meet The Future Film Festival 2021

"Woven Light"
Madeline Rile Smith, United States


20 march 2021 - 04 april 2021


This performance-based work will highlight communal acts of creation and collective action involving hot glass and textile-inspired processes. Approaching glass as thread, I will be working with my community to weave a luminous collaborative structure from strands of glass.
This unspoken film will document a story of social currency, communal effort, and interpersonal connection in the glass studio. During the second part of the ritualistic performance viewers will be invited to meditate on themes of loss and transformation.
My recent sculptural work involves this process of spinning strands of hot glass on top of geometric fabricated structures, until the structures are cocooned under thousands of luminous strands. These large-scale pieces are communal, performance-based works in which I ask members of my community to help me gather and spin the glass, building interwoven webs as the platform rotates. While much of my focus has been on the resulting objects, I am equally drawn to the beauty of the collaborative process and want to showcase it in a film. I have a physical disability that limits my ability to walk and stand. My disability has led me to explore alternative and experimental processes in the hotshop, including this spun glass technique. I value this process because it focuses on communal effort and collective action rather than physical strength, as members of community work together to weave an interconnected web.


Directed by Madeline Rile Smith, filmed and edited by Trish Pickelhaupt

Featuring: Madeline Rile Smith, Gracia Nash, Chenyue Yang, Kayla Cantu, Ying Chiun Lee, Rinoi Imada

Music – “Drone Lemon” The Bulwark, “Disinter” Wax Museum

Special Thanks: Brendan Miller, David Schnuckel , Rochester Institute of Technology , North Lands Creative

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Madeline Rile Smith

Madeline Rile Smith uses glass as a performative vehicle to consider notions of intimacy, compromise, and embodiment. Informed by her background in music, she creates objects and videos which explore connection and isolation. Her work has been exhibited in venues throughout the US and internationally. She is currently an adjunct professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, teaching glass art. Madeline has instructed glassworking in schools and institutions throughout the east coast, including UrbanGlass and Salem Community College. She earned an MFA in glass at Rochester Institute of Technology, and a BFA in glass from Tyler School of Art.

Trisha Pickelhaupt is a multidisciplinary filmmaker who approaches her work with curiosity. A modern renaissance woman, her creativity manifests in many forms, from documentaries to podcasts, Trisha produces work about the minutiae of life with an underlying focus on the universal human experience. She is currently located in Rochester, NY – you can find more of Trisha’s work at