Author: Susanne Layla Petersen


“…the Valley of Astonishment and Bewilderment, where one is a prey to sadness and dejection. There sighs are like swords, and each breath a bitter sigh; there, is sorrow and lamentation, and a burning eagerness. It is at once day and night. There, is fire, yet a man is depressed and despondent. How, in his bewilderment, shall he continue his way? But he who has achieved unity forgets all and forgets himself. If he is asked: ‘Are you, or are you not? Have you or have you not the feeling of existence? Are you in the middle or on the border? Are you mortal or immortal?’ he will reply with certainty: ‘I know nothing, I understand nothing, I am unaware of myself. I am in love, but with whom I do not know. My heart is at the same time both full and empty of love.’ “

– Farid ud-Din Attar, (English translation by C. S. Nott)

Video from VASTLAB VLX 5 Program #3 at Chicago Filmmakers

Highlights from VASTLAB VLX5 at Chicago Filmmakers February 9 2024, including screening of “Echoes”

LIVEscore with H Anton Riehl
Live Q&A with Amanda VanValkenburg

VLX5 Program #3 – short films by Adam E. Stone, Aitor Irulegi, Alia Alkaff, Amanda VanValkenburg, Ben Spatz, Brian Alexander, Camila Dron, Caroline Rumley, Charles-André Coderre, Charlie Marois, Hodan Youssouf, Ihab Mardini, Josh Weissbach, Lisa Birke, Martin Gerigk, Sarah Lasley, Sharon Liang, Sharon Mooney, Stephanie Barber, Susanne Layla Petersen, Teri Carson, Tommy Becker, Tracy Miller-Robbins, Vasco Diogo, Vincent DeZutti


Video inspired by chaos, the science of surprises, of the nonlinear and the unpredictable.

VASTLAB VLX5 program #3 in Chicago

VASTLAB VLX5 will be in Chicago February 9 2024 with their Program #3 event which includes my work “Echoes”. If you are in Chicago, screenings are held at Chicago Filmmakers’ Firehouse Cinema, tickets are available from Chicago Filmmakers

Facebook event

VASTLAB VLX5 Chicago Filmmakers poster

The Emperor’s New Clothes

The title “The Emperor’s New Clothes” refers to the fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen.

Plot (from Wikipedia):
Two con-men arrive at the capital city of an emperor who spends lavishly on clothing at the expense of state matters. Posing as weavers, they offer to supply him with magnificent clothes that are invisible to those who are stupid or incompetent. The emperor hires them, and they set up looms and go to work. A succession of officials, and then the emperor himself, visit them to check their progress. Each sees that the looms are empty but pretends otherwise to avoid being thought a fool.

Finally, the weavers report that the emperor’s suit is finished. They mime dressing him and he sets off in a procession before the whole city. The townsfolk uncomfortably go along with the pretense, not wanting to appear inept or stupid, until a child blurts out that the emperor is wearing nothing at all. The people then realize that everyone has been fooled. Although startled, the emperor continues the procession, walking more proudly than ever.

Business 2024

Business video.