Surrender to the Situation

“Surrender to the Situation” interweaves an East Coast train journey with footage from Tyondai Braxton’s HIVE installation and a pair of shows by Australian musician Oren Ambarchi in June 2015.

This three-part series was originally included in “Big, Bent Ears: a serial in documentary uncertainty,” published in 2016 in The Paris Review Daily.

Check out Part 1: Oren Ambarchi & Tyondai Braxton, Part 2: Ensemble Virtuosity, and Part 3: In Motion.

Oren Ambarchi, a Trilogy

The music of Oren Ambarchi is often enigmatic and undefinable. This trilogy of abstract films takes listeners into his idiosyncratic and unique sound world.

In the past only geniuses were capable of staging the perfect crime (also known as a revolution) Today anybody can accomplish their aims with the push of the button Part 2

Keiji Haino – Jim O’Rourke – Oren Ambarchi. Recorded live at SuperDeluxe in Tokyo, 2015. The full album is available from Black Truffle Records.

Palm Sugar Candy

From the album Simian Angel, available from Editions Mego.

Patience Soup

Phew – Jim O’Rourke – Oren Ambarchi. Recorded live in Kitakyushu, Japan, 2015. Available at Black Truffle Records.


The Education of Ida Owens

A story of integration, civil rights, and Duke University

This 30-minute documentary follows Ida Owens from her upbringing in rural North Carolina to her years at Duke University, where she became the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D.

A personal exploration of Southern history, higher education, and the civil rights movement, The Education of Idea Owens brings to the forefront the past and its lingering effects.

Festival: A Month in Durham

A portrait of a city through the lens of three music festivals

“Festival: A Month in Durham” tells the story of three music events—Moogfest, Art of Cool, and Bimbé—that took place in Durham, N.C., in May 2016. In this fast-“gentrifying” city, this short documentary reflects on the churn of past, present, and conflicting visions of the future. (The piece first appeared in Public Books.)

Nazoranai: A Documentary

“I just want to hear things I've never heard before.”

Improvisational sound trio Nazoranai came together for their U.S. premiere in 2014 at the Big Ears festival in Knoxville, T.N. Nazoranai: a Documentary goes behind the scenes, spending time with members Stephen O’Malley, Oren Ambarchi, and Keiji Haino.

Leaving Traces

What does a baseball game look like, smell like, sound like, feel like?

Watch Leaving Traces and immerse yourself in the world of legendary minor league team The Durham Bulls. Experience the multiplicity of this collective, communal space through an eclectic set of eyes.



Ivan Weiss is a documentary filmmaker and professor at Wake Forest University.  To date, his films and multimedia projects have focused on racism, gentrification, music and performance, and the worlds and visions of baseball. His work poses questions about how we create, evolve, and make discoveries, reflecting on the uncanny ways we share our private worlds with one other. As an educator, Weiss seeks to teach the tools of filmmaking and journalism as a means to strip away falsehoods, reveal truth, and see the world with new eyes.


ivan [at] ivanweiss [dot] com