19 out of the 41 shots fired in 10-seconds by four members of the NYPD Street Crimes Unit hit the defenseless body of one Amadou Diallo as he stood in the vestibule of the building where he lived in the Bronx. This video essay seizes on the grotesquely bald, factual precision of this numerical data, proceeding remorselessly on up from number 1 to 41, rubber-banding 10-seconds into fourteen minutes, and then snapping it tight, in an intense, formal contemplation of how police violence is produced and then addressed by other forces on the city streets.
A Pilot For A Show About Nowhere is a two-channel video that examines the politics of television viewership, incorporating footage from a number of sources to create a plurivocal narrative. It is a sitcom pilot, but does not resemble a conventional episode. Black sitcoms are central in their potential to undermine television conventions and spark unpredictable and radical impulses, but also in their role in the erasure of the struggles and realities of poor Black populations.
a/k/a Mrs. George Gilbert extends Coco Fusco’s in-depth examination of racialized imagery. Fusco combines fictional and documentary source materials to reflect on the use of electronic surveillance against black intellectuals and activists in the 1960s and 1970s as part of covert FBI operations that bear a striking resemblance to the current Patriot Act-inspired activities of American law enforcement.
Snapshots of individuals from all parts of Asia and the Pacific Islands form a stream of images that blankly proves the fallacy of the title phrase. Soe challenges viewers to recognize the failure of vision that underlies this common misperception, and the failure of understanding that creates and propagates such generalizations.
amaurosis is an experimental documentary about Dat Nguyen, a blind guitarist living in Little Saigon, Orange County, California. Dat Nguyen was a "triple outcast": blind, Amerasian, and an impoverished orphan. His American father left Viet Nam in 1973, and his mother died in 1975. Living on the streets of Saigon, he sold lottery tickets for food money. At the age of 12, Dat met a classical music teacher who was also blind and who taught him to read Braille as well as supported him.
And They Came Riding into Town on Black and Silver Horses looks at how media representations shape our perception of violence and violent crime, in effect creating racist stereotypes. Andrews suggests that the evidence against young black men is gathered not at the scene of the crime but at the scene of representation.
Employing footage from an obscure 8mm film trailer for Battle for the Planet of the Apes to highlight the unstable relationship between the real, historical past and the distant, imaginary future, this project revolves around a central question: Is alien-ness indeed the metaphor for the 20th Century as power relationships have been embodied within our subconscious? Is there a relationship between these forgotten formats and the discontinued political ideologies that they depict?
Asian Studs Nightmare examines the racial politics behind the hit U.S. television show STUDS. Fulbeck frantically recalls somewhat fictional nightmares of Asian male identity. Over a multi-layered visual of the actual STUDS show and Asian male stereotypes, Asian Studs reveals the pervasive racial hierarchies and taboos depicted in mass media and probes their relation to interracial dating patterns and minority status in the United States.
Portable Channel, a community documentary group in Rochester, New York, was one of the first small format video centers to have an ongoing relationship with a PBS affiliate (WXXI). Portapakers interviewed Sinclair Scott, a member of the negotiating team that went into Attica when the prisoners' rebelled at the federal prison in September 1971. Thirty-eight guards were taken hostage after prisoners' demands to improve their conditions were ignored. After a three day stand-off between inmates and authorities, Governor Nelson Rockefeller called in the National Guard.
Backwards Birth of a Nation is a re-editing of D.W. Griffith's 187-minute film, Birth of a Nation (1915), into a pulsating 13-minute black and white phantasm. By means of structural strategies of condensation, the frame by frame inversion of black and white, and playing the resulting work from end to beginning, an apparition is brought forth where images of racism float to the surface and are contextualised as a part of the flow of United States history.
Based on a Story explores the widely-publicized encounter between a Jewish Cantor, Michael Weisser, and Nebraska's former Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon, Larry Trapp. After months of harassment from Trapp by mail, phone and cable TV, the Weisser family befriended Trapp, who then renounced the Klan, moved into the Weisser family's home and converted to Judaism. Trapp, who was a double amputee and blind from childhood diabetes, died in the Weisser's home six months after he moved in.
Black Body is a harsh and compelling meditation on the contradictory values assigned to black bodies in American culture: they exist as both desired and feared, abject and powerful. The “black body” is a body whose surface reflects projected fears and repressed desires; as such, it exists as a site of ideological struggle, a surface which is simultaneously eroticized and denegrated.
Subtitled A Rebellion against the Commodity, this engaged reading of the urban black riots of the 1960s references Guy Debord’s Situationist text, “The Decline and Fall of the Spectacle-Commodity Economy,” Internationale Situationniste #10 (March 1966). Along with additional commentary adapted from Barbara Kruger and musicians Morrissey and Skinny Puppy, the text posits rioting as a refusal to participate in the logic of capital and an attempt to de-fetishize the commodity through theft and gift.
Black Code / Code Noir unites temporally and geographically disparate elements into a critical reflection on two recent events: the murder of Michael Brown and that of Kajieme Powell by American police officers in 2014. Archaeologically, the film argues that behind this current situation is a sedimented history of slavery, preserved by the Black Code laws of the colonies in the early Americas. These codes have transformed into the algorithms that configure police Big Data and the necropolitical control of African-Americans today. Yet how can we read this in the present?
Kevin Jerome Everson’s prolific body of work is grounded in formalism and combines scripted and documentary elements. The subject matter is the gestures or tasks caused by certain conditions in the lives of African-Americans and people of African descent, often working class. The conditions are usually physical, social and economic circumstances, or weather. His films suggest the relentlessness of everyday life--along with its beauty--and present oblique metaphors for art making.