as the waves play along with an invisible spine (the workers die) is a stroboscopic work that pulsates black and white at approximately 14 Hz. Buried within that field of pulsation is a 90 second algorithmically condensed version of John Huston's 1956 film Moby Dick. Huston's minimal close-ups of the doomed sailors flicker as afterimage ghosts as approximately 4Hz in the visually unstable field of alternating black and white frames.
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.
During my stint as an entry-level acquisitions scout at a now-defunct art house distribution company, I amassed a small collection of VHS tapes from a vast pool of unsolicited submissions. By the standards of the art house canon, these were very bad movies, but I adored them for the sincerity of their intention. Bits and pieces of these movies became source material for a number of the videos on this compilation (Teenagers, Hymn Of Reckoning, Fantasy Suite).
I loved and was haunted by Jon Krakauer’s book Into the Wild and found Sean Penn’s cinematic adaptation to be absurdly overwrought. My original plan for condensing it was to string together all of its grandiose slow-motion shots. I quickly realized that the result, like the movie itself, would be interminably long. A friend suggested that I leave out everything but the five-second shot that provoked me to make my video in the first place, the shot at which several audience members in the second-run theater (including me) laughed out loud.
"If there's something big, big that you want to reach for, you begin by dreaming." —Ivonne and Ivette
"The discomfort in Sleepworld Volume 1 is that of being oneself. The videos included here look at who we are and what we imagine we are. They are experiments in appearances, about the use of artifice to improve life or hide it. It is a reflection on moral displacement, hypocrisy, self-contained dreams, self-loathing, self-destruction in order to repeatedly kill our dreams.
Cuevas is obsessed with the micro movements of daily life, with the border between truth and fiction, with the "impossibility" of reality. Her work relentlessly seeks out the layers of lies covering the everyday representations of reality and systematically explores the fictions of national identity and gender.
Susan Mogul's fantasies of success have always a comic, congenial twist, as in Dear Dennis, a video letter to Dennis Hopper inspired by her discovery that they share the same dentist. The central irony of this witty piece is that, despite Hopper's popular persona as an innovative, sub-cultural filmmaker and performer, the actual distance between his so-called independent" films and Mogul's experimental, non-commercial videos prevents Susan from finding any common ground from which to address Hopper other than the subject of dental work.
Like a generation of viewers, I was profoundly affected by Deliverance. But I have always been troubled by the hegemonic structures of gender proposed by Boorman and Dickey. Hence, my version is played by women: myself, Peggy Ahwesh, Jackie Goss, Su Friedrich, and Meredith Root, all experimental filmmakers who work as academics. While faithful to our respective male characters, we also play ourselves.
This high octane drama that I made with my students at the San Francisco Art Institute chronicles the moral decline of it's heroine, as the love of a man she obsesses over drives her over something else: a cliff into hell. It's a free fall all the way to the bottom destination, and there's a heck of a lot of nice looking, young people along for the ride.
In this 1993 contribution to the On Art and Artists series, artist Art Jones describes his entry into the world of activist media, and the genesis of his belief in the potential for a democratized street-level media. Hailing from the Bronx, Jones recalls his personal dislocation during college, when he began studying film and video at SUNY Purchase. At that time, Jones experienced a cultural isolation, which he mobilized to fuel his practice. This willingness to confront issues of representation and absence, asserting the validity of his own subjecthood, would become a defining characteristic of his work.
In Les LeVeque Videoworks: Volume 3, Les LeVeque explores time and the way in which it can be manipulated to affect the communication of emotion. In the first video, pulse pharma phantasm, LeVeque collapses 9 different pharmaceutical commercials into one another to the point that they cease to communicate relaxation or relief and instead create a visual cacophony whose erratic pulsations become almost hallucinatory. LeVeque’s point is to problematize the systematization of appeals to consumers through the use of tropes for the communication of comfort and tranquility.
Through the deployment of various structural strategies, the narrative logic of three problematic and influential films is transformed into a sensuous hallucinatory unveiling of repressed representations in historical dramas of the U.S.’s critical period of nation-building.