Focus Group: Women's Animations

 If you're in Austin this Thursday, I'll be presenting a short program of films by women animators for the University of Texas Visual Art Center's Focus Group series.

Focus Group: The Screening Room with Suzan Pitt

Join us for the second edition of the Visual Art Center’s series featuring Robert Gardner’s The Screening Room! For this screening, the Visual Arts Center will be showing the episode focusing on animator Suzan Pitt. Preceding The Screening Room, ERC’s Rachel Stuckey will do a presentation on women animators and showcase films by Janie Geiser, Daina Krumins and Gunvor Nelson. All films will be on 16mm.

Event Details:
March 28th, 2013
Free and open to the public
Visual Arts Center (map)
Auditorium , Room 1.102
Field Study #2 by Gunvor Nelson
8min / 16mm / sound / 1988
Another collage film. Part of the on-going series of “Field Studies” (which includes FRAME LINE, LIGHT YEARS, and LIGHT YEARS EXPANDING) combining live action with animation. Superimpositions of dark pourings are perceived through the film. Suddenly a bright color runs across the picture and delicate drawings flutter past. Grunts from animals are heard. – GN

Secret Story by Janie Geiser
8.30min / 16mm / sound /1996
The Secret Story arose as a response to several beautifully decayed toy figures from the 1930’s that were given to me as a gift.  These figures, and other toys, objects, and illustrations that I found from the period between the world wars, suggested a kind of unearthed hidden narrative which I have attempted to re-piece together, as if these figures were the hieroglyphics of a just-forgotten tongue.  The Secret Story revolves around the central figure of the woman, and her girl-double, who look  somewhat like a versions of Snow White.  She wanders through landscapes of rivers and floods, home and war,  and memory and illness, culminating in an ecstatic walk in the forest, suggesting both the dark and cathartic trajectories of the richest fairy tales. —Janie Geiser

Babobilicons by Daina Krumins
16min / 16mm / sound / 1982
“Daina Krumins’s BABOBILICONS is a truly surrealist work in terms of both its process and product. Krumins takes time to make her films. It took her nine years to create this remarkable animated short, yet her method is in line with the surrealist affinity for chance operation. She cultivated slime molds on Quaker five-minute oats in her basement, planted hundreds of phallic stink-horn mushrooms, and put her mother behind the camera to film them growing. The results are sexual and bizarre. She combined ordinary objects – wall sockets, candles, and peeling paint – to get unnerving, dreamlike images. Porcelain fish jump through waves; mushroom erections rise and fall. Her Babobilicons – robotlike characters that resemble coffee pots with lobster claws – move through all this with mysterious determination. Anyone who orders 10,000 ladybugs from a pest control company to film them crawling over a model drawing room definitely possesses a sense of the surreal.”
- Renee Shafransky, The Village Voice

Films by Suzan Pitt screening within the Screening Room episode:
Bowl, Garden, Theatre, Marble Game (1970)
Crocus (1971)
Cels (1972)
Whitney Promo (1973)
Jefferson Circus Song (1973)

Filming Materia Medica: Ocularium

A small film made in a small space. Here are some table views from creating Materia Medica: Ocularium to contrast with the meticulously close-up macro shots of the film.

Materia Medica: Ocularium

My newly completed project, Materia Medica: Ocularium is a visual study of herbology, apothecary practices, and plant folklore pertaining to eyesight, culled from 15th century European Herbals, 19th century American PharmacopÅ“ias, and contemporary texts. The piece is comprised of magnified, rapid-moving imagery of flowers said to benefit to the eyes interwoven with apothecary implements and preparations, botanical diagrams and medical illustrations. The imagery is composed using a narrow-focus macro lens that will both limit and expand the audience’s range of vision, conjuring an intimate and curious space.

Screenings of the film will be:

Monday, October 29th - Mad Stork Cinema, University of Texas Studio 4D, 8:00pm, free
(screening along with David Gatten, Peter Hutton, NNathaniel Dorsky, and Ben Russell, not a show to be missed!) More information here:
Friday, December 14th - Experimental Response Cinema, Tiny Park Gallery, time and admission tba.
(screening along with Austin area filmmakers Jason Cortlund, Julia Halperin, Metrah Pashaee, Lyndsay Bloom, Ekrem Serdar, Caroline Koebel, Nathan S Duncan, Jarrett Hayman and Scott Stark) More information here: 


University Heights

My partner and I started a new webcomic, University Heights. We're hoping to have at least one comic up a week, exploring the exciting tales of apartment living. You should check it out!

In Progress: Contact Print

In about a week I'll be teaching a Morse Tank hand-processing workshop, in preparation for which I'm making a contact-printed film collage on some 16mm black and white sound film from my friend Ekrem.
Since the filmstock has space for an optical soundtrack, I wanted to try masking the film and photogramming an optical track from a movie print. For whatever reason, I have a handful of strips taken from a 35mm print of a baseball movie with Billy Crystal (61* I think?) - which is going to become the soundtrack.
For the imagery, I've been cutting from Super-8 prints of two 1957's B-films, The Undead and I Was a Teenage Frankenstein.

Innocuous Curiosities - Sketch One

Quite a while back I posted on a shadow box installation I was working on. The event was cancelled, so the project slowed down quite a bit - but at long last, the first sketch of the project is online.

The video is composed of a series of DSLR photographs taken with a macro lens at close range to a small set of dried flowers, paper, metal bits, and other odd objects. Ideally this project will be projected in an intimate space, to replicate a large-scale shadow box. 
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