Is Miley more or less happy than June Cleaver? Given very fragmentary information about the lives of two stereotypical figures with identical emotional states, people tend to give strangely asymmetrical evaluations of the two characters' propensity for happiness and unhappiness. An illustration of a controversial study called "The Ordinary Concept of Happiness (and Others Like It)".
An intrepid academic travels the world, asking people if it is OK for someone to stab a friend in order to test the sharpness of a knife. If one person says it's OK and another says it's not OK, can both respondents be right? This video is an illustration of a multi-layered experiment designed to test the claims of several traditional philosophers that non-experts (folk) tend to hold rigidly absolutist views of morality.
Fantasy Suite was the last standard definition video I made from VHS tapes. Like WHS VHS #1, I made it to premiere at Roots & Culture’s Zummer Tapez, and speed manipulation figured heavily into its construction (the Bachelor material was not interesting or even tolerable at normal speed, but slowed down slightly, it became fascinating to me). Shana Moulton’s work was a strong influence on this video (I programmed my piece to play after hers in the Zummer mixtape), hence the animated facial masks and SkyMall imagery.
This sprawling drama about a group of country folk sucked into the fashion world of magazine layouts and romantic intrigue features a cast of glamorously garbed gals and good-natured bumpkins. Produced in collaboration with his students at the San Francisco Art Institute, the picture delivers high-octane antics fueled by the $800 budget and creative desperation typically inherent in these types of endeavors. The cast is large and labors valiantly with the high speed shooting schedule and color saturated subplots.
In this attempt to resolve the on-going crisis, Burns and Discenza find themselves in, variously, a childrens adventure playground, a garage and a yard. They utilize a mechanical digger to dig the soil, they toil at skipping and pogo-ing, they vacuum each other. Eventually a type of surgery is performed.
An original program for VDB TV curated by Rachael Rakes and Leo Goldsmith. These striking videos each examine a force of feeling which is beyond emotion or affect, and which often elicit physical sensation.
In Final Exit, an aged one is confronted with his options in blunt terms. Does he want to drag out his existence, increasingly infirm and a burden to his caretakers, or go quietly before resentment overwhelms sentiment? Does he wish to go on living, the quality of his life increasingly diminishing, or be euthanized? Would he prefer cremation or burial? This video confronts the issues of mortality and advancing decrepitude that faces even the friskiest.
Segalove relates a tale from her childhood of a man's exposure with text (“the painter wagged it at me right here”), while an arrow blinks over a shot of the house where she grew up. Segalove narrates: “I looked down and expected to see a can of green paint. I saw a pink penis instead, peeking out of the fly of his pants... I wondered how it had got so pink; had he painted it too?” This and four other memorable stories are humorously presented in a series of video one-liners.
Snow falls gently in the background as kielbasa is cut and Walter Kapsuta mans the accordian in this Christmas special. Also on board is filmmaker Sharon Greytak, as she and I discuss matters of the flesh and joints. The snowscapes of Connecticut and the Bronx are viewed through the filter of domestic hellishness. Full of ominous Christmas cheer.
flight is a frame-by-frame re-editing of an astronaut walking on the moon into a seven-minute long meditation on technological transcendence. The unstable, stuttering image depicts the astronaut's struggle to separate from his body. Comically majestic, the astronaut enacts a late 20th Century ballet. A performance of anti-heroic stumbling, falling down, and disappearance into white light.
The foliage and sprouting of urban greenery becomes the subject of this celebration to all things pollinated. The video explores hidden gardens that lie sequestered amid an array of dwellings inhabited by the not so rich and famous. Felines creep amid the blossoms as human entities enrich the soil with their leaking desires.