Humor

1.1 Acre Flat Screen is a 45-minute video about a year-long effort to improve a lot of 1.1 acres of desert land in Utah, which we purchased on September 4th 2002 on eBay. The video starts with ways of finding a lot in the desert, using satellite images, topographical maps, a compass and string. It displays ideas and plans on how to improve the land’s value and documents our preparations to face the unforgiving desert.

Meet local San Francisco artists and the pets of the culturally inclined, as George prepares to take a trip.

"This piece is sort of a prologue to East by Southwest. I prepare for that trip while visiting local artists here in San Francisco. You get to see unique sculpture by Mike Rudnick and meet the offspring and pets of the culturally inclined. There is also a gallery encounter with the late filmmaker, Curt McDowell, who attends an opening of his photomontages."

--George Kuchar

An audience-interactive demonstration of Lev Kuleshov’s famous editing experiment, and a 3D review of loosely related principles of subject/spectator empathy.

Note: should be viewed through 3D glasses. See http://store.yahoo.com/rainbowsymphony/an3dglasreda.html 

This title is also available on Ben Coonley: Trick Pony Trilogy.

The dark and sloppy side of touring college towns with your work. An internal expose of external secretions that unfortunately make it to the boob tube in full color.

This title is also available on The World of George Kuchar.

A Day for Cake and Accidents features a cast of animal characters — each of a different, though often indeterminate, species — who struggle with impending astrological despair and engage in absurdist dialogs, confessing various melancholic desires and transgressive secrets in poetic cartoon abjection.

A Day for Cake and Accidents is the third in a series of short collaborative animations.

A.R.M. Around Moscow documents particpants in A.R.M. (American-Russian Matchmaking) to explore the relationship of personal power to domestic identity, and economic and political structure. Finley and Stoeltje followed 21 American men as they travelled to Russia to meet 500 local women. Each man was provided with a car, driver, translator, apartment, and meals for a "14-day tour of Russia's most beautiful and highly-educated women" at the cost of about $4,700.

Accidental Confessions combines scenes from a demolition derby with statements taken from automobiles insurance claims. In these claims, drivers were instructed to summarize the details of their accidents in the fewest words possible, resulting in absurd and contradictory statements.

This first work in the HalfLifers' Action Series plunges into a world of frantic heroes trapped in a continual crisis of dissolution and reification. An ordinary domestic setting is recast as a psychoactive landscape in which the concept of function becomes situational and fluid. Only through the strategic application of organic and inorganic “devices” can this zone be successfully navigated and the mission be saved.

A promotional vehicle with lane-changing tendencies, but both hands kept on the wheel at all times.

First video in The Variations cycle.

An homage to early videoworks by William Wegman, starring Man and Fay Ray's stand-ins.

"Anne McGuire shows that men are dogs."

--Ed Halter, New York Underground Film Festival (2003)

The HalfLifers exhume cinema’s favorite incarnation of mindless, decaying mortality, the Zombie, in the hopes of breathing new life into this misunderstood figure. From a panel discussion in an old TV studio to a quarantined helicopter high above California’s rolling hills, these life-challenged entities walk, talk, and chew over some of the more difficult questions of this “whole linear birth-death system."

This title is also available on HalfLifers: The Complete History.

"Combining the comical with the absurd, I created six funny faces to animate the images of Japanese vowels while differentiating between 'image', 'letter', and 'voice'."

— Takahiko iimura

"iimura deconstructs our coherence as he shifts between the English roman alphabet and Japanese characters, interjects spoken Japanese, and manipulates the computer images of his features.  The images often take on geometrical shapes, others recall the classical images from Japanese woodcuts of Samurai warrior grimace."

— Robert West, Curator, Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC

"I'm not going to go to the Anne Frank House—I don't think I could take it—being a tourist is bad enough—though I'm not really a tourist—I'm here working—my camera's the one on vacation—taking holiday sounds and images—it's having a nice change of pace—for me it's still the same old thing—talking and talking.

"Ever on the lookout for learning opportunities, Reinke envisions an art institute where you don’t have to make anything, and with a library full of books glued together. All the information’s there—you just don’t have to bother reading it!"
—New York Video Festival (2002)

 

Making art and movies becomes the overall thrust of this foray into hives of humming wanna-bees being all that they can be thanks to the magic of chalk and cinema. Through it all there trudges the arthritic frame of he who samples the honey pot along with gobs of eggplant parmigiana, etc., etc., etc.

A young painter, and his somewhat slower roommate, talk of paranormal occurrences in a room of charcoal canvasses and ephemeral renderings. Eavesdrop on the improbable and the impossible (BUT TRUE!).

Animal Attraction is a documentary about the relationship between people and animals that questions the way we project our hopes and desires onto our pets, and ascribe human qualities and attributes to their gestures. The video was inspired by the plight of the filmmaker who was frustrated by the obnoxious behavior of her cat, Ernie. As a last resort, she gave in to a friend's suggestion to contact an animal communicator. This is her journey with interspecies telepathic communicator, Dawn Hayman, from Spring Farm CARES, an animal sanctuary in upstate New York.

"I just can't resist trying to empathize with animals and plants.  I think that in the process of attempting to learn what it's like to be an animal or plant, I learn more about what it means to be human."
--Sam Easterson

The vacuum cleaner becomes the device of the feminist 'liberation', or the monster that devours us.

— Insite 2000 program, San Diego Museum of Art 

This title is also available on Ximena Cuevas: El Mundo del Silencio (The Silent World) and Half-Lies: The Videoworks of Ximena Cuevas.

Aquatica, 2000

A reflection on the deep and the creatures that attempt to fathom its resources (such as baked salmon and rubbery crocodile meat). A visual journey into the far reaches of waterlogged consciousness, where the yearnings of the tummy meet the revulsion of the cranium—a cranium mostly made up of water in the first place, like a head of cabbage. Besides, the video is more of a head-trip to the nether reaches of Neptune's haunts where tourists glide through guts of glass to ooh and aah at the mysteries of the deep-end.

A cactus-strewn desert becomes the backdrop for this series of filmic stopovers that focuses on the living quarters assigned the assignee of this adventurous arrangement. Great natural beauty clashes with manufactured outdoorsmanship, as a tired body and sluggish mind seek the oblivion of hotel hospitality in an arid region of artistic aspirations. The viewer is introduced to a world of prickly plants and satin-skinned succubi who prowl the alleys of western decay to staple their fig leaflets on the vertical shafts that poke unsheathed at the virgin skies of southern Arizona.

Aroma of Enchantment is a video essay investigating the fascination Japanese teenagers have for the America of the 1950s and '60s, sporting bobby socks and hair soaked with Brylcreem. Weaving together historical anecdotes about General Douglas MacArthur and his own feelings of alienation in the midst of Japanese culture, Lord focuses on stories told by collectors of American memorabilia in Japan and advocates of Americanization.

Magenheimer’s video explores the bounds of narrative and the illusion of received wisdom in the seven minutes and twenty-two seconds it takes to rob a house. Here, images of medieval art, popular cinema, and “live” news reportage speak candidly to the constructedness of all storytelling traditions.

“In her brilliant video Art Herstory, [Freed] has restaged art history, putting herself in the model’s role in numerous paintings.... Time dissolves under her humorous assault — one moment in the painting, then out of the canvas and into that period, then back in the studio."

— Jonathan Price, “Video Art: a Medium Discovering Itself,” Art News 76 (January 1977) 

An excerpt of this title (14:49) is also included on Surveying the First Decade: Volume 1.

Art Space, 2009

A brief trip to the Miami '09 art festival was the moving (or swimming) force to instigate this travelogue. There are some bathing sequences sprinkled about and lots of munching going on in this latest addition to my Christmas video series. There's even a Santa Claus figure trodding across sand instead of snow; but don't let that dismaying personage in shades of gray discolor an otherwise plentiful poo-poo platter of pulchritude.