Monday, August 8, 2011

Wherein I speak nervously with Miranda July

Is it normal for an interview to be introduced with an apology or a confession? I dunno. But, I can say that I might not have been the best person to interview Miranda July. It’s best if the interviewer is either as smart as the interviewee or just stands out of the way. I tried to be the former, but that clearly didn’t work out, as you shall see. And, then it was too late to get out of the way of myself.

The whole interview-situation perhaps didn’t start off perfectly as on arrival I informed the publicist that I’m not a professional journalist. The look I received advised me not to say that again -- ever. Instead, I was told you have a one on one interview. I was asked to make sure I eat one of the amazing cookies in the interviewing-room, because they are delicious, and expensive.

Indeed, the interview was one on one. It took place in one of those corporate meeting spaces in the nether regions of a hotel. This one was oddly opulent while still managing utter dehumanization. It looked like the room at the end of 2001 and reprised in 2010, “Something wonderful is going to happen.”

As I went in, I went straight to the cookies. I tried to make everything seem regular. I’m just here to have a conversation with you. You don’t know if I am a journalist or not, and I am not saying anyhow. I sat down with an extremely crumbly, greased peanut-butter cookie. It was good. When I sat down I realized I had no plate...or a napkin. It was way too late to get back up and travel the seven feet to the table for such items. The interview had begun. I have crumbs on my face and hands…

Well, it hadn’t exactly begun, I asked July if it was OK for me to ask her about a conversation she attempted to have with Christine Vachon at the San Francisco International Film Festival. It took place during the Q+A portion of the State of Cinema Address. She struggled to remember. What was it about again? I am not sure, I wasn’t there. I just heard about it. OK, I can try to remember. Let’s see. Oh God, I was thinking. This doesn’t seem very productive. Is this a good first interview question: you know that conversation about that thing that I am not certain about where I wasn’t there?

Well, let’s just come back to that later, maybe.
Sounds good.

Most people I know have an opinion about Miranda July. And, just about everyone I know who’s interacted with her has a story. She seems to be one of those people that brings out the most nervous behavior. A friend of mine doesn’t know July but has “met” her several times each meeting baffling. Baffling because the occasions seem to have turned my pal into a social miscreant.

 There’s a way about July. If she wants, she can let you fall into yourself, trip over your words and sink more and more deeply in an abyss, ok, just a puddle, of awkward. She’s canny and observant, and you can tell that she isn’t going to give you anything that she wants to keep back. Still, on this occasion, she was extremely generous, going out of her way to make my questions seem valid. As I asked around ideas, and wondered if any of it makes sense, she listened and managed to bring things back to relevance.

At the end of it, I would have to say, there’s no doubt in my mind that she would kick my ass in Scrabble. (I know – I don’t like that line either. I dunno. She’s smart, ok?)

SU: You often describe The Future as a horror film. But, it doesn’t necessarily read as horrific only.

MJ: It’s really that -- to me, it is like a horror film. I don’t think people will see it that way. And, it’s not a description of the whole movie, but the story line of the character that I play [Sophie]. For someone like me who is constantly making things and is defined by my creativity, work and ability to make things, the idea of not being able to create, of becoming paralyzed, and instead of responding to that in the ways that I do -- because that happens all the time --, but instead by responding by fleeing my life, my soul and my love and to go and exist in a sphere where none of that is demanded of me, where I could be passive, that storyline is like a horror movie to me in that it’s enjoyable to watch. It’s more like a fear-fantasy. But, that’s only going to be true for people who can relate directly to that idea, and that’s only going to be true for a certain segment of the audience.

SU: Still, a good deal of your work expresses that dual nature to darkness. It describes a darkness that is essentially attractive. It’s worrisome because the darkness can suck you in and maybe you want it to do that. Would you agree that that’s one of the primary occupations of your work overall -- in film, writing and performance?

MJ: Definitely, and in life itself too.

I also think that in the film, unlike in a cautionary tale, the darkness isn’t actually truly bad. There’s a part of me that almost admires Sophie for going so far with her wrong turn. I don’t think you can mess up so badly that you don’t ultimately have to do what you were put here to do. So, this is just a particular very long, difficult path to – in this case – make the dance, which she does eventually do.

In my own life, my path has not been totally straight; I’ve made wrong turns. And I am interested in why we do that. It is lifelike. So that’s appealing to me.

SU: You want people to embrace “the detour” even if it’s not cosmically correct?

MJ: Yes, even if it feels profoundly wrong.

SU: On the other hand, the character of Jason does things in the film that I suppose one could say are essentially good or uncorrupted, but the resulting path turns out to be equally dark. It’s not that his decision to listen to himself saves him.

MJ: Yes, that doesn’t protect you.

And, at some point he changes his path. He must stop time. He was going with the flow, and then he literally cannot let the next moment happen. That’s part of it. It’s easy to do until it’s not anymore. And, you still have to go on. For Jason, he can’t just let the world continue passively. No, you have to start it. You must engage with life and start it again.

SU: I have a theory that Paw-Paw is Schrödinger’s cat.

MJ: No, not really. It might try to work that into the mix down at some point (laughs). It sounds OK, but no.

SU: In the recent New York Times Magazine article about you, the author describes your work in terms of “surrealism.” But, in most places I have seen you refer to unusual elements as “unreal.” Do you think about your work in terms of the surreal – as coming from the unconscious – or is it a different kind of unreality that you are working with or portraying?

MJ: I think that I am just trying to be very accurate. When I am writing a short story I am always looking for that perfect metaphor. That thing that really feels like the feeling. That process isn’t so different in writing than it is in film.  When Jason stops time, it’s not that different except that in film it’s not “like” he stopped time. You can just show it.

It’s hard to know what to call these things. They need a name, but surrealism, well surrealism and magical realism, both have histories and certain people that are attached to them and that’s not where I am coming from. I’d hate to put myself in this box – it’s usually other people who do this to me – but, when people reference Charlie Kauffman’s movies, for instance, maybe people call them surreal or magical realist. But, I think his work is also trying to get at a specific feeling in the service of a story.  It’s not all that interested in how weird it can get.

SU: One of the particularly remarkable aspects of your work is in the tendency to focus on specific details of intensely disparate elements and the construction of a kind of matrix where those elements are held in suspension. In The Future for instance, there’s the cat, the shirt, the moon, the penny saver guy, the tree service, backyard burial – all of these things that are not obviously related initially. Likewise, the characters seem quite individuated, almost isolated, and yet, they relate to each other across a divide. Is that a way that you see the world, in general?

MJ: I suppose that’s always been one of my favorite ideas. In that New York Times article you mentioned, I talk about a correspondence I had with a man in prison, and then I wrote a play based on that correspondence. And, just the fact that a 38-year old man who I never actually met, who I became very close to, and was so different from me, a 16-year Berkeley prep school kid – that we both existed in the world and there was no obvious connection, but what we made, and that it was a very awkward connection, it wasn’t always functional… If I look through almost everything I have ever made, that’s always been appealing to me. There’s something just so poignant of “life-y” about that. Or it somehow gets at something important that we have here.

SU: The web-based project that you made with Harrell Fletcher and is on display at SFMOMA currently, “Learning to Love You More” also operates under a similar guise. You ask participants who engage with the piece to look at specific elements from their own lives, like take a flash photo of the underneath of their bed or to lay out and describe an outfit that is important to the participant. But within those specifics there’s a kind of universality that emerges.

MJ: All those activities on the website are things that I would do or Harrell would do on our own. But, one of the problems of being an artist is that you start spiraling around yourself. Your whole job is just to have ideas and think they are interesting. Here, you have the idea, but then you get to be interested in not what you would do, but what everyone else would do. So, my only job was to have the idea. And, most of them I haven’t done. In some cases, you get to see hundreds of examples of them played out. And, suddenly the whole thing of being unique because of having a unique idea is obliterated, and authorship just goes away. And, there’s something that for me gets past one of the stickier parts of being an artist, while it somehow still manages to be “my work” in an odd way. That’s one aspect to it, and there also is this element of universality. But, I’m always looking for the detail, so I tend to not be as attracted to “Oh look, everyone’s doing this.” I am usually looking for “the One.”

SU: Is it comforting that within something that’s so broadly encompassing that everyone has this sort of difference?

MJ: Yeah. And, that we have that in common too. That’s somehow comforting.

SU: Something that I have noticed when presenting films by a female director is that audiences, in my experience at least, are much more apt to assume that the film is autobiographical, semi-autobiographical or at least an expression of an essential self than if the film had been directed by a man. Would you say that’s a fair thing to say in general -- that audiences feel that they know you because of your films?

MJ: Well, yes. And, try being in your films too (laughs). No one even pauses for a second when they assume it’s you.

I understand that. I think about it when I watch films. And, even with a male director, with someone like Woody Allen, it’s hard not to believe that that’s him. But, he usually says it’s not.

This perhaps seems obvious, but I say, and people who know me realize that the character up there is not me. But, the whole movie and all the characters together is so me. When Me and You and Everyone We Know was made, no one knew who I was, so people assumed I must be that character, Christine, and she’s so sweet and everything. But, my friends know that I am equally the pervert guy who is putting the signs in the windows. And, there was just no way to prove that to the world.

(And, how else do you make a world unless these things in it are in you?)

Still, I don’t struggle to get into character. I am familiar with the people I play. But, in the case of The Future, I pretty much put only things into Sophie that I am uncomfortable with or ashamed of even. So, thank god that’s not me.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The dark bear and the golden deer

Once upon a time, there was this little guy. He had a weirdish childhood. He was a bit smaller than all the other boys. And, he was smart and sensitive, so even though it was hard for him to develop detachment, he was keenly aware of his inability to detach. It gave him minor torture, because he would see himself not detaching, and it was a difficult problem to understand and confront. 

To combat his discomfort, the little guy told stories about people he wish he were. They were good stories. Lost of people could relate to them. That became his job.

When he became an adult, he told stories and sung songs, and it was righteous. He got everyone involved and pondering their lives and enjoying what they were doing, and questioning how they should go about things. It made the little guy feel good. It took him places.

But, then he realized that he started feeling like things were OK, which made it hard to continue making his stories and sings and little things like that. He tried. It was hard. He became sad, and all the people that liked him started to forget about all the good stuff he could do for them.

And this bizarre thing happened. Right when everything got as bad as can be, he made up the best story and song he ever did. It made him famous. And, things were going right again. And, he was adored.

Throngs of people would come to him unannounced and proclaim their devotion to him. This was overwhelming. And, the little guy was in bliss. He started forgetting that he wasn’t the guy in his stories. He started thinking he and the stories and songs and performances were one.

He felt special. He had a certain power. And, it was a good power. Then the little guy started replaying his hibernation and emergence – always with new stuff. He turned into a furry bear that would growl at anyone who came to his cave. And, in the spring he would turn into a golden deer leaping across a babbling brook with lens flares shooting off his teeth. Bing!

That little guy sure turned out to be a dick.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Anne McGuire on

Essential SF: Anne McGuire

Sean Uyehara November 3, 2010

Anne McGuire moved to San Francisco in 1990 from the Valley of the Jolly Green Giant, Minnesota. She makes videos. She’s an avant-garde torch singer. She makes small works on paper. She’s a vital member of the Bay Area art scene. She stalked a baseball player.

I was able to speak with her a bit for this article, and she communicates an unusual and attractive combination of modesty and confidence. She’s smart, and she’ll help.

[Editor’s note: McGuire, who was a featured performer in 2009’s 
Cinema by the Bay, is being honored in the same showcase in 2010 along with other Bay Area film luminaries and institutions via SF360 Presents Essential SF November 8 at the Lab. More at]

She began making videos while at the Kansas City Art Institute, and when she left to enroll at the San Francisco Art Institute, she continued, studying with many teachers she readily cites as influences—George Kuchar, Doug Hall, Tony Labatt. In those days, video was taught at SFAI in a department with a title describing McGuire’s work perfectly—Performance/Video. That’s her genre. Slash and all.

She became infamous when she made a video starring an unwitting participant, Joe DiMaggio. Well known as a North Beach fixture, DiMaggio was followed by McGuire, who sang songs about her devotion to him. This may sound touching. It isn’t. It’s disturbing and hilarious. The video presents a complex and concerning matrix of many of McGuire’s primary themes—fame, femininity, obsession, irrationality.

“I Am Crazy and You’re Not Wrong” follows a snappy jazzy tempo. “I am crazy and you’re not wrong, shoulda been listenin’ to you all along…Hey!” The lyrics are funny, unnerving, full of self-hate. McGuire sings them in her proto-Freddy (pronounced “Freedee”) persona. The video was included in San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s 75th Anniversary tribute to Bruce Conner. When McGuire is Freddy, she belts out the kind of tunes you would hear in any depressing lounge throughout the hinterlands of America. The songs and lyrics are fascinating, disastrous. Was there someone in Minnesota that McGuire models Freddy on? I don’t know. I didn’t ask.

When Anne is Freddy she wears heels, unless she kicks them off, as in the Anne McGuire Show at last year’s Cinema by the Bay. She usually courts disaster, but with the stage so rickety, she decided not to break a leg.   

When she sings that “I am crazy and you’re not wrong…” song, I get nervous. I remember all the fights and the times when it got to that point. The times when it wasn’t really about the fight. When it got strange. McGuire seems to know that moment and the stakes. She would beat you in a war of words. She seems to know what its like to strenuously deny losing.

At least Freddy does.

Anne McGuire doesn’t usually wear heels. She can’t too often. They hurt her feet.
She is small. She says so herself. She calls it, “my smallness.”

She spends many a day in a rock climbing gym, an activity that she fell in love with for its required concentration and graceful movements. She never considered herself athletic, but this is a sport where smallness pays off.  McGuire is elegant in her smallness. She is compact and powerful. I like that she wears flat shoes. That’s Anne to me.

Torsten Kretchzmar made a Freddy music video. “
Lottery Ticket.” He is making another one too.

Freddy’s voice somehow mixes otherworldly ethereality with sharp, biting pain. As the kids say, it’s insane. When she performs live, it’s usually with Wobbly. He recycles sounds to provide accompaniment. Show tunes, commercials, buoys from the Bermuda Triangle. It’s what an academic would call pastiche, and musicians might call wild. Normal people usually say “noise.” He does it all improv. Often, Freddy and Wobbly appear to be in competition. He trips her up. It’s all in fun, mostly.

When McGuire went to school she studied with an array of compelling local artists still working in San Francisco. Cliff Hengst, Phil Ross, Jovial Schnell. She says that one of her favorite local performance artists was in her class, Ella Tideman. She says that Tideman’s gestures are profound. Not surprisingly, McGuire uses the words “crazy” and “beautiful” to describe her admiration.

McGuire grew up in the countryside. In the woods. I’ve got nothing too specific. She was somewhere else. She spent all of her childhood outside. The city was nothing but a place far away.  She’s done climbs in Yosemite that are rated 5.5’s and 5.6’s. She says climbers will know what that means. She doesn’t want to create a false impression about her aptitude.

Today, McGuire’s daily practice consists of making small paintings. She thinks about videos a lot. But, she doesn’t make one very often. She’s participating in an ad hoc local art shop created by Stephanie Syjuco, 
Shadowshop. Buy her stuff. Buy other local makers work too. Over 200 local artists. Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

McGuire was in a shipwreck in 1986. She looked backward and celebrated by reverse-ordering a movie about a shipwreck. She made a video of herself that reveals metal pins literally drilled into her arms. The result of a biking mishap. It’s called “When I Was a Monster.” I am not sure if she likes accidents. It seems like she does.

When McGuire recycled 
The Poseiden Adventure, she re-articulated something that she seems to always state—we are bound for disaster. No one here is gonna save you. Adventure Poseiden, The (Unsinking of My Ship) followed Strain Andromeda by about 15 years. And, all the while she’s been dodging bullets. Strain Andromeda runs in reverse, in a way. She parceled out the scenes and re-ordered them to play forward in reverse order. It re-defines suspense. We wonder what we can not know. It uses a strict logic to perform hyperrational chaos.

“I am crazy and you’re not wrong…”

She’s been taking Dodie Bellamy’s writing workshop for about four years. She has been building a reserve of writing. She will eventually publish the work. I asked if her I could read one of her short stories. She said, no.

Semiconductor interview on

Semiconductor is one of my favorite animationators.  They are two people and a computer. They will be in SF for a retrospective program this Saturday, Nov. 14. Embarcadero Cinema. Part of the SF Intl Animation Fest.

Here's an interview.

Binary Opposition Animates Semiconductor

What do you call a duo that considers itself a trio? Or videomakers who call themselves sculptors? Semiconductor has been making video and installation work for over ten years. They consist of Joseph Gerhardt, Ruth Jarman and a computer. They create animations and present live music and visual shows. Everything they do is slightly inside out. The computer is more or less an antagonist in their midst. They haven’t quite broken up the band yet, because the computer, while it creates a lot of stress, provides some useful bits too. It doesn’t do interviews. I spoke with Joseph and Ruth, about their nasty third, and about some other things too in preparation for their retrospective program at the fifth San Francisco International Animation Festival.

SF360: What is your artistic background?

Ruth Jarman: We both studied at Brighton School of Art in the U.K. Joe studied sculpture. I studied critical fine art practice. And while we were there we were making very hands-on installations, kind of architectural-scale installations. We were doing things independently, although there were similarities in our practice, in that we were working with either the built environment around us, or responding to the physical landscape and the natural world in some way.

SF360: And you met there?
Jarman: Yeah we met there, but we didn’t start working together when we were at art school. Maybe we were kind of tinkering with some sound or something while we were there, but it wasn’t until we left that we started making what became our first film. We weren’t saying 'Hey we’re gonna make films together. This is gonna last forever!' (Laughs.)  It was quite an organic process.

Joseph Gerhardt: We were making music together. Semiconductor was our group name. Our mutual interests came back into the picture, and when we put our practices together with sound, films kind of happened just naturally. We didn’t realize we were making short films at the beginning. We just wanted to make music with images, still treating the images like music. Eventually we released our first DVD. It was like a piece of music or a CD but with images woven in. It may have been the first DVD of that sort. We don’t know of anyone who’s released one before us. It was 2001. Probably happened somewhere else in the world, but we attempted to release our films as connected tracks rather than as exclusive, isolated art works. At the time we were very interested in the way the computer had a sort of control over your artwork, and anything you did on the computer looked 'computer-y,' so we were trying to fight that, have our own control. It was trying to control us, so the group Semiconductor had the idea of a computer being the third element in our group, and that we were trying to fight it and it was fighting us.

SF360: Were you using generative processes?
Jarman: Well our very early works were a mixture of practices. We were working with small models and exploring the landscape and physical world. Or we made pieces that were very process-based pieces of work, because we had come to the computer with the first generation of current software, so as artists we were interested in what that was, as a material, saying, 'Well what is this stuff and what can we do with it?' So we were trying to interrogate the medium in a way and try to understand what it was. We would sometimes take a piece of data that could be represented as an image or sound. And that really intrigued us. There was one piece we made called Puffed Rice that was literally a translation of the sounds of puffed rice into image using pathways through the software that weren’t set up to be used that way. It wasn’t intuitive, but you could open up a piece of audio data in an image program. They were very laborious processes because there weren’t automated features in programs at that time, so we had to do everything by hand. This idea that the computer made your life easier wasn’t true when we were making that work. A lot of people think that if you work with digital technologies… they kind of have this passion with the history of film that is really hands on. What we found when we were working is that we were very hands on and interested in the material in a similar way.

Gerhardt: The first film we made was called Retropolis. We scanned in images of London and then collaged them, printed them out and cut them up and then made them into a new image outside the computer. We were making a kind of world outside of the computer that was semi-formed in the computer.

SF360: So it’s about using the computer in unintended ways, but also how computerization or digitalities shape the way we perceive the world?
Jarman: Yeah, definitely. I think at that time we didn’t quite understand that that’s what we were doing because we were still just being very experimental about our approach but then I guess as we made more and more works that became obvious, that we were using the quality that the computer gave whether it was the software putting its identity on there or whether it was using simple things like pixilation or something like that. We were enhancing techniques in order to identify uses or the experience or whatever it was that we were making, and emphasizing the technology’s presence being in-between.

SF360: And these experiments comprised the DVDs that you describe, that are formally like musical albums?

Gerhardt: We called them sound films, but I guess it’s what you call visual music.

Jarman: We were trained as fine artists and we knew about the art world but we were interested in wider audiences than that. Because we were working with this kind of medium, the computer, that was just being explored by many people. We were going out and trying to have dialogues with different audiences about what this means, what it could be and where it could go or where it existed. At that time our work wasn’t comfortably shown anywhere, certainly not in the U.K. We ended up going to [mainland] Europe to show our work because there were many more platforms available interested in the kind of work we were making and the questions we were asking. And, releasing DVDs was sort of part of that as well, kind of a more popular action.

SF360: And, now you are associated with science in really a strong way. A lot of people would probably know Semiconductor best that way. How did that occur and is that what you intended?
Gerhardt: Not really. Some of our early works, like Linear, look at string theory or the idea that matter is made up of vibrating energy. We associated that with sound and the way waveforms move through everything all the time. We were always interested in that. But, I think the first piece of work where we worked directly with science came out of a residency we did on the Scottish border. We made a piece of work called All the Time in the World. We could see the way the landscape had been formed through time through seismic processes and weathering processes and we wanted to reveal that in real time. So we contacted the British Geological Survey and they gave us some seismic data and we used that to reanimate the landscapes, photographs that we were taking. So in a way we were playing with the idea of a photograph of a landscape being documentation of the illusion of time standing still. We would reanimate these still moments with sound and with something--you can’t actually hear the seismic data but we would convert it into audio--and then we would convert the data into images so that you would see them both. So the sound and image were from the same source and they were forming the landscape in front of your eyes.

Jarman: Yeah, so I guess in all of our works we’ve dabbled with scientific techniques and processes. We’ve turned to them because we’re often looking for things that we don’t experience every day in the physical world around us, and in this instance that led us to look for seismic data, But, we are often looking for different technologies that allow you to comprehend things on different scales--different techniques and processes… But we really got immersed when we went to the Space Sciences Lab in Berkeley. Suddenly we were in this obvious science environment, and we didn’t quite understand what we were doing there initially or why we were there, and that became clear as the work came out. We had an interest in the techniques and processes that were there, but there’s very much a kind of sci-art world that existed already that we didn’t really identify with so much. I mean we’re always on the periphery of all these things I think. (Laughs.)  But yeah so that was I guess the point when we were clearly, directly engaging with science. Immersing ourselves in those environments is so essential to our work now. It’s not only inspiration but we often end up working directly with the material they’re using or the scientists that are there.

SF360: Because of your association with science now, there’s a tension in your work between objective truth and subjective reality. For instance, in All the Time in the World you choose certain layers in the image to animate and sort of associate those parts with data it seems. There is underlying objective data that’s driving the process but how that’s applied and translated is based on aesthetics. How important is it to you to have a fidelity to the data?

Gerhardt: We try to create a physical response to subject matter, be it some kind of way of seeing the world around us … it could be the surface of the sun or it could be atomic nano-scale structures of our world and our universe. We want to engage people with a physical response to that. There are many ways of connecting, and one of those ways is to get close to the actual matter itself. Scientific data, in a way, is as close to the actual real thing as you can get. We want people to have an emotional/physical. So it’s not a simple matter of showing the data. We need to engage people in a way where sound becomes very useful and the sound creates a sense of emotional response and also it creates a sense of narrative but also strays more towards fiction. You’re adding baggage to the data, but that baggage is actually what makes people react to it.

Jarman: Yes, there is a sense of playfulness that we bring to it. And, we still see what we do as being very much sculptural, in the traditional sense. But, we’re working with materials you don’t see directly or experience directly, so that’s how we feel we’re working.

SF360: One thing I think that your work points out is a waning importance of the difference between fiction and nonfiction, that these subjective approaches to reality are just as valid and important, even as authoritative. But you also work with generative processes, so there’s this idea in your work that you’re letting something grow within specific, data-driven parameters. Do any of those ideas pertain to what you’re doing?

Jarman: We haven’t thought about the reality or fictional side of our work so much. It hasn’t been something we’ve questioned in our work because we’re not setting out to try and trick people into thinking that what they’re seeing is real. That’s never been our intention. It was only when that started occurring on quite a large scale with Magnetic Movie that we started to say, 'Oh, people think that’s real,' that that became a whole other side to our work that we hadn’t experienced ourselves.

Gerhardt: Also we aren’t qualified to comment on it, but maybe even scientists aren’t qualified to define it. So there’s no illusion in our work that we’re qualified.

SF360: Well you’re running up against the myth of science a little bit, right? I mean, when you enter the scientific realm people immediately think there is an articulation of truth.
Jarman: Especially when we put it in the context of somewhere like The Exploratorium. That’s when those questions become quite interesting, when our work is shown in a science museum or something like it. When Magnetic Movieappeared online people argued whether what they were looking at was real or not. They said, 'This should have a warning at the beginning saying it’s art not science.' And, when we showed it to some of the scientists at the lab they said, 'Yes, it’s almost right….' But I guess we’d rather not define those things. It’s part of the experience in a way. We’re quite happy for it to have a life where … somebody else put it on YouTube, and it had this whole kind of mythmaking built up around it, and we quite happily observed that and let it go off into its own world.

SF360: Now, you just came back from a residency in the Galapagos, which is another kind of science-based/research-based residency. What was that like and are you going to continue seeking out these types of residencies?
Gerhardt: It’s quite important for us to experience something for our work to be about the experience of something. In a way, we’ve become travel artists in the way a writer becomes a travel writer. We’re not just taking a series of photographs; we’re actually inventing stories but through what we see. It’s not a narrative-based story. It’s kind of a visual experience story. And it’s very important for us to find new experiences to share. And the Galapagos has an interesting story because of the way it’s formed and placed. That was a really great opportunityy--to go to another world, really. It’s like going back in time before humans, and we’re going to be doing our next residency at the Smithsonian in August, and then go back to our newest project Worlds in the Making.

What is this?

Good question, Sean.
This is an effort to act as if what I say is important.
This is about me.
Me, me, me.

And, the first thing to know is that I am very uncomfortable with things that are about me in any way.

So, this'll be terrific.

Mostly this will be a repository of things that I wish were said or written.

Lost if the stuff the I psot will to do with have art-y.

There will be typos and misgrammarfication. Neologisms.

I am a film programmer. That means I develop and present shows for public consumption.
I like things.
I have fun.
But, a lot of what I am doing has to do with films and the film world, and etc. But, not all. I am a well-rounded person, all right guys?

There is no time table for additions to this blog, and I am sending this directly from my mind.