Performance, Film (8mm), Sound
Length: 5-10 minutes
Key Concepts: Nostalgia, Oklahoma, The Southern United States, Migration
This work has been performed at the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History’s Special Projects Gallery in 2018 and as part of the 14th Annual Midwestern Interdisciplinary Conference at the Peck School for the Arts at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee in 2019.
My Last Film about Oklahoma is a performance that combines experimental documentary and improvisational sound art. The performance is set in a dark room where a single character plays an improvisational sound score using extended technique on an electric guitar next to a digital projector which projects digitized Super 8mm film. Elements of experimental animation can be found as well in a mini electric fan used prominently in the sound score.
This performance is a goodbye to home. To portray this the work is wrought with binaries and the contrasts between them. For example, the contrast between the warmth and nostalgia of Super 8mm and the coldness of LED light or the choice between focusing on the performer and the mini electric fan or the digital projection of the Super 8mm film. Even this projection asks the audience to choose between two channels of footage. This continually challenges the audience to pick between different things to focus on and before they have time to be fully immersed it’s over. Keeping the audience unsatisfied is intentional and meant to evoke the bitterness of nostalgia.
The film itself is footage that I took during my travels across the Midwest and Southern United States during the spring and summer of 2018, before I moved for graduate school. Having performed this once before to a crowd of art students I can report that they were overwhelmed with what to focus on and most ended up focusing their attention to the bright LED animations on the fan. This is ideally how I want my audience to respond. In the stressful environment of first semester graduate school in a new place the temptation of taking refuge in nostalgic entertainment to cope is a daily companion. Thus this work is about nostalgia and migration told through materials that reference my own personal history.
Dialogue of the Fan:
1. <3 I love you <3
2. (Running Horses Animation)
3. <3 Have a Nice Day <3
4. (Rotating Hearts Animation)
5. Miss You So Much
6. I Love Every Day (Star Shape)
Performance at University of Iowa, Visual Arts Building, Special Projects Gallery
One Minute Demo
Full Super 8mm Projection