Pause and Play!
Well, after several years of threatening (and much procrastination) I finally had my pal Chris Partain at Star Tattoo (www.startattoo.com) ink “pause” and “play” symbols on my hands (see pic)… I kinda knew that I wanted the 10th anniversary of Experiments in Cinema to be the Pause n’ Play edition and, so it is—etched in flesh!
I can’t believe that Basement Films has been able to produce such an esoteric event (with some really awsome grant/artist support) for 10 years (April 2015) in a country that too often delineates creativity in simplistic terms such as Thomas Kinkade “the painter of light.”
I sometimes refer to cinematic un-dependents as contemporary traveling troubadours, bringing the news of the day from their particular corner of the world without the filter of board rooms populated by over-stuffed marketing executives and Hollywood-style lawyers!
However, this kind of language can evoke a seriousness that IS important but doesn’t necessarily address the equally valuable pause and play aesthetic that is integral to what we do as media artists creating on the outer limits of technology (old and new technology). Some of you may know where I am going with this, that is evoking Kurt Vonnegut’s famous expression that “we are here on earth to fart around, and don’t let anyone tell you different!.”
Here in the United States, careerist-capitalism doesn’t leave much room for this kind of “farting around” unless it results in monetary profits. To this end, I am proud to be the president of an all-volunteer-run non-profit (Basement Films) that, in all it’s farting around, also produces Experiments in Cinema (an equally volunteer-run festival). As some of you know, EIC is more about creating an annual micro-community of like-minded media-misfits than involve itself in replicating hackneyed festival traditions where parties and awards overwhelm the art, dialogue, and community.
Never forget (comrades) to pause and play!