this is a catalogue for all of the art-ish work i've made over the years. each project has its own slide and one could, starting with the most recent, go back through all of them, if one was so inclined. each entry contains program notes, media info, and a sample of the work itself. happy hunting.
null_sets explores the gap between data and information. made in conjunction with ornl and consisting of a set of images (plus a free app), this project stems from an interest in glitches, code-breaking, and translation. the null_sets script encodes text files as images, making it possible to visualize both the size and architecture of large-scale data sets through an aesthetic lens.
made for the auadrivium exhibition curated by samuel yates, this passive, real-time performative installation asks its users to sing to it. sound activates the image, forming a bump-mapped, ghostly reflect; waning in and out existence, propagated by the secrets and shanties offered to its inputs. eponymously derived from one of warren zevon last songs, this program too anticipates moments of silence that we carry on with our voices.
fashioned out of home movies recovered from failing hard drives; this glitch-art video makes comparisons between different forms of memory—suggesting that, while error and decay may keep us up at night, they might also be the way we put our ghosts to bed.
developed in collaboration with the fax traveling exhibition and curated by independent curators international and joao ribas, this remediative remake of alvin lucier's 1969 sound piece attempts to describe a hacked stutter. as we (rightly so) forgive and understand our fellow speakers' occasional pause or break, so too should we permit the same allowances for what is coming through electrons.
in part a remake of hollis frampton’s gloria! (1979), in part a repurposing of hacked, 16-bit video game technology; the well of representation asks us to reconsider our fear of the liminal. following the convergent narratives of several voices, ranging from the linearly historical to the cybernetically personal, we come to understand the journey ahead: searching from interface to interface, knowing that whatever home we find will be a collaborative compromise. one where we might live beyond our representations and finally come to say what we mean.
we have come to this place of meaning together, celebrating our un-remaindered completeness. yet, in our wake endures a long procession of stowaways: misspoken sounds we unconsciously omit, the limitations of our alphabet, the ignored gaps of an imperfect analog, and most recently, these forgetful bits of the virtual. we celebrate the lineage of our information as we celebrate one another. finding more where we have come to recognize less. we revisit these evolving states, recounting our stories – a partnership, over and over.
the town of centralia, pennsylvania has been on fire since 1962. this documentary follows the enigmatic trail of one, james paulson, the man responsible for inadvertently igniting the devastating mine fire that would claim his rural community. now, fifty years estranged from his friends and family, this film constructs a portrait of paulson through his recovered letters, home movies and interviews with those now lost to him. this is not a redeption, but an explanation. this project served as partial completion of a graduate thesis in cinema production at the university of iowa.
about the author: camilla gutierrez was born in ecuador and spent much of her adult life in la ceiba, honduras at el centro para la investigacion de datos perdidos, a research facility for informatic functions and rhizomatic semantics. currently she resides in la ceiba where she keeps a garden on a west lawn.
the shelf life of digital media is so finite as to functionally mirror our own lifetimes. our bodies age. time passes. our codes and codecs, which should protect us from this inevitability, allow the last images i have of you to become something i can no longer recognize.i know how upsetting this must sound, i know. still, i have to believe it’s not as bad as all that. we’re just going to have to find a better way to remember one another.
movement is a way of knowing. studying films as texts is insufficient to understand the affective dimensions incumbent in the production of a film. this land camera collective remake of the owen land classic, on the marriage broker joke, was undertaken to assert the reality of the lived body against the flattering and fractious pretense of a textual film scholarship. ~ sasha waters freyer
under the tutelage of hank rudolph at the experimental television center in owego, ny, i was able to make these tests in january of 2009. it was a great time to sit by a frozen river and play. included in the production of this work was the use of a jones output amplifier, ross video switcher, microtime dve, sandin-sippel image processor and a paik-abe wobulator.
in collaboration with john engelbrecht and arranged for dr. adelaide morris, this remix/derive/happening explored the interactions of static and dynamic art-forms. borrowing from a situationist platform, myself and my collaborators aimed to find the spaces between our respective pursuits by arranging them in concert and turning it to 11. finished in collaboration with the university of iowa's department of english.
claude shannon was the father of modern data compression. his legacy is one of sending, saving and retrieving; reminding us that all things which survive this process are of the utmost importance. to him, information was a series of signals, marginalized in their presence and lamented in their absence, being the values which carry what we know away from us, in the hopes that it will, one day, return unscathed. through these documents, we are left to excavate shannon’s compressed allusions: emotive schematics, a multitude of voices, and a quiet love story.
this video serves as one eighth of the global media project - eight films. each piece in this undertaking subscribes to a different cinematic medium. for my part, i chose to employ a webcam, drawing inspiration from the digital/global interface of the project's spirit. fiy: this is also a musical. bet you didn't see that coming.
presenting now a gallery of explored codecs. cyborgian portraits, separated from us by time and space, by formatting and compression – the very things we have come to use as reasons for history. the very things which we have put outside of ourselves for our own good reasons. we have manufactured such systems to keep ourselves alive forever, and we are somehow dumbfounded when they grow old with us. but knowing you for as long as i have, i can’t remember when you’ve looked prettier.
for a system which prides itself on an unwillingness to approximate or forgive, we should take pause and appreciate its fallibilities, as few others will. these well-intentioned exploits, cropping up here and there, not only permit our escape, but afford us a grand send-off. and though we may feel anxious or uncomfortable as we wait to change from one place to the next, we now have the rare opportunity to experience something confining from an unconfinable perspective.
a phone call, a bus ride, a body in crisis. memories in excerpt, borrowed and given. it is a communicable catalogue, one where the hopes of the missing intermingle with the expectations of the shown. a hide and seek love story.
they believed the ceibas trees to be points of connection, mending this world to the next. places of rest, where the recently dead might pause, awaiting the arrival of their all-too-distant partners, so the next journey need not be made alone. i don’t think it’s a big secret that i made these for you. for you to know how to find me when the time comes. for you to recognize me, as i am sure i will look and smell and sound quite different. the future will be full of memorials that we could easily mistake for disasters, and i just don’t think they will be worth looking at without you there.
this video combines surround sound mixing techniques and the statues at the musee d'orsay in paris to carry its displaced narrative. as she moves through her first high school dance, young antigone tells her father of her first stolen kiss. poor oedipus, relying on the sound of hearsay alone to know what there is to know.
the 1922 version of nosferatu tells the appropriated story of 'dracula'. this piece appropriates murnau's visual text further to explore the final voyage of a vessel which was lost even from its inception. by using different means of textual and visual occlusion, 'the demeter' attempts to recreate the elegiac return, while approximating the connections of those aboard to those at home.
in 1953, frank olson, a scientist working to create biological weapons for america during the korean war, died in manhattan. his son eric, then 9, was told that his father had committed suicide. eric spent the next 50 years of his life watching the remainder of his family fall into disrepair only to be confronted, after the death of his mother, with evidence that his father had been secretly murdered by the c.i.a. this story unfolds through a series of olson home movies and interviews, as a picture develops that will not fix, but i don't think it was meant to.
a young girl describes her reluctance with language though recitation. she may be small, but she's got a lot of moxie, standing up to the abc's with a frenetic, wide-eyed smirk.
barthes suggests that as we photograph something, we are photographing a part of its death. sometimes i wish this weren't true. this film, shot entirely in lisle, new york, is sort of about that.
john bell hood, the civil war general, moved in with me a few years back. he is a real asshole. and maybe the past isn't really the past, maybe it's actually a sort of present that we just don't want with us. i try to tell john bell hood this, but that son of a bitch never listens.
the town of cornwall, ny. the fourth of july. a speed skater. our need to cling to the largest gravitational pull.
to be really honest, this was the first real film i ever made, and it shouldn't be on this list because i don't think it will ever see the light of day again, but sometimes i like to remind myself that you can put light in a box with some film and a movie will sometimes fall out.