[Program Notes for a series of screenings at Smart Projects, Amsterdam.]

 

America Annihilates Consciousness

 

It seems almost impossible for Americans to make work that directly addresses and analyzes their place within the world. In America, there is nothing but America. And outside of America, there are only smaller, inadequate Americas and places of unknowable darkness and evil (which are arranged along an axis). Manifest destiny, that most psychotic and unlikely of ideas, has improbably triumphed. One might (and probably does) resist Bush and the war and Jesus Christ, but the insidious charms of Buffy and Saturday morning cartoons and some form of New Age self-betterment seem to be more or less irresistible. (I have not been able to resist the charms of Buffy or Saturday morning cartoons either, although I have been able to resist — I hope — New Age crap. But this is only possible because I am not an American, but a Canadian, which is very much like being an American, though with a sense of perspective and irony, as well as a completely different concept of what it means to be a citizen.)

What to do when the political has disappeared? When resistance and analysis and propoganda  and direct action have been consigned to the realm of all that is nostalgic, like a warm, distant shadow containing once-radical grandmothers named Rosa? One performs the apparent loss as an evenly-paced, melancholic comedy.

 

1.

Sterling Ruby, Landscape Annihilates Consciousness (12min, 2002)

Kent Lambert, Security Anthem (4min, 2002)

Margaret Catania, Patriot Acts (17min, 2002)

Paul Sargent, White Blight Manifesto (6min, 2003)

Fensler, G.I. Joe P.S.A.s (12min, 2003)

 

2.

Dani Leventhal, Draft 9 (28min, 2002)

Emily Vey Duke & Cooper Battersby, I am a conjurer (9min, 2003)

Jack Sloss, Shed (22min, 2002)

 

3.

Paul Chan, RE:THE_OPERATION (22min, 2002)

David Thorne & Julie Meltzer, It's not my memory of it: Three recollected documents (25min, 2002)

Margaret Catania, from Three American Houses (5min, 2003)

 

4.

George Kuchar, Scarlet Droppings (9min, 1990)

Jim Finn, Decision 80 (10min, 2002)

George Kuchar, Season of Sorrow

Duke & Battersby, Curious About Existence (11min, 2002)

Harrell Fletcher, Blot Out the Sun (23, 2002)

 

5.

Harrell Fletcher, Problem of Possible Redemption (13min, 2003)

George Kuchar, Isle of Heavenly Fury (17min, 2003)

George Kuchar, Burnout (20min, 2003)

Jack Sloss, P.E. (2min, 2002)

Duke & Battersby, Selfcentertarded (3min, 2003)