Crash/Burn, Crash/Burn

So today has been a lovely rainy day. I was afraid, at first, that the rain was on my parade, as I had scheduled a three-hour film shoot with David at his home this morning, and was hoping to stage it on his deck. Rain kept me inside, however, and this was likely a fortunate turn, for I am sure my sound recording was far better indoors.
David and I had a wonderful hour of Socratic filmmaking, with ample references to texts ranging from Foucault/Eco, to Global/Local to John Neihardt. He is so articulate, yet so natural. And, dare I admit, just as I was moved to tears driving through the Sandhills last week, so too was I moved to tears listening to him talk about the beauty of them.
I left David's, and met Nate Young for lunch. We ended up at Holyland Cuisine, and enjoyed delicious food, freshly prepared, followed by Arabic tea and complimentary baklava. The owner was so nice, he nearly had us leaving without paying for our meal, which of course we would not allow him to do. During our meal -- and particularly over the tea we were so elegantly served and given a wonderful description of how it is enjoyed in the Arab world -- we had a great and inspiring discussion, mostly about film and film theory, but also about culture and our current metaphysical conditions. Nate's a great guy.
Then I came back to the office, only to find out that the video I've been working on for the Morrison-Exon Dinner next weekend will not be shown, seeing as though the Party would rather have two more tables of guests than set up a projector. Now, I don't know what kind of projector they were planning on using, but they sure didn't ask me before making this decision. Apparently, they might still be able to put the video on televisions in the hallway or lobby of the hotel. So I guess Barack Obama won't be seeing my artistic brilliance after all.

The Visual Screening is in Omaha TONIGHT at 7:00PM (doors at 6:30) in the UNO Art Building.


Come ON!

FIRST Friday!

First, come see a new piece I've put together for a group installation, "Tugboat Presents:" at the Sheldon Art Gallery.

Then, come see one of my own and another collaborative piece at this screening. There is also a screening at UNO on April 29th, but I don't know what time.

Friday, May 5th - 7:00pm
Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center

The Visual, now in its second year and in association with Echotrope arts group, brings you an exhibit of thought provoking and innovative short films and video art selections from some of today's most promising creators in media arts.

Admission is free. Runtime: 1 hour, 30 minutes.


A few photos from the Wild West

Getting some very avant-garde footage at Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska.

My lovely travel companion and fellow artist Carrie Masters.

If you look closely, you can see Courthouse and Jailhouse Rocks through the train cars.

Ok, so I'm beginning to feel that I actually look quite good as a filmmaker.

Chimney Rock, near Bayard, Nebraska, where my grandmother taught school in the 1930s.


Scotts(rather large)Bluff

C Masters Photo and I had an early day of it at Pane Bello in Kearney (we beat the team there), and then had some extra time to swim before checking out of our room and heading to Lexington. We had some deliciousness at the Box Bar there -- a real cowboy bar with a working dumbwaiter -- and then were able to get a few outdoor shots at an ethanol plant David was touring before heading further west to explore the Nebraskan psyche a bit more.
We took Highway 30 again, which took us past an enormous junk 50s car lot in Maxwell and the 100th meridian (proudly bannered) in Cozad. Then northward we did head, through several unincorporated towns and stretches of highway adopted by the free-of-meth kids of ____, Nebraska. Saw the track teams out to practice in Tryon (county seat/only incorporated town in McPherson County, the poorest county in the United States) and Hyannis. Thoroughly explored Mullen, seeing as though Carrie may have ranching relatives there, and also seeing as though she was driving stick for the first time in several years. She did not drive for long before I regained driving abilities.
Near Highway 2's end, we branched northward for a sunset visit to Carhenge (pictures soon to follow, I promise, Benjamin Donsky), where Carrie suffered a technological and spiritual meltdown in the center of some broken down, gray-painted cars. Perhaps it was but a malfunctioning battery, but the ramifications are truly limitless considering the location of the event.
Not satisfied with a too-expensive Holiday Inn Express in Alliance, we decided to drive on to Scottsbluff, where we found another Days Inn with a superb Mexican restaurant just two doors down. Now, with the firey demon breath of someone who has eaten phenomenal guacamole, I bid you good night.


Reporting from Days Inn Kearney

...purportedly the "guaranteed best deal in town," where Carrie and I have decided to park it for the night. Some highlights of day one on the road:
Jay Stoddard telling us he loved us, then launching into a rousing speech on the women's movement, and how it's only the Democrats that do anything for people.
An 81-year-old former state senator telling us about his 21-year-old granddaughter and 21-year-old daughter....think about it.
Getting caught in a veritable brown-out duststorm near Alda, Nebraska, where we were actually forced to pull off the highway. By our nature, of course, we were taking pictures, when...
C: Is this a tornado?
E: No, it's just a straightline wind with a lot of dust.
C: So a cow isn't going to fly and hit the car?
E: I sure hope not.
And at Bill's Liquor in Kearney...
Store Clerk, to Carrie: That's an interesting coat.
(followed by some discussion of the coat, why we're in town)
Clerk: What's David Hahn about?
(E gives a brief description without holding up the line too much)
Clerk: Well, I'm glad the people working for him are human at least.

So, dear friends, this is Nebraska.


Westward, Ho!

Tomorrow at 5:30 AM, C Masters Photo and No Coast Films hit the road for the David Hahn "Nebraska Reality" Tour. We may be at Carhenge for sunrise Friday. We will be in Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney, Lexington, North Platte, and McCook for sure, and at small local eateries for sure. FUN!
So, dear friends, I shall be away from the internets.
Fare thee well!


Remote Broadcasting

So I dropped my computer today while fumbling with my bag. And even though it fell in its sleeve and in a tote bag, it landed with enough impact to make my dear little Dolly's screen all black. If I stare really hard, I can sort of make out a few things, in the same sort of way that you force yourself to make out the words in a book even after it's definitely gotten too dark to read. Prognosis: backlight is broken. Estimated $200+ in repairs.

So I cried. I cursed, and cried, and felt like vomiting. Ah, I am truly the mediated twenty-first century image producer. I am unsatisfied by an S-video hookup to a television screen, and still unsure about an external monitor when I can't see what's going on on my own, and yet have to use the keyboard and mouse attached. It is as if I have been attached to feeding tubes and lie in bed, watching the EKG pulsate and fearing its every last spike. I'm broken and blinded.



Shamelessly Reposted from....

Thanks for this, Brett. It is, indeed, dead on.

In his book "Mediated: How the Media Shapes Your World and the Way You Live in It," Thomas de Zengotita argues that because of mediation "reality is becoming indistinguishable from representation in a qualitatively new way." He describes the gradations of representation from "real real" to "unreal real" and suggests that the effect of witnessing--and internalizing--such tiers is that we don't need televisions or laptops to be effected by mediated imagery.

When we get dressed, we may consider our outfit's impact on others or unthinkingly compare the look to models we see in magazines. When we drive our VWs we might wonder if we look as quirky as the guy in the commercial (we're blasting Aphex Twin too!). When we go on vacation, experiencing isn't enough: we photograph, videotape, blog, post to Flickr. But why? Isn't direct experience enough? Or do we need technology to validate our experiences? Exactly, says Zengotita: mediation flatters us. We're the one pushing the buttons, whose life is so important it must be chronicled, transmitted and repurposed. (I blog therefore I am.) "The flattered self is a mediated self," Zengotita writers, "and the alchemy of mediation, the osmotic process through which reality and representation fuse, gets carried into our psyches by the irresistible flattery that goes with being incessantly addressed."

-Paul Schmelzer, Adbusters Vol. 14


Stretch Cue

Dot wears clothes.
I have just discovered that I can watch simulcasts of my favorite news crew ever, News Channel 10 of Providence. My friends Gary Ley, Patrice "Holly" Wood, Gene Valecenti, R.J. Heim, Mario Hilario, Alison Bologna, Brian Crandall, Frank Coletta, Jim Tericani, Chef Terranova's "Cookin' Wit Class" and more are now at my fingertips once again. Currently, Gary Ley is explaining how air heats up with an almost indecipherable compression box analogy. And he is now giggling and talking about the floor director giving him a stretch cue. He is now explaining that a stretch cue means talk longer. Wow. I forgot how funny this is.

I have a red nose, after spending a beautiful Saturday and Sunday outdoors. Going fishing with a biologist is fun.

How do I know when leaving work is ok?

I am wearing my mother's old powder blue UltraSuede dress today. Apparently, I ought to be in line for the Audrey Hepburn look-alike auditions, as was told to me by a stranger leaning out a car window this morning. I can handle that.


Ode to Unproductivity

Oh Rain, you do
Not take Lightly the
Fact that when you
Streak across my window
You in fact
Cause me to be completely
Indescribably unable
To get Anything Done
Let alone started.
No, in Fact
You mock me because
You know that
I will not be able
To go Out to Play.


Just came across this...and that

So, it's great to do a Google search on my name. (Ben Donsky actually hyperlinked my name to a Google search of it.) Here are a few choice things that came up.

"The Great Work" does more than display troubled teens - Arts & Culture

Lighting designer Elisabeth Reinkordt '05 produces possibly the best lighting that has been cast upon PW's stage. Spotlights combine with a misty haze to create the authentic yet slightly surreal atmosphere the play calls for. And set designer Spencer Collins '05 actually constructs a pool out of linoleum tiles.

One last thing... when you're home tonight, reading this blog, alone, depressed, wondering why no one has every truly loved you and pondering a life where making small talk with the guy who runs the corner bodega who barely speaks English is all you have to get you out of bed each morning, watch this video that my friend Elisabeth Reinkordt made.

Lis was my protege in college, until she left the glamorous world of university transit to concentrate on teaching impoverished kids to make documentaries about how impoverished they are. It's like that old saying, "give a kid a fish and he'll eat for a day, give a kid a video camera and he'll still be hungry."

But this video about loss and human suffering is guaranteed to make you feel worse, unless it makes you feel better.
That's an amazing video ... I guess we all relate to one or the other of the speakers ... for me, i knew exactly what the the guy who lost his wife and the woman with the black hair an ear-ring were talking about. in the end is the message that life goes on. not to give up. we are each traveling our own path and we have to give up, let go of things, it's nature's way ...

Oh, the things people say about me...


Free Until They Cut Me Down

Guy I really miss: →
Today's predicted high: 74
Videos I've produced for the campaign so far: 2 (view them here)
Standard deduction for a married couple filing jointly: $10,000
I've rented a downtown parking spot now; after much nail-biting and agonizing, I decided to pay for it instead of making Ande drive me or pretending I'd ride my bike and also wear skirts.
Yesterday, I managed to work on the Derby video, an NSAS DVD for broadcast, and campaign materials all at the same time. Pretty incredible. And I found out that Prairie Hill's Earth Day grant from the EPA came through, so I'll be making a video for them as well. I sort of can't believe the turn-around that's happened with my professional self in the last few weeks. All of a sudden, I go from destitute, borrowing money, and squandering creatively to working full-time and moonlighting.
Carrie is going with me next week as a photographer for the campaign's first statewide swing. Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney, Lexington, North Platte and potentially Alliance.