Sunday, September 14, 2014

Still Doing It Myself

I would have been destroyed from the inside out as a kid had I not been rescued by a band of drug dealing hoodlums on skateboards. Growing up as a moody poor kid on the outskirts of a pristine and wealthy college town, I was an insecure misfit yearning to belong. I had almost given up trying when I was adopted into the “do it yourself” ethic of punk rock and graffiti. I learned to embrace my informal “education” gathered bit by bit from thousands of hours of watching TV, reading comic books and science fiction and experimenting with drugs and alcohol.

As I figured out how to cope and adapt to poverty and loneliness in a yuppie paradise, I also became concerned with the social and political cause of other underdogs. Today I’m the reluctant champion to the bitches, freaks, psychotics, bums, thugs and junkies of the world. This focus has exposed me to many of the contradictions and injustices imbedded in our culture. Belieiving in the promise of technology to “level the playing field”, I’ve immersed myself in every digital craze to come along since the arrival of desktop computers. My latest quest is to master what I call “at a glance” cinema.

My current work is the 2-minute “epic” video The Gunfighters. While gun violence terrorizes our communities, we still lack the political will necessary to change course. Gunshots have ended the lives of my three closest friends, my youngest uncle and, most recently, my 86 year old neighbor. He survived combat in Germany on the battlefields of WWII but his life ended in his own living room with a single shot from an intruder whom he refused to give a cigarette. The Gunfighters was made entirely from found footage and explores the visceral experience of staring down the barrel of a gun.