You can see their short, titled Local Ads from Faraway Places on Wednesday 9th of December, 8.30pm at Filmhouse.
Kera MacKenzie is a Chicago based interdisciplinary artist who works with moving images, photography, sets, installations, performance and live broadcasts. She has screened and exhibited at spaces including the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), the Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago) and Chicago Underground Film Festival. Kera has been an artist in residence at ACRE (Wisconsin) and Culturia (Berlin) and was a participating artist at High Desert Test Sites 2013 (New Mexico) where she created a proto-cinematic event involving an eighteen-foot zoetrope in the desert. She studied at Bennington College, the Art Institute of Boston, and Transart Institute and received her MFA in Moving Image from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Additionally, Kera is a Founding Co-Director of ACRE TV (ACRETV.org), an educator via the Museum of Contemporary Photography and Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education, and a recent recipient of a UIC/UofC/SAIC Consortium Fellowship. keramackenzie.com
Andrew Mausert-Mooney works in 16mm film, video, performance and television. His works often employ portraiture to explore issues of race, religion and identity. Andrew's solo works have shown in festivals, galleries and exhibition series around the world including the American Film Institute, CineVegas, Chicago Underground Film Festival, Gallery 400, Pleasure Dome, The Nightingale, and Other Cinema. He received his MFA from the University of Illinois-Chicago in 2012. Andrew is a recipient of the Aunspaugh Fellowship from the University of Virginia, as well as the MFA Residency from Ox-Bow School of Art and Artist Residency. Currently, Andrew is a Founding Co-Director of ACRE TV (ACRETV.org) and Co-Founder and Creative Director of Mainstream Media LLC (MainstreamChicago.com), a live stream production company. vimeo.com/amm
What is your making process? Do you use other mediums in your practice alongside moving image? If so how to do you see their relationship to your moving image work?
Generally, in our collaborative practice we are continuing a line of work that began with a shared interest in the grammar of cinema, and grew to include an interest in liveness. We both make objects, photographs, installations, drawings, writings, scripts, sounds and performances. Film and video are the containers we use to house those varied practices.
Which artists and/or directors are you particularly interested in/inspired by and why?
Kera: I'm really interested in artists who are able to speak directly to the medium at hand, while maintaining a relationship to the body and a conversation about how images structure perception and reality. To name a few: Valie Export, George Kuchar, Ericka Beckman, Hito Steyerl, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Janet Cardiff, Isaac Julien, Basma Alsharif, Richard Foreman's Ontological-Hysteric Theater and the collective My Barbarian.
Drew: I'm trained as a 16mm filmmaker and some favorites in that form include Kevin Everson, Deborah Stratman, Barbara Hammer, Naomi Uman, and Nathaniel Dorsky. Also, some of Chicago's heavy hitters who I like a lot: William Pope L., Theaster Gates, Jen Reeder, and Catherine Sullivan.
Which newer artists’ are particularly exciting you in the moving image world at the moment? Is there a an artist who works with moving image should we all know about?
We're really lucky to view a lot of new-to-us artists through our work directing ACRE TV. We've been introduced a lot of great work through open calls and guest curators. Some of our recent favs are: Nicole Ginelli, Huong Ngo, Maya Mackrandilal, Kevin B. Lee, Martine Syms, Rodrigo Valenzuela, Laura Bouza, Blair Bogin, Amanda Gutiérrez, Danny Giles, Michael Robinson, Joseph Herring, James N. Kienitz Wilkins, Sunita Prasad, The Institute for New Feeling (Scott Andrew, Agnes Bolt and Nina Sarnelle), E.S.P. TV, and many many more.
What are you working on currently and do you have any future projects planned?
We're currently working on a single channel version of our recent exhibition havoc and tumbled at Roman Susan (Chicago), which was an eight-channel film and video installation with a central audio recording of a Broadcast TV Technical Director speaking about his method of calling camera “takes.” The contents of the films and videos - an animal being skinned, a live-to-tape theatrical performance, a controlled burn in a Missouri forest, and slow motion portraits - were presented using formal strategies regarding different kinds of time - bodily, televisual, geologic, and cinematic.
Meanwhile, we continue to co-direct ACRE TV, and have shows planned for the spring including a two-month long continuous livestream called The Set Speaks which will include nine artist groups that will produce week-long segments that use set design, live camera switching, and performance to create durational pieces that build narratives throughout the works. Also, in April, we'll have an event at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago where we will work with four groups of artists to create a two-hour broadcast from the MCA that has theatrical and tele-visual components.
What is your favourite film?
Kera: Harun Farocki's Images of the World and the Inscription of War
Drew: Paul McCarthy's Painter
Specific to Drew and I:
Your work Local Ads from Faraway Places brings together the epicness of cinema and a sense of physicality of digital online videos. How do you see the relationship between the cinema and YouTube?
Maybe even more than YouTube, we thought of the form that Google Image search takes, and how we could use frames within a frame to manufacture a continuous take. Also, we were thinking about "private" moments in movies that are simultaneously performances for a public audience. The audience member at the end of our video is Drew's dear, sleeping dad. More special trivia: This piece was created based on a description of Secret Cinema by Paul Bartel without having seen the original film: “A woman suspects that someone has clandestinely been filming her life and that her friends and acquaintances are seeing the movies in secret screenings.” Secret Cinema is often credited as the inspiration for The Truman Show.