Kevin Obsatz on his education as an artist, both as a student and teacher of filmmaking, and in his experiences outside the classroom.
The school system today performs the threefold function common to powerful churches throughout history.…
All stills from the author's student films made for "290," his class in Super 8 during his time at USC.
The Illusion of Encounter
Kevin Obsatz on his experiences as a PA working on a documentary about the 2004 campaign season and, specifically, the show business behind the spectacle of both art and politics.
An everyday life in thrall to the spectacle […] should be understood as the systematic organization of a breakdown in the faculty of encounter, and the replacement of that faculty by a social hallucination: a false consciousness of encounter, or an “illusion o…
John Kerry campaigning in Durham, New Hampshire in 2004. Photo: William B. Plowman/Getty Images
Where Paths Cross
Fresh from a winter biking trip through the North country, musician Ben Weaver returns to the political and cultural fray, asking: What do we value? How do those values define our culture? How could we cultivate systems of value that stem from being in relationship to things, rather than consuming, extracting, and taking from them?
I’d rather build a fire. Rather have cold hands from gathering wood. Rather sleep in the dirt, wake up with frost and coyotes, confuse the day moon for a fish eye or scale.…
Into the woods. Photo courtesy of the author.
An impassioned poem by artist and activist Camille Gage, after her experience at the Women's March in Washington DC on January 21, 2017, where more than a million people gathered to march for women's rights.
I said I’d write an article about my DC tripabout the Women’s Marchbut I don’t have TIME to writeBarely time to rememberNot a moment to luxuriate in I drove 18 hours tostand with a millionfeminists…
At the Women's March in DC on January 21, 2017. All photos courtesy of the author
To the Edges We Must Run
Ben Weaver on the trouble with lionizing artists' struggles, with a call for boldness in the face of want, solidarity with the land and each other, and seeking brave solutions at the edges, rather than swimming comfortably in the mainstream.
A stranger came to town. Down the frozen roads. Barely made it up the hill. She left early the next morning. Some say they planned it all along. It’s true, there are so many different kinds of dark. Everybody is wondering what will end up in the fire.…
The author, on tour in the Netherlands. Photo: Henri Santing.
The Arcades Project
Filmmaker Kevin Obsatz on the ritual and ethos of practice in game-play, games as media of communication, and some related reflections for those who make art, at a time when the language of audience engagement is central to cultural conversation.
Art, like games, is a translator of experience. What we have already felt or seen in one situation we are suddenly given in a new kind of material.…
Brent Gustafon, AX/BX. Static/dynamic, 128 arcade test screens, 4,000,000,000,000 pattern combinations, 2003. See more work by this artist at www.assembler.org.
Into the Groove: When Curators, Artists, and Critics Dance
Christina Schmid on the "dancing together naked in public" that artists and critics do, as seen through the lens of an exhibition of work curated by Public Functionary's Tricia Heuring and a recent review of the show by Star Tribune art critic Gregory Scott.
Dancing together naked in public — that's what artists and critics do, according to Jerry Saltz.…
Selected Works (installation view), curated by Tricia Heuring and on view at Public Functionary through December 30, 2016. Photo: SoCom Creative