Sunday, June 22, 2008

TOUR: New Mexico

We set out in a rental car and drove for half a day to reach Roswell from San Antonio.


Mimi Kato made sure that this first stop on our tour was a success, hosting us at the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program where she's been living and working since January. Mimi took superb care of us, treated us to her scrumptious home-style Japanese cooking, toured us downtown to the RAIR and UFO Museums, and resourcefully ensured that we had everything we needed for our performance.

Our audience was a wonderful group of artists-in-residence and Roswell townies who were connected to the arts, including a curator and former curator from the Roswell Museum of Art, and a farmer. This sincere and lively group was wholly engaging in an invigorating post-performance Q&A.


Skipping up to Taos overnight, I was surprised at how little things have changed in 15 years. We found the old adobe that I'd lived in on Upper Ranchitos Road. It had been recently restored and was for sale. For a moment, we entertained the fantasy of dropping out of everyday civilization for the charmed eternity of Taos. We walked along a stream filled with melted mountain snow in the Sangre de Christos, and found a horse skeleton.

Most Beautiful Steel Bridge, Long Span, designated by the American Institute of Steel Construction in 1966.

(photo from
Where we took the ashes of Hambone.
It seemed fitting to bring him back to where he came from.


The Steina Vasulka retrospective at Site Santa Fe has given me a much richer understanding of and respect for the grand matron of video art. I am inspired by her practice as she continues to produce relevant and profound work from the arid geography of Northern New Mexico.


The good folks in Albuquerque bestowed upon us good times, and a most positive experience.

Basement Films peeps Bryan Konefsky, who I know from his frequent visits to the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and hardworking Keif Henley made it happen at the Verb Collective venue, run by the gallant and dependable Blake Driver.

Here we are after the gig. (Elray, Keif, Jay, Bryan, Patty, Blake)

Film artist Nina Fonoroff, Associate Professor of Cinematic Studies at UNM, kindly allowed us to stay with her in the little corner of paradise that she occupies. I met Nina at the NAMAC conference in Austin last October and was captivated immediately upon hearing of her work with the optical printer. We pried our way into her studio and were treated to a look at parts of a longtime work-in-progress.

The fallout from the digital explosion upon artists fascinates me-- particularly those who have worked with celluloid for a long time. While many of us have taken up the digital tools (willingly or reluctantly), Nina's approach reinforces the physicality of film, moving each single frame into full-out printmaking processes. Awesome.

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