Since languages formed, we have been sharing stories.  It reinforces memory, creates bonds, and promotes understanding.  I have been hired to record oral histories and have sought them out for my own artwork.  It is a gift and a pleasure to listen to others' life experiences.  

THE WILD WILD WEST END

This project was originally developed from the fall of 1999 to the spring of 2000. Tenants of four warehouses in the West End of Atlanta, GA -- punks, artists, dreamers -- agreed to be photographed. In addition, I requested a quote to accompany their photograph. Their likeness, their musings, and the warehouse itself were the subject of a handmade book. It is coptic bond and filled with screenprinted collages from photographs of their living environs and silver gelatin prints of the tenants. All text was letter pressed with hand set type.

 

The current video oral histories offer a new perspective and documentation of this unique living experience. Whereas the book offers an artifact of Atlanta's DIY scene at the turn of the century, the oral histories offer the memory of a place and time in a subculture. If the book is the facts, the videos are the feeling. Former tenants tell stories, speak to the freedom felt, the friendships and bonds created, and share the grief of the tragic events that ultimately occurred there.

See more clips from the interviews here.

CROSSROADS ~ AN ORAL HISTORY

"Crossroads ~ An Oral History is a compilation of one-on-one interviews celebrating the musical and cultural legacy of Pittsburgh's Hill District during the golden era of Jazz. In addition to revered Hill District residents like centenarian Lillian Allen, legendary Pittsburgh musicians featured in the project include Roger Humphries, George “Duke” Spaulding, and Dr. Nelson Harrison. These elder statesmen and women share personal accounts, memories, and lively anecdotes that tell the story of one of Pittsburgh’s most historically significant neighborhoods."  Yvonne McBride

Yvonne McBride, an award winning novelist, hired me to do the video production for this series of oral histories.  She created the story and flow of the film.  I did all camera work, lighting, audio, and post process work.

CROSSROADS

CROSSROADS

CROSSROADS
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Crossroads ~ An Oral History (The Hill District)

Crossroads ~ An Oral History (The Hill District)

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HAIRY PEOPLE PROJECT

Hairy People Project is a collaborative project with artist, Amy Masters.  HPP explores ideas about surveillance and collective fear of the unknown through the mythology of Bigfoot. Below is one excerpt from a series of recorded stories about Bigfoot sightings. 

Josh's Bigfoot Story

Josh's Bigfoot Story

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NOTHING IS ALL I YEARN FOR

POSTCARDS FROM DERR

Derr Robinson Steadman is a Vietnam Vet, a father and my penpal for nearly 20 years.  Nothing Is All That I Yearn For is a short video documenting Derr’s story openly from my perspective. As a victim of the PTSD he experienced from combat while serving in the Vietnam War, Derr floats in and out of reality. Through editing I am able to pull the viewing audience into his alternate state of reality while reflecting the same dark and quirky satire found in his postcards. Originally intended to be a featured length documentary, I later decided to create something that could evolve more.  I created an Instagram page for Derr that houses his drawings, postcards, photographs, oral history, and video recreations of his postcards that I have created.

90 MILES

90 miles explores the issues of restriction, separation, and prohibition in conjunction with the frustration and desire that it creates in the oppressed.  The title, 90 Miles, is a reference to the southern most public spot of the United States in Key West, Florida.  For many this location represents a longing for a forbidden land and the desire to feel a connection to a place.  As a daughter of a Cuban exile, I understand the power of this one spot.  Through a layering, animating, and projecting of over 400 still images photographed at this spot, along with audio (recorded stories about Cuba from Cuban-Americans), 90 Miles recreates the feeling of this poignant landmark in the United States. Ultimately, 90 Miles is about the limitations we put on ourselves, what we hold ourselves back from, and the fantasies we can create when we convince ourselves that something is out of our reach.

90 Miles

90 Miles

90 Miles
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Fefa

Fefa

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Lucy

Lucy

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Silvia

Silvia

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