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.
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.
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.
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 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.