To quote from the notes of director/creator Jimi Pantalon, a.k.a. WashMachine, his recent video CURRENT “is an experimental blend of science fiction and visual ethnography through audio/video processing of the original and the copy to reflect upon the dissonance between the personal and cultural.” The work, created over a period of 10 years with collaboration from visual, sound and film artists, results in a brilliant juxtaposition of the philosophical worlds of Buckminster Fuller, James Joyce and Jacques Derida.
Again, in the words of Pantalon, “Disintegrating frames transform into stop-motion collages treated with paint, printed then re-photographed revealing a dichotomy of images and re-occurring themes in a unique process of open collaboration and chance operations on American culture.”
To this viewer, I was profoundly moved by the manner in which WashMachine and his long time collaborative artistic associate, composer/performer Phil Moffa, sculpted both time and space into a universe of rapidly paced images that rewire our experience of space-time into a beautiful work of genius. It is a film to be viewed over and over again. I personally can’t wait for the next installment from the Wash Machine Art Collective! Thanks for the experience.
– Joel Thome
Trailer for WashMachine Video Current
From beneath the surface of the earth the sound of digging grows louder. Piercing through the darkness, a light appears: a video time capsule is unearthed, a roving transmission from a collective dreamtime.
WashMachine Video Current is the epic experimental documentary of a ten-year
collaboration between performance artists, circuit benders, culture jammers, and a
mad scientist, blending science fiction and visual ethnography to capture currents of
expression from wartime America.
Captured from hundreds of hours of interviews and video journals, the camera scours the land on a cross-country journey with bursts of imagery and expanses of meditation. Pedestrians share their viewpoints on American life while artists filter the cultural consciousness through open collaboration and chance operations.
This vibrant sub-culture of artists improvises jam sessions, performances, and
sculptures inspired by the detritus of the world around them, boldly dissecting the way nationalist images can be re-purposed by activists and dissenters. In an impromptu event at the foot of the White House, two men dressed in medical scrubs and armed with a washboard and a can of paint scrub the American flag clean and paint it as a white flag of surrender, re-imagining the great American symbol in an act of artistic civil disobedience.
The mad-scientist, Doctor Max, works on a machine capable of projecting the true visual representation of human consciousness- his brainwave converter. Meanwhile, a rogue hacker constructs an antenna to intercept the doctor’s signal. As the fateful day of the machine’s unveiling approaches, the film’s many threads fall into place, the harmony and dissonance of the American consciousness play against one another in a grand spectacle as the countdown to the demonstration draws closer to its transcendental revelation.
At the onset of post-production the audio and video were processed in a series of
generation loss experiments to illustrate the entropic decay of the American Dream
when filtered through the vast network of our modern media diet. Copies of copies
disintegrate into stop-motion collage treated with paint and re-photographed, revealing a dichotomy of images and ideas reflecting upon the entropy of all communication. Poetic scenes of free form fragments emerge, which the viewer can organize and combine with their own cultural emotions.
Providing an outlet for unheard voices and perspectives unbound by the corporate
governmental interest shaping the national debate, WashMachine Video Current
eschews the passivity of conventional cinema and encourages participation, reflection, and awareness. Reality merges with Fiction. Unity is found in opposites.
Our time capsule is now transmitting….