. Conversations at the Edge (CATE)


Posted by | Jessica Bardsley | Posted on | October 2, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 6:00 pm | Filmmakers Bill Brown and Lee Anne Schmitt in person!

Image from Bowers Cave (Lee Lynch and Lee Anne Schmitt, 2010). Image courtesy the artists.

In recent years, a number of artists have turned to the landscape itself–using everything from iPhone apps to walking tours–to examine the ways in which ideas, events, and cultures are recorded in the terrain. Curated by filmmaker and SAIC professor Thomas Comerford (Indian Boundary Line, 2010), this evening’s program investigates the notion of landscape as archive. Bill Brown’s distinctively narrated travelogue, Mountain State (2003), views historical markers across West Virginia (as well as the ghosts that haunt them) as indices of US westward expansion in the 18th and 19th centuries. Lee Lynch’s and Lee Anne Schmitt’s Bower’s Cave (2010) explores the implications of the geographic proximity of a California landfill to a cave once containing Native American cultural objects. Sarah J. Christman’s Dear Bill Gates (2006) addresses not only how the mining industry has reshaped the landscape of Pennsylvania, but also how mines serve as literal archives for the cultural ephemera collected by the film’s namesake. Multiple directors, 2003-2010, USA, 16mm, ca. 60 min plus discussion.

BILL BROWN (b. 1969, Cleveland, OH) is a “nomadic” filmmaker, photographer, and author. He has produced films on the United States–Mexico border, North Dakota missile silos, the Trans-Canada Highway, among other places. His work has been exhibited throughout the world. He’s also the author of the travel zine Dream Whip and the book Saugus to the Sea (2001).

(b. 1971, Cleveland, OH) is a writer and director of essay films and performances, work that exists in the juncture between fiction and documentary.  Her film and video work has screened internationally, at venues that include the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; SF MOMA, San Francisco, CA; The Cinema du Reel at the George Pompidou Center, Paris, France; Anthology Film Archives, New York, NY; and the Pacific Film Archives, San Francisco, CA. She is currently on faculty at CalArts.

LEE LYNCH (b.1980, Redding, CA) is an award winning filmmaker and conceptual artist whose feature length narrative and documentary films have shown nationally at such festivals as Sundance Film Festival, Park City, Utah; Tribeca Film Festival, New York, NY; AFI Fest, Los Angeles, CA; Full Frame Film Festival, Durham, NC; and more. He has shown internationally at The International Film Festival Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Vienna Film Festival, Vienna, Austria; and the Marseille Documentary Film Festival, Marsaeille, France. He received his BFA from the School of Film/Video at the California Institute of the Arts, and his MFA from the University of Southern California.

SARAH J. CHRISTMAN (b. 1978, Philadelphia, PA) makes non-fiction films that examine the intersection between people, technology and the natural world. Her work has screened internationally, including International Film Festival Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Ann Arbor Film Festival, Ann Arbor, MI; and the San Francisco International Film Festival, San Francisco, CA, where “Dear Bill Gates” earned the New Visions Award. She is an Assistant Professor in the Film Department at Brooklyn College.


Bill Brown’s website

Lee Anne Schmitt’s website

Sarah Christman’s website