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My artist's statement

Just what the heck am I doing here? It's hard to figure that out, but here's what I've come up with. This is one part of my longshot application for a McKnight Filmmaker fellowship, otherwise knowns as a cool $25,000. I'm also submitting DVDs of Blogumentary and Welcome to the Future. Wish me luck.

. . .

I've always been a geek. Imagine an isolated suburban 80's pre-teen, playing Dungeons & Dragons and afflicted with something called "Pac Man Fever" - that was me. One day we brought home a modem and plugged the phone line into the computer. Suddenly, I was not alone. Life hasn't been the same since.

My journey as a filmmaker is intertwined with my relationship to technology. I'm passionate about the ability of technology to change lives because it has changed my life for the better. It's led me to new relationships, political activism, and my current perch upon the fast-changing intersection of filmmaking and the internet. My mission is to dive headfirst into that crossroads of old media and new, come up for air and ask: How is technology affecting our lives?

Working for public television gave me a deep appreciation for documentary filmmaking and for the public interest. I became enthralled with the digital video revolution: Anyone can be a filmmaker. So I picked up a camera and became a filmmaker. The only problem with cameras as a democratic media tool is they can't talk to each other. The internet lets you talk to other people and tap into an unprecedented global conversation. My filmmaking world collided with the chaotic interconnected online world. I embarked on a journey exploring people's lives on the internet with the big screen in mind. I came to realize my work is native to the small screen.

I take a first-person approach to my work. Our world is full of large, top-down, impersonal institutions. Politics and the media are being transformed by individuals connecting and creating their own stories on the internet. Likewise, I must create my own story, rather than remove myself and pretend to be a neutral observer. I'm not just an observer; I’m a participant.

The audience is invited to participate in my work and my journey. The stories I tell often find me through connections I've made online. It's a social environment filled with raw ingredients, ripe for a story. I gather those ingredients and go offline, where I add my voice and craft a story. I return to the internet, where the audience is, with my finished (though often raw) video where it finds new life and can even multiply, spread and evolve. I can’t imagine filmmaking without this social interactivity. I would probably suffocate if I had to wait months or years to get feedback about my work. My process happens now, urgently and connectedly.

My vision is really about power. Technology gives us this incredible power to tell our own stories. I created a videoblog called Minnesota Stories that’s all about bringing untold stories to light – my own, and those of  any mediamaker with a Minnesota connection.

We got the power, now what are we going to do with it? I aim to find out.

March 2, 2007 at 02:43 AM in Blogumentary, Minnesota Stories, Personal Crap | Permalink


Nice to be reminded and feeling the Minnesota again (though I was 3, 4 yrs ago) through many stories you're talking and using all the aspects that technology have. I would like to participate in your stories, and contribute but I am not now in Twin cities
And yes, we are the media as long as The Machine is (NOT) Us/ing Us

Posted by: Danica Radovanovic at Mar 2, 2007 6:39:33 AM

Thank you. I'm wrestling with an artist statement right now and this example has really helped me get a grasp on how to say what I'm attempting to say.

Posted by: Lex at Apr 25, 2007 10:40:15 AM

great! that was exactly my intention.
there aren't enough guideposts out there.

Posted by: chuck at Apr 25, 2007 4:59:54 PM