MFA Thesis Exhibition opens Friday April 1st

My new film, Sangre de Cristo, will be shown on a loop in the CU Art Museum video gallery as part of CU Boulder’s Spring 2011 MFA show, Beyond, which opens Friday, April 1 from 5-7 pm and continues through April 14.

The work in the show from my super amazing MFA brothers and sisters Amber Dawn Cobb, Jesse Ryan Kuroiwa, Shannon Lowry, Adrianna Marie Santiago, Thomas Spradling, Kari Treadwell, Lydia Young and Xi Zhang ranges from photography and digital art to installation, community-based practice, sculpture and painting.

still from Sangre de Cristo

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This Kind of Town

Recently done to the point of wanting to share it with the world beyond Boulder: This Kind of Town, in which the story of Ward, Colorado is told via audio stolen appropriated from Westerns. Upcoming screenings include San Francisco Cineatheque’s Crossroads film fesitval (April 16-18) and the Iowa City International Documentary film festival (April 15-17).

trains!

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I’ve been pretty disappointed that remnants of railroads once traveling from Boulder deep into the mountains are gone for the most part without a trace (see Switzerland Trail post). So I was quite excited recently to find, via a bike ride filming adventure down Valmont,  this lot belonging to the Boulder County Railway Historical Society, offering up a bit of a connection to long gone lines.

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on the Switzerland Trail

train station picnic ground

This chimney is all that’s left of what used to be a train station on the Switzerland Trail, formerly a narrow gauge railroad that ran from Boulder to Ward, hauling mining spoils and tourists. Now the railroad grade has trails/ dirt roads, and the former station is a picnic ground.

I am still looking for more recognizable railroad relics in the neighborhood of the Switzerland Trail for the film I’m working on that was originally about Ward and is now more about a reversal of the process of “civilization,” expansion and settlement as dramatized in Western films.

Chamber of the Sacred Sounds

Kiva back

Drove through Gold Hill today, a dirt road mountain town about 20 minutes from Boulder that kinda looks like the set of a movie that takes place on the “frontier,” and ran out of gas. A nice fellow in the general store sold us some gas from his personal stash, then let us check out the kiva he built in his backyard, modeled after the ideas of this guy.

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more stills from Libre and Ward

Nic developed some rolls of b&w recently, so here are some more stills from the projects I’ve been working on. The black and white looks so beautiful that it makes me second guess my decision to film in color. It’s so hard not to fall in love with the images; it’s so easy to forget that the most beautiful image is not necessarily the best/ most appropriate one for my films.

(all photos by Nicholas Seivert)

Huerfano Valley

One of the projects I am currently working on examines the layers of history in the landscape of/ surrounding the Sangre de Cristo mountains in Southern Colorado. Over the years (decades/ centuries)  the Sangres and environs have served as something of a magnet for Native Americans not particularly interested in playing nice with usurping European settlers, outlaws of various stripes, and in the 1960s and 70s, hippies and back-to-the-landers forging new ways of living.

In the course of my research, I found that some of the communes established in the area were still going strong. This past weekend, I paid a visit to Libre, a community of hand-built homes nestled in the Huerfano valley and still very much vibrant 40 years after its inception. Nic Seivert snapped a couple of digital pics of structures and landscape while I wielded the Bolex.

dome home
dome home

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