Lori Felker is an artist/filmmaker whose work focuses on the ways in which we process, share, and disseminate information, via screens, dreams, gestures, games, and conversation. By employing and pushing these structures, she attempts to study the ineloquent, oppositional, delusional, frustrating, and chaotic qualities of human interaction. Felker works in a variety of styles and formats and has shown her work internationally at festivals, microcinemas and art spaces, on public access tv, and the internet. She loves to collaborate and share as a cinematographer, editor, programmer, actor, and projectionist. She currently lives in Chicago, professes at the college level and programs the film/video series at Roots & Culture Gallery.
This was harder to do than I thought it would be. It’s so hard to choose 5 needles out of a pile of needles. It’s all wonderful and it’s all terrible. I decided to go with videos that popped into my mind that specifically made me think “I’m SO glad there’s an internet now!”. I graduated from undergrad in 2000 and Youtube didn’t start until 2005. Semi-decent streaming video was something that came gradually and somewhat late in my life, so I still marvel over it.
#1 Buried Treasure I’m a big Andy Kaufman fan and for a long time it was hard to find or re-watch any of his TV appearances or random gigs. His children’s show style TV show for adults, Uncle Andy’s Funhouse, was like a legend to me and now I can watch it repeatedly whenever I want and I don’t have to worry about further tape degradation. This gem is a wonderful synthesis of art, performance, television, live audience, comedy and realness. The way this ends punches me in the gut everytime. I want to have “Whatever is Unknown is Magnified” on my tombstone. Or maybe as a tattoo so I can share it immediately and constantly. Ok, maybe I’ll just get a T-shirt.
#2 Full disclosure: I love gross. Any of the videos in this youtube channel called How to Basic German will work, and there are plenty to chose from. I picked this one somewhat randomly from the pile. This guy has really figured something out. I even love not knowing who he is. I assume he’s German. I assume he has a lot of cleaning products around. I assume he lives alone. I like to wonder about him. Everything is spectacular, the editing, the organization of the ingredients, the sound, the corporate/commercial satire, the food/squish fetish joy, the repetitions (many of the videos are filled with brown eggs and milk)… it all adds up to something that doesn’t and can’t live anywhere else. This is a way of life, something to subscribe to, something that makes me laugh super hard and marvel at its rhythmic structure. It satisfies my no-longer-secret squish fantasies. Thank you, How to Basic German, thank you.
#3 TV For YOU:
By age and upbringing, I’m a TV gal. So what can videos online do for me? Well, it’s not just that the internet can host old lost/forgotten shows so I can rewatch the opening titles to Bosom Buddies over and over again (<3 <3) but it also allows for immediate and broader distribution of significant satire and social/political commentary.
It amazes me that even though HBO owns the “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”, I can still watch it the next day on Youtube along with the little web-only bits that premiere when they’re ready. In a world of purchasing everything and locked down memberships, I’m so glad this show decided to follow in the footsteps of the Daily Show and Colbert Report and share the videos online– on youtube even. I can’t just up and watch True Detective on youtube. I have to enter my cable provider to watch Broad City. But there’s something about the nature of this type of show that is inherently mixed in with the internet. I love the availability…and I love the show. This one episode in particular blew my mind on a number of levels. It’s about information, sharing and privacy, a conversation that needs to be had even if you just want to open your browser or stay connected to a “cloud”. This show is hilarious, profound, simple, and available. It demonstrates the conversations we can really have, record, upload and share despite the limitless sea of repetitive, flat interviews and reporting.
#4 A Bunch of Yahoos:
This is a classic (from way back in 2008). I love Charlie Rose and Samuel Beckett, so what’s better than when a videomaker mashes the two together? I saw this at the Chicago Underground Film Festival back in the day when people were still talking about Yahoo. I don’t even hear that word much anymore, but this video seemed to capture a certain time, a certain new-ish ease of editing video, and the sheer joy of saying the silly words “Yahoo” and “Google”. I love it when artists share their work online. Thanks Andrew for keeping it out there.
“Charlie Rose by Samuel Beckett” by Andrew Filippone Jr.
#5 LAUGH & CRY
I needed to put some music on here…I watch a lot of music videos online. I miss what MTV used to be. Heck, I miss what VH1 used to be. Sigh. But at least now I can dial up anything and see multiple versions live, from a TV broadcast, to the produced promotional video, to a slideshow of stupid Ken-Burn’s-effect-ed stills made by a teenageer in Davenport. I rented a car in LA a few years ago and someone had left a Rahssan Roland Kirk album in the car, one I didn’t have, so we drove around jamming to Natural Black Inventions: Root Strata. I became obsessed with the high energy song “The Ragman & The Junkman Ran From The Businessman They Laughed & Cried” and I really wanted to see him play it. It’s music that begs to be seen. Of course, I had to exercise my search skills to find it because the good stuff is rarely under the right names/tags. “The Ragman…” is at the beginning of this video and is less than 2 minutes long (Rashaan famously plays his 2 saxes at the same time, the muppet of a man next to him is killing it on the tambourine, the background colors are joyful, and the compression of the video sucks.) If you want to watch the rest of the concert, which I highly recommend, pay attention. He also plays the flute with his nose, shares instruments with the audience and casually snorts cocaine on stage and shares it with the audience around 25 minutes in (don’t do drugs, kids).