Posted by | Conversations at the Edge | Posted on | January 12, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 6pm | Thomas Comerford in person!

Still from The Indian Boundary Line, 2010. Courtesy the Artist.
Still from “The Indian Boundary Line,” 2010. Courtesy the Artist.

Over the last eight years, local musician and filmmaker Thomas Comerford has been at work on a series of quietly-observed films that contemplate the entwined social, political, and environmental histories of Chicago (Figures in the Landscape, 2002; Land Marked/Marquette, 2005). This evening, Comerford will present the world premiere of The Indian Boundary Line (2010). The film follows, as Comerford notes, “a road very close to my home in Chicago, Rogers Avenue,” that traces the 1816 Treaty of St. Louis boundary between the United States and “Indian Territory.” In doing so, it examines the collision between “the vernacular landscape, with its storefronts, short-cut footpaths and picnic tables, and the symbolic one, replete with historical markers, statues, and fences.”  Through its observations and audio-visual juxtapositions, The Indian Boundary Line meditates on history and its relationship to the landscape, with its own shifting boundaries, designs, uses and inhabitants across two centuries.  With Land Marked/Marquette. Thomas Comerford, 2010, USA, DigiBeta video and 16mm, ca. 75 min (plus discussion).

THOMAS COMERFORD (b. 1970, Richmond, VA) is a media artist, musician, and educator residing in Chicago. Trained in sculpture, performance, and the classics, he began making films in the early 1990s. In 1997, he embarked on an influential series of films, made with a handmade pinhole motion picture camera and microphone, under the title, Cinema Obscura (1997-2002). His recent films are site-specific to Chicago and explore the evidence, revision, and erasure of histories in the landscape. His work has screened at festivals and venues, including the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, San Francisco Cinematheque, and the London Film Festival. Comerford has also toured the United States with his films, screening in spaces ranging from church basements and backyards to regular old movie theatres. As songwriter, singer, and producer for the rock band Kaspar Hauser, Comerford has performed his music around the Midwest and eastern U.S. and released three LP records. He currently teaches film production, DIY exhibition, and punk rock history at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


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    Conversations at the Edge is a weekly series of screenings, performances, and talks by groundbreaking media artists.


    CATE is organized by SAIC's Department of Film, Video, New Media, and Animation in collaboration with the Gene Siskel Film Center and SAIC's Video Data Bank, Conversations at the Edge is a dynamic weekly series of screenings, performances, and talks by groundbreaking media artists.


    Programs take place Thursdays at 6pm at the Gene Siskel Film Center (164 N. State / Chicago, IL / 312.846.2600), unless otherwise noted.