Week 4: Train Hoppin’

Paolo went to Stockholm for a celebration of work and performance by IASPIS artists and managed to spend a little time with Laurie Anderson, Gunvor Nelson and Sara Broos too! Lisa, Dagie and JoJo kept the home fires burning at Konstepidemin with some fantastic high-speed stitchery and a cozy screening of Dagie’s films for dear old pals and new friends alike. Dagie hopped a train for Berlin; Paolo hopped a train home to Göteborg; and Kristy, Josh and Zora hopped a train from Copenhagen for a whirlwind 24 hours of finger-knittin’ skippin’ (harder than it looks!), live painting (thanks for having us over, Hannah and Hanna!), staring contests, riddle throw-downs and thrift store scores galore. But that’s not all! Also on the weekend menu were Fika Friday II, feisty phytograms, a barrage of collage, surprise snowfalls, a dear deer, and the first annual Galleri gathering of Gothenburg Punk Rock Tots and the grownups who love them.

Week 3: Intuition:Eternity

When kindred spirits come together, exciting possibilities begin to percolate and creativity abounds. Three cheers for Gnomecore trailblazers, Stuart Ian Frost, Vague Research Studios, the welcoming women at Saltholmens Kallbadhus (where you dip nude in the cold cold ocean and tell stories in the hot hot sauna), this week’s marvellous map-makers, fearless Fika Friday fibre art explorers, and powerful pinhole adventurers, new feline friend Scarlett, and especially the amazing, inspiring, effervescent and universally beloved Super 8 goddess Dagie Brundert who brought the magic all the way by train from Berlin for our very first Intuition:Eternity workshop and left behind the wonderful workshop photos we share with you here.

This heart is bursting with gratitude…

May 26:22: Magic at 18 Frames A Second

The Sound We See: A Baltimore City Symphony premiered on May 26 to a wildly enthusiastic audience at the historic Parkway Theater: a magnificent culmination of a most extraordinary week in Baltimore! Congrats to filmmakers Paris Bishop, Victor Rei Brown, Lara Grantz, Kai Hams, Denzel Mitchell III, Seamus Mogge, Amirah Peay, Dylan Pritzlaff, Sophia Richardson, Adyn Rosenberg, Donovan Simpson, Grace Sutherland, A.W. Taylor, and Rachael Tyler who wholeheartedly dove into this cinematic adventure and captured the resonant complexity of their town and their times so beautifully. Hats off to musicians Quinn Rehkemper (Saxophone), Leo Ross (Saxophone), Odelia Elliott (Electric Guitar), Benjamin Murray (Upright Bass), Daniel Fairlie (Drums) who embraced live improve for the first time and came up with a collective score that brought the house down. This was the first collaboration between the Music and Visual Storytelling departments at the Baltimore School For The Arts and we sure hope it won’t be the last! Experience the magic here.

Big shout out to all the organizations and individuals who made this project possible: Charles C. Baum Film & Visual Storytelling Lead Funders Patricia and Mark Joseph, a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Bea Bufrahi, Rosiland Cauthen, Ed Hrybyk, Pat Galluzzo, Sandra Gibson, Joe Giordano, Greg Golinski, Christy LeMaster, Nancy Steiner, Imbie Tamba, Brigid Zuknick and most especially our dear Meg Rorison without whom The Sound We See: Baltimore would never have come to be.

May 20.22: Busted

Every project has its challenges… with The Sound We See, it’s not a case of “if” or even “when” but “WHAT???” because it’s always something new! We realize that one of the cartridges that we thought was shot through yesterday was actually jammed and not advancing at all. [Insert sad face emoji here.] Luckily we checked Denzel’s cartridge today with Paolo’s patented Double Dot Test before filming which revealed ANOTHER faulty cartridge. Huh? Time to check ALL the cartridges! Yes, folks, 6 out the 20 in the carton we brought are duds, with the film either not advancing or tearing as soon as the first few feet roll through the camera. What’s up, Kodak Quality Control??? What’s a group of filmmakers on a super tight time frame to do? Call on the Baltimore Witches for a little extra magic so we can just squeak by with the remaining cartridges. If Denzel’s segment in the park and Lara’s ice-cream and mural amble around Hampden are any indication of what’s to come this weekend, it’s all going to work out just fine.

November 15.21: Travellers

This morning, we wake up to the sad news that Muhammad–elder, neighbor, friend, formidable chess player, and beloved member of The Photo Gallery community–passed away in the night. Was it just a couple of weeks ago we were filming a scene in the caravanserai courtyard for The Sound We See? Was it just a few days ago we were celebrating the film’s premiere together? Was it just Saturday afternoon he was telling tales about the flea market, his blue eyes sparkling as he talked? We honor a life lived in all its complexity and find gratitude in walking side by side for a moment along the infinite road of existence.

This is a trip that almost didn’t happen. A global pandemic whirling. Emotions swirling. Health afflictions. Shifting restrictions. Heart and mind in a tug of war…eyes glued to statistics on the internet, searching for assurance where no assurance existed.

Shavkat Boltaev, the great artist and great friend to artists, said simply “Come. We are waiting for you.” And the heart won.

Thank you to Susan Katz and everyone CEC Artslink for providing the opportunity, the funding, and the encouragement that set the stage for this journey. Your generous work makes amazing art possible and builds friendships that last forever.

Thank you to the people of Bukhara who welcomed us as soon as we set foot in this holy city…the crossroads of the world!

Thank you to Nuriddin and Zilola, the wonder twins of compassionate creativity. Thank you to our new cinematic family, anchored in the pure soul of The Photo Gallery, whose eyes are always on uplifting and celebrating community.

Thank you Shavkat, Umida, Hofiz, Behzod, Ruhksora, Baby Behtarin and The Cat With No Name for opening up your beautiful home to us and embracing us as one of your own.

We love you all so much!

Sacred sites and shared stories… the magic of the everyday is everywhere.

Tonight we’re climbing aboard the night train for Tashkent, our cinematic compass set for Istanbul.

But that, dear ones, is another story…

November 13.21: Hooray For Saturday

A day in which we attend a tree planting, tour a school, explore the Muslim cemetery, meet some city goats, ride the world’s slowest ferris wheel, pick up some fresh pomegranate juice at the bazaar, are spontaneously invited into a “home museum” in the Iranian section of town dedicated to a family of accomplished Jewish musicians, enjoy an amazing hotdog (grated carrots and beets + mayonaise!), get mobbed by elementary school kids, encounter a toddler with an AK-47, and find our pals hanging out at The Photo Gallery.