BTS 9 - DECEMBER

PART ONE

THANKSGIVING.

Anneliese made an all vegan Thanksgiving Dinner. Really proud of her and her new Vegan Catering business - By Way of Plants

Journal entry:

"I'm grateful for the support system of this home. Food - abundance, laughter - warmth

Grateful for opportunity - this point last year I hadn't even started working on Life.

Ebrima spoke of twenty seven. 27.

I will be 25. 

I have time - will not wait for it like some magic moment.

Rather I will reflect on it as  life flows through it."

 

PART TWO

SUNDAY MORNING AT 7

Been working on the Sunday Morning at 7 film. A lot of conversations with Anicka. Going to rehearsals. Rereading Audre Lorde. Talking with women in my life. Watching female directors. 

A really awesome moment came when in trying to create a narrative structure for the film with Anicka. We were able to use a painting I finished back in March as a reference to the narrative flow. The sketch is the foundation of the painting, and the dances happen at major points within the diagram. 

"My Heart is a Volcano" sketch, used as a diagram to lay out the narrative and dance flow of the Sunday Morning at 7 film. Photo by Lev Omelchenko.

 

Journal Entry with quotes from Audrey Lorde's "Uses of the Erotic"

"Erotic offers a well of replenishing and provocative force to the woman who does not fear its revelation, nor succumb to the belief that sensation is enough" 

pornography supression of true feeling

"Erotic is a measure between the beginnings of our sense of self and the chaos of our strongest feelings"

guide own destiny

"For the erotic is not a question only of what we do, it is a question of how acutely and fully we can feel in the doing."

Our world defines the good in terms of profits rather than in terms of human need. 

"The principal horror of such a system is that it robs our work of its erotic value, its erotic power and life appeal and fulfillment."

"Eros the personification of love in all its aspects - born of Chaos and personifying the creative power and harmony" 

Conversation with my sister. "Finding my Voice"

Conversation with Katy. "Fear and Power to give life. Same power Nature has. Erotic energy is just being human. It's feminine. 

 

PART THREE

ENCHANTED. CROWNED BY SHIRA.

This film premiered December 2nd at Shira Benson's launch of her new website and release of her Crowns. It was an awesome experience and I'm very honored to have been part of the event. I was humbled the reception of the film and hope that it helps spread her work to a wide audience.

When she commissioned this fashion film, I was reading Carl Jung's writings on alchemy, specifically his thoughts on Coniunctio or the "sacred marriage".
"Literally, “conjunction,” used in alchemy to refer to chemical combinations; psychologically, it points to the union of opposites and the birth of new possibilities."
In conceptualizing the film my goal was to understand and communicate Shira's intention with the Crowns. I needed to cinematically manifest the Power of her work.
It was a challenge. I first met Shira as her new roommate when I arrived to Atlanta. Our personalities were strikingly different and we came from alien worlds. In many ways we were opposites. Our yearlong collaboration on this film, with all its complications, reflects our new friendship and is itself a "union of opposites and the birth new possibilities".
I think that's beautiful, and it inspires me to seek new collaborators.

One more interesting note:
In originally envisioned a scene lit by moonlight. It was an unrealistic goal considering the limitations of the shoot. Looking back at my notes on the project I found this quote from Jung striking:
"Seek the coldness of the moon and you shall find the heat of the sun."
I wish her the best of luck and envision much success for her work.

Here are some BTS photos of the film shoot:

 

PART FOUR

WINTER SOLSTICE AT THE BAKERY. PRESENTING THE GOOD WORK.

Winter Solstice at The Bakery presents The Good Work. Sophia Gallagher brought together a wonderful group of creatives, artists, innovators, entrepreneurs, and local people doing good work in Atlanta. 

 

Journal Entry after the Event:

Katy "The magic that we thought was magic, is hummanity" 

"The Winter Solstice - thank you Sophia for inspring us all to meet and discuss our work. Willow and Sophia and Olive all showed me gratitude for hosting - something that came pretty easy to me - and thankfully it was good. 

The real joy comes from feeling like we're growing something meaningful. Powerful.

Willow is really experienced - really knows what shes doing - even if she doesnt - she knows more than anyone else in the space. Whatever happens, she will a very powerful ally.

And I'm glad I can be an instrument in bringing her vision to life." 

"I had the vision in Ukraine of a space - like The Bakery - I had a vision of it - it motivated me through a literal vibration through my bones. Vibration. Energy. 

I was honored to screen a short documentary on one of the most inspiring people I've met in the past year, Guisepe Spadafora. The Tea Man. 

 

PART FIVE

PREPARING FOR NYC

Sequoyah and I are traveling together. First few days will be spent with my family before and on New Years. We plan on exploring the city for the first week of January, as we prepare for the second Album Release of the Dream Sequence at The Glove in Brooklyn on January 7th. I will hang back in NY for another week until my birthday, to spend it with my family for the first time since I was in High School. There is always a mix of emotions going home, seeing family, seeing old friends, re-discovering and exploring a city I left behind. Here is a poem:

"Family

How often do we think

of our heart.

A well of emotion

of Love

of pain

We must remember

our shared humanity

Unconditional Love

I extend to you all

Love as well as I know how" 

 

BTS WEEK 8

Friday November 17th Sequoyah and I premiered his album Dream Sequence and the "Blue Jays" film at Argha Noah. This week's post is a reflection on my experience collaborating with him so far. 

"I found a rare gem in Sequoyah as a Collaborator" - Journal Entry

PART ONE - BLUE JAYS TREATMENT

I first met Sequoyah at his tour kickoff at the Atlanta Contemporary. I thought I would miss his set and almost didn't leave the house, but took the chance. I had been listening to his music while filming practical effects for LIFE and was captivated. 

I got there just as he went on. His dad was on drums and his mom was the back up singer. He was even better live. I offered to do a music video with him and he sent me some demos. Blue Jays stood out. I developed an idea and shared it with him in Inman Park after a long conversation about our lives and loves. I created this treatment to prove the concept.

One of the biggest inspirations for the project was Kahlil Joseph. I first became familiar with Kahlil's work after attending a Liquid Blackness talk at GSU with him as a guest speaker. His work totally entranced me, and became a huge inspiration for the project. Some of the images used in the treatment come from his work on "Process" by Sampha,  and "Until the Quiet Comes" by Flying Lotus. 

Other images are sourced from: "Moonlight" by Barry Jenkins, Alexandre Moors & The Little Homies music video "i" for Kendrick Lamar, Grace Jones' performance footage, Maceo Frost's "Raised by Krump" documentary, "Shame" and "Voodo in my Blood" music videos for Young Fathers, and "Key and Peele" sketches

PART TWO

Another big inspiration on this project was Wong Kar Wai. Specifically his brilliant use of color and the step printing technique. (There's an cool video essay that explores ways in which Moonlight by Jenkins might have been influenced by Wong Kar Wai's work.)

This video is from a rehearsal at the Work Room. Sequoyah and Anicka had been praciticing his movement for several weeks and  I came to see how it translates to video, espesially at low shutter speeds/low frame rates.

 

PART THREE

Some photos that I snapped here and there during the development/filming/post process. I wish I had taken more, but when I'm doing a lot of jobs on a project, I can forget to pick up the camera. 

 

PART FOUR

These are some of my journal entries while I worked on the project. 



PART FIVE - DREAM SEQUENCE ALBUM PREMIERE

Months after the project was finished we premiered the album "Dream Sequence" and the music video at Argha Noah. We created a tea house with a dance floor. There was free tea, cocktails, vegan food and a warmth to the atmosphere that was really very unique.  Kofi, a magician friend, asked what my inspiration for the project was. I said that there were a lot of things and they changed and evolved throughout the filming process. So I said it was about "Ancestry".

During the process of putting this post together, and looking through my journal for entries, I came across an entry that didn't directly deal with the project. In fact I was writing about a woman I was seeing at the time. Yet, in its own way, it describes why I said "ancestry".

"What can I know of my ancestors

What kind of dreams did they have

What blood did they

pass through into my

veins

What world could they

imagine -

what beauty can be achieved when the blood of 2 people are mixed -

whose blood centuries ago

would never meet."

BTS 3

PART ONE

Hurricane Irma passed Atlanta on Monday. My roommate Anneliese made a big pot of vegan chili. My hands felt swollen after moving loose objects into our shed before the storm hit. Everyone fell asleep as it moved through Atlanta. Journal entry:

"Hibernating through a hurricane. My body feels different. I feel the weather. I feel my surroundings. I feel me. I. me. The world - madness - such a harsh word. Especially underlined. We toil, for what. What is the proof? The Heart.  A desire for understanding. If others understand - you're not alone. Friendship. Co-dependence. We should depend on one another to survive. Do you depend on any of your friends? Do you depend on anyone. If not- is it a sign of strength? But we do depend. On our system - government, police, global markets, bankers - we depend on everyone but our friends. Because we are all so independent that we can't bother each other. The independence is killing us."

Anneliese feeding the home.

Anneliese feeding the home.

EDIT: After hibernation I showed The New World by Terrance Malick to my roommates for the first time. It was a powerful bonding moment. 

PART TWO

Living Walls. After the storm cleared, I was out on Buford Highway filming most of the week. Filming the talented artists as they put up their work, filming the Living Walls crew and volunteers working tirelessly to support the artists, filming the community as it joined in the passion of the work. 

Here are some pictures:

 

PART THREE

The Bakery. Inspired by the muralists and presented with a wall, I started putting up my first mural. Throughout the week I sketched out the idea and figured out the colors. I usually spend more time with the colors, but did not have that opportunity this time. 

Mural as of Sept 18th 2017

 

PART FOUR

Organizing a video installation for The Bakery opening featuring local Atlanta artists.

Currently the line up features: "Gomi Maku" by Brandon English, feat music by 10th Letter. "Silver Planet" by Chris Hunt feat music by Kasie Marie. "New Life" by Lev Omelchenko feat music by Chris Gravely AKA Red Waters. "Rhythm of Ghana" by Brandon Polack feat tradition live drum music from Ghana. "Levitate Levitate Levitate" by Ebony Blanding and Amber Bournett of House of June, feat musical score by Belle Bynone. 

On the look out for more artists to include. 

Here's a look at New Life, which I directed Winter 2017.

 

PART FIVE

Finished Journal Number XIII

Last page:

" I just came out of the shower - meditating on the mural. Colors, shapes, nature, memory. I was meditating on the ancient sacred symbols. Sun, Earth, Water. Fire, mountain, Reflection. Air - the royal creative force. The Breath - The Soul. These thoughts feel ancient. A cry for truth - for a path - for a memory. For life. Alive."

Premiere of LIFE at Eyedrum Gallery - Feb 28th

LIFE, a solo percussion show by Red Waters AKA Chris Gravely premiered at Eyedrum Gallery February 28th. The performance was accompanied by a visual installation created by Lev Omelchenko featuring the choreography of Anicka Austin and dance performances by Bella Dorado, Raina Mitchell and Anicka Austin. 

The visual installations are currently available online with demo versions of the music as accompaniment.  Look out for more live shows summer of 2017. 

Farewell, Rowdy Dowdy

Shot some photos at the Farewell Show at Rowdy Dowdy. (This was the last show at 730 Pryor, but the Dowdy Girls are relocating and will be hosting soon.) It was a pretty incredible line up and a great show. (Unfortunately not all the artists that performed are featured in these photos)

DOWDY GIRLS

FAREWELL ROWDY DOWDY