Why I Make These Things

The science fiction stories that I wrote as a child reflected a world of promise and danger. We learned to mistrust technology, but we still put hope in it's transformative abilities. Sputnik was a time of fear for us in the US, not hope, but hope is what came from it when we walked on the moon 10 years later.

I look back in time. The Great Depression. Radio. Buck Rogers. Bebop hipsters driving all night through pouring rain.

My heroes when I was small were inventors and scientists. Then as I grew older and more skeptical, they became filmmakers, musicians and painters. Now I recognize that they are the same. They see and they make. They test. They hypothesize.


I capture time, and replay it again, manipulate it to make it conform or clarify. Time is music, time is still images, time is video. But it is always an imperfect capture. It is not real.

My mistrust makes me want to pull back the curtain, let the audience know that it is just an illusion.

These things conflict.


Real life is full of awkward pauses, moments where nothing seemingly happens, but later I discover that something did happen. The unfolding of time is something that I often won't allow myself. I was taught that movies must be fast, because time is precious. But this denies the power of movies to manipulate time. I often feel that I need more time, not less.

I believe that art (whatever the venue) can reflect real life, but can also be a reprieve from real life. For a moment, we all can slow down, freeze or speed up time.


"So, students", Dr. Mulholland would begin, with a slightly dour smirk, "why did the railroads all but disappear in the US?". He would wait, but a room full of engineers (this was History of Technology, after all) would be hesitant to answer. "It was" he would finally say, "because we chose one technology over another. "

We can always choose.