Landscape Revisions: Films by Thomas Comerford

Textural Spaces: Program I

Supported in Part by the Oregon Cultural Trust

Apr. 4 + 5 - 7:30 pm
$7 Suggested Donation
Artist in Attendance
Clinton Street Theater

About This Screening

Cinema Project is excited to bring Chicago-based media artist, musician, writer and educator Thomas Comerford to Portland for a two-night event of films, lecture, and discussion that will kick off our 2011 series Textural Spaces: Landscape, Architecture, and Cinema. Beginning with a survey of his short films, night one also includes his lecture The Materials of the Virtual, which addresses the materials of the medium of virtual experience (sound and image) and the material of navigable space and time (past, present, and future). To conclude the program, Comerford and local thinkers Marc Moscato and Reiko Hillyer will discuss reconstructing and redefining histories of cities and landscapes through art and stories. In my recent films, I use the camera and sound recorder to create a detailed, patient study of particular contemporary landscapes and the symbols and traces of culture and history therein. Storefronts, historical markers, fences, roads, footpaths, tree stumps and rusted, weathered signs point to culture's constant re-imagining -- and nature's reshaping -- of the landscape. Thus the landscape carries records of its revision, and these records imply loss and absence of what or who is no longer there. How have such landscapes created meanings for shifting sets of inhabitants? How also have the landscapes impacted culture and imagination via recorded/remembered ideas -- writings, oral histories, drawings, maps, charts, paintings and photographs? - Thomas Comerford Thomas Comerford has been making films since 1999, screening his work at festivals and venues including the Ann Arbor Film Festival and Anthology Film Archives. His film work focuses on investigating landscapes in and around Chicago, and finding spaces with haunted pasts. His musical project, Kaspar Hauser, has released several albums and is known to play out at sundry places in Chicago. Reiko Hillyer is a visiting assistant professor of history at Lewis & Clark College, where she recently won the Teacher of the Year award. She teaches twentieth-century U.S. history, African American history, the Civil War, women’s history, and history of the American landscape. While getting her PhD at Columbia University, Hillyer gave Big Onion Walking tours through Harlem, the Immigrant/Jewish Lower East Side, and Central Park, highlighting the sediments of history in the landscapes that we pass every day. Marc Moscato is an artist, curator and activist living in Portland, OR, where he directs The Dill Pickle Club, a nonprofit that organizes educational projects about place. His short films and videos have screened at film festivals, theaters and non-traditional spaces across the country.

Program Details

April 4
  • The Materials of the Virtual: Dark Rooms and Bounded Landscapes
    by Thomas Comerford
  • Chicago-Detroit Split
    by Thomas Comerford and Bill Brown
    2005, 8mm, b&w, silent, 10 min.
  • Figures In the Landscape
    2002, 16mm, b&w, sound, 12 min.
  • Illa Camera Obscura
    2001, 16mm, color, sound, 12 min.
  • Départ / Departure
    2000, 16mm, color, sound, 6 min.
  • Fey Eyes Pin Holes Drums Hum
    1999, 16mm, color, sound, 14 min.
April 5
  • The Indian Boundary Line
    2010, DV from 16mm/8mm/S8mm, co/b&w, sound, 41 min.
  • Land Marked Marquette
    2005, 16mm, color, sound, 23 min.
  • Reconstructing or Redefining Histories of a Place

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