Our mission is to distribute and archive works of time-based art. Each issue highlights artists working in new or experimental media, whose works are best documented in video or sound.

Thrift Store Video #3

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Thrift Store Video #3
with commentary by Bill Arning
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For the last several years I’ve been working on a “Thrift Store Tape” series. These videos are created from footage found on discarded home videotapes. On these tapes are fragments of the lives of people I’ve never met and most likely will never encounter. I’m fascinated by the fact that these memories have been lost or sold or traded, and the people that recorded these events have probably forgotten these tapes even exist. The attempt to understand or explain the people on these tapes is futile; they exist only as they filmed each other in a specific time and place. The weddings, graduations, birthdays, and everyday lives captured on these tapes have a fractured, dream-like logic. It is this meandering and seemingly aimless material that I begin with. My process for “finding” the structure of these Thrift Store Tapes is quite similar to my drawing process: I find a cast of characters, situations, and events, then arrange, distort, and attempt to distill the material down to its essence.

These found home video tapes are endlessly fascinating, subtle, confusing, tender, frightening… My intentions are not to exploit these tapes as a simple, voyeuristic curiosity. What I wish to share is my personal response to the quiet and complicated lives of "everyday" people.