Call and Response

Call and Response thumbnail
Downtown thumbnail
Let's Not Keep Score thumbnail
I Look Forward to it thumbnail

Call and Response, 2009, 3 min., 16mm film + cell phone video, color, sound

Downtown, 2009, 1:02 min., 16mm film + cell phone video, color, sound

Scenes from a Bay Area bar and restaurant are juxtaposed with a holiday egg nog party in Chicago 70 years ago. The outfits, drink of choice, and technology may have changed, but the gestures are timeless.

Let's Not Keep Score, 2009, 0:44, 16mm film + cell phone video, color, sound

Combining black and white 16 mm film from 1941 and cell phone video, Betty and Josh hit tennis balls back and forth across the screen and across time.

I Look Forward to it, 2009, 0:35 min., 16mm film + cell phone video, color, sound

A conversation between two people sharing the screen, yet situated seven decades apart. Rotary phone to mobile phone, this brief exchange comments on the passing of time and the evolution of technology.

Call + Response combines 16 mm vintage home movies with cell phone video today. Over half of all films made before 1950 have deteriorated, been discarded or destroyed. Thinking about the rapid evolution in technology, how often something is lost to make way for something new, this project juxtaposes the past and present to investigate ideas about personal diary, collective memory, nostalgia, preservation, and the place where private and public experiences converge. With the ever-widening range of technological media available today, this project mixes old and new media to explore ideas about time, place, technology, and history.

Special thanks to the Sarah Jacobson Film Grant for funding and Betty and Johnny Patterson for the 16mm film

All content © Copyright 2017 by Ellen Lake.