Artist Statement

I am a multi-media artist, based out of Oakland, California. Working on an ongoing series of experimental documentaries about collectors and collections, I have traveled up and down the West Coast in search of unusual treasures. I have found people who collect everything from French Fries to Fire Hydrants. This body of work examines the thin line between eccentricity and normalcy, documentary and fantasy, hobbyism and obsession. This collection of work on collecting is growing, as I continue to make one to two new pieces for this series each year since its inception in 2000. Work from this series has been shown in galleries, at film festivals, art museums, and micro-cinemas around the globe.

Aside from a love of cameras, computers, experimenting with technology, archives, and collections (key ingredients for my projects), my formal education includes a BA from Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts, and an MFA in Studio Art from Mills College in Oakland, California where I studied film & video, sculpture, photography, and installation.

My latest body of work combines 16 mm home movies from the 1930s and 1940s with cell phone and digital video today. These pieces explore ideas about time, technology, history, and memory. As an artist, I keep returning to obsolete technologies and looking for old images and old films on the brink of obscurity as a way to think about history and technology. This source material becomes my inspiration and I work to re-animate it and put it in a fresh context.

All content © Copyright 2017 by Ellen Lake.