Around Crab Orchard 

HD Video, color, 69 min, 2012

A film by Sarah Kanouse, with sound design by Josh Gumiela

Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 at FilmScene at 7:00pm

FilmScene is a community-supported cinema located at 118 E. College Street, On the Ped Mall, Downtown Iowa City


Crab Orchard calls itself “a unique place to experience nature.” As the only wildlife refuge in the United States whose mission includes industry and agriculture alongside conservation and recreation, Crab Orchard claims a harmonious balance between uses and users that strike many as incompatible. This story of harmony is maintained through the production and enforcement of physical, visual, and political boundaries—boundaries that, once crossed, quickly dissolve.

This essayistic documentary maps the filmmaker’s discovery of Crab Orchard’s complex and hybrid nature. When a request by a security guard to put away the camera leads to a surprise visit by the FBI, the filmmaker begins a journey to uncover the refuge’s history and understand its contradictory present. Crab Orchard’s status as a contaminated refuge emerges less as an exception and more an example of the power and perils of “nature” as we understand it today. From Crab Orchard’s use by historic Native Americans as a source of food, its continued role in an economically vulnerable region, and the use of its polluted lake as a water source, the film explores themes of invisibility, loss, and shared but profoundly unequal risk. Assembled from documents, found footage, and conversations with activists, writers, and local residents, the film meditates on the persistence of history, the creation of knowledge, the limits of representation, and the commonplace of environmental hazard. “Around Crab Orchard” ultimately argues for forms of storytelling, image-­‐making, and activism that cross existing conceptual boundaries to respond to the full complexity of the social and ecological landscape.

Filmmaker and The University of Iowa city faculty member Sarah Kanouse will be in person to present her film. There will be a brief Q & A following the screening.

Sarah Kanouse is an interdisciplinary artist examining the politics of landscape through arts practice and writing. Her diverse projects trace the social and material production of physical and political landscapes to build an environmental politics that accounts for the full thickness of social life. Around Crab Orchard is her first feature-­‐length film.


All the Memory in the World
(72:00, 2013)
Headroom and Bijou Cinema are proud to present All the Memory in the World with director Mike Olenick in person.


Memories, mirrors, madness and Memento collide in this experimental video essay focusing on the photographs and photographers in thousands of narrative films. All the Memory in the World is a stream-of-consciousness meditation on cinema, photography, identity, memory and dreams narrated by an insomniac who obsesses over images.

Mike Olenick is a filmmaker, editor, cinematographer, and photographer. In his work, he obsessively mines archives of information – often cinematic, and he appropriates, remembers, restages, and re-edits this material in his work. His films often focus on cinematic images, movie stars and films that have been forgotten or that can be remembered in a new way.

While studying photography, he started making films in the late 90’s on an analogue switcher and would use it to re-edit existing films into new works, a theme he has returned to repeatedly. His live action films often re-enact aspects of existing films while exploring his interest photography. He is currently working on a film about painter and filmmaker Renate Druks.

Following the screening will be a Q & A with Mike Olenick.

Read the review in Alive: “‘All the Memory in the World’ Examines Relationship Between Identity and Photographs

Teaser Trailer here
Screening location: Iowa Theater
Date: November 3, 2013
Time: 8:00 pm – FREE!


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twohundredfiftysixcolors (2013) 97:00, silent

Headroom Screening Series and Bijou Cinema are pleased to present twohundredfiftysixcolors, a feature film comprised entirely of animated GIFS. With filmmakers Eric Fleischauer and Jason Lazarus in attendance.


Co-presented with Bijou Cinema.

Screening location: Iowa Theater

Date: September 28, 2013

Time: 1:00 pm – FREE!


The University of Iowa
166-B Iowa Memorial Union
Iowa City, IA 52242



About the film:

Crafted from thousands of animated GIFs (the file format used to create simple, looping animations online) twohundredfiftysixcolors is an expansive and revealing portrait of what has become a zeitgeist medium. Once used primarily as an internet page signpost, the file type has evolved into a nimble and ubiquitous tool for pop-cultural memes, self-expression, and considered artistic gestures. Chicago-based artists Eric Fleischauer and Jason Lazarus chart the GIF’s evolution, its connections to early cinema, and its contemporary cultural and aesthetic possibilities, archiving this particular moment in the history of the motion picture and internet culture and reflecting on the future of both.

A brief note about the acquisition process behind twohundredfiftysixcolors.

In order to represent the breadth, diversity, and spirit of the GIF, the filmmakers employed a three tiered approach for acquisition. First, a multitude of cultural producers (gif-makers, filmmakers, artists, designers) were contacted asking for submissions of original and/or found gifs. The invitation encouraged recipients to pass along the email to others they thought should contribute to the project, or would be interested in participating – an approach both viral in style and rhizomatic in spirit. Second, an open call to the public for original and found gifs was extended without restriction. Third, Fleischauer, Lazarus, and curatorial assistant Theodore Darst were perpetually collecting and organizing gifs during the two years of production.

This mode of acquisition was driven both by chance (encountering the stream of gifs emerging daily online) as well as by specific ideas that emerged as the film’s “narrative” arc evolved and it’s structure solidified.

More than anything, this project aims to situate the public’s ambition, imagination, intelligence, and wit as instrumental in driving this new fold within the long tradition of moving image history. Without their efforts this project would not be possible.

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Headroom Screening Series presents “Us and Them”

April 20, 2013, Public Space One, Iowa City, IA

burningstar1 copy

We sit in the darkness waiting for them. They come quietly and at top volume. They come as elegies and tributes. They come oblique, abstract and fantastical. They come from the past and present the future. They come singing and they come blinking. They are creation, destruction and eruption. They are us. And they are onscreen.

You are invited to experience fantastical visions brought to light with aid of technology in a program that celebrates abstraction, psychedelic kitsch, nostalgia, conceptual art, animation and the rock opera. The artists featured in this program of contemporary experimental cinema push the elasticity of their mediums, in the process revealing not just inner fantasies and but also deeper truths embedded in the material.

Co-curated by Jesse McLean and Eric Fleischauer


Activated Memory I, Sabrina Rätte 6:28, 2011
Activated Memory I is a journey through a serene landscape where the trees and fields are at once surreal and familiar. Through the use of video feedback, 3d animation and color manipulations, the pictures render a new kind of space, a virtual world where only fragments of “reality” subsist. (SR) Music composed by Roger Tellier-Craig.

Schuburt Revery, Todd Mattei, 2:20, 2008
A crude digital animation aimed at describing an experience of time. Vision of a composer seen through history’s refraction. Types of consciousness are depicted with bad taste. (TM)

A phantasmagoric elegy created by transforming two sources generally dismissed as vapid and disposable that helped in defining the gay subculture of the era: The music of disco singer Sylvester James and producer Patrick Crowley and A NIGHT AT HALSTED’s by queer porn auteur Fred Halsted. (IL)

Video Sculptures, Brad Tinmouth 5:30, 2010
Documentation of sculptures created by Brad Tinmouth in early 2010. (BT)

Burning Star, Joshua Gen Solondz, 4:00, 2011
Dedicated to my father, who asked that I make a more colourful work. Made during my residency at the now defunct Experimental Television Center, “Burning Star” is a colourful implo/explosion of the twelve sided star. The title refers to Kenji Onishi’s “A Burning Star.” (JS)

Snake Trap, Thad Kellstadt, 1:00, 2008
Two friends going nowhere fast. (TK)

Eruption, Tony Balko 7:30, 2008
Eddie Van Halen’s epic guitar solo is dissected, cut-up and put together again as a tribute and labor of love. (TB)

Shot Through, Tom Dale 3:00, 2007
Shot Through is a film in which creation and destruction thread uneasily through each other. Sparkling new, the drum kit looks like it has never been played – a virgin sacrifice, made for a gain that might only be measured in the editing suite, the gallery, the uncertain territory of the viewer’s mind. (Tom Morton)

Dusty Stacks of Mom, Jodie Mack, 41:00, 2013
Interweaving the forms of personal filmmaking, abstract animation, and the rock opera, this animated musical documentary examines the rise and fall of a nearly-defunct poster and postcard wholesale business; the changing role of physical objects and virtual data in commerce; and the division (or lack of) between abstraction in fine art and psychedelic kitsch. Using alternate lyrics as voice over narration, the piece adopts the form of a popular rock album reinterpreted as a cine-performance. (JM) Musicians (in order of appearance): Mark Gallay, Alex Inglizian, Eric Ostrowski, Brad Smith, Ali Mattek, Philip Hermans, Ryan Maguire, Kent Lambert, Jon Satrom, and experimental metal girl group T.I.T.S. (Wendy Farina, Abby Kerins, Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough, and Kim West)


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Mere Mystery

March 11, 2013 at Public Space One, Iowa City


Borrowing a title from Lori Felker’s film of the same name, this program presents a selection of work from artists who use video and film to locate, document, and progress he world in which they – and we – reside. Their work demonstrates an effort to map their surroundings or discover that these places must remain necessarily veiled. Through the cinematic eye, the artists in this program steal glimpses of an ancient world still teeming with crudeness, vigor and unexplained beauty.

Co-curated by Eric Fleischauer and Jesse McLean


Dowsing for the Omnipresent Primordial Cosmis Energy of Love, Olivia Ciummo, 8:10, HD Video, 2009. Single take approaches to the time-based experience of a sexual encounter. Jumping into the water to cool off. Screams were encouraged to allow the psyche t let it all out. (OC)

Sleeping Bear, Jack Cronin, 11:00, Video, 2009. Sleeping Bear was filmed at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in northern Michigan over the course of three years. The film, which loosely follows the cycle of seasons, is a study of the landscape and an attempt to represent the unique character of this region. (JC)

11/02/00, Scott Wolniak, 6:38, Video, 2000. This slapstick performance video explores ideas of plein-air painting and action painting to an absurd degree as the artist struggles with canvas and easel in the back of a moving pickup truck. The truck speeds around neighborhoods and industrial sectors of Chicago’s West side, sending the artist and his work careening about the turbulent truck bed. 11/02/00 documents the last painting Wolniak would produce for nearly ten years, while also marking his first significant work in video. (SW)

Victory over the Sun, Michael Robinson, 12:30, Video, originally 16mm, 2007. Dormant sites of past World’s Fairs breed an eruptive struggle between spirit and matter, ego and industry, futurism and failure. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory; nothing lasts forever even cold November rain. (MR)

And The Sun Flowers, Mary Helena Clark, 5:00, Video, 2008. Notes from the distant future and forgotten past. An ethereal flower and disembodied voice guide you through the spaces in between. (MHC)

Big Dick Pussy, Keith Tassick, 3:00, Video, 2005. Big Dick Pussy is a short, voyeuristic look at the street where the filmmaker lived at the time of the filming; the focus is on the neighborhood pre-teens and teenagers playing football in the street. On the surface it’s a mere documentation of foul-mouthed kids fending for themselves, but underneath there’s also a level upon which we see evidence of a social order that exists among them. (KT)

Mere Mystery, Lori Felker, 14:00, Video, originally 16mm, 2010. On the trail of Tall Tales, on the tour of an American treasure, on the path of an area once inhabited by Native Americans, on a preserved land complete with gift shops, parking lots and sky rides, and the foot of a tree that predates and outlasts all of this, we now stand in a fog of layers, imagining, listening, looking and recording. (LF)

Between the Sheets, Warren Cockerham, 6:15, Video, 2008. A hidden cell phone documents the trek of a box of sheets as it travels through a Wal-mart Distribution Center. Part roller coaster ride, part Marxist critique: this cat and mouse game was shot on the final day of ten years of service by associate 2569. (WC)

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The Motive Power Series

Mike Gibisser in person!

February 26, 2013, Public Space One, Iowa City, IA


The Motive Power Series – Mike Gibisser 2011

USA | Format: 16mm transferred to Video | color | sound | 50 minutes

The Motive Power Series is comprised of four films, each confined to a single street address, each a meditation on one of the thermodynamic laws. Viewed together, the films become chapters in an extended rumination on the metaphors embedded in the laws, or those that gave rise to the laws in the first place. Gibisser has described the series as “movies made of still images,” where focus held on details like two clocks with second hands just out of synch, or a curtained window frame conveys inquiry into both the properties of the physical laws and the image properties of 16mm film. Formally these films are as much about sound as they are about image, from the Third Law chapter’s acute manipulation of the sound of cicadas, to the playful use of a film clapboard in the final chapter for the Zeroeth law. Parts historical essay, parts personal documentary, and parts lyrical expression, the films put pressure on the points where spiritualism bleeds into science, and affect invades empiricism.

About Mike Gibisser:

Mike Gibisser’s films navigate the indefinite lines between essay, experimental, and documentary work, often drawing together disparate subjects or time periods. His work has screened at the International Oberhausen Film Festival, the Harvard Film Archive, Block Cinema, the Images Film Festival, Sundance, the European Media Arts Festival, and the New York Film Festival – Views from the Avant Garde. He received his MFA in Moving Image from University of Illinois at Chicago in 2011, and an MA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute in 2009. Mike lives and works in Chicago, IL.

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