Carl George

Carl George

The first step in the process of creating an experimental film work, for me, is to begin with an idea or theory and build layers upon that, or peel layers away – the end product being a celluloid palimpsest. The seed idea can come from anywhere – music, literature, cultural events, politics, technology or tabloid headlines. I usually create a series of collages – pictographs that help me to devise a story outline. Sometimes I am inspired by a certain piece of music, like Rachmaninoff or Philip Glass, Shirley Horn or Virgil Thompson, and I build the story line that way. Other times I am reading something that creates a spark – like the writing of Ray Kurzweil, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin or Truman Capote. Sometimes I overhear a collage of sound on the street, especially in New York, and realize that in one city block the entire United Nations has walked past me.

In any case, the artwork that I make; collages, music, paintings and writing all lead toward a final product, which is usually an experimental film work – the best artistic tool to incorporate many different mediums, cultural influences and ideas which work seamlessly to create a total idea. I consider expressionistic, non-narrative film to be the paradigm of Wagner's theory of "gesamptkunstwerk".

Most importantly, the process of creating films using collages, paintings, writing, sound, costumes, sets and performance is very satisfying to me.

I work at jobs to stay alive and I make artwork to be alive.

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