Gratuitous Art Films
Catherine Gilbert and Jeff Burns
“Family Affairs 2” on VideoChannel
Gratuitous Art Productions/Films is a collaborative effort between filmmaker and artist Jeff Burns and Cat Gilbert.
These first years in the 21st century are marked by Gratuity. Internet access to practically all forms of media, animated ads that literally stand in front of magazine articles, oranges and pineapples stalked in our grocery stores during January and websites devoted to cute kitten videos. What better time could there be to collage and cut up the fabric of digital intake then now, while an ocean of media and memories churn, swell and grow more ubiquitous every minute?
Gratuitous Art Films is a collaborative art project that finds the connections and inflections between today’s audience and yesterday’s bully pulpit. Gratuitous techniques have been keystones in both propaganda and film making in the 20th century and over time, connotations-symbolic, political or otherwise allow us to manipulate sound and images to gratuitously inflict our own narrative and connotations.
We at GAF dig deep into the trenches of obscura, sourcing from over 65 years of public domain material ranging from the propaganda of the Prelinger archives, to the wax cylinders in Thomas Edison’s Attic. The very sources of the material form a foundational context that allows these short films to work with so many layers.