Sunday, December 30, 2007

Essential Jill Pangallo: AVB interview #1
with Kate Watson

In this first installment in our AVB interview series, Kate drills Jill about the mish mash of art, comedy and theater and the terror of proclaiming oneself "Artist." Throw in a slap dash of video and away we go.

KW: I’m gonna start with a quote of yours from an interview for a CRL show a while back--

" 'I always wanted to resist the one-woman-show shtick,' she confided, 'but it seems to be something I can't quite get away from. I just try to stay within an art context…you know, to avoid performance venues.' "

That question stuck out to me because I struggle with that all the time, why I, myself, transitioned from theater to art. So I guess the question is what draws you to the context of the art world, and why not theater?

Just to situate this quote, I think this is one year into the three-year MFA program at UT (University of Texas at Austin), so I had just begin to chart my "art" course, so to speak. What I was responding to is that most of the work I was making at the time was persona-based and I had become hyper-aware of the tendency of that type of work to remind people of theater, television and film. Not to say I don't like that stuff. I am a big fan of Carol Burnett and Lily Tomlin — they were my heroes growing up. But there still exists the cliché of the one-woman character show — terrible actress in crappy wig monologue-ing in an unrecognizable foreign accent about something or another. So in response to the fact that I just started working within an art context, I was trying to work more in an "art" related way by steering clear of any theater-type venues for clarity’s sake... but that is not necessarily a long-term scenario.

Nancy Makeover

For me, working in an art context (versus theater or film) is more of an experiment rather than an act of desperation since I don’t feel pushed out of the entertainment realm. In fact, I feel like I can revisit it whenever I choose and I do. I just was dead set on trying out something new and for me this meant throwing myself into a world that I had less familiarity with — the art world. My transition into this genre happened rather organically. In New York, I was involved with what I always call a “comic cabaret” scene in which I performed for several years [most recognizably with collaborative groups the Hohos and Hot Sausage]. What happened was that I started supplementing our live performances with video projections. That started to be fun for me and I felt like I might get a kick out of exploring it further. I would say that the live performance was closer to performance art than the video was to what you would call video art, but it was going in that direction, this sort of hybrid. I began to notice other performers who blended entertainment and art — rather I had been watching and performing with many of these people for over a decade, but I never really thought about the implications of classifying the type of performance they were doing. This lead to my reinvigorated interest in the art world. As I grow older, it becomes all about the experience and the journey and this art thing is my latest exploration, basically.

The Hohos - Gold Dust Woman

Do you feel like the ‘world’ of contemporary art is more open to that sort of experimentation than the ‘world’ of contemporary theater?

I actually find the contemporary art world more confining, more constricting. As a way to soothe my jangled nerves when I first got to school, I tried to come up with a secret formula so what I made would be considered "video art" rather than “music videos” or “sketch comedy.” That didn't go so hot. The feedback I kept getting was that people wanted me to remove information. I have some experience in sketch comedy and improv — genres in which detail is celebrated — so it was initially hard, painful actually, for me to remove a certain type of information. Another thing is that I find that contemporary video and performance art is much less polished then TV or film. It’s often more rudimentary in terms of the technical aspects and production values, but at the same time has this very specific taste meter that allows or disallows a naïve style based on something… I am still trying to figure this out. To be completely honest, I’m not sure I get the contemporary art world thing. I haven’t figured out that thing that makes things art and not entertainment yet. I haven’t figured out a way to present my work and have people not say “I’m not sure… I’m not sure that this reads as art.” That happens to me all the time. I guess it boils down to, some people think it’s interesting and some people don’t.

KW: You went to Parsons. Do you feel that “art school-y” experience informed you?

It did inform me. I had a fine arts foundation year at Parsons and even though my communications degree was very commercially driven, I was going to school with fine artists as well as commercial artists and we’d always go to museums and galleries. Plus, when I got to New York [in the late 80’s] the tail end of the downtown performance scene was still happening. So yeah, the exposure was there, but at the time I didn’t put my interests together with my career pursuits. I thought I had really solved things by having this graphic design day job where I would get to design all these hot magazine layouts (the internet wasn’t going full force yet) not realizing that that probably wasn’t what I was interested in to begin with. Not to bash it though, the design background has equipped me with a great set of skills that I call on all the time because I design many of my own props, costumes, signage… anything I need for my projects. Not having to outsource that is a good thing.

I’m not surprised to find myself in this position because I’ve always found myself in between things — In a way I’ve always felt like a hybrid person. I am fairly good at many things; I’m not sure I’m really excellent at one thing. Which is why my exploration continues — it’s not like I’ve found this one thing that rocks my world and I’m really amazing at. That can be painful sometimes but it can be rewarding too because I’ve had all this exposure to different realms.

Some Lady Kickboxing
(Please see comments on the youtube page)

KW: It seems very practical of you at age 18 to have chosen design as your major. What you just said about how that was going to be your day job…I don’t think most eighteen year olds think in that way.

JP: Worse, I was seventeen… you know, this obsession with “normalcy” (which I am not) and “security” (which I will never be) has existed in my life since I was a child. I don’t recall a time when I wasn’t trying to balance the practical and the impractical – my fantasy life and my real life. This duality is expressed in my work all the time. As a child, being an artist did not seem like an appropriate career pursuit. So it’s funny to me that I’m now back in school studying to be a “professional” artist because I’ve been resisting it for years. I guess I couldn’t deny it any more; I owed it to myself, and anyone who was close to me, to explore it. There’s this esteem thing about calling yourself an artist. It’s interesting because we’re living at a time when they’re spitting out thousands of MFAs every year. And technically that makes you an artist, but it’s so much bigger than that. For me, “artist” is such a big word. Acknowledging that and revering the scenario that allows you to call yourself one is important to me. When I travel, luckily I still can write ‘student,’ in the occupation box but next year I’m gonna have to be honest and finally decide whether or not I am ready to call myself an artist. I’m gonna have to face that and say ‘alright, is that what I am now?’

Sexy Hobo

Jill Pangallo will graduate from UT Austin in May 2008 with an MFA in Studio Art (Transmedia).

Jill Pangallo: In Depth, Take II

As an end of the year treat and piggy-back to my recent interview, here are Jill's "Ten to Watch..."

Happy new year, ya'll.



Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights

Kiki and Herb - Running up that Hill

Kalup Linzy -
Melody Set Me Free (Sneak Preview)

Hollywood SEX SYMBOL Miss Piggy Live at the Coconut Grove

Dean Johnson - "Fuck You," Dean & The Weenies cover, live at Limelight NYC

Mike Albo - The Obsession Promoter

Joseph Beuys - Sonne statt Reagan (Sun instead of Reagan)

Brina's Iron Death Match

Runaways Bored in Japan (Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Cherie Currie, Sandy West and Jackie Foxx)

Separate Lives

Friday, December 14, 2007

christmas party bloopers

Okay, okay, so it's not "art" but it's loaded with darkness.

They had more parties...

Campout Party
Fashion Party
Costume Party
Hawaiian Beach Party
Mall Party

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Stephen Malinowski's Music Animation Machine
A great gift idea!

Franz Liszt had especially slender fingers with minimal "webbing" at the base, giving him a significant technical advantage when playing piano.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

George Kuchar

I, An Actress

Beloved by filmmakers such as John Waters and Todd Solondz, George Kuchar has been working with the moving image for nearly half a century. In the 1950s, Kuchar and his twin brother Mike began producing ultra-low-budget underground versions of Hollywood genre films, with names like I Was a Teenage Rumpot and The Devil’s Cleavage. These 8mm kitchen-sink masterpieces bore the distinctive marks of what Susan Sontag called “camp,” and positioned the Kuchar brothers as the Bronx’s answer to the downtown underground filmmaking scene, which quickly adopted the Kuchars as their own—and in the work of Jack Smith, Andy Warhol, and others, showed their influence.(from here)

And here is his UBUWEB page, for higher quality videos of films.

Laz Rojas

My name is Laz Rojas, and I'm a 44 year old actor/writer/filmmaker
currently residing in Miami, Florida. I'm also an artist/cartoonist.
I'm currently seeking employment and/or representation in any of these
fields, so if you'd like to learn more about my abilities and see examples
of my work, please click on any of the buttons below.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Sally Cruikshank

Sally Cruikshank is a self-taught artist who started making animations in the 1970s. She did a lot of work for Sesame Street, but the stuff I like the most are her crazier cartoons. She cites Busby Berkeley, known for elaborate movie-musical dance numbers and Max Fleischer, known for classic cartoons like Popeye and Betty Boop, as her biggest influences. Examples of their work can be seen here and here, respectively. (You can kind of skip through the beginnings of both, if need be.) Max Fleischer also invented the rotoscope which allowed animators to draw over live-action film to create animation.

"Make Me Psychic"

"Don't Go in the Basement"

I also really like "Quasi at the Quackadero" which is on YouTube. It's about a trip to an amusement park in the future. Sally's blog is here.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Cansei de Ser Sexy

I feel pretty late to the game with this band; I've been hearing about them for a year or so now, and I still don't own any of their music. It does appeal to me though; their tunes are catchy and danceable, two things I prize highly. I also like the fact the band is five girls--singing, strumming, drumming--and one boy, not the usual mix of bands I enjoy. That said, you might be wondering why I am writing about a band on our video-centered blog.

Well, I recently watched a bunch of their videos on the internet, and I really liked them. They look good, I like the concepts, they don't get boring--for music videos, or any kind of video really, they are right on. As far as I can tell, each video was directed by a different person. Overall, CSS has accumulated a nice little video collection. Please peruse below, and enjoy! I think Alala is my favorite of the bunch.

Pretend We're Alala directed by Cat Solen

Let's Make Love and Listen to Death from Above by ???

Alcohol by Jared Eberhardt

You can also check out the CSS website, MySpace, and YouTube channel.

Kool as Heck: robbinschild newest baby, C.L.U.E.

Taking the thrifting bug to all new levels with the color coordination. I am not worthy.

From the PS122 website:

"The performance as a whole is a kind of choreographed rainbow, with each band dancing its own dance. And they are wonderful dances."

- Holland Cotter, The New York Times "Art in Review" March 30, 2007 (C.L.U.E. - the video)

Choreography team robbinschilds are known for creating acutely visual works that explore the intersection of human movement and architecture, be it natural or manmade. C.L.U.E. (color location ultimate experience) seamlessly combines a movement-based video with an acutely visual live dance performance and an original score performed live by Seattle rock band Kinski.

This live performance installation becomes a roving landscape in and of itself as well as a riveting exploration of the intersection between movement and architecture, both natural and manmade.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Pistols Kill Ponies aka Lena Dunham

Pistols Kill Ponies is a film collective consisting primarily of one member, Lena Dunham. Through Pistols Kill Ponies, Lena has produced several short film projects, many of which she also stars in. To me, Lena's works are elegant, personal, humorous, and very inspiring. I'd like to share a few of them here. The YouTube quality is not the best, so if you want to watch with better quality, and also more movies, go to the Pistols Kill Ponies website.

Hooker on Campus


Brownie and Chickie

She's so good! Click here to check out the PKP MySpace, or here to read Lena's blogspot.

Monday, November 26, 2007


It's official, and there will be good-byes. Cinematexas is hosting one last film festival this weekend to celebrate.

Saturday, Dec. 1st:

4:30pm: RAGNA-ROCK. One of two compilations of new work by esteemed Cinematexas alumni like James Fotopoulos, Ben Coonley, Daniel Cockburn, Stephanie Gray, etc.)
7pm: UT HOLLYWOOD SHOWCASE. A local screening of this year's best UT-produced student films, which screened at the DGA Theater in LA in September.
9:15pm: ASSASSINS: A FILM CONCERNING RIMBAUD. An early experiment by Todd Haynes and an clear precursor to his new Dylan non-biopic I'M NOT THERE.

Sunday, Dec. 2nd:

2pm: RAGNA-ROLL: More madness from Cinematexas chums.
4:30pm: INTERKOSMOS. A delightfully tongue-in-cheek homage to a fictional East German space project, Jim Finn's INTERKOSMOS uses recreated newsreels combined with musical interludes to resurrect the '70s in all its Brezhnev-era glory.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Listen Up!

Don't say we didn't warn you.
DVD coming January 08.



Take a look, see what we're up to (it's not just foursquare, lemme tell you)!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

More Todd Haynes

Rell's post got me all excited about Todd Haynes all over again, and I wanted to post this clip from my favorite Haynes movie, "Safe". For anyone who hasn't seen it, "Safe" is about Los Angeleno(?) Carol White, played by Julianne Moore. A meek homemaker mom, Carol seems to float disconnected through life, until the onset of an environmental illness forces her to reconsider her everything.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

I Love You Todd Haynes

In anticipation of the new Todd Haynes movie, I recently re-watched "Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story". The first time I watched this I cried. For some reason I could only find the first part of this online. Cry with me friends.

Sunday, November 4, 2007


Mirror, Mirror: Self-Invention in a Televisual World

2pm, TODAY, ACES Building on UT Campus

Join Curator Annette Carlozzi as she discusses the exhibition Mike's World with David Joselit, professor of art history at Yale University, and Maud Lavin, Chair, Visual and Critical Studies, and Professor, Visual and Critical Studies and Art History, Theory and Criticism, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Topics will include reality TV, Internet chatrooms, midlife transitions, and other aspects of the American social landscape. Audience input is encouraged.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Peggy Ahwesh and Bobby Abate's CERTAIN WOMEN

Punk renegade filmmakers Peggy Ahwesh and Bobby Abate joined forces to adapt Erskine Caldwell's 1957 forgotten pulp fiction baddie Certain Women - A story of four young women stuck in a working class go-nowhere town fueled by wicked ignorance, shameful secrets, nasty rumors.

A dirty little home movie peek-a-boo mystery.

Episode 1: Murder!
Young Clementine is awakened in the middle of the night by a gunshot and her life is forever changed.

Episode 2: Rejected!
Former tomboy Louellen is growing up and realizing that boys don't want to give her a date.

Episode 3: Abusive Nasty Papa!
Daydreamer Hilda is confronted by her abusive father to find a job, no matter what the cost.

Episode 4: Mommy is dead!
Nannette, who grew up in extreme poverty with her mother, is forced to live on her own.

Episode 5: Miss Bessie's Whore House!
Clementine finds herself working in the local whore house run by sadistic Miss Bessie. Meanwhile the other 3 women try to figure out what to do next.

On Peggy Awhesh.
On Bobby Abate.
(each word a different link)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

30 G

Tomorrow they will announce the winner of the Texas Prize.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Everybody Ever

"Everybody Ever"
by Lisa Choinacky(Austin,TX) & Nathaniel Russell (Oakland, CA)
In this primitive multi-media performance involving activated installation, the artists approach the subjects of alienation, wonder and love in modern life with humor & optimism.

Saturday, Oct. 27th
7:30pm (25 minutes)
Okay Mountain
1312 E. Cesar Chavez (off Navasota)

Featuring Rell Ohlson!

Friday, October 19, 2007

show @ okay mountain




Cryptacize, the new band featuring Chris Cohen (of Deerhoof, The Curtains) and Nedelle Torrisi (Kill Rock Stars artist), performing in Austin for the first time ever! This tour is in anticipation of their forthcoming full-length with Asthmatic Kitty Records.
Also playing: The Weird Weeds, Chris Cogburn and Corey Fogel , and Smoke Detector.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Friday, October 5, 2007

Our first event!

Please come support us in our first major event:

Austin Video Bee Extravaganza #1
Sunday, October 14th
Mass Gallery
916 Springdale Rd
Austin, TX
3-7 PM

Featuring Rell's famous cupcakes, Ruby's chopped beef sandwiches, Sparks, and much more.

Screenings all afternoon, raffle of curated curiosities, 5 PM four square tournament and DJ.