2014 is the international year of crystallography. Not only is crystallography really cool and beautiful, it has also informed the development of contemporary industry, medicine, and technology. It is sometimes the smallest things that have the largest impact!
This year’s project revolves around found footage: 8mm home movies, discarded ephemeral films, and other footage collected over the years. The genealogy of the filmic avant-garde stems from found footage filmmaking. Soviet filmmakers working in the 1920’s and 1930’s such as Esfir Shub, Sergei Eisenstein, and Lev Kuleshov worked with found footage as raw material, which directly impacted their philosophy of film. It is a practice that deals inherently with both history and cultural reception, revealing the role of recorded images in our collective imagination.
While sourcing found footage for this year’s project I came across the 16mm “music video” for Strawberry Tuesday by the late 1960’s group, Sidewalk Skipper Band. I am posting the first video of the year as a ready-made. I have not altered or manipulated the footage. Though the band never made it as the cultural icons they could have been the music and the style perfectly capture the era.
“Strawberry Tuesday” released in 1968 was the title track on one of only three 45s released by the Sidewalk Skipper Band. Hailing from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the band was signed by capitol records, recording two 45s in Chicago. They are well regarded among fans of psychedelic music of this era. Second Life DJ, Susan Mowadeng, speculates about their short-lived success, why didn’t they take off? Was it the “British Invasion” or poor marketing?
See also: An interview with Rick Novak & D. A. McDowell from the Sidewalk Skipper Band, conducted by Midi Onodera
This found reel of 16mm reveals a slice of life in late 1960s Toronto at the corner of Yonge St. and Charles St. E. This building, the old Postal Station, is now home to Starbucks and McDonalds. How things have changed!