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Girafferator: A Chainletter

Cat Tyc, Speed Freaks Do Bach
March 14, 2013

How did you find out about Joanie 4 Jackie and how old were you at the time?
I think I found about Joanie 4 Jackie just from reading about Miranda July in BUST magazine. I was in my early 20’s.

In the back of my mind, I think Joanie 4 Jackie was always bookmarked for whenever the time came around for that video that was yet to be made so I was always staying abreast of it in interviews with Miranda to make sure it was still there when I was ready.

What interested you about the project?
I liked that it was taking on the same perspective that Riot Grrl originally took with women in music, which was that if it felt like there was a community of girls just figuring it out and wanting to see other videos by girls (like me!) then that would be enough incentive to make the steps to just try something and see what would come of it.

At the time you participated in Joanie 4 Jackie did you consider yourself a filmmaker? What was your relationship to making movies?
At that time, I felt like I was learning how to be a video artist. I have always been obsessed with film and studied theater and writing in school. At the time, I was making zines of my poetry but I was feeling too emotionally exposed by writing and reading my words out publicly. Video felt like a way to express the things I wanted to express with some emotional barrier. I had a text I wanted to try articulating through filming dancers in the state of rehearsal.

It felt like a metaphor for “practicing” which was what I was doing by learning how to shoot with a video camera I was borrowing from my day job and learning how to edit in iMovie.

I also had a personal connection to this material because I was a dancer as a child before turning to acting so I felt like I could relate to the physicality of learning and getting that into your body.

Do you have any specific anecdotes or memories associated with the project?
My only anecdote was that the chainletter DVD was the first piece of mail I got when I moved to Portland, Oregon from New York for a few years. I had decided to go to this mystical land where women and girls made art all day to see what what I could do there. It felt appropriate that my first practice would come to me embraced by this mysterious cloud of girls who got it, right at the moment I was at this place trying to figure out what the next step would be.

What did you think/feel about the Joanie 4 Jackie at the time? And now, in retrospect?
I think Joanie 4 Jackie was/is awesome!

What institutions, groups, people, publications and movements were inspiring you at the time of your participation in J4J?
Riot Grrl, Le Tigre, Eileen Myles’ “Cool For You.”

What do you do now – professionally and otherwise? Are you still involved in filmmaking?
I now live in Brooklyn, NY and am currently making an interactive documentary about the sustainable fashion movement to educate and empower the everyday consumer about textile responsibility. I have directed music videos that have screened on MTVu and LOGO’s NewNowNext. In 2009, I adapted, directed, produced and edited a short narrative “Umbrella” that has gone on to screen in galleries & festivals in Seattle, Portland and New York City, Berlin and London. In 2012, I presented a solo screening of early video work at the Microscope Gallery in Bushwick. I am a member of New York Women in Film and Television as well as the Brooklyn Filmmaker’s Collective.

Charlotte Greville & her sister, For Dad’s Birthday

How did you find out about Joanie 4 Jackie and how old were you at the time?
I went to Bard! Professor Jackie Goss asked me to help her with this project Joanie for Jackie my sophomore year 2003 (so I was 20 I think). We gathered submissions, complied chainletter tapes and held screening. I was part of the Bard J4J club till I graduated in 2006.

What interested you about the project?
I loved it. It was magic that was completely real but still very much seemed like magic to me.

At the time you participated in Joanie 4 Jackie did you consider yourself a filmmaker? What was your relationship to making movies?
I was a film major at Bard. I made a lot of films. J4J made me feel like a I was part of something. It gave me confidence in what I was doing. I need to make things. Right now its objects not films. I think film will be something I come back to. I can still feel it in me.

Do you have any specific anecdotes or memories associated with the project?
I loved receiving the new videos. Opening the hand made/drawn/designed/collaged packages was its own tiny video Christmas. Women of all ages would send their video/films by mail to us. Jackie would collect them till we had 7 or 8. Then we would all gather in the film department and watch the new submissions. They were from everywhere and all very unique and special. I can remember brain storming ideas for the number cues/intervals between videos. The jewelry box with the spinning ballerina! Not my idea but I helped film and edit and my hand might be opening the box a few times. Then we would send out 10 VHS tapes to everyone who was on the chainletter. We would screen the new and old chainletters at Bard. I made silk screen T-shirts, bandanas and bags with J4J logos I came up with. My favorite one was a little Shirley Temple looking girl leaning back on a huge VHS bigger than her. I got mixed up and if you looked closely it read Joanie for Fackie not Joanie for Jackie. The cursive J flipped to an F at some point in my process but no one noticed. Shhhh. We would sell them at J4J screenings at Anthology in NYC. The money went to new chainletters and I think a desk for our office at Bard. I can remember building the desk. J4J was a big part of Bard for me. I loved being part of it.

What did you think/feel about the Joanie 4 Jackie at the time? And now, in retrospect?
Professor Jackie Goss got me involved in J4J at Bard. She is an amazing person, teacher and advisor. Thanks to J4J I would be in her office a lot.

If you attended a screening, can you tell us where and when it was and anything else you remember about it?
I would drive to NYC from Bard with other J4J members to hold screenings at Anthology Film Archive. We would do a little explanation of the project and let it roll. After the screening we would sell some J4J stuff we made. We met very interesting people who all loved J4J.

What institutions, groups, people, publications and movements were inspiring you at the time of your participation in J4J?
I think I watched close to every video on every chainletter we had at Bard. I would take them home two at a time. I had a TV with a VHS at the foot of my bed in a cluttered room. I was also watching a lot film in my classes. A LOT of avant grade film from the 60s and 70s.

What do you do now – professionally and otherwise? Are you still involved in filmmaking?
I am a designer: charlottegreville.com

Anything you would like to see on the J4J site?
It looks great. Thank you for working so hard on this project. J4J is dearly loved.

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