Where is She Now?

Chainletter Filmmakers:

The Sugar Caneletter

Kate Hartman, Surfacing
March 17, 2013

How did you find out about Joanie 4 Jackie and how old were you at the time?
I must have been 19 or 20? I learned about it in school. Or maybe on the internet. But I remember watching one of Miranda’s early pieces in my Video Art class and some how that led me to J4J.

Later, when I had graduated I became the assistant to the Film Department and was told that we would be caring for the J4J archives! They arrived in many boxes and I helped with organizing them and producing one or two more chain letter tapes.

What interested you about the project?
The connection! The bold romanticism. The sassy can-do attitude. In addition to wanting to share my work I wanted to be a part of THAT.

At the time you participated in Joanie 4 Jackie did you consider yourself a filmmaker? What was your relationship to making movies?
Yes, of sorts. I was making films and videos. I was a student in the Film & Electronic Arts program at Bard College. I was learning about avant-garde film and video art for the very first time. I has spent my adolescent years as a photographer and was excited to learn about ways in which I could expand my practice. I was making 16mm films and learning about digital video editing for the very first time. I can remember that the animation of the text in the video I submitted took about 20 hours to render!

Do you have any specific anecdotes or memories associated with the project?
It was the first time my work was ever shared or distributed within the context of my field! It was hugely empowering. Since then I’ve given a TED talk, shown work at the MOMA, and written a book, but nothing quite had the same zing of that initial realization that STRANGERS, fellow lady movie makers that I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW could be watching my video is places I hadn’t even heard of!

What did you think/feel about the Joanie 4 Jackie at the time? And now, in retrospect?
At the time I was just excited about getting my work out there. Now, as a professor and an artist who likes working with participation I’m more interested in the overall structure, the tone, and the social contract associated with the J4J project.

If you attended a screening, can you tell us where and when it was and anything else you remember about it?
We held a few screenings at Bard.

What institutions, groups, people, publications and movements were inspiring you at the time of your participation in J4J?
The Yes Men, Matt McCormick, Sidney Petersen, Luis Bunuel

I was thinking about the internet, taking a lit class in New Media, playing with site-specific theater, and collecting people’s dreams.

What do you do now – professionally and otherwise? Are you still involved in filmmaking?
I am a professor at an art & design school (OCAD University) in Toronto. I am also an artist, designer, inventor, and I do a lot of public speaking. The only films I make now are demonstrations of the interactive objects I created. Once I started making video installations it made me want to learn about sensors and interactivity. So I went to grad school and somehow I ended up in with a specialty in wearable technology! But the themes of my work are still the same – longing, understanding, connection. Attempts to explore the ways in which we relate to ourselves, each other, and the work around us.

Anything you would like to see on the J4J site?
What’s next? The world has changed so much since the 90s. What’s the modern version of the chainletter tape? And what work is it crucial for us to see women making today? I think about that a lot in my own work. I want to see what Joanie 4 Jackie will do next. What’s the latest challenge? What’s the newest promise? And how can we share it all in a meaningful way?