March 13, 2016
How did you find out about Joanie 4 Jackie and how old were you at the time?
When I was about 19 or 20 I was screening my art videos around New York City and participated in a women’s event at Bluestockings, a feminism & social activism bookstore in the Lower East Side. It was there that I met filmmaker Sarah Jacobson and we quickly became film allies. She told me about Miranda’s Joanie 4 Jackie project and encouraged me to submit something.
What interested you about the project?
This was one of the first opportunities for me to have my work presented outside of NYC. The “original portable video exhibit” – pre-online accessibility! Also, the idea of being a part of a women’s group that was D.I.Y.’ing their own work, just like me and to be able to see what other video artists were making was extremely inspiring. To be included in this “girl gang” of artists/filmmakers felt like what I saw with the Riot Grrrl movement. There was also no boundary to what I could submit, so I chose what I thought was my weirdest video to date.
At the time you participated in Joanie 4 Jackie did you consider yourself a filmmaker? What was your relationship to making movies?
At the time of submitting, I thought of myself as an experimental video artist. No boundaries, no formulas, but plenty of emotion. I made something around twenty plus experimental videos. The label “filmmaker” emerged once I began creating documentaries and even though most of my early docs were short in length and most all of them were compiled together on my public access television show “Oh The Ladies,” I still felt that I was now making films. This work then spilled over into Narrative scripts and film projects.
My relationship? Well, that is was an addiction. I had to create. I moved to New York City to paint originally, but once I learned the skills to be able to communicate emotions and tell stories within the medium of video and later films, I was hooked.
Do you have any specific anecdotes or memories associated with the project?
I remember the day a stuffed-manila envelope from Joanie 4 Jackie showed up at my apartment. I ripped the package open and found a VHS and printed pamphlet with my project included. I remember taking the tape to my College’s Media Center and hooking up two VCR’s together to rip an additional copy …just in case.
What institutions, groups, people, publications and movements were inspiring you at the time of your participation in J4J?
Sarah Jacobson, Eileen Myles, Barbara Kruger, Shepard Fairey, Erase Errata, Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, anything associated with the Riot Grrrl movement, most all of Kill Rock Stars, The Clash, The Ramones, Team Dresch. Also my Film/Video Art college professor Terri Dewhirst was very inspiring to me. She showed my the video work of Sadie Benning, Stan Brakhage, Maya Deren, Kenneth Anger, and people like Jeff Krulick.
During this time I was a video store clerk at Kim’s Video on St. Mark’s Place in the East Village – so I pretty much was living in genres as well …Queer, Experimental, Indies, Docs, Cult, Foreign, Classics
What do you do now – professionally and otherwise? Are you still involved in filmmaking?
I’m an actor, writer, director and mom.
I was the lead in last year’s zero-budget, art-house, independent feature film “Forever Into Space,” I’m a Co-Star in the Lesbian Series “SCISSR,” I write/host a Punk/Rock/Metal Radio Show on SiriusXM’s Channel Faction. I have also directed two short narrative films and this year marks the 15th Year Anniversary of my women centric documentary, public access show “Oh The Ladies,” which is being released on YouTube.
I’m a creative … that will always be my case. www.KellySebastian.com