How did you find out about Joanie 4 Jackie and how old were you at the time?
Miranda told us about the video chainletter when she was performing at Epicenter, a punk community space on Valencia Street and 16th in San Francisco. Ryder Cooley and I were both 26 at the time, just coming into our queerness, and excited about making things together.
What interested you about the project?
We were really into making and exchanging zines. We were late-bloomers in terms of riot grrrl zine-making, but the rawness and intimate exchanges of writing and art spoke to us. Making a video and putting it in the mail for a collaborative chain letter seemed super fun, and an extension of the zine exchanges. I loved the idea of being connected to girls/women who were making things in other parts of the country. And it meant a lot that Miranda was putting it all together, that someone thought this was a worthwhile connection to make.
At the time you participated in Joanie 4 Jackie did you consider yourself a filmmaker? What was your relationship to making movies?
I didn’t identify as a filmmaker. I was into making art as a way to engage with the world and find my place in it. Ryder and I, as Daughters of Houdini, made some films as part of our life-art performance collaboration. The experience of going on a road trip and filming our adventures was usually the most exciting part of the process for me. When the films got screened, it was an extension of the adventure, an invitation to enter our intimate world of girl secrets and magical places and thoughts, where the world was a little different and more crazy than everyone pretended it to be.
Do you have any specific anecdotes or memories associated with your movie?
The Delta: Ryder, Lissa Ivy and I on a day trip to the Delta; we happen upon a landscape with levy roads cracked upon by flooding. The driving ends (we can’t pass through) and the movie begins.
Her Perversions: Adventures at Ore Hot Springs and ongoing research into hysteria and medical history. Our Freud and Charcot obsession at its height.
What did you think/feel about the Joanie 4 Jackie at the time? And now, in retrospect?
I knew Miranda was in her apartment duplicating all these videos from one VCR to another, so it seemed like we were all in this thing together, finding our voice and deciding that our voices mattered. In retrospect, having our work included in the tapes and then seeing these tapes play throughout the world validated us as culture makers and shapers.
If you attended a screening, can you tell us where and when it was and anything else you remember about it?
I think we went to one of the screenings at ATA, Artists’ Television Access. We would also show the movies at our parties.
What institutions, groups, people, publications and movements were inspiring you at the time of your participation in J4J?
I was working at The LAB, a nonprofit arts organization. I met Ryder there at a free electronic sound workshop for women, taught by Pamela Z. I found my way to the Lab through publications I read a few years earlier: Angry Women (V.Vale, Andrea Juno at Re/Search Publications), and High Risk (Amy Scholder, Ira Silverberg). Once I discovered zines, I would pore over Factsheet Five to learn about zines across the country, and find people to trade comics, zines, and chapbooks with.
I was inspired by the many free art events and gatherings happening in San Francisco which encouraged open participation by women and queers: Sister Spit, organized by Michelle Tea, and K’vetch, by Tara Jepson and Lynn Breedlove. Many inspiring women encouraged me to make art and write: Margaret Tedesco (who now does [2nd floor projects]) and Lauren Hewitt (who gave us an art residency at the Jon Sims Center).
What do you do now – professionally and otherwise? Are you still involved in filmmaking?
I am engaged with participatory art and culture projects, and I do environmental work that explores urban sustainability and biodiversity. Recent projects include Hayes Valley Farm, a community art and permaculture project (hayesvalleyfarm.org) and Pocket Seed Library, a seed saving and picnic advocacy project. I am not specifically involved in filmmaking, but I am actively engaged with art, writing, and multimedia in my community collaborations.
Anything you would like to see on the J4J site?
It would be cool to have photos/links to current projects J4J participants are doing, and a list of participatory projects that people can engage with today.