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An Interview with Marta Kuzma, Director of the WPA/Corcoran


Yoko Ono on Big Miss Moviola (now Joanie 4 Jackie)


How The Co-Star Tapes Came To Be (A Diary Entry)


Eleanor Antin on A Reason to Make Art


Detention With Big Miss Moviola


Laszlo Moholy-Nagy on Why We Are All Multi-Media Artists


A Small Story Sent by Ms. Melissa Tveten on 6.27.00
 
  

 

How The Co-Star Tapes Came To Be (A Diary Entry)

March 1998

3-5-98

i was on the airplane and there was a lot of turbulence and i was pretending to be someone who is really afraid of flying. i wanted to see if the adults on either side of me would get nervous if i started breathing really hard each time the plane shook. when it shook really really hard i would grab the arm of the woman next to me, as if in a panic, and then when it stopped shaking i would pretend to be embarrased that i was gripping her and apologize awkwardly. but i am not afraid of flying i am just afraid of being bored. after that game got old i played the game: what changes would i make in my life if i had money. this is a good game b/c a lot of the time the things i want really aren't impossible, i am just too broke to conceive of them. it is a 9am-2am job: constantly reminding myself that there is nothing stopping me. from 2am-9am i don't have to work the job because i am asleep and dreaming the impossible dream.

what would i do if i had money? my first thot was: pay all the incredible moviemakers who participate in Big Miss Moviola. The thot was more complicated, it was more like: if i didn't have to be so damn careful about not losing money, i might be able to take risks that would lead to actually making money. by now anyone who has read a few of these viewers digests is probly thinking: chill out. nobody cares. none of us are making any money from our art anyways, who cares if big mm pays me a dime every 5 months. and i say: you are so right. except for one thing: this business is my art project. Inventing new systems that are relevant to new women is something i have to do, just like moviemaking, just like performing is something i have to do. for 24 year old, sick white american women artists in 1998 the business of art is inseperable from the medium itself. there is a whole enormous map of art and popular culture and feminism and commerce and i am an artist and i walk around on that map and feel incredibly fucking frustrated every day about how art is evaluted and valued and described in ways that make it seem useless and irrelevant except when used as mind control. the other reason why i write/think so much about the structure of bigmm is because the project is constantly changing. i might be the only one who knows this. i might be making this up. i might be changing. i might be big miss moviola. or it might be true: maybe it is really true that big mm recieves 10x the amount of movies that she did a year ago. maybe she recieves as many as 15 inquiries a day about the project. maybe there are way more ladies making movies than there were just 3 years ago. maybe its true. it is. actually it is true. nobody has the statistics on this, because nobody cares. but i do and i know it's true. somthing is going on here and it lifts up my bed at nite. what i'm trying to say is that i need a new system because the old one isn't working anymore. I hereby decree: as well as being a challenge and a promise, big miss moviola is now also a wave and a particle. just like light. this is because i am getting so many movies. my friend asked me: so does this mean you're getting more shitty movies, has the quality gone down as the volume has incresed? The answer is: i am getting more of every kind of movie. and i am getting more different kinds of movies. This is to say: the increase in volume is a wonderful thing, more of a good thing. but now here is what happens when you send your movie to big mm:

1) it is compiled with 9 other movies onto a chainletter tape. 10 copies of this compilation tape are made. (as well as 10 viewers digests). This is what i originally set out to do, 3 yearsago--make a video chainletter, promising a "community" of 10 moviemakers for each particpant. Think of the constant creation of these limited edition cahinletter tapes as a WAVE. This will never change. however, i have gone on to make way more than 10 of each tape, in an attempt to sell the compilations. i can't continue to do with each new group of 10 movies. there are too many. do the math. i have to, brace yourself, become selective. about which movies i am going to reproduce in large quantities. so step 2:

2) while every participant is featured on and recieves a (WAVE) chainletter tape, some partipants will also be asked to be on a PARTICLE tape. (I know you can't believe i'm using this wave/particle analogy, but i am! i really am! and it feels great.) These tapes will be made in greater quantites, will cost $8-15 each, will be sold as widely as possible. The participants on these tapes will be paid for each tape that is sold. each participant will sign a contract that says: i'm cool with this deal. i feel like i just accidently peed. but this is no accident. i've always wanted to be able to pay participants.

The goal of the Particle tapes is primarily this: to have less of them. If i don't create a limitation, not only will no one get paid for their work (the current state of affairs)--but i will also begin losing money in a hurry. The particle tapes do not aim to feature every single movie i've ever gotten. And there won't neccesarily be 10 on a tape, which means movies wont be excerpted or cut as often. My criteria for choosing which movies go on the particle tapes is not what you think. I am fucked in the head so i will not choose just the ones everyone tells me they love. i will represnt big miss moviola. in all her cataclysmically contradictory glory. film festival winners are not shoo-ins, people who yell shotgun! do not necessarily get to ride in the front seat. Also: now that there is this wave tape/particle tape distinction, you will recieve your wave tape relatively quickly, but i might ask you to paticipate on a particle tape like a year later. There's no time frame on the particle tapes. I'll curate according to what makes a great tape, with no concern for chronology, or quantity. hell i might even do a theme tape. a memorial tape. and i am interested in doing compilation(particle) tapes that are like 9 works by three women. like maybe these 3 women in the context of each other says something that has never been said before. so keep sending your movies as you make them. maybe i am saving them up to make a compilation that is the story of your life.

plus you can't lose, with each submission you get each time you will get nine movies for free.

other: the wave = privategirlculture. your wave tape belongs only to you and 9 other women. what you the written information that you include with your submission need only be addressed to these 9 other moviemakers. you can ask specific questions of them, request certain feedback or advice. i can't guarantee anything, but i think it is useful to think of this Not as your letter to the world, or your resume, but something more private and with a specific audience in mind. all ten of you have made a movie. now what. if i request one of your movies for a particle tape you can write something different if you want (keeping in mind that this digest will be read by non-particpants, men, the general public.)

Your name, mailing adress, and a description of your movie will appear also in a compendium in the back of every particle tape digest. this way someone can contact you and see your movie, regardless of whether your movie is currently available thru big miss moviola. (remeber i won't be selling wave tapes--they are essentially a separate, underground project. the wave tapes supply a pool of movies from which the particle tapes are created. the wave tapes are supported financially by the selling of the particle tapes. the wave tapes are compartively un-curated. un-fucked with. lo-fi and perfect. the particle tapes are curated. by me. they've got big missmoviola stamped all over them. they cost money. they are fucked with. by me. and i know how to fuck. they are hi-fi and perfect.

3-9-98

sometimes i feel like a sucker. because again and again i allow the enthusiasm and talent of these moviemakers to pull me out of depression and self-absorption. but then i remember that its ok b/c being a sucker for art is like being a sucker for life. ever so slowly the first co-star tape is beginning to gather form.