Hyperrhiz 3

Interpreting Actuality, Representing the Artifact

George Thomas Morrow

Citation: Morrow, George Thomas. “Interpreting Actuality, Representing the Artifact.” Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures, no. 3, 2007. doi:10.20415/hyp/003.g04

Abstract: Four films. An archival process, the document and interpretation.

At the onset of my graduate experience I began to question the significance of my work. I was attending the University of Texas at Austin and studying design. I considered myself a documentary filmmaker. Graduate school was a great place to experiment with the medium I loved and the faculty were very supportive. I began thinking about the process of narrative in the communicative event and thought it would be a great source of content from which to produce work. So, I bought a digital recorder with a lavaliere mic. At first, I would just mic up and go out; I recorded everything. I found that I had a lot of material to work with, but over time something began to stand out. Every time I was in conversation, a story was told to further our understanding of that particular event. I decided from then on to focus on the stories.

In my undergraduate work, I studied photography. I was particularly interested in the interaction between myself and the people passing on the street. I did many projects that involved a portable backdrop and at random would ask people to be photographed. I was thinking back on some of these projects when I said, yes, video portraits. I took a backdrop, my camera and gear and began setting up on the corner of streets and asking people to tell me a story. I found that I was getting great stories and most of all I was enjoying the process. I made it a daily practice.

In the storytelling event, a storyteller creates a visual for the audience to interpret. It is within this collaboration that I find interest, for each listener, with the help of the storyteller, has their own interpretation of the story. My next step as audience member was to reinterpret the storytelling event. So I began to use the story, uncut, as the narration, then casting obtaining locations, props etc. I began making a film a week, with little to no budget and basically by myself. These videos are a selction from that work.

PLAY Zippy Do Da

PLAY Gastronomic Catastrophe

PLAY Enthusiastically Charming

PLAY The Monkey Jungle (stage 1 video interview)