Working with Chip Lord

Online Editing for Artist, Chip Lord

Cadillac Ranch 1974/1994
Ant Farm
1974/1994, 16:40 min, color, sound

Cadillac Ranch Show is a document of Ant Farm's major site installation, the Cadillac Ranch, which was commissioned by Texas millionaire Stanley Marsh III. Ten Cadillacs, vintage 1948 to 1963, were buried fin-up in a field off Route 66 in Amarillo. The image of ten Cadillacs pointing upward against the sky is a comically subversive homage to the rise and fall of the tail-fin as an icon of postwar American consumer excess. Footage of the burial of the cars is intercut with Cadillac commercials that promote a fetishized ideal, the ultimate American Dream. A pop spectacle that parodies consumerism with a tongue-in-cheek nod to 1970's site art, the Cadillac Ranch is an ironic celebration of the "grotesque and wonderful" tail-fin as the ultimate expression of wasteful design in American culture.
 
A 1984 postscript to the tape features an interview with former Ant Farm members Chip Lord and Hudson Marquez by Channel 10 News, Amarillo, on the ten-year anniversary of the Cadillac Ranch. The artists address the piece's evolution from a conceptual site sculpture to an interactive, public roadside attraction, now rusted and graffiti-covered.
 
Online Editing:  Toshi Onuki
 
 
 
The Aroma of Enchantment
Chip Lord
1992, 55:02 min, color, sound

In this engaging video essay, Lord explores the Japanese fascination with 1950's American pop culture. Writes Steve Seid, "Lord's meditation combines his own bemusement over the many displaced icons of American culture — from rockabilly bands in the park to dream car showrooms — with historical anecdotes about General MacArthur's reign and stories told by 'practitioners of Americanization' ... By turns humorous, ingenious, and melancholy, The Aroma of Enchantment pointedly notes how America represented the 'abundance of democracy' for a country decimated by war. Unable to revise or reject these anachronistic images, Japan is ironically stuck with empty Elvis in a time of plenty."

Producer/Writer/Director: Chip Lord.
Associate Producer: Toshi Onuki.
Videotape: Chip Lord, Toshi Onuki.
Additional Text: Marita Sturken.
Sound Design: Barney Jones. Post-Production:
Starr Sutherland. Additional Video: Nora Bateson.
Post-production: The Film Lab UCSC, Bay Area Video Coalition, Earwax Productions.
 
 
 
Awakening from the 20th Century
Chip Lord
1999, 35 min, color, sound

Awakening from the 20th Century contends with the collision between the actual and the virtual in the city of San Francisco. "Is life becoming virtual?" Lord asks. "Are we witnessing the end of the City? Will the computer replace the automobile?" These questions are taken up by six prominent writers, musicians, and multi-media workers, who describe their own shifting relationships to technology and public space within the city. Awakening from the 20th Century is structured around imagery from several San Francisco sites: the broadcast transmission tower Sutro Tower; "Critical Mass," an activist bicycle event; and locations from the Dashiel Hammet Walking Tour, which are interspersed with scenes from The Maltese Falcon.
 
Featuring the music of The Residents. With: Homer Flynn, John Sanborn, Ellen Ullman, Gannon Hall, James Rucker, Rebecca Solnit. Funded by a Film Arts Foundation Personal Works grant.
 
Online Editor:  Toshi Onuki
 
 
 
Motorist
Chip Lord
1989, 69 min, color, sound

The iconic value of the American automobile is a subject that has long fascinated Lord. This road video follows a 1962 Ford Thunderbird's cross-country journey to Los Angeles. Behind the wheel, the Motorist (Richard Marcus) reminisces about his strong attachment to the automobile, with its promise of freedom and escape. The obliquely satirical monologue is juxtaposed with naive, romanticized footage from promotional films and magazine ads of the 1950s. In reality, the Motorist travels a highway riddled with shabby roadside towns and improbable theme parks, which stand in stark contrast to his nostalgic childhood memories. In the final irony, this most American of automobiles is ultimately sold to a Japanese car buff, suggesting that with the wholesale dissemination of pop culture into a world arena, the American landscape is in danger of disappearing.

With: Richard Marcus, Jo Harvey Allen, Phil Garner, Jules Backus, Chris Slater, Hudson Marquez, Toshi Onuki, Sumi Nobuhara, Theo Marcus, Diane Andrews Hall.
Director of Photography: Jules Backus.
Assistant Director: Chris Beaver. Editor: Chip Lord.
Additional Video: Andy Kolker, Toshi Onuki.
Music: Terry Allen, The Residents.
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