Recent Work by Kelly Sears
Kelly Sears in person!

Once_It Started_It_Could_Not_End_Otherwise

Sunday, March 15th at 5:00pm, $7-10
The Nightingale Cinema, 1084 N Milwaukee, Chicago, IL

Kelly Sears is an experimental animator that cuts up and collages imagery from American culture and politics to intervene with the history embedded in the frame.  Working with appropriated images ranging from thrift store cast-offs to archival material, she uses animation to rebuild American histories that shift between the official and the uncanny while exploring contemporary narratives of power, such as manifest destiny, occupation and surveillance.

This hour-long program contains films that address failure – of technology, of progress, and history.  But this failure creates an opportunity to ­­reexamine and envision other speculative narratives. A former President is possessed by his nightmares, high school students are infected by a sinister force in their school’s architecture, astronauts drift away from their missions and telephone operators are built into a covert observation network.

Her work has screened at museums, galleries and film festivals, such as MOMA, The Hammer Museum, LACMA, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Machine Project, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Light Industry, Sundance Film Festival, SXSW Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival and Black Maria Film Festival. She teaches animation and film production at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Program Details
PATTERN FOR SURVIVAL  (2015,  HD video, 6:00)
As you read the rest of this manual, keep in mind the need for a
survival pattern.

THE DRIFT (2007, HD video, 8:20)
A mysterious disappearance on a late 1960s space journey entrances the
nation. This film reexamines the nature of our country’s expansionist
endeavors and the desire to push too far, too fast.

COVER ME ALPHA (2011, HD video, 2:30)
Names of maneuvers and procedures from a military yearbook re-caption
the activities of soldiers in battle.
THE BODY BESIEGED (2009, HD video, 4:00)
An exploration of the darker side of getting in shape. Animated
instructional photographs from yoga and workout books reveal bewitched
and frenzied bodies and maneuvers.

VOICE ON THE LINE (2009, HD video,  6:45)
Figures from archival films from the 1950s are recast in a large-scale
secret operation that veers bizarrely off course. The film reflects on
current relationships among national security, civil liberties and
telephone companies.

IMPRINTED (2011, HD video, 2:00)
Clear tape, newspaper ink and sheets of acetate. Traces from the week
of the failed rapture, destructive tornadoes and other discord in

Candid photos from 1970s high school yearbooks resurface in a
minimalist horror story. An unknown force seeps into the walls of the
school that eerily mirrors larger political and social markers of the
recent past.

HE HATES TO BE SECOND (2008, HD video, 3:00)
Excavated text fragments from a 1963 article about Robert Kennedy from
a magazine are collaged with visual fragments from other popular 1963

THE RANCHER (2012, HD video, 7:00)
A parafictional newsreel chronicling a series of terrible dreams
unhinges a man in power.

TROPICAL DEPRESSION (2012, HD video, 2:45)
Images from recent hurricanes and the 1931 Miss Universe Contest are
collaged into an animated séance that channels Galveston’s haunted

JUPITER ELICIUS (2010, HD video, 5:05)
A storm transcends a meteorologist’s predictions. Commissioned for the
Orbit(film) project.


Filed under: 16mm, animation, archival, experimental, feminism, video