The Lucky Bum Film Tour

Funhouse Cinema and The Oregon Dept of Kick Ass present:

Portland, Oregon based artists Vanessa Renwick and Bill Daniel continue their merciless, road-dogging onslaught of the continental U.S. with a program of their experimental and documentary videos.  Their Spring 2002 tour criss-crossed the southwestern U.S. and included screenings in Austin, Marfa, Albuquerque, Tucson, and The Taos Talking Pictures Film Festival.  The 7950-mile, 6-week, 22-city tour did little to diminish the roadworthiness of the trusty '87 Toyota tour van, and only left the filmmakers themselves hungry for more miles and more shows. This summer they will conclude their Conquest of the West with shows in San Francisco, Olympia, Seattle, and Vancouver BC.  Then, in September and October, the intrepid campaign heads east to cut a swath through the nation's heartland and into the glorious rust belt.  The tour continues on to hit numerous cultural strongholds in the nation's commercial centers, down the Eastern Seaboard, deep into Appalachia, and then a mop-up operation on the way back to Portland HQ that will finalize hits to any audience targets missed on the eastward march across.  These one-night, hit-and-run screenings happen in venues that range from basements and underground film collectives to college campuses and art museums.

On the Lucky Bum Film Tour, Daniel presents his "The Girl on the Train in the Moon", a hobo campfire/video installation that is a record of his 12-year investigation into the secret world of freight riding and hobo graffiti.  Renwick will screen a 70-min. program of her work that begins with early experimental films and concludes with her latest documentary video.  These short, personal constructions demonstrate a wide range of formal approaches and subjects that include folkart, hitchhiking, and rodeos.  Her work explores the possibility of poetry in contemporary society, sometimes providing a vicious, satirical commentary on that society.  Renwick and Daniel's films both share a restless spirit, an interest in outlaw art-making, and an unflagging sense of wanderlust.

Bill Daniel will be presenting a two-projector film/audio installation on the myths and histories of hobo graffiti entitled, "The Girl on the Train in the Moon".  The practice of "chalking up", drawing one's moniker on boxcars, is a 100-year-old tradition among tramps and rail workers.  Today this artform has been taken up by a new breed of young artists, adding another layer of images and reference to the rolling steel canvases.  The installation environment is constructed to resemble a hobo camp scene, complete with a campfire and moon, which are actually rear-projected video screens that flicker with images of freight-hopping trips and interviews with tramps and rail graffiti artists. "The Girl on the Train in the Moon" features legendary box car artists Herby, buz Blurr, and Bozo Texino, plus a tribute to Matokie Slaughter, a mysterious banjo-playing woman, whose beautiful drawings are seen on the side of freight trains from coast to coast.

Combining his backgrounds in documentary filmmaking and experimental media, Daniel custom-builds viewing environments using documentary footage and collaged audio.  The installations are a way to compose and present non-fiction material outside of the traditional documentary film format.  Two other recent installations are about vagabond cultures and are constructed from material gathered from road trips. An impressionistic report on boat squatters entitled "The Anchor Outs" was originally commissioned for an outdoor show at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard and was recently shown at this year's Fisherpoets Gathering in Astoria, Oregon.  A scaled-up piece based on this story will be installed in November at PICA (Portland Institute of Contemporary Art).  "Rubber Tramp", a recreation of an Arizona swap meet RV camp, was presented in January at The Exploratorium in San Francisco.

Daniel's films and photography have shown in festivals and galleries nationwide since the 1980's, and have received awards from the Film Arts Foundation, Texas Filmmaker Production Fund, The Pioneer Fund, and The Western States Media Alliance.  He was a 1999 artist-in-residence at The Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, California where he produced several multi-projection 16mm film installations, including "Trespassing Sign" in collaboration with the late Margaret Kilgallen.  Last fall he was included in a group show honoring Ms. Kilgallen at Deitch Projects in New York, where "The Girl on the Train in the Moon" premiered.  A veteran of the touring scene, Daniel has toured with San Francisco filmmakers Craig Baldwin, Greta Snider, and Sarah Lewison's Fat Of The Land bio-diesel video project.  In 1997-98 he produced a weekly screening series, Funhouse Cinema, in Austin, Texas.  In Nov. and Dec. of 2001 Daniel toured with a film/photo show of his photo-documentation of the early 80's punk scene, "Texas Skatepunk Scrapbook", that premiered at Diverse Works in Houston.  Perhaps Daniel is most recognized for his collaborations with San Francisco experimental filmmaker, Craig Baldwin, working as cinematographer and editor on Baldwin's O No Coronado, Sonic Outlaws and Spectres of the Spectrum, which was included in the 2000 Whitney Biennial. 
Vanessa Renwick's films, videos and installations reflect an interest in place, urban transformation, and relationships between bodies and landscapes.  Her art is an expressive and personal attempt to address the relationship between desire, ethics and responsibility. Her works have screened internationally at sites such as Cinematheque in Brighton England, The Kitchen in New York City, the Montreal Film Festival, Smartcinema in Amsterdam, The New York Underground Film Festival, The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, The Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, and The Smithsonian.  Renwick's work is included on various video compilations: Big Miss Moviola, Peripheral Produce, The NW Film Festival's Best of the Fest 26th and 28th annual.  Her videography credits include "NEST OF TENS" for Miranda July, which was included in the Whitney Biennial 2002. She is a 2002 Rockefeller Fellowship Nominee, and has won first place in the Peripheral Produce 2001 World Championship Invitationals with her new documentary "RICHART".  She is the recipient of grants from the Regional Arts and Culture Council and the Weisman Foundation.

Her latest movie, "RICHART", co-directed with Dawn Smallman, is an attempt to break down peoples' fears of Richard Tracy, also known as Richart. While confined to a psychiatric ward at age 50, Richart made this discovery:  "If you want to get out of the hospital -start making artwork like this, they will get rid of you - immediately!" Seventeen years later, he's filled the three residential lots surrounding his house with a maze of towering black and white sculptures made out of the town's discards.  Locals write him off as the town's eccentric, never taking the time to find out that he is a most daring and passionate artist, his basement filled with over 35,000 collages.  Having known the artist for eleven years, Renwick and Smallman made this documentary so that others could know the charm and insight that is Richart. 

Her 70-minute, ten-film program, GO BABY GO, begins with her early experimental and activist work. Working beneath even an "independent filmmaking" production scale, Renwick manages to be prolific with a minimum of financial resources.  The filmmaker labels her work as "Undependant Film." Among her short videos, WARNING, MINE, and WORSE were produced at the local cable access facility.  Her diaristic "CROWDOG" was shot on super-8 during a 9-month barefoot hitchhiking trip across the US.  The film records her visit to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota to investigate the remnants of the FBI's "Reign of Terror" on the American Indian Movement.   On daily walks to the river with her wolf dog she meditates on her experiences as a barefooted person in a shoe-wearing world.

Currently Renwick is making a 16mm essay entitled "CRITTER", about the reintroduction of gray wolves into the modern West.  Her focus is on the battles that humans play out over the management of the wolf packs and the political borders that the wolves unknowingly cross, placing themselves in the path of the ranchers' 3S Rule: Shoot, Shovel and Shut-up.

Daniel and Renwick are part of a growing network of DIY* microcinemas and underground art venues that host uncensored film and video work in galleries, warehouses, converted churches and basements.  Together, audiences and artists are creating new spaces for free expression.  As control of the media continues to become censored by the government and monopolized by fewer and fewer larger media corporations, the notion of free speech becomes further eroded and marginalized.  By actively creating and supporting independent screening spaces, media artists and curators are carving out a network of places for people to see and hear non-corporate-controlled ideas. This tour is made possible not by government or corporate funding, but by the accessibility afforded by this supportive network of venues.

*do it yourself

 Go,Baby,Go!   Film program for Vanessa Renwick

A NICE ASS B&W 16mm to video loop 1998   A feather boa and a nice ass make for a mesmerizing eyegasm.

WARNING video 4 min. 1997   A slamming collage of audio and visual warnings acting as a wake up call to encroaching censorship.

WORSE video 5 min. 1994    An interview with a staunch pro-lifer who has been picketing an abortion clinic for 6 years, 6 days a week, 6 hours a day. With a chorus provided by The Ladies Accordion Gospel Team singing the March of the Pro-lifer.

MINE video 1 min. 199816mm & super 8 to video 4 minutes 1998

FOOD IS A WEAPON 16mm & S8 to video 4 min. 1998    Haunting NW logging footage from the 1940's reveals old growth treasures looted for the war effort. A Eulogy for trees.

THE YODELING LESSON video 3 min. 1998    Yodeling bagpipe bicycling booty.
 Xtra Tuf zine writer Moe Bowstern bombs Mississippi Avenue Hill in Portland.

OLYMPIA super8 to video 10 min. 1984/1998   Viscerally filmed in grainy B & W super 8 to show the beauty and terrifying reality of a homebirth. A pulsating abstract soundtrack builds to take you to the fainting point�

WESTWARD HO video 2 min2001Hot Pro-Classic Rodeo action. This video unzips the latent homoerotic potential underlying the macho cowboy posturing at the PendletonOregon Round-up. Let 'er buck!

THE UGLY MOVIE video 10 min. 1999   A candid documentation of a film shoot gone hideously bad withwriter William T. Vollmann drawing a prostitute in a Tenderloin hotel. Ugly.

CROWDOG super 8 to video 7 min. 1984/1998   Reading about The American Indian Movement makes me pick up and hitch hike out to Pine Ridge Rez in South Dakota during a period in my life where I walked barefoot for 2 1/2 years.

TOXIC SHOCK 16mm 3 min. 1983Penetration up the wazoo, blood, fire, gas, needles, tampons, liquid power and cocktails of the burning sort. My experimental response to sweating out near death with Toxic Shock Syndrome.

RICHART video 23 min. 2001Co-directed by Dawn Smallman
A tour through the mind of obsessive collagist and front yard artist Richard Tracy.

                  Added Bonus Video!  STATE OF THE UNION by Bryan Boyce

Baby Bush addresses Tubbyland in San Francisco video tweaker Bryan Boyce's latest.

2002 Lucky Bum Film Tour Venues: 
Mini-cine?,  Shreveport, LA
Baton Rouge Arts Center, Baton Rouge, LA
The a.r.k., New Orleans, LA
The Underground, Walla Walla, WA
Sotanos, Boise, ID
Trasa Urban Arts, Salt Lake City, UT
Broken Glass Gallery, Denver, CO
Taos Talking Pictures Pest, Taos, NM
Max's Studio, Santa Fe, NM
Basement Films, Albq., NM
Marfa Theatre, Marfa, TX
Notsuoh, Houston, TX
Forbidden Gallery, Dallas, TX
Alternate Current Gallery, Austin, TX
Modified, Phoenix, AZ
Congress Hotel, Tucson, AZ
Earwig Factory, Bisbee, AZ
Airpower, L.A., CA
Anno Domini Gallery, San Jose, CA
The Luggage Store Gallery, S.F., CA
The Capitol Theatre, Olympia, WA
The Little Theatre, Seattle, WA
The Blinding Light!!, Vancouver, B.C., CANADA
Ragtag Cinema, Columbia, MO
Museum of Modern Art, Iowa City, IA
Heaven Gallery, Chicago, IL
Hi-hat, Milwaukee, WI
The Soap Factory,  Minneapolis, MN
The Fat Back, Chicago, IL
Pittsburgh Filmmakers & Jefferson Presents, Pittsburgh, PA
Space 1026, Philadelphia, PA
Robert Beck Memorial Cinema, N.Y., NY
David Gatten presents, Ithaca, NY
LaCasa, Washington, DC
The G Spot, Baltimore, MD
Virginia Filmfest/ plan 9, Charlottesville, VA
Center for Documentary Studies, Raleigh, NC
PS211, Winston-Salem, NC
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
Antioch College, Yellow Springs, OH
Columbia College, Chicago, IL
Electric Eye Cinema, Madison, WI
Detroit Contemporary, Detroit, MI
Squeaky Wheel, Buffalo, NY
Cinecycle, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Bright Rectangle, East Hampton, MA
Oni Gallery, Boston, MA
The Bakery, Providence, RI
Other's Studio, Montreal, QC, Canada
Bread & Puppet Theatre, Glover, VT
No Exit, Chicago, IL
Not My House, Eugene, OR
The Aurora Picture Show, Houston, TX