Silver Ochre's Who Are U.S.
A quest guided by questions with no precise answers: Who Are U.S.? How do we find out?
Who Are U.S. is Silver Ochre’s 3-year audio/video investigation into the identity of the U.S. The main question being What is the U.S.? From there, questions pour forth: Is it laws and borders? Is it the people? Is it the environment? Is it our history? Is it our future? Many of us claim to know what it is, but do we really? How much is our perspective based on our own personal experiences and biases?
In the run-up to the 2016 Presidential elections, Thollem and ACVilla decided that, as artists, the best way for them to participate in this pivotal moment in time was to bring together their respective skill sets and experiences, get in the van to investigate the identity of this country and enter their findings into the national discourse. Originally intended as a one-year project, it has now evolved into a 3-year, multi-faceted endeavor culminating in 6 different realizations: ‘48 States/2016’, ‘Hot Pursuit Of Happiness’, ‘7-Screens Experience’, ‘Public Art/Public Domain’, ‘Artists Engaged’ and ‘The Most Important Elections In Our Lifetime’.
Once finished, the entire package will be donated to the Moving Image Archive to be viewed freely by anyone at anytime throughout the world wide web.
Silver Ochre plans to complete Artists Engaged by March 31st, then once again travel throughout the continental U.S. creating the Who Are U.S. finale: ‘The Most Important Elections In Our Lifetime’ - a collage of political advertisements for mid-term candidates they support... in Silver Ochre style.
“Visually & musically mesmerizing” (Jolie Lipsig), Who Are U.S. “is like a highlighter, making me take notice of beauty I would probably walk past” (Matthew Lux, musician). "There are many such 'narratives' a viewer might draw from the work, which, like Whitman, 'contains multitudes'" (Charles Smith, Poet/photographer). "An absolutely unique experience - for film, for art, for music” (Joel Layton, Director of Art House Cinema 502, UT), Silver Ochre offers “a fresh sight & sound take on the road trip and all points, people & things in between.” (Keif Henley, Guild Cinema, NM) Who Are U.S. “combines the quotidian with charged moments of social interaction” (Live Eye TV).
Please consider becoming a patron of the arts and help Silver Ochre create this important project!
Silver Ochre: Who Are U.S. is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of Silver Ochre must be made payable to Fractured Atlas only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
"Who Are U.S. asks us to look beyond the media games and see the side of this country that makes me, for one, still believe there is hope. An absolutely unique experience - for film, for art, for music."
- Joel Layton (Director of Art House Cinema 502 in Ogden)
"The experience leaves the audience revolving and evolving in thought."
- Markus Hunt (Director at Logan School for Creative Learning in Denver)
"...exactly what it's like to travel the country, seeing snippets of life and landscape that are fleeting, never to be repeated the same way again, but which leave lasting impressions on the viewer."
- Stephanie Morris (landscape architect)
"Coming out of the theater it was like the world around me was framed in a different way." - Louise Jarmilowicz (Visual Artist)
"an audio/visual impression of Jack Kerouac's On The Road; the Lewis and Clarke expedition, along with the panoramic sensibility of Whitman's Leaves of Grass. Your indefatigable art-spirit continues to resonate across the fruited plane amidst the thunder and fury of a noble people. BRAVO!!!! Alas, the birth of a new Constitution will be forged not by the blood-sport and flame borne of politics...but in the Humanitas wrought by a searing aesthetic enlightenment. Art for Life's sake is our new anthem. Play on."
Albert Bifarelli (Patron Of The Arts)
Life is hectic at the moment and watching it was like peeling my mind out of my current reality, just concentrating on your mind set when you were making it. I loved it! It reminded me a bit of Koyaanisqatsi..but like a contemporary version of an experimental film of that sort. And I really love the fact that Angela used raw footage without effects, like a documentary. I fell into it, so the time just flew right pass me. Keep up the good work! I could talk about this project of yours for hours I think, have a ton of questions. I will watch it again as soon as I find time!
- Martina Merencic (Slovenian Artist)
"A full length tone poem of a moment in recent history.
It’s a bit of a somber experience to view a visual survey of the nation before the election and the aftermath we are witness to. If I were to pick one complicated word to describe your film, it would be “freedom.” You have a wide array of images juxtaposing notions of freedom (structures of energy production offset by natural environs, the voice of the people closely monitored by police, first nations and urban development / decay, etc.) I romanticize your freedom to travel, to move in and out of communities, creating art, inspiring many who are left in your wake as you head off to the next and the next and the next… I know it’s a tough road and life you live. But I also know there are wonderful moments of joy. Time to reflect and appreciate on the expanse of the nation, embrace natural beauty, and the people who radiate positivity and light."
- Jason Finkelman, musician and jazz director at WEFT
“A fresh sight & sound take on the road trip and all points, people & things in between.”
- Keif Henley (Guild Cinema - Albuquerque, NM)
"Amazing footage and sound!" - Bill Mackay (Musician)
"One of the most amazing events we've ever had"
- Steve Sumner (Director at Evergreen Center For The Arts)
"I had the surprising experience of feeling that I was home in all scenes, including what seemed most unfamiliar. Great complex dynamic system (?) art!
- Laurie Buena Krsmanovic (Musician)
"Thank you for your magnificent work, collaborative energy, and truly human vision!!!!"
- Bruce Ackley (ROVA Saxophone Quartet)
"You guys are like a highlighter, making me take notice of beauty I would probably walk past while making up something to worry about in my head. Great work."
- Matthew Lux (Musician)
"STUNNING work. Hypnotic, visionary, an off-kilter fever dream of America. I am not exaggerating when I say that Who Are U.S. (what so far has been completed) is one of the most illuminating, hypnotic and enthralling audio-visual experiences I've ever had. The only thing I find myself comparing it is Koyaanisqatsi from 1982, though where in that work I think Philip Glass' musical approach intends to harmonize the imagery presented, your music deconstructs and recontextualizes the imagery, something that brings to mind the way Godard used the scores in his 60s films. With such a vast array of footage presented I am constantly faced with images I might normally take little notice of become charged with a haunting, or poetic, or sometimes even unsettling quality. To so exhaustively document your journey and present in the way you have is contributing something to the arts whose significance can't be measured yet. It will take on its own meaning as it continues to develop."
- Graham Laur (Artist)
"You guys taking positive vibrations higher and higher...music into the anthropos...the road the way to see the way to hear things coming around from others and ourselves...beautiful!!!!"
- Milo Tamez (Musician)