GIFS!

I am doing an exciting project with Death by Design and we are testing out some GIFs.

Comics?

I recently completed a fantastic class (Fundamentals in Graphic Journalism) with the amazing Anne Elizabeth Moore. For my final project. I did a kind of infocomic, a melding of infographics and a traditional comic. I illustrated it myself, which was amazing, because I didn't know that I could illustrate or that I loved doing it. Anyways, I'm including it here. 

*Exciting update: I'll be turning this into a full feature piece for a fantastic website and I will be working with an amazing illustrator. So, let's imagine this as a work in progress!

 



Dabbling in Technology

I'm currently taking a class on the Fundamentals of Graphic Journalism. I'm doing more research on homicides in Chicago as the key subject material for this class. So far, we've been doing GIFs, infographics, and comics. I'm including my favorite GIF, as well as my first infographic here. Enjoy!

 


Writing about Matt

I just posted my most recent piece for Dilettante Army today. I wrote about the loss of my close friend/first love, Matt. Although he's been gone for over ten years, I've only recently been able to write about it. This doesn't mean that I haven't somehow engaged with all of this in other ways - I think I certainly have - but writing about it has been incredibly difficult.

As can be deduced from my other work, I engage with other deaths. Death in culture, death of other humans that I don't know, death in visual culture, and so on. I haven't dealt with this death, or rather, the death in my life. 

So, here it is. I feel pretty good about it, despite feeling some anxiety about posting real hard life things on the internet. 

I again, want to express my gratitude to everyone who has helped me with this. It means a lot, and is only just the beginning.

I joined Twitter.

I am @kellyanddeath. I'm not sure how impressive this will be, but, you know, it's there. 

Also, Caitlin Doughty reminds you that the holidays are the ideal time to talk about your thoughts on the end of life. With everyone spending time with their loved ones, take a moment to bring it up. It's crucial.

Experimental Documentary Screening / Q+A

RUN OF LIFE: Experimental Documentary Series
DRESS REHEARSAL FOR UTOPIA
Presented by Constellation Chicago and The Nightingale
December 15, 2014 at 7:00 pm
$8 in advance / $10 at the door
Q&A moderated by funerary researcher and artist, Kelly Christian

DRESS REHEARSAL FOR UTOPIA
Dir. Andrés Duque // 75 min // 2012

Experimental documentary-maker Andrés Duque travels to Mozambique to look for old footage that had been made there. But when it becomes apparent that his elderly father is seriously ill, he returns to his homeland of Venezuela. As his father lies dying in a hospital room in Venezuela, the filmmaker's thoughts travel to Mozambique. Images of dance and revolution - some retrieved from archival footage, some newly shot - conjure up a spectral alternate reality where human figures take part in a cascade of excited movements. A commentary on the finiteness of life, Dress Rehersal for Utopia emanates a personal collage in which feelings transcend- part experimental travelogue, part political statement. A gentle rustling links the different images, their origins and significance together.

http://www.andresduque.com/ensayofinaleng.html

Preceded by a recording of
Katie Williams reading an excerpt of
THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING by Joan Didion
(script for stage, 2007)


Andrés Duque is a Spanish-Venezuelan filmmaker. studied journalism in his homeland before moving to Spain for a master’s degree in creative documentary at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. He now works as a filmmaker, film programmer and teacher.He is best known for his 2004 film “Ivan Z”, a portrait of the cult filmmaker Ivan Zulueta, which participated in dozens of international film festivals and received a Goya Award nomination. In 2011, he made his first feature film debut with COLOR RUNAWAY DOG. The film premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam and won the Audience Award at Punto de Vista International Documentary Film Festival. He was a featured artist at 2012 Flaherty Film Seminar and in 2013 he won the City of Barcelona Award for DRESS REHEARSAL FOR UTOPIA.

Kelly Christian is a Chicago-based researcher, writer, and artist. Her most recent work explores postmortem and funerary photography. Kelly photographed military funerals in Maine during the height of the Iraq War and created her own new media-Daguerreotypes. She has presented her work at conferences and galleries across the country on postmortem photography, embalming, and “corpse-as-culture.

Katie Williams is one half of Patchwork Farms, an urban farm in Chicago, founded and operated by herself and Molly Medhurst. She is a storyteller and rugby player. Her thoughtful Bruce Springsteen cover band, Miss Bossy and The D Street Band recently played the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art. They hope to play more museums and maybe weddings.

RUN OF LIFE is a co-curated experimental documentary and expanded media series to be held at Constellation beginning September 22nd, 2014 and running every third Monday for nine months through May 2015.

This new series pairs a recent feature experimental documentary with a short nonfiction work in any number of mediums – performance, video short, interactive presentation, audio doc, etc. At each event, a post screening Q&A will be moderated by either a local expert engaged in the movie’s subject matter or an artist involved in the making of the work. RUN OF LIFE seeks to create a space for audiences in Chicago to explore and converse about this important and often under-recognized form of media making: “We aim to investigate experimental tactics within representations of reality; the empathetic connection that is built through sensory experience rather than factual arguments; and aesthetic shifts in documentary that come with the breakdown of the fourth wall.

"The Labor of Death" at Sector 2337

I will be participating in a theory/poetry reading tomorrow (Friday, October 24) at a gallery space in Logan Square! I should have posted that here sooner. The details are below:

Poetry and Theory #1: Corpse Photography and awesome cameras
Our first Poetry and Theory event pairs a historian of corpse photography and a reading from a
serial poem focusing on the effect of a flourishing media in a culture comfortable at war. This
event is free.

Kelly Christian is a researcher, writer, and artist who explores cultural responses to death, and
the history of postmortem and funerary photography. After photographing military funerals in
Maine during the height of the Iraq War, Kelly realized that there was no turning back from the dark side. She is currently a member of The Order of the Good Death, and a staff writer for the online publication, Dilettante Army.

Christian will be engaging in a lecture exploring chronological shifts in the “labor of death”. She
will speaking to how the corpse was traditionally handled prior to the professionalization/
medicalization of death, and frame that in opposition to contemporary funerary practices. This will include specific examples of how the living navigated moving and posing the dead, as well as the cultural context which allowed for these practices to take place – medicine before germ theory and death as a daily reality.

Laura Goldstein’s first collection of poetry, loaded arc, was released by Trembling Pillow Press in 2013 and her second collection, awesome camera was published by Make Now Press in 2014. She has also published six chapbooks as well as numerous poems and essays in magazines in print and online. She currently teaches at Loyola University and co-curates the Red Rover Reading Series.

Goldstein’s awesome camera consists of multiple serial poems that focus in on the effect of a
flourishing media in a culture comfortable at war. The poems comprise short durational experiments in seeing, reading, and performance.

Sector 2337 is located on 2337 N Milwaukee Ave., Chicago IL 60647 | 773 - 687 - 8481 | Hours: Wed - Sat: 2 to 6pm

 

London Conference

I am very excited to be accepted to a wonderful conference, Sights and Frights: Interdisciplinary Conference on Victorian Visual Culture, Horror and the Supernatural. It is taking place at the University of Sussex on June 19 in England!

Brief and sad update: Due to some recent and unforeseen family events, I am unable to attend. I am hoping to share some of the work I had completed on my website here, and will see if there are any other conferences or CFPs that might be looking for something similar. I am deeply disappointed that I will not be able to attend. I had been contacted by a fellow presenter and organizer, which was very exciting. Although this is very sad, I am lucky that there are such great folks out there doing wonderful work and that there are other opportunities out there as well. More updates soon on that, I hope.

Awesome friends!

My BFF Shauna Roloff shared my awkward website on Facebook today. So many people have checked it out! Thanks to everyone who took a moment to look at some stuff that might have bummed them out. On the contrary, I hope it inspired some kind of thoughtful moment on how we die, and consequently - how we live. 

I've submitted a proposal for a research grant and am chipping away at my next piece. Feel free to post comments or questions if there is anything that seems interesting or that you might like to know about.

Working on Things!

At this point, I find that this spot will be used for a space to sort my own thoughts, as opposed to writing for people. At this point, I think I am the only person looking at this. I am totally fine with it.

I was preliminarily accepted to the upcoming conference held by the Daguerreian Society. Their upcoming conference is taking place in September in Austin, TX. I have until June 1st to submit the actual paper. I'm excited to get cracking on this. I have a lot of the research already complete, but am looking forward to having a solid deadline to work towards. I find that I tend to be more productive if I have a concrete deadline.

I'm currently working on a research grant proposal as well, which will allow for me to develop some more exciting work on Spiritualism. I hope to have more on this as things progress. 

New Website

Well, this is very exciting. I have finally stepped up to the plate and made my very own webpage. I will do my best to not only keep this whole page updated, but possibly even use this blog for its true purpose.