I recently retrieved from a hard drive at NYU this small film, whatyousee, that I cut in 2001 from footage shot on an old Super 8 camera at the 2000 Flaherty Seminar. I'd been a student in the NYU Program in Culture & Media (1995-1998) and had experimented with videotaping fragments of Super 8 footage projected onto a wall in our equipment room. I used the same technique with this little piece, cutting it against a friend's hurdy-gurdy composition. I wanted to capture some of the oneiric states I'd fallen into as the fabulous days of Flaherty immersion and stimulation grew deeper and thicker. It's not difficult to see Harun Farocki (incredible and influential filmmaker), Sally Berger (MoMA film), Patty Zimmerman (scholar of home movies and memory and other good things), and I'm pretty sure also the lovely Irina Leimbacher (curator Flaherty 2009) in the film. You'll probably identify others too. As you can see from some of the effects used in the piece, I was playing with one of the first versions of Final Cut Pro. My dear NYU friends Cheryl Furjanic (Sync or Swim, 2008) and Camilla Nielsson (Mumbai Disconnected, 2009) helped me out with the new technology over a few late winter nights downtown at Waverly Place. Professor Fred Myers kindly didn't delete the file from one of his hard drives.
I attended the brilliant Flaherty seminar only twice, in 2000 and 2001, but have wanted to make it back ever since returning from New York in 2002 to my home country Australia to work with Indigenous filmmakers at the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association. I still live in Alice Springs, center of the vast interior desert and epicenter of desert filmmaking (Samson and Delilah 2009). This town might even be the (off-) center of the universe. I hope that we'll see something like the Flaherty here one year soon!