1. Shot over a year's time, this experimental documentary examines both the art of New York's most famous urban artist as well as presents the ethics of documentary. De La Vega is known as a sidewalk provocateur, a mural master and a Cornell educated painter. Born in Spanish Harlem, De La Vega is personally familiar with living the life in the urban jungle: poverty, AIDS, and violence mixed with a side of ingenious wit, good natured humor and a propensity to produce massive amounts of work. "Become Your Dream: James De La Vega" also examines and reflects on the ethics that rule all documentaries: who's economic gain; political representation of self and the other; and most importantly, the differences in vision that can result between subject and object. Captured and presented for the first time so that a broader conversation can begin about the ethics of documentary.

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  2. Shot in a winter blizzard in -10 degree weather. The weather woman let the city know to prepare for the biggest winter blast of the year. I had the camera, some film, a crew and a desire to push the analog technology robustness. The story goes that a few weeks before, I was standing at this stop light and a junkie did what JAMES THE TEXAN acts out in the film. I stumbled upon the ole British term for cigarettes, "oilies," added a little contemporary commentary and put some Sonny at the end. The film camera didn't let up but the digital camera couldn't quite muster the strength to get through the arctic blast so what you see is the digital transfer for some rich S16mm colors shot with the warm Cooke S16 zoom. Greyboy plays the tunes.

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  3. A live interactive performance that combines documentation with live performance. In this case, the performers are the actual attendees of the event; this was unknown to them before they entered the venue, but when each participant was blindfolded and given a walking stick, they did not know that they would be surrounded by dancers, videographers, a light show and live music ambience. At the end of the evening, with all participants safely back in their seats, they were shown what they expressed blindly earlier in the evening. This is a recording of the live video mix from six different camera angles; the projection itself was filmed.

    # vimeo.com/9911126 Uploaded 67 Plays 0 Comments
  4. Using physical computing, this interactive-participatory media project combines a user's physical movement with a random physical projector. Depending on what zone the user's shadow reflects, a corresponding video will be shown. If more than one user's shadow is sensed through a pinhole camera running custom MaxMSP application, additional videos will be shown.

    # vimeo.com/9912371 Uploaded 149 Plays 0 Comments
  5. Cortlan McManus' first film, shot and edited on 16mm B&W, is his first trademark "ethno-visual narrative." A man climbs the stairs to his fifth story apartment, seeing and meditating on a visual story for each story he climbs. When Jonas Mekas viewed the piece, he immediately programmed it for a weekend at the famed Anthology Film Archives. Since this time, it has been awarded at many film festivals and played at art houses across the continents. A film print is available for screening.

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Made in NYC

Cortlan McManus

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