Thursday, December 3, 2009

"Grand Opening" -- Night Gallery -- Tempe Marketplace

Hello Friends,
I am participating in a group MFA Intermedia show at Tempe Marketplace's Night Gallery and the opening for the show is tonight. The show runs from December 3rd, tonight until December 18th.
I will be the gallery point person on December 17th so if you would like to come in on a calmer night and talk to me, that is when I will be there. I can also meet people there if there is another night you want to come by. The hours for the gallery are 6pm - 9pm.
Below are all the graphics for the show by the greatly talented Derrick Reed.


My piece is a new 16mm light box piece that is three-dimensional, thus you can walk around it and explore. It is called “Your Memories for Sale”
Your Memories for Sale features acquired homemade 16mm film strips. The film strips were procured through e-bay from various sources across the country.

The films were created by individuals to capture and document specific times and events for those particular people and yet through an unknown chain of events they have become lost and unclaimed. These films now have no back-story or reference as to who these people where, when exactly these filmed events took place or what happened to them.

I am personally fascinated with these lost memories because of my own obsession with the documentation of my life, surroundings and occurrences.

The bottom tier's film is of a family vacation in Hawaii, the second tier is of children at Christmas. The third tier is a film from Washington State that features Lake Samish and a solider from Fort Lewis. The top tier is a film of a vacation in the Florida Keys that is dated 1958, the only film that is dated.

Sixteen millimeter film was first created by Kodak in 1923 and it became very popular for home movie use from the 1950's through the 1970's. Sixteen millimeter film is fascinating both as a physical object and as cultural documentation. The film so clearly captures movement and existence frame after beautiful frame.


Your Memories for Sale
16mm film, glass, wood, light
Installation day


Your Memories for Sale -- detail
16mm film, glass, wood, light
Installation day

Video Graphics Piece for the show by Derrick Reed

Gallery Show Graphics from Spicy Fud on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Images from 16mm light box showings at Five15 Arts and Artlinks Heritage Square

Images from 16mm light box showings at Five15 Arts and Artlinks Heritage Square

Grocery film

Grocery Film, Educational 16 mm Film 1972,
The one on the right was sold to the Gass'

Man on Fire Electrical Safety 16mm Film

The Line Man, Electrical Safety 16 mm Film, unknown date
Purchased by Media Buying Services as a gift for Arizona Public Service.

Faces, educational 16mm film, 1972
Currently hosted by Brad and Jesse in the 70's vintage house.

Girl to Women -- digital conversion of the film on the left -- actual film in a light box on the right
Girl to Women, elementary female sex education 16mm film, 1958
To the left is the digital conversion of the film, to the right is the light box containing the actual film.

Another view of Quickie the 8mm porn film box.
Quickie, pornographic 8mm film, unknown date

Ski box down where you can see it in this gallery -- as opposed to up in the window.

I am in the begginning stages of a new sculptural structure light box piece using 16mm home movies for a show at The Night Gallery in Tempe Marketplace the first two weeks in December.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Five15 Arts -- August Show


Hi, I am Alison Sweet and I am having my debut solo show at Five15 Arts this August. Five15 Arts is a contemporary art space in downtown Phoenix. It is part of Roosevelt row and is a main stop on the Art Detour shuttle bus that runs on the First Friday of the month which for August 2009 is Friday the 7th. So, please come down and check it out if you are available. Support the arts and have a beer or a glass of wine with me and check out the new work.

The show is a series of light boxes of various sizes that display and illuminate strips of 16 mm film made primarily in the 1970's. They consist of educational films such as a film about grocery stores, sking and women’s bodies -- home movies of fishing trips and birthday parties -- and of course, my personal favorite pornography both homemade and professional.

The films have primarily been acquired through the widespread wonder of ebay, that facilitates both preservation and acquisition by wanting parties of objects that may otherwise be thrown away or left to deteriorate.

Sixteen Millimeter film was first created by Kodak in 1923 as an economical amateur alternative to the larger 35 mm film. During the mid-century, 16 mm film was increasingly used to make educational films, safety films, and news reels for government agencies, businesses, medical practices, and classrooms. Due to its affordability and relative ease of use the format played an important part in the growth and use of motion pictures outside of the official Hollywood movie. It was important stepping stone in audio visual history to get to the place we are now in our current cultural relationship with video and moving images.

Series of frames from 1970 Kaleidoski French Ski team 16 mm film

Sixteen millimeter film is fascinating to me, as an object, because it so clearly captures movement one beautifully exposed, tangible, frame at a time. You cannot pause digital video and get the kind of clarity that film provides and you certainly cannot pull it out of its casing to study the visual breakdown. It truly captures moment after moment of a very specific time and place.

Frames from a 1972 16mm Blue Movie

I am interested in the visual breakdown of movement due to my ongoing obsession with making stop animation which involves creating a series of images that when played together depict motion. I am also a product of the 80's and the dreaded VHS thus I had never really previously been exposed to tangible motion picture film frames and the concept of your eyes ability to see objects after they have been removed, which is the phenomenon of perception of vision.
I have used a variety of films in the show but my favorite light boxes are the pornographic pieces.

Single frame from 1972 16mm Blue Movie

I find the pornographic films so engaging because of its special visual breakdown, its history and its cultural context. Pornography, despite society’s attempts to sweep it under the proverbial rug, infiltrates all mediums and makes up a significant portion of production due to its never waning popularity. This is especially true for 16mm film; the first “hardcore” action ever publically shown was shot on 16mm film which largely replaced the 35mm sexploitation films of the previous generation. *Hardcare is defined as visual penetration, and was referred to as "the meat shot". In the fifties and sixties penetration was not shown on film, there was rarely any sort of plot and the sex was equated to violence and morbidity. In the seventies with the vantage of 16mm film younger people made films dedicated to total explicitness and attempted to portray it in a more artistic light.

Single Frame from 1972 16mm Blue Movie

To construct the light box pieces, I took selected sections of the various films, primarily strips I found to be the most visually interesting and laid them out side by side on a piece of glass. This allows visual inspection of the progression of the movement being captured on film frame by frame in addition to giving the viewer an overall impression of the style of film as a whole. Some of the light box pieces show the film in the order it was on the reel, other boxes show a collection of selected subject matter, such as the close ups of the faces talking, in non-sequential order to create my own subject matter or stories.

Series of film strips from a 1973 educational 16 film about food and grocery stores.

The process shared similarities to my more common personal practice of video editing, which is the medium I usually work in as an artist. It was a reversal of my roll of a stop animation artist. Usually I am taking photos and converting them into motion while this was taking this motion picture and converting them into kind of a large illuminated photo.

On many of the films I have cut off the sprockets used to send them through a projector because I found them distracting when illuminated but there are a few pieces that leave a few sprocket strips on as well as a few strips that leave the audio strips attached when relevant. The audio strips are rather interesting because you can visually see the change in the audio track as the film progresses.

Series of arrange film strips from 1973 educational 16mm film about food and grocery stores.

The show does not have a cheesy title to clue you in or lead you down the path to artist enlightenment. I am not against titling a body of work if the title seems fitting but I didn’t want to throw some cheap over-arching vague designation just to fulfill the equation that is the standard art show. So thus other than my name, the show is untitled. It is a showing of my interest in the motion and history of 16mm film by mean of illuminated light boxes hung on the walls.

I have an amazingly cool postcards of my artwork with the gallery hours on the back -- I have a ton of them so if you would like one, please send me your physical address and I will gladly mail you one -- or more. Contact me at shoemadeofcheese{at}

The gallery hours are below, so if this sounds remotely interesting to you I encourage you to come down and see me in the gallery.

Thank you!

Gallery Hours:
Friday 5 pm - 9 pm ... or so....
Saturday 1 pm - 5 pm ... or so....
Please call me and let me know if you would like to come down and see the show on a weekday evening or on a Sunday. I will gladly open the gallery.

First Friday is August 7th

Artist reception will be August 21st.