Rebecca Fons, the former Education Director of Cinema/Chicago, has a pressing question. “What changes when you’re watching a film you know you’ll never be able to see again?” To find an answer, she and local artist Jack C. Newell have announced their latest project; a new film event that’s all about the ephemeral nature of cinema.
Called Destroy Your Art, local filmmakers will present brand new works that were custom made for this event that will immediately be publicly destroyed after their first and only screening. The point of this is to bring attention and start discussion about the ubiquity of video. “There are more and more things to watch. Whether this is because of Instagram or Snapchat or because of the general content boom, media is more disposable than ever.” Fons and Newell told us via email. “Part of this is embracing that idea of impermanence and putting the filmmakers in control of the film’s destiny. For one night, these filmmakers will have a totally engaged audience who is paying full attention because: this is it, and they are watching it together.”
Shayna Connelly (Every Ghost Has an Orchestra), Lonnie Edwards (A Ferguson Story), and Aemilia Scott (Shot) are some of the participants announced with more to be confirmed soon. The only creative limitation given to the artists is that they be shorts, at seven minutes or less. “The only thing that is going to exist after the event is the experience, and we hope people are invigorated by the ‘I was there, then’ feeling they get from attending. For our [participants], we’re excited to see how this experience cleanses their palate or inspires them into a new story or creative process.” the curators told us. “Ultimately, we want people to pay attention: to the films, to the experience of watching them, to their feelings as the films disappear. We want people to reinvest in the way that they engage, and we want to put some consequence back in cinema.”