Comma Boat (single channel movie)

2013, 33:02 min, color, sound, HD video

In Comma Boat, we're stuck in a mock-authoritarian fantasy--a power trip. The film centers around a director-character played by Trecartin who oscillates between feelings of omnipotence and self-doubt. As if a post-human, post-gendered reincarnation of the Fellini character in 8 ½, the director gloats and frets about professional and ethical transgressions. "I know I lied to get ahead," he admits at one point. "I've made up so many different alphabets just to get ahead in my field." The director is fancier now, but the fear nags that he might be "repeating" himself "like a dumb soldier ova and ova and ova and ova." The meta-connection to the artist's own career, while obvious, is also a decoy. All art, at some level, is about the artist. Here, reflexivity is the surface level, providing a decodable veneer that encases something more unsettling and complex.

If Center Jenny sounds an alarm about the artist's complicity and helplessness within a system of indecipherable tribal rituals, and, more broadly, about any individual's powerlessness with respect to historical change, Comma Boat raises the possibility that these worries are essentially bullshit--convenient red herrings that disguise a deeper, more terrible truth: that in fact we have been in control all along, that we've stage-managed every aspect of this dream, and that our actions have not only damaged our own lives, but potentially the lives of others as well.

Arbitrary power is a reality in Comma Boat, but it's also a joke. "I'm going to name a daycare after her," the director proclaims as punishment for an underling who uses words he doesn't understand, "but it's going to be very gas-chamber oriented. Like, you'll go in, but you won't come out." These are idle threats--the director is needling, but the subordinates are hardly cowering. "I'm going to put you at the end of a pier," he says soon after, "and you're going to stay there forever. I'm not going to do anything, you're just going to stay there." The pier scheme could be a piece of Warholian performance art, but no one seems to take the director too seriously.

As with the rest of Priority Innfield, literal performance is delayed or refracted into pre- and post-production. A group of singers seems to be continually testing levels--reliably affirming they sound "real good"--without ever beginning the music video they're filming. The director rants about a rental boat--"One of the most significant things about being on this particular boat is that it's summer time on cement"--but we never set sail.

Along with his fear of not being filmed, procreation is special concern for the director. "There used to be a moment in time where people would peck on the lips and people would give them awards because of this thing... cinematic things." The director forces a sea punk girl to make out with a boy--and then castigates them for being disgusting and "forgetting to pull out." "Ew, you're gonna start a family!" he chides.

The film suggests that director can no longer be educated. He has entered a fantasy world and won't come out. The predicament is summed up by a voiceover by the singer Lauren Devine: "What you gonna say now, you're too late now, I'm in LA now."

-- Chris Glazek

Ring Jenny: Irina Cocimarov, Ruth Garcia, Madeline Poole, Analisa Teachworth, Tatiana Marie Valentin. French Yet: Simon Castets; History Yet: Jesse Hoffman; Circle Yet: Lee Kyle; Sexy Yet: Jude MC, Aaron David Ross. Host: Telfar Clemens, Casey Jane Ellison, Jayne Goldsmith, Raul Lopez, Leigha Mason, Murphy Maxwell, Akeem Smith; Host: Telfar Clemens, Raul Lopez, Raul De Nieves, Alison K. Powell, Akeem Smith. Jenny Memories: Tierney Finstar; Jenny Tanked: Rachel Lord; Jenny Contest: Peggy Noland; Jenny Spy: Liz Rywelski. Not a Contest: Frankie Delessio; Swim Body: Murphy Maxwell; Other Boyband: Chris Moukarbel. Player Right Pony: Telfar Clemens; Player Center Parachute: Ian Isiah; Player Left Courtesy: Akeem Smith. Time 2jam: Andrew Aged, Daniel Aged, Nathan Whipple. Host Guide: Frankie Delessio; Host Spotter: Matthew Lawton; Host Unison: Raul Lopez; Host More Trade: Murphy Maxwell; Host Scooter: Raul De Nieves; Host Occupy: Liz Rywelski; Host Junior War: Dann Spann. Technician top40: Lauren Devine, Technician jamcam: Nick Weiss. Owna act. Ethno-ark. Anthrocam: Allison Bynes; Main Comment. Too. Hostscript: Telfar Clemens; main comment. Also. Hostscript: Akeem Smith. Fineline band: Casey Jane Ellison, Nathan Whipple. host y: Sarah Ball, host z: Caitlin MacBride, host. Jenny sit: Johnny Makeup, host. Class mates: Courtney Malick. Act 360- Becky.Brazier.m23, Solomon.Chase.m31, Telfar.Clemens.m31, Sam.Corimer.m24.31, Sean.Monaghan.m24, Kevin.McGarry.m24, Connor.Nims.m23, David.Toro.m31, Akeem.Smith.m31. Witness Push Camera: M. Blash, m28, Mary Ann Heagerty, m31, Sergio Pastor, m20.23.24, Lola Sinreich, m20. Push Camera, Push Script: Lizzie Fitch, Anthony Valdez, Push Crew, Sean Grattan, Rhett LaRue, Murphy Maxwell, Nick Rodrigues, Jeremiah Thies. Push Sound: Kevin Goold. Production designers, producers: Fitch/Trecartin. Producers: Regen Projects, Andrea Rosen gallery. Co-Producers: Cat Krudy, Lola Sinreich, Alisa Tager. Sound Technician: Kevin Goold. Manage Set: Jeremiah Thies, Nick Rodrigues. Worl Flow: Lizzie Fitch, Sergio Pastor, Lola Sinreich, Anthony Valdez. Set Wardrobe, Hair, Makeup: Fitch/Trecartin, Murphy Maxwell. Makeup, hair, main build: Becky Brazier, Roz Music. Build Makeup, hair: Monica Alvarez, Emily Rae Blackmun, Seth Bogart, Andrea Cardenas, Janiva Ellis, Carlota Gonzalez, Kaci Grinder, Ian Isiah, Raul Lopez, Connor Nims, Peggy Noland, Gina Ribisi, Liz Rywelski, Dawk Subhasiriwatana, Anthony Valdez, Sweet P Vaughn, Erica Uribe. Prop Special #weaponizedearmuffs #stuntsharpies #ponytalerocks: Peggy Noland. Prop core: Emily Auble. Handle props: Sean Grattan, Sergio Pastor, Nick Rodrigues, Jeremiah Thies, Anthony Valdez. Build direct sets: Jeremiah Thies. Sketch Set up: Sergio Pastor. Set depart super: David Offner. Set depart core: Lizzie Eggert-Atzberger. Construct core: Eric Nolfo. Construct pa: Adrian Inchauste, Robert Waters, Normal Galeas. Build set: Amy Cano, Mike Gallagher. Justin Bell, Wilfred Biggs, Jeff Ditto, Curt Harding, Rick Holman, Nicky Gagliarducci, Luke Gannon, Adam Hunter, Matthew John, Aaron Lyons, David Luff, Brendan McDonald, Larry Morgan, Nick Rodrigues, Borja Rodrigues, Chad Sullivan, Adam Trecartin, Justin Wright, Henry Koch, Matthew John, John Gallagher. Electrician: Nate Pontius. Electricians: Shareka Calhoun, Sharena Calhoun, Dea Lazo, Luke Megner, Jason Moore, Christopher Roller, Steven Snider, Thompson Tran, Tiffany Williams. Scenic: Jeremy Crabtree, James Haworth. Scenics: Doug Johnson, Mikael Pecherkin, Rangel Mata, Kristen Burton, Kevin Valentine, Satoshi Imagawa, Fernando Diaz, Jose Garcia, Victor Balogh, Wendy Templeton. Account: Amy Davila, Libby Dostart. Consultings: Mary Pat Bentel, Heather Carson, Gina Kwon, Kent Sparling. Food: Mireya Lucio. Start set over: Idida Medina Tina. Co-edits: Lizzie Fitch. Assistant Edits, Files Manage, Preps: Sergio Pastor, Lola Sinreich, Anthony Valdez. Clipp app developed: Sam Cormier. File Preps: Adriane Cloepfil, Kevin Goold, Murphy Maxwell, Jude MC, Cat Krudy. Audio Designs: Trecartin/Fitch. Worth the rush audio aspects: Laurent Devine, Nick Weiss, Trecartin. Vocal Design: Ian Isiah, Telfar Clemens, Akeem Smith. Guitar Real Time: Andrew Aged, Daniel Aged, Nathan Whipple. Thank You Family Cathy Burdell Adam Thank You: Lindsay Beebe, Kenny Curran, Lizzie Fitch, Jesse Greenberg, Rhett Larne, Brian McKelligott, Alison K Powell, Veronica Gelbaum, Nick McGarry, Linda Norden, Patrik Sandber, Anthony Valdez, Isabel Venero, Ellen Greenberg, Morgan Rehbock, Cosmic Jacqui Siciliano, Shaun Nielsen, Alexis Rose, Travis Miller, Thymaya Payne, Danielle Krudy, Donn Zaretsky, Massimilano Bigarelo, Helga Christoffersen, Marissa Parr, Laura Lamborghini, Julia Stoschek, Anita, Poju, Zabludoqicz Collection. Originally created for the 55th international art exhibition: Palazzo Enciclopedico (the Encyclopedic Palace) Massimilano Gioni, La Biennale di Venezia. ,yet, Ryan Trecartin


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