Portal Excursion

2006, 10 min, color, sound

"A 10-minute narrative video made at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT, Portal Excursion stars the hapless 'Mike,' Smith's eponymous performance persona whose high hopes and dubious achievements have complicated the story of the white American male since the late 1970s. In Portal, 'Mike's' lonely lifelong project of knowledge acquisition is renewed when, at middle age, he discovers OpenCourseWare, MIT's 'free and open educational resource for self-learners around the world.' The soundtrack to Smith's dreamlike, deadpan meditation on isolation in the Global Village was composed by Red Krayola co-founder Mayo Thompson." — Larissa Harris

Writer/Performer: Michael Smith. Editor/Co-director: Joe Zane. Music: Charlie Abel & Mayo Thompson. "Portal Excursion, Parts I & II" (Charlie Abel & Mayo Thompson) ©Music-Language BMI 2006. Accordions: Charlie Abel. Electric Guitars: Mayo Thompson. Produced by Mayo Thompson. Recorded by Charlie Abel. "Webmerical" (Mayo Thompson) ©Music-Language BMI 2006. Vocals composed, arranged and performed by Tom Watson. Recorded by Charlie Abel & Elisa Randazzo (All rights reserved). Camera: Ann Adelsberger. Additional Camera/Sound: Roberto Bellini. Photography: General Idea, Lars Klove, Van Lagestein, W.F. Smith. Shot at MIT Cambridge, MA, and in Austin, TX. Special Thanks: Joe Zane. A project of the 2005-6 fellowship program at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies.