Folly Gardens (2013)
Nicole Antebi: Director, writer, animator
Music by David Eng
Premiered at Betalevel, Los Angeles, CA
Folly Gardens is an animated essay about the Sunol and Pulgas water temples of Northern California and the role they played in the Hetch Hetchy water wars, with live music by David Eng and the whispered voices of John Muir and James D. Phelan read by Paul Antebi.
Selection of animation stills:
In his 15th century novel, Las Sergas de Esplandian, Spanish author, Garci Rodriguez de Montalvo gave shape to the myth of California, an island inhabited by beautiful black warriors and ruled by the Amazonian queen, Calafia, who led an arsenal of griffins ready to do her bidding. Today two stone statues flank the entrance to former San Francisco mayor, James D. Phelan’s palatial estate located in Saratoga, CA, best known today as the Montalvo Arts Center. Phelan was responsible for obtaining Tuolumne River water rights, which ultimately led to the damming of Hetch Hetchy Valley. Folly Gardens is an animated essay about the Sunol and Pulgas water temples of Northern California and the role they played in the Hetch Hetchy water wars, with live music by David Eng and the whispered voices of John Muir and James D. Phelan read by Paul Antebi.
Putting “Mulholland,” the water-poaching dude, back in Mulholland drive. Bumper stickers for Los Angeles Road Concerts: Mulholland Dérive edition 12-6 this Sunday on the fabled Mulholland Drive.
For more background on William Mulholland and the Uisce Trail, see my short animated biography entitled Uisce Beatha: https://vimeo.com/49805393
Uisce Beatha which translates from Gaelic to Water of Life, is a short animated film about William Mulholland. The story suggests that Mulholland may in fact be, Uisce, the man, horse, bird, trickster of Irish Mythology. Spelled U-I-S-C-E. Uisce sometimes appears as a handsome Highland water-horse, perpetually searching for inland bodies of still water and attracting unsuspecting riders. When Uisce finally does find a rider, they will find themselves affixed to Uisce’s adhesive skin as he runs headlong into the nearest body of water until Uisce completely submerges the rider, leaving only a liver to wash up on the shore.
Right: Uisce Beatha video diorama from “Drawing On The Psyche”
organized by Jay Lizo at Elephant Art Space September 2012
Over the years, Water, CA waterca.net has been informed by a constellation of artists, writers, activists, environmental scientists and institutions. For Water, CA Creative Commons at the Armory Center for the Arts, I am organizing a Loan Library featuring selected papers from: CLUI, Arid Land Institute, LMU: J.D. Black Papers, The Reanimation Library, and Water, CA. I am responding to a select number of books by creating “Landmarks” (bookmarks) which engage with these texts and evoke memories of people and interactions with land and water features which I’ve traversed over the past five years.
Facing the Sublime in Water, CA opens October 6th 2012
In Geography of Reclamation: An Essay in Three Parts, I locate the term “reclamation” both historically and geographically. I use animated drawings in tandem with archival audio. I call this type of video art an animated essay. It locates the changing term “Reclamation” through the work of Floyd Dominy (Dam evangelist and head commissioner of the Bureau of Land Reclamation from 1959-1969), David Brower (First executive director of the Sierra Club and someone who believed strongly in an aesthetic connection between people and place) and Robert Smithson (The influential Land Artist who coined the term “Earthwork”). As we grapple with the future of dams and earthworks, the animation weaves together, for better or worse, their monumental imprint on the landscape of the west.
Geography of Reclamation: An Essay in Three Parts: vimeo.com/49290133