Kate Brown

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What is my work about?

I make 16mm and super 8mm films and works on paper, and I take walks through the city. Constraints are set up in advance – through the choice of medium, subject, or points A and B. I find that these constraints allow movement through ideas and material, and give me a way to explore each medium on its own terms.


Artist Statement

The 16mm film Utah traverses the state from Southwest to Northeast, day to night, and fall to winter, using geography as its constraint. Shots are presented in their original order and length. Sound comes from the state. This is part of a filmmaking and film-curating project to make films of the 50 US states. 28 artists have accepted the invitation to make a state, using 16mm. Several states are underway. Medium and location are the only stipulations. The Utah film is part of this body of work. Finished states will screen as a series, on film. For Utah, the subjects are unmonumental. Shots are head-on. The sound and image was collected in several trips, over a few years. The project constraints are productive and satisfy many aims. Artists make films. Regions are observed. Conversation is likely: a state is a shared concept but its rendering is not predetermined. Film is used. I love celluloid and I want to be able to continue to work with it. This project acts on that by seeking volume (among other things). The more films made, the better off the film labs, the negative cutters, and the optical track makers are, the more work they have, the more demand Kodak has for 16mm camera rolls, the better chance we’ll have to continue be able to work in this medium. At a minimum we take the opportunity to work with it while we can. 16mm Vilas Kortas celebrates cars, sound, film, and Los Angeles, over three films. In the first film (Vilas Kortas), the camera shoots out a moving car window; the car plays music; a person stands in different locations in Los Angeles, recording sound; the car passes and films. The fleeting image and sound is put together. Under these conditions (constant left-to-right movement, exchanged picture/sound), a parking lot is a stage with unbelievable reverb, the city behind its open-air roof is a set and the sound trails off. At Hollywood Park Racetrack, the car leaves the picture. (Hollywood Park). Movement is transposed onto the horses racing behind the sound recordist. Inside, the film becomes a document of a racetrack in its final days.

Rows of seats, ranks of cashiers, series of races, frame the space and the people who are there. The spectator is a subject. The camera is ignored. Fluorescent lights, steam rising at the food court, TVs playing other races, an escalator, are rendered into celluloid. In the final movie, Grand Prix, the sound recordist leaves the picture. The subject is cars and (greater) Los Angeles, in their most exuberant form: the Long Beach Grand Prix. The sound is amazing. It is so loud, and the cars go so fast. Rows of tires wait in the pit. In 4X3 (super 8mm and 16mm), I bring a board into the picture. A 4’X8’ piece of luan is cut up into smaller pieces (3’X4’; 3”X4”; 18” X 24”) the same ratio as the film frame. They are X’d, perforated, painted black, white, no color. They are held up in the frame, they are leaned, propped, wedged. They register the light and the landscape, or they block it. X is a shorthand for anything. I also make works on paper. The drawings and paintings have a source in the world, which is transmitted through the medium of paint or graphite. Like the films, the drawings use their medium as the leading formal instrument. Formal situations in painting produce material for future work. One series of paintings is the Ziggys. These are modeled after hand-made vintage ziggurat-looking frames I have worked with in my job at the Ota House frame shop. The frames are ornate and three dimensional on their face. The frame backs are simple abstract forms. The ziggy paintings started as stepped forms and became any black mass. Ziggys in the world (heaped masses, black stacks, big voids) are sought and retrieved as subjects. Lastly, I am walking through the city. This year with two friends I’ve walked from Vernon to Hermon (VER NON TO HER MON), Commerce to Compton, and Watts to Walteria. The beginning and end points are predetermined but the route is chosen using a street map along the way. Changing the pace and format, we see a city known by other means. It is a deliberate move to see where we are. We find out how one city becomes another (How Vernon becomes Hermon, for example). We follow lines of inquiry (into the Citadel, the Commerce Casino; past the marsh preserve, the uncharted Exxon Torrance Refinery; over the LA River). Los Angeles is different on foot. It makes good walking. It is an iterative project. Its product is the walk, but there are photographs and the route is recorded. This re-ups a practice begun in college.





MFA California Institute of the Arts1999 BA Harvard College


No One Thing, curated by Erika Vogt, Artist Curated Projects, LA CA



Waiting for the Big One: Film and Video from Los Angeles, Regional Support Network, Toronto, Canada
Contemporary Innovative Animation: Matrix New Silk Road Art Festival, Shanghai Library, Shanghai, China
Small New Films, REDCAT, LA CA
New Works Salon, Echo Park Film Center, LA CA
Birthday 13, Echo Park Film Center, LA CA
Los Angeles Underground #1, Exploded View Gallery, Tucson AZ
One Woman Nutcracker. Music and entr’acte super 8mm films for collaborative performance with Seema Kapur and Sara Roberts. Machine Project, LA CA

Birthday 12, Echo Park Film Center, LA CA
Katechung, K-Chung Radio (DJ set for all-Kate radio show), LA CA

Vilas Kortas, Echo Park Film Center, LA, CA
New Works Salon, Echo Park Film Center, LA CA

Inquiry into the Practice of Secular Magic, Corpus Fluxus, LA CA
Plein Air Painting Show, Barnsdall Gallery, LA CA

Los Angeles Print Society 20th National Exhibition, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, LA CA

New Filmmakers, Anthology Film Archive, NY NY

Tomorrowland: CalArts in Moving Pictures, Museum of Modern Art, NY NY

Say Say Say, Barnsdall Art Park, LA CA
Visual Noise, Happy Lion Gallery, LA CA

Markings: Constructing Form Through Drawing, Schindler House, LA CA


State Film Project. Artists make films of the 50 US states, using 16mm. 28 artists have accepted the invitation.

Owen Land. Presenting the 16mm films of Owen Land with films by Los Angeles artists Deirdre O’Dwyer, Pat O’Neill, and Margo Victor. Human Resources LA, LA CA

Tucker Stilley Lines of Sight: Experiments in Eyetracking. Co-curated with Sam Durant and Randi Malkin Steinberger at Artist Curated Projects, LA CA
Midnight Show: Isabell Spengler and AnitRa Menning, Echo Park Film Center, LA CA
Selections from the Venice Beach Biennial, Echo Park Film Center, LA CA

Tom Chomont. Presenting the restored 16mm films of Tom Chomont, along with 16mm films by Stan Brakhage, Clay Dean, Hollis Frampton and Marie Mencken. Echo Park Film Center, LA CA
Fine Art and Film on the Beach. Abstract painting and artist film booth co-curated with Monique van Genderen, Venice Beach Biennial, Hammer Museum, LA CA.
LA AIR Screening. Presenting films by James Benning and Margo Victor, along with finished film from artist residency at the Echo Park Film Center, LA CA


(16mm unless noted)

Vilas Kortas: Vilas Kortas, Hollywood Park, Grand Prix
4X3 – super 8mm and 16mm

Boulevard – super 8mm
X – super 8mm
Perforated Can – super 8mm


Not Fade Away

Free Run


Hotel Bleu Bleu



Watts to Walteria
Commerce to Compton
Vernon to Hermon

Wilshire Boulevard: Downtown to the Pacific

2007 Four cities of downtown Los Angeles2004 Val Verde to the Pacific1998 Boston to New York AWARDS AND RESIDENCIES 2014 Angels Gate Print Shop Artist in Residence, San Pedro, CA2014 YoYoYo Artist Project Grant for “Owen Land” show at HRLA, LA CA

2012 Los Angeles Artist in Residence/LA AIR, Echo Park Film Center, LA CA

CalArts Scholarship, LA CA

“Harvard and Radcliffe Grant for Harvard Senior Honors Thesis “Boston to New York”, Cambridge MA


Boucher, Brian. “The Agenda: This Week in Los Angeles”, Art in America, September 4, 2014
Griffin, Jonathan. “Tucker Stilley at Artist Curated Projects”, East of Borneo, April 11, 2013
Soto, Paul. “Down by the BOARDWALK”, Art in America, July 18, 2012