Powering Up / Powering Down 1/30/04-2/1/04
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Kara Lynch


episode 03
Here and Now: Meet me in Okemah, OK Circa 1911

In 2099, the transatlantic slave trade never happened. The event disappeared from the history books. A strange cult keeps the false memory alive through ritual bondage and transport of bodies across imaginary borders. In ‘Invisible’, maritime meets speed of light. Inspired by Ralph Ellison’s novel, ‘the Invisible Man’, Virginia Woolf’s ‘Orlando’, and John Akomfrah’s film ‘Last Angel of History’, this time based electronic blkgrrrlretrofuture, sci-fi action-documentary takes on issues of black radicalism, turn of the century phenomena, passing and cross-over cultures. This episodic story speculates the black liberation parallel to eurotrash western civilization in the conflux of public record and sci-fi.

here and now

The current episode: ‘meet me in Okemah, Ok circa 1911’ (to be completed June 2004) is an outdoor video/audio installation and complementary book that extrapolates upon a documentary photograph of a lynching in Oklahoma c.1911 and contemporary architecture. When this episode begins, our time tourist, Nia, finds herself yanked from a rivers edge to a skiff. An entrepreneurial photographer enlists her help. Above on the bridge, our Cleaner, Rhinehart, blends into the crowd of working Joes who have come to see the sights. Dangling from the steel girders, Laura Nelson and her fourteen year old son swing in the breeze, necks broken by one inch hemp rope.


Kara Lynch has lived and worked in New York City as a film/video, Visual and performance artist since 1990. In 2000 she received the Planet Out/ifilm Queer Short Movie experimental award for her 9 min. travelogue, Me - Ba...I'm Coming. Kara was a 1996 recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts and New York State Council for the Arts Individual Artists awards in video and new media, and a 1994 recipient of the Lila Wallace Reader's Digest International Artists' Residency. She has served on the selection committee for MIX: New York Experimental Film and Video Festival and has been involved with the New Festival as a member of the shorts selection committee and as print traffic co-coordinator respectively. Kara's teaching experience includes: the Visual Thinking program and the Urban Video Project at Satellite on Forsyth, an alternative public high school in New York's Lower East Side; digital and analog production workshops at DCTV and DYKE TV, and currently Ms. Lynch is an Assistant Professor of Video Production and Criticism at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. Having recently completed Black Russians 2001, her first feature length documentary, and on sabbatical from Hampshire, she now embarks on a MFA degree at the University of California, San Diego. New projects en exilio include a 12 minute experimental video, Mi Companera... a Travelogue completed in 2002, and a work in progress - Invisible, a speculative non-linear narrative.

“Powering Up/Powering Down” is sponsored in part by the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts (UCIRA), the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts (CRCA), and the UC San Diego Department of Music in connection with the departments of Visual Arts, Music, and Literature at UCSD along with the UC Riverside and Los Angeles campuses.