United States, 2015 | Craig Baldwin
https://vimeo.com/161841984 [password: bullet]
By appropriating footage from 1960s-era films, Bulletin pulls into focus violence and addiction in the United States via special interests like the notorious National Rifle Association and corporate lobbyists for pharmaceutical corporations.
Like glitch art, Bulletin makes the unseemly seamlessness apparent in an ostensibly happy family. The father’s recreational rifles sound like a military machine gun. While his son refuses to inherit the institutionalized violence of patriarchy, his wife reaches for pain medication to deaden the noise of domestic life until her head resembles a target.
“An exploded view of a ballistic issue! With Big Pharma and the NRA lurking just outside the frame, here’s a contemporary re-mix of a mid-century media-archeological marvel,” explains Baldwin. Bufferin (a trade name for aspirin) is riddled by the sounds of bullets until it becomes “bulletin.”
In the context of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the video reintroduces issues that should have been central but were obscured by “the Trump effect,” a legitimatization of bullying and cyber-bullying that, somewhat bewilderingly, was selected for the subject of a political speech by the Republican Party candidate’s wife.
Bulletin excavates an earlier moment in white patriarchal violence with a rifle-worshipping father, who humiliates his son and terrorizes his wife until she turns to painkillers in the absence of agency, much like the effect of white patriarchal nationalism on U.S. democracy.
Craig Baldwin is a filmmaker and curator whose interests lie in archival retrieval and recombinatory forms of cinema, performance, and installation. Over the past two decades, his productions have been shown and awarded at numerous international festivals, museums, and institutes of contemporary art, often in conjunction with panels, juries, and workshops on collage and cultural activism. His own weekly screening project, Other Cinema, has continued to premiere experimental, essay, and documentary works for over a quarter century, recently expanding into DVD publishing.