Chicago-based new media artist jonCates’ influential body of work mixes the urgency of punk with the poetics of glitch. His latest project, a glitch Western, takes shape as a feature film and interactive game that critiques the myths and ideology of the American West. Part essay, part documentary, and part genre fantasy, 鬼鎮 (Ghosttown) traces the intersecting paths of Siera Begaye, Native American artist and organizer of the Diné (Navajo) Nation; the archetypal Cowgirl, a descendant of European settlers; and Girl from Gold Mountain, a deity dreamed into existence by Chinese immigrants building the transcontinental railroad. The Cowgirl journeys toward a hallucinatory ghost town, the Girl from Gold Mountain embarks on a mission to collect the bones of her believers, and Begaye sets a new course for the future. 鬼鎮 (Ghosttown) disrupts the Western's most pernicious tropes with glitches and noise, connecting yesterday’s traumas and technologies to those of today.
2018, USA, DCP, 55 min + discussion
jonCates in person
jonCates is associate professor in the Film, Video, New Media and Animation department at SAIC. His work has been exhibited, screened, performed and presented internationally, including at the Hong-Gah Museum,Taipei, Taiwan; the MuseumsQuartier, Vienna; Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, Scotland; the Instituto Cultural de León, Spain; the Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada; the Wrong Digital Art Biennale, Babycastles Gallery, New York; SPEKTRUM, Berlin; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; and Rhizome. In 2005 he created the concept of Dirty New Media and is widely recognized as developing concepts, communities, and discourses of the unstable arts now known as glitch art.