VIDEO: Jennifer West’s One Mile Film for High Line Art

Visitors enjoy Jennifer West's screening of One Mile Film. Photo by Liz Ligon.

Last week we debuted Jennifer West’s new feature-length video during a special outdoor screening at the High Line. If you missed the video, you can now view a short clip online. Follow us after the jump to learn more and watch.

Los Angeles-based artist Jennifer West is known for using unusual materials to alter her artwork, such as coal-tar dye, eyeliner, whiskey, hot sauce, and deodorant. At the High Line, Jennifer took a different approach, inviting visitors to alter her filmstrip as part of a performance presented by High Line Art, our public art program that transforms the park into an open-air theater with performances on and around the High Line. The filmstrip features images shot by West and her crew in June, 2012 of rooftops, the New York City skyline, and other locations typically not accessible to the public. Sections of the film also feature two New York-based Parkour traceurs, Thomas Dolan and Vertical Jimenez, performing in restricted areas in New York City, including the final section of the High Line at the Rail Yards.

Visitors leaving their mark. Photos by Scott Lynch.

Visible throughout the video are markings from the HIGH LINE ART PERFORMANCE. Over the course of Thursday, September 13, the visitors pictured above and hundreds of others took part in the performance by walking on, touching, and drawing on the filmstrip. VIEW PHOTOS from the performance.

The simple act of walking or running along the strip was the most common interaction, but the most popular was physical manipulation by coloring, drawing, or writing. The use of markers, sharpies, and pens transformed each frame into a private diary where participants could freely express their individuality. While some people blacked out whole images, others left eloquent phrases for contemplation.

The following list of text illustrates the diversity of visitors while illuminating the contemporary psyche of an audience that is local, national, and international. Hopes, dreams, and fears of a world in flux are represented through political views, art thoughts, individual proclamations, friendly shout outs, commemorative phrases, brand advertising, buzz words, and nonsensical phrases.

This way to the end
This film has not yet been rated! - Leo and my buddy Chris, 9/13/12
Fear no fullness
Vote Obama
Just Kids
Damn those jeans
Everything happens for a reason
One day in New York remembering
Leave a mark
Are we aliens?
Obama 2012!!
The lion sleeps tonight
Your troops
This is NOT a film!!!!!
Live Laugh Love Tomorrow
Earth without ART is eh
Thank you we’ll be back soon
Free Domx
Teens rule the world
The people of the world unite
Love matters
Bean Longing
I was here
The beginning
NY state of mind
Las Medina good luck with this film
Good vibrations
Te amo Mi amor
Your base is under assault
Seize the car
Leave a mark
Be a leader

Many of these musings will be indecipherable during playback, but their importance will not be lost. Combined they are a collective voice of a singular moment in time. Following the day-long performance, the distressed filmstrip was spliced together and transferred to high-definition video resulting in the 58 minute, 40 second new work. The title of the new video work reflects the process and people behind it:

One Mile Film (5,280 feet of 35mm film negative and print taped to the mile-long High Line walk way in New York City for 17 hours on Thursday, September 13th, 2012 with 11,500 visitors - the visitors walked, wrote, jogged, signed, drew, touched, danced, parkoured, sanded, keyed, melted popsicles, spit, scratched, stomped, left shoe prints of all kinds and put gum on the filmstrip - it was driven on by baby strollers and trash can wheels and was traced by art students - people wrote messages on the film and drew animations, etched signs, symbols and words into the film emulsion lines drawn down much of the filmstrip by visitors and Jwest with highlighters and markers - the walk way surfaces of concrete, train track steel, wood, metal gratings and fountain water impressed into the film; filmed images shot by Peter West - filmed Parkour performances by Thomas Dolan and Vertical Jimenez - running on rooftops by Deb Berman and Jwest - film taped, rolled and explained on the High Line by art students and volunteers), 2012, 58 minutes, 40 seconds

Commissioned and produced by High Line Art, presented by Friends of the High Line.

Film Production
Peter West, Cinematographer; Frank Larson, Assistant Camera; Jordan Benke, High Line Art Project Manager; Deb Berman, Production Coordinator; Jon Huron, Production Assistant.

One Mile Parkour Film Performance
Film Tapers: Cecilia Alemani, Deb Berman, Elena Bernstein, Leila Farhood, Bridget Gramling, Erika Harvey, Carole Honig, Tom Morris, Kirsten Nicholas, Marisa Rendina, Maggie Romano, Ashley Tickle, Jennifer West. Film Greeters: Elena Bernstein, Irene Buchman, Jan Farber, Leila Farhood, Andrea Garcia, Claudia Gerlach-Fohrbeck, Bridget Gramling, Annik La Farge, Tom Morris, Kirsten Nicholas, Maria Padavano, Ye Sul Park, Barbara Proctor, Marisa Rendina, Gary Roth, Magdalyn Segale, Judith Stein, Jimmy Wood. Splash Dance Participants: 4th and 5th grade students from PS3 Charrette Elementary School NYC. Film Rollers: Deb Berman, Jordan Benke, Kirsten Nicholas, Maggie Romano, Corey Snide, Jennifer West, Stephanie Yee. Splicing Assistants in Los Angeles: Mariah Csepanyi, Chris Hanke and Jeffrey Kool.

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