In anticipation for Tire Fest our March 14th, 2014 mobile arts convergence we’re asking participating artists about what mobility means for their practices. We spoke with The Echo Park Film Center about their Film Mobile which they will be using to animate things & screen animated things at Tire Fest.

What is your mobile-arts project and what does it look like?

The EPFC Filmmobile is a 1997 Bluebird school bus transformed in an eco-friendly cinema and film school on wheels. We do free screenings and workshops in non-traditional venues for folks of all ages all around Los Angeles as well as all over the US and Canada and Mexico too! Running on waste-vegetable oil and solar power, the bus itself serves as a model of sustainability while simultaneously regenerating the long and noble tradition of itinerant cinema.

It looks like this!

What were the sources of inspiration or specific conditions that lead to you developing a project on wheels?

In 2006 we helped build a ceremonial house on the Rosebud Reservation and documented the process on Super 8 film. We met so many inspiring people with amazing stories to share but no access to media arts tools and resources. Even though we believe every community should have its own Film Center, our Rosebud experience made us understand this just isn’t always possible and that a mobile version of EPFC could definitely serve a real need to democratize the filmmaking and film exhibition process. In 2008, the Filmmobile started rolling and it’s been a wild and wonderful ride ever since…

Do you see mobile-arts as working against, in-conjunction or in some other way with brick-and-mortar situated art making?

Right now, our mobile component works hand-in-hand with the storefront brick and mortar site in Echo Park where we’ve facilitated screenings workshops and an equipment co-op since 2001. But in the face of shrinking funding and rising costs, being mobile makes a lot of sense… The flexibility of the Filmmobile provides opportunities for EPFC to serve more folks more cost effectively while building partnerships, fostering collaborations and sharing resources with a wider array of arts organizations and community groups. We’ve also recently added the Filmcicle to our fleet… It’s a Danish cargo bike that allows us to bring film/video education and programming to even more out of the way, off-the-grid places while celebrating the potential of pedal power. Mobile arts is the future!

Do you see mobile-arts as working against, in-conjunction or in some other way with brick-and-mortar situated art making?

Mobility brings the resources to the people. Over the past six years we’ve done workshops for first-time filmmakers at after-school programs, women’s shelters, community gardens, drop-in centers for LGBT homeless youth, continuation high schools, block parties, seniors homes, museums, and public arts festivals. The Filmmobile also does a lot of guerilla screenings of experimental films and social justice documentaries in public places like street corners, parks, plazas and parking lots. In 10 minutes, we can be set up and ready to go! Sometimes we also incorporate an all-ages community “film bee” where people create a collective animated film and instantly project it. Everybody passing by becomes part of the magic of the moving image.

4. How does mobility effect the audience of your work?

Mobility brings the resources to the people. Over the past six years we’ve done workshops for first-time filmmakers at after-school programs, women’s shelters, community gardens, drop-in centers for LGBT homeless youth, continuation high schools, block parties, seniors homes, museums, and public arts festivals. The Filmmobile also does a lot of guerilla screenings of experimental films and social justice documentaries in public places like street corners, parks, plazas and parking lots. In 10 minutes, we can be set up and ready to go! Sometimes we also incorporate an all-ages community “film bee” where people create a collective animated film and instantly project it. Everybody passing by becomes part of the magic of the moving image.

Find The Echo Park Film Center on Vimeo, Facebook + Twitter.

-The Echo Park Film Center
March 2014

SEE YOU AT TIRE FEST !