Los Angeles Filmforum – solo screening!

Sunday, November 23, 2014, 7:30pm
Los Angeles Filmforum presents
Jesse McLean: The Message is the Medium
At the Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028

Jesse McLean in person from Iowa City, Iowa!
Los Angeles premieres!

Filmforum is thrilled to host Iowa-based filmmaker Jesse McLean for her first solo screening in Los Angeles. McLean’s work explores the complexities of mediated human behavior and interaction as well as the confounding, often exaggerated emotions that accompany these experiences. Employing appropriated home movies, internet videos, television shows, and archival materials, McLean redefines our interchange with various forms of media. Through expert use of collage, each of McLean’s videos subtly question viewers’ associations with the information we consume daily while reimagining a world in which everyday media tropes are hijacked and transformed. Join us for a survey of McLean’s work wrought with emotional twists and turns, querying our relationships to each other, to ourselves, and to the mediated material world that defines us.

“[Jesse McLean’s] films ask her audience to see themselves as active participants in the media they consume and not just as passive voyeurs.” – Underground Film Journal

Her pieces resonate emotionally in surprising ways as she goes about seeking some chord that rings true to our collective experience.” – Pamela Cohn, BOMB Magazine

Jesse McLean Interview with Kent Lambert: http://jessemclean.com/biblio/interview-with-kent-lambert/

Tickets: $10 general admission; $6 students (with ID)/seniors; free for Filmforum members.
Tickets available in advance at: LINK FORTHCOMING
For more event information: 
www.lafilmforum.org, or 323.377.7238

MUMOK! Headed to Vienna…

I’m headed to Vienna the first week of November to present my work at mumok (the museum of modern art in Vienna)! I was invited by Christian Höller, as part of Scan Scroll Surf: Digital Film Aesthetics Today. and I’m thrilled! More info below:

Scan Scroll Surf: Digital Film Aesthetics Today

Today, moving images are primarily digital, and their aesthetics have begun to change fundamentally. A four-part program at the mumok cinema will look at the basics of this new aesthetic by showing key examples from recent years. We will investigate how impressions of reality and virtuality increasingly merge in these images, and we will ask whether non-analog “layering,” a key defining element of this type of image, leads to impoverished or enriched perception, and also whether increasing dematerialization of the pictorial content is also accompanied by a greater loss of historical and critical consciousness. The more general question here is what happens when images derive their content ever more from other images, while their referentiality fades more and more into the background. In brief: where is image production taking us, now that the internet has become its primary source and the ontological status of its products is increasingly fragile?


Oliver Laric (October 8)
Jason Dungan (October 22)
Jesse McLean (November 5)
Ed Atkins (December 10)

Curated by Christian Höller

Christian Höller lives in Vienna. He is author, curator and co-editor of the magazine springerin.

Summer activities and upcoming fall events/screenings…

Hello! I hope summer has treated you well. Here’s what I’ve been up to and some of what I’ll be doing this fall…

Just Like Us screened at the Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen and awarded an FIPRESCI Prize!

At the festival, I was also interviewed by Pamela Cohn and the interview was featured in Bomb Magazine

James Hansen also wrote a review of Oberhausen Festival in Filmmaker Magazine


This summer I had the tremendous honor of being a visiting artist at the Flaherty Seminar TURNING THE INSIDE OUT, programmed by Gabriela Monroy and Caspar Stracke. It was an incredible experience! What a great group of people to spend a week in lovely Hamilton, NY with watching/talking/enjoying cinema experiences non-stop! Artists included: Shaina Anand (India), Eric Baudelaire (France), Brad Butler (England), Duncan Campbell (Ireland), Jill Godmilow (USA),Johan Grimonprez (Belgium),Cao Guimarães (Brazil), Jesse McLean (USA), Karen Mirza(England), Lois Patiño (Spain), Shuddhabrata Sengupta (India), Hito Steyerl (Germany – via Skype), as well as Chris Marker & Alain ResnaisPetna Ndaliko Katondolo and Robert Flaherty, who were there in spirit.10464361_10152548201413945_7573861566952440372_n








THIS FALL I will present my work at mumok, The Museum of Modern Art in Vienna. The program series is titled “Scan Scroll Surf. Digital Film Aesthetics Today” and is curated by Christian Hoeller, co-editor of springerin magazine. Very excited to travel to Vienna in November!

I will also travel to Los Angeles in November to present a program at Film Forum. Stay tuned for more details!

In September, I will have a screening in Iowa City at FilmScene, thanks to the Digital Studio for Public Arts and Humanities for inviting me.

My work was/is included in a number of screenings and exhibitions that happened this summer/happening this fall:

Festival des Cinémas Différents et Expérimentaux, Paris, France, Just Like Us

Flahertiana Film Festival, Perm, Russia, Magic for Beginners

Fronteira Festival, Cine Cultura, Goiânia, Brazil, Just Like Us

Poor Farm, Manawa, WI, Just Like Us

Winnipeg Underground Film Festival, Winnipeg, Canada, Just Like Us

Artist Television Access, Gaze #7, San Francisco, CA, Remote

Chicago Art Department Gallery West, Chicago, IL, Remote

Union Docs, See What You Will, Brooklyn, NY, The Invisible World

Largo Residéncias, Consumerist Radiations, Lisbon, Portugal, The Invisible World

Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama, Japan, Just Like Us

Jekyll & Hyde Gallery, speculationscapes, Chicago, IL, Climbing

Mumbai Artroom, Mumbai, India, Magic for Beginners

Urban Arts Space, Fragments of an Unknowable Whole, Columbus, OH, Climbing. Fragments of an Unknowable Whole was reviewed, link is here , below is an excerpt:

Jesse Mclean’s Climbing (2009), steps outside the space of the finished product, bringing the activity around the production of the image to the fore. The viewer enters the Photoshop workspace as the ubiquitous move tool – the hand – appears to climb over a mountainous landscape carefully assembled from screenshots.  The presence of the person behind the hand is discernable, expressed in the slight hesitations and probings as the hand seeks purchase on the rocky slopes. Rather than distance, this representation of the technical or screen-space generates warmth, a tentative human extension into virtual space that juts out ever farther, as well as commenting on our uber-mediated experience of landscape.

I’ve recently added some documentation of work I completed last summer for a solo show at Interstate Projects, “Stars, They’re Just Like Us”. Work includes Me and Max Martin and Stars, They’re Just Like Us (north and south).

RIGHT NOW I’m finishing up a new piece, tentatively titled “Mirrored Image”, that is informed by the experiences of a professional lighting stand-in/body double/stuntwoman. Other inspiration is found in Andy Warhol’s suggestion that the vinyl pressing of “I’ll Be Your Mirror” have a built-in crack so the line “I’ll be your mirror” would loop until the listener moved the needle. Below are some stills…

Thanks for reading!


Just Like Us at Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen

Just Like Us is in competition at Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen and plays in International Competition 8. I will be in attendance!


International Competition 8

(afterwards: discussion with the directors at the Festival Space)

Just Like Us, Jesse McLean, USA, 2013, 15′

Radioactive, Funahashi Atsushi, Japan, 2013, 35′

U ime naroda, Dalibor Martinis, Croatia, 2013, 18′

Hina no kubi, Funayama Hiroko, Japan, 2014, 5′

Adeline for Leaves,  Jessica Sarah Rinland, GB, 2013, 13′

Mon, 5 May, Lichtburg Filmpalast/Lichtburg, 14.30 h

Discussion: Mon, 5 May, Festival Space, 16.00 h

Mon, 5 May, Lichtburg Filmpalast/Gloria, 22.30 h (repeat)

Just Like Us at Art of the Real – with Farocki and Pearson!

Just Like Us plays as part of Art of the Real with Harun Farocki and Benjamin Pearson. Can’t describe what an honor it is to screen my work with these people!

Francesca Beale Theater

At a design consultancy in Hamburg, a new corporate office concept is under development. In long, awkward office meetings, illustrated with perplexing diagrams, senior staff pontificate on the future thriving workplace, one inevitably powered by neoliberal buzzwords like flexibility, openness, and communication. With a light touch, Farocki arranges these scenes into a revelatory black satire of contemporary managerial process.

Screening with:

Just Like Us
Jesse McLean | USA | 2013 | Digital Projection | 15m
The memories of an anonymous narrator who was once a body double for a famous actress punctuate a vast suburban waste space of empty parks and big box parking lots, and mingle with paparazzi footage and clippings. Here the tabloid insistence that we become intimate with the lives of celebrities takes a deep literal turn.

Former Models
Benjamin Pearson | USA | 2013 | Digital Projection | 20m
A sci-fi toned meditation on celebrity and the loss of the self in the public image, Former Models retraces the tragic rise and fall of Milli Vanilli, narrated by Rob Pilatus himself, in the form of a robot voice.