Schnitzer Cinema Screens Six of Julia Oldham’s Short Films

The screening, accompanied by an artist’s talk, is part of the Schnitzer Cinema season on Experimental Media


EUGENE, Ore. -- (October 31, 2014) – On Wednesday, November 19, 2014, Schnitzer Cinema presents “The Video Art of Julia Oldham,” a screening of six of her short films and an artist’s talk. The event begins at 7 p.m. at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on the University of Oregon campus and includes free popcorn and refreshments.


As the main character in each of her videos, Oldham combines science fiction and dreamy mythology to create fantasy worlds that she inhabits in her films. She collaborates with scientists to tease out poetic and wondrous elements of physics and nature, which she then weaves into romantic fairytales and myths in her video works. Her work frequently combines live action, animation and handmade costumes and sets; and music and soundscape play an important role in her storytelling.


Casting herself in the role of lover, wanderer and scientist, Oldham falls in love with a coyote, tearfully sends off a research probe to sacrifice itself in a black hole, and tries to capture infinity by engaging in increasingly absurd mathematical tasks. The full program includes six short films:

“Mud Lair" (in collaboration with Jenny Kroik), 2013 (3:30 minutes)
“Mud Lair” is a musical fairytale about a woman burying the memory of her coyote lover.

“Farewell, Brave Voyager,” 2012 (4:30 minutes)
In “Farewell, Brave Voyager,” we witness the launch of InfiniG, a black hole research probe. InfiniG makes the ultimate sacrifice for science by gathering data while approaching the event horizon of a black hole.

“Infinitely Impossible,” 2012 (10:30 minutes)
“Infinitely Impossible” is a story of unrequited love between a woman and Infinity. The character engages in increasingly absurd tasks in order to achieve the infinite, at the expense of her own sanity.

“From These Woods” (with Chad Stayrook as Really Large Numbers), 2013 (7 minutes)
“From These Woods” is a fairytale about a deer who can travel through dreams.

“Shadow Wolf” (with Chad Stayrook as Really Large Numbers), 2013 (2:30 minutes)
Rare creatures Winter Wolf (Canis Lupus Hibernus) and Shadow Wolf (Canis Lupus Umbrus) are hybrid human/wolves that until recently were believed to be mythological beings who did not live on earth, though recent sightings have been reported, primarily in the Northeastern and Northwestern United States.

“Radio Prairie,” 2010 (3:40 minutes)
During her 2010 residency at Bernheim Arboretum, Oldham  developed a fictional identity as a technician for Possumhaw Plant Electrics, a company that specializes in measuring radio/electrical emanations from plant forms. In “Radio Prairie” she tuned into prairie plants using a homemade crystal radio and tiny antennae attached to each plant.


Oldham was raised by a physicist, an avid gardener, and a pack of dogs in rural Maryland, and her childhood was filled with adventures in the woods, bee stings, drawings, and science experiments. She studied art history at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and received her MFA from the University of Chicago. Her work has been exhibited at such institutions as MoMA PS1 and the Dia Foundation in NYC; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, IL; and Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC. She lives and works in Eugene, OR, and Brooklyn, NY.


The 2014-15 season of the Schnitzer Cinema, curated by Cinema Pacific director Richard Herskowitz, is devoted to American experimental media, with a special emphasis on the history of American avant-garde film.  Schnitzer Cinema is sponsored by Cinema Pacific and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.


About the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

The University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is a premier Pacific Northwest museum for exhibitions and collections of historic and contemporary art based in a major university setting. The mission of the museum is to enhance the University of Oregon’s academic mission and to further the appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts for the general public.  The JSMA features significant collections galleries devoted to art from China, Japan, Korea, America and elsewhere as well as changing special exhibition galleries.  The JSMA is one of six museums in Oregon accredited by the American Association of Museums.


The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is located on the University of Oregon campus at 1430 Johnson Lane. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens. Free admission is given to ages 18 and under, JSMA members, college students with ID, and University of Oregon faculty, staff and students. For information, contact the JSMA, 541-346-3027.


About Cinema Pacific

Cinema Pacific is an annual film festival based at the University of Oregon in Eugene that is devoted to discovering and fostering the creativity of international films and new media from Pacific-bordering countries, including the U.S. Through onsite and online presentations, the festival connects stimulating artists and ideas with a diverse public, furthering our understanding of world cultures and contemporary issues.


About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.


Contact: Debbie Williamson Smith, 541-346-0942,


Links: Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art,

Cinema Pacific,