Thursday, August 5, 1999 – Leave Philadelphia early morning 2 am arrive C’s parents’ house in Katonah, NY. Eat soup, sleep couple hours, leave for Boston. Arrive afternoon in Boston late and panicked for C’s “response” to films at UFVA conference to find the screening has been changed to an earlier time. FIRST SCREENING: “Crime and Punishment Part 1” and “Animal” at SCAT (Somerville Community Access Television) arranged by SCAT and Video Space. Meet Sarah Smiley. Dinner at Mex restaurant across the street. Stay with Simone, D’s friend in Cambridge.
Friday, August 6, 1999 – Early morning screening & (positive) response to “TeleKinetics“. Afternoon screening and (lukewarm to chilly) response to “Urban Living” and “Schuylkill River” at UFVA conference. M & A fly to family reunion in Pittsburgh. Next Frame screening; look for bar with a large crowd. Unsuccessful, we end up in Pizzeria Uno in Harvard Square.
Saturday, August 7, 1999 – D “responds” to Bridget Murnane’s videos. Franny, D & C visit D’s friend Pam in Jamaica Plain, MA.
From August to December 1999, Termite TV Collective drove across the United States in a 1964 converted school bus equipped with cameras, an editing system, and a “documentary circus tent.” The shows we produced — “Living Documentaries” — were shot and edited on the road and screened at media art centers and exhibition venues we visited along the way. We collaborated with local artists, media makers, residents and fellow travelers, and began recording 5-minute Life Stories. The resulting Living Documentaries cover a characteristically eclectic mix of themes: Money; Life Stories from Sitka, Alaska; Violent; Life Stories from the Borderlands; and Rollover.
Now, we still find ourselves making “Living Documentaries.” The term has come to stand for much more than our roadtrip. Perhaps it is a reflection of our philosophy that video is an interactive format, that objectivity is a fallacy, that the observer is always part of the experiment. Or perhaps it is because we like to see ourselves as nomads with video cameras, even when we just go to the grocery store. Living Documentary shows currently in production are Space and Food.
Thursday, August 19, 1999 – Drive to Toronto. Meet Dave Giddens from City TV producer for Media TV. In a restaurant we discuss what we’re going to ask people the next day. We ask the waiter about Canada’s gun laws. He tells us that people aren’t allowed to carry handguns.Sleep in bus in middle of Toronto.
Friday, August 20, 1999 – Morning shower and coffee at David’s house. Get interviewed by Dave and cameraman while we drive the bus. Hang out later with Gail Mentlik who gives us a tour of alternative media places in Toronto. Back to Buffalo in rain. Meet Sam, Sudanese Canadian who adjust busÕ fan belt and tells us horror tales of U.S. border officers.