Coalfather Industries - Workz

2:07, 2013, Video Art
Placing, ignoring, placing, ignoring, picking, starting, never-ending.
DirectorCoalfather IndustriesProducerCoalfather Industries


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Who is Coalfather Industries?
Coalfather Industries is the collaborative artistic practice of artists Craig Newsom and Kara Jansson. We focus on cultural analysis and critique. As a pseudo corporation, Coalfather Industries examines and repurposes contemporary preoccupations: guns, gluttony, patriotism, waste, fear, entertainment and anxiety (among others). This ongoing study of pharmaceutical, social and political concerns yields results in the following product divisions: video, performance, interactive projects and physical objects.

What is Workz about?
Workz is a meditation on futility. Two generic figures perform tasks like placing and removing tiles, wrapping and unwrapping a tree with string and climbing in and out of a pit. Seen within a context of pristine beauty, this tedium underscores an absurdity in the toil of our everyday jobs.

How did you start with film? And do you have an educational background in art or film?
Our combined educational background lies in literature, painting and sculpture. With our interest in both the verbal and the visual, video was an obvious step in our evolution.

Do you carefully plan the production process or do you work more intuitive?
We generally plan our productions based on a particular concept.

Where do you get your ideas or inspiration from?
Malls, television, workplaces, subways, parking lots, Facebook, grocery stores, gas stations, hospital waiting rooms, cemeteries, toy stores, college campuses, gravel roads, fallow fields, ancient forests, zoos, bed and breakfasts, brick factories.

How important is sound in film, and if you use sounds, do you create your own or use existing?
The sound in this film is a men’s choir we recorded in a small town in Finland. The music was already somewhat sad, but we chose to slow it down to match the disjointed and confused feel of the film.

Did the web change your view on art, or your career?
Absolutely. We would never have met or been able to work in a pre-Internet world. We live in different regions and require online tools to develop and produce our work.

Where would you place your work; cinema or art. And what is the difference between those according to you?
Our work is more art than cinema. Cinema is concerned with the convention and expectation of plot. It is also grounded in a kind of polish and finish that allows it to be distributed on a mass level and accepted on a mass level. Art does not concern itself with acceptance. It makes itself whether anyone is around to care or not.

How influential is the reaction to your film by the audience?
We rarely see anyone’s reaction to what we do.

What is your next project about?
We are currently working on a fictional, anonymous, randomized social networking site.

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