Access Orbit—Program 2: Community & Independence | Chicago Reader

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Like most young people's art, these videos by sixth graders on up are endearingly playful, but there's intelligence here too. Embracing the motto “Don't just hate the media, make the media,” the artists draw a connection between taking control of imagery and making something of their lives. In Baby's First Smoke, a public-service announcement by Animaction, a baby escapes from her smoking mom's womb, and in Untitled (My Mama), Lynne Chan deals with her mother's prejudices using a combination of voice-over and humorous images that goes beyond simple illustration. Lively and rough edged, The Frog Monster by Indian Island School recounts an Indian legend about a giant reptile that dams up the Penobscot River in Maine, and Shelby Floyd's Ennui, about the “unlimited potential” of the individual, uses intertitles and found footage with a sophistication worthy of the avant-garde. Most impressive is Snapshots, a group effort directed by Swati Khurana in which kids read their poetry in voice-over. As the same poems are repeated, the imagery changes in suggestive ways, proving that the allusive potential of language is limitless. 58 min.

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