Ecstatic Static, the New Organisation Supporting Artists and Filmmakers

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Curry Sicong Tian, Simulacra, 2020Courtesy of Ecstatic Static

Jason Evans introduces his new artist-run production and online resource for people working across film, animation and other creative practices

In the past year, visual artists and filmmakers have faced great challenges as the pandemic shut down many traditional systems of support. In response, members of the community have rallied to create new structures for collective action in the form of mutual aid networks, print sales, fundraisers, resource lists, and financial relief.

Recently photographer, filmmaker and founder of This Long Century Jason Evans and producer Myriam Schroeter joined forces to launch Ecstatic Static, an independent production and online resource for artists working across film, animation and other creative practices. “We want to focus on free and open access to information, to give artists the tools and space they need to create,” says Evans.

Inspired by radical 60s and 70s artist-run organisations like Experiments in Art & Technology (EAT) and Artist Placement Group (APG), Ecstatic Static provides free resources including production notes, budget templates, technical drawings, storyboards, and guides on how to load film cameras, as well as a large library of PDFs from out-of-print film books. The site also features contributions from an expanding group of artists including filmmakers Sky Hopinka, cinematographer Babette Mangolte, and director Carlos Reygadas.

“I’ve been in close proximity to art most of my adult life so I’ve always understood the importance of an artist-led structure,” says Evans, who has worked with people including Collier Schorr on some of her first commercial projects. “In collaborating with artists at Ecstatic Static, whether on their own projects or on commissions for brands or editorial platforms, we are listening and learning from them to see how we can actively support and protect their vision.”

Adopting an individualised approach designed to meet the needs of each artist, Evans and Schroeter see themselves as technicians, finely attuned to determine the most useful contributions they can make to each project. “Over the past two years Myriam has worked with artist Adam Pendleton to produce three video works in his portrait series, from start to finish,” Evans says. “More recently we’ve started working with artist Sara Cwynar on her upcoming multi-channel installation that will show at Foxy Production in New York this September.”

Ecstatic Static will also be collaborating on personal and commercial projects with artists including Barbara Cigarroa, Jodie Mack, Kersti Jan Werdal, Luca Werner, Shaandiin Tome, Curry Sicong Tian, Karishma Dev Dube, as well as Evans himself to create opportunities for commissions outside the traditional gallery, film and television context.

For visitors to the site, Ecstatic Static has organised an online screening series that presents works in an endless vertical loop so that viewers can watch them separately or as a group. The first screening series featured ten artist films based around the theme of finding joy among restlessness, disruption, interference, instability, and noise.

“Andrea Franco’s East Los Angeles Punk connects the East Los Angeles Walkouts of 68, where the community were frustrated with overall conditions, to the raw noise of Chicano punk bands that came later, creating a film that’s charged and alive with energy,” Evans explains. “Our current series is focused on the work of experimental animator Jodie Mack, who often brings mundane objects to life through pulsating collage films. So already there’s this thematic thread building in all the films we’re screening of disrupting the familiar.”

Ultimately Ecstatic Static is designed to fluidly adapt to the ever-changing landscape. “We are whatever artists need us to be,” Evans says. “This Long Century has shown that if you give space to someone to do their work, on their own terms, supporting them where they need it, you get the best outcome.”

Head here to find out more about Ecstatic Static.