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 Nationwide Artistic Responses to the September 11 Tragedy and its Aftermath

**All material in this section is archived.  It was material collected in the immediate aftermath of 9/11/2001 and reflects the period of that time.  For responses to political art in 2003 and later, follow the link to Artists Respond to the Political Present.**

Events | Visual Art | Performance, Music, Dance | Film, Video, TV | Words | Audio | Comics


Invisible Inhabitants: One year before the 9-11 disaster, Kristin Lucas was an artist in residence at the north tower, working on a piece about ghost-watching at the World Trade Center—Encounters of the WTC-Kind. It was then that she set up, featuring ghosts with cell phones. Lucas has long been interested in electronic emissions, "the invisible fields you operate in every day," and she considered the World Trade Center to be their epicenter, emitting countless TV and radio waves, for one thing. Lucas recently resurrected the project.

Internet artist Eryk Salvaggio's "September 11th, 2001," is a powerful digital artwork that he put online in June 2002 in the Net-art section of his nonsensically titled Web site, The new work is based on a sequence of 20 still frames taken from a video of the United Airlines jet flying into the World Trade Center's south tower. To reclaim the imagery's human dimension, Mr. Salvaggio has digitally composed each frame not from tiny dots of color, as is usually done, but from names culled from a list of the 2,800 dead and missing victims of the New York attacks. For each video frame, the screen is striped with 55 horizontal rows of 10 names, and Mr. Salvaggio used computer software to color segments of individual letters, recreating each scene.

9.11: This video, produced by NYC Independent Media Center, documents spontaneous memorials in NYC and culminates with the first peace march. 9.11 offers critical perspectives of U.S. policy leading up to the World Trade Center attack, media treatment, and racial backlash. This program is also streaming on the web at Free Speech TV. Completed September 26, 2002.

Global Action Project youth producers are currently creating media around issues related to the September 11 attacks. G.A.P. has 8 programs in production, through an interactive process that combines small and large group work in video, theater, conflict resolution and diversity training. One of these films, "2 Homes," produced by refugee youth living in NYC from Burundi, Sierra Leone, Kosova, and Liberia, will be at the Sundance Gen-Y studio in late January, 2002.

Sundance Special Event: September 11: A collection of short documentary films was presented at the Sundance Film Festival on January 12, 2002. Included were "Site," Jason Kliot's digital footage of the faces of people staring up at the hole in the sky where the WTC used to be, and Deborah Shaffer's "From the Ashes," which chronicles artists based near 'ground zero.'

Great Balls of Fire: A short documentary by Leon Grodski & Pearl Gluck. Walking aimlessly in the streets of NYC in the aftermath of the WTC collapse, a homeless man says the event is not a surprise, it is part of his understanding of life and history. He's not flying a flag, not crying out "United We Stand," and not selling American trinkets. He's sharing his words like he's been waiting for everyone to finally wake up. Screened at 2002 No Dance Film and Multimedia Festival (Utah); 2002 Arizona State University Art Museum Film & Video Festival; 2002 New York Video Festival; Anthology Film Archives; Oberhausen International Short Film Festival (Germany); Santa Monica Museum Of Art; European Media Art Festival (Germany); Jewish Museum (New York); Ocularis (Brooklyn); Bronx River Art Center. For more information, phone 646-345-5969 or e-mail [email protected].

From the Ashes – 10 Artists: a documentary by Academy Award-winning director, Deborah Shaffer. Recently screened at Sundance (January 10 – 20) 2002 as part of the festival's special September 11th program, this hour-long documentary traces the stories of 10 downtown New York artists in the wake of that momentous day, as they attempt to rebuild their lives and redefine the meaning of their art. April 18, 2002, at the Lighthouse in NYC co-sponsored by NY Women in Film & Television and ArtTable.

7 Days in September: Steve Rosenbaum's 7 Days in September is a feature documentary that looks at New York City's trauma during the week following the September 11 attacks through the eyes, and the cameras, of 27 New Yorkers. Premiered at Doubletake Documentary Film Festival in NC on Apr. 4, 2002. On Apr. 18, 2002, CameraPlanet Pictures hosted a NYC screening.

Visions From Ground Zero: 9 filmmakers from NYU's Tisch School have been selected by Showtime Networks to produce films related to the effects of Sept. 11 for the network's "Visions From Ground Zero" project. The films, documentaries & narratives will be broadcast on Showtime during the 1st anniversary of the attacks. The filmmakers are: Kelly Atkins ("Twice a Day"), Brad Barnes ("Engine Trouble"), Sergei Bassine ("From the 97th Floor), Bryan Gunner Cole ("Unfurled"), Janet McIntyre ("Behind the Veil"), Rachel Zabar ("One Life"), Deena Lombardi ("As We Sleep"), Moira Stephens ("Breaking Bread), & Gabriella Spierer ("Welcome to NY").

Underground Zero: The 7th annual Nantucket Film Festival will show 13 short works selected form a pool of films made by 150 filmmakers related to the September 11 attacks and their aftermath. June 20-23, 2002.

The Gone Buildings: NYC & 9/11: The New York Video Festival at Lincoln Center screens five short films, including "9/11 1st St. NYC" (M.A. Toman), "911 ? Serra's Morning" (Saul Levine), "Periphery" (Ilana Rein), "Great Balls of Fire" (Leon Grodski & Pearl Gluck), and "White Balance (to think is to forget difference)" (François Bucher). Sun July 21: 2pm. Wed July 24: 4pm.

Before, During, After by Shalom Gorewitz. "Before, During, After" is a collection of collaborative works that reference the devastating events of September 11th in New York. "Levinas in Yorkville" overlays images of Yorkville in upper Manhattan with text and music. In "The Ambiguous Coil" Gorewitz responds to the tragic events and their effects on New York. He writes: "After the panic, a tentative response." Music by Christen Clark.

Frame by Frame: HBO announced its documentary series, Frame by Frame, will screen for the first time in San Francisco for the first time from August 5 – 12 at The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The series, which began in New York will hold its fifth annual event in Gotham this autumn. Kicking off the event in the Bay Area featuring 26 documentary films are theme film blocks taking a look at the effects of 9/11 worldwide. Among the films in the program are Darcy Dennett's "Morning: September 11"; Etienne Sauret's "WTC: The First 24 Hours"; James Ronald Whitney's "Telling Nicholas" as well as the much heralded "In Memoriam: New York City, 9/11/01." The film features clips and photos from 100+ New Yorkers and independent filmmakers.

9/11 Episodes This monthlong series at the Kitchen features media works in response to September 11, all by city-based artists and drawn from public-television station WNET's Reel New York series. The screenings, projected in continuous loops, can be watched in two viewing stations through September 28. Kitchen Art Gallery, 512 W 19th St at 10th Ave (212-255-5793).

Attack and Aftermath: Documenting September 11 The American Museum of the Moving Image will show four documentaries on September 7, 8 and 11, with the filmmakers introducing their works at the Sunday and Wednesday screenings. On the schedule are Circling Zero: We See Absence, by Ken Jacobs (Sat, Sun 12:30pm); In Memoriam: New York City, 9/11, by John Hoffman (Sat, Sun 3pm); Seven Days in September, by Steven Rosenblum (Sat, Sun 4:30pm); and WTC Uncut, by Steven Mudrick and Bryan Kortis (Wed 1, 3pm). American Museum of the Moving Image, 35th Ave at 36th St, Astoria, Queens (718-784-0077).

Television Archive: The events of September 11th affected the entire world. Reactions around the globe have been captured in this archive of television news broadcasts from the period following the attacks.

September 10th, 2001, Uno Nunca Muere la Vispera: directed by Monika Bravo, is a poignant tribute to Michael Richards, an artist in residence in the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's World Views program, who died in the September 11 tragedy. Bravo filmed the footage the night before the WTC attacks from her own studio on the 92nd floor of WTC. The 3-minute film screened at MOMA's Documentary Fortnight Program on December 15, 2001 and will screen again as part of Channel 13's Reel New York series on June 7 & 13, 2002 (10pm).

In Memoriam: New York City, 9/11/01, is a panoramic record of the events of that day, as seen through a uniquely personal collection of video and still photography, most of which comes from amateur sources. With former NYC mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and his staff as guides and storytellers, the documentary follows the mayor's entourage from their first realization of what had occurred, through smoke and fire, and ultimately through rescue and recovery. The film serves as a tribute to the strength and spirit of a city facing its greatest challenge. In Memoriam premieres May 26, 2002 at 9PM on HBO. A special screening was held at Lincoln Center on May 20, 2002.

Artist Response to 9.11: A team based in Portland, OR created a documentary called "Artist Response to 9.11". Their intention was to capture the feeling that swept across the country within hours & weeks after the events of September 11. This program is a time capsule of artists' initial responses, containing interviews with 20 artists around the country and a sampling of projects ranging from printmaking, to painting; animation to web design; illustration to photography; video art to new media installation; collage to murals; and poetry to music. The program illustrates the important role that artists play in our society.

9/11: Filmmakers Jules and Gedeon Naudet were filming a rookie firefighter's probationary period with a lower Manhattan fire house when the World Trade Center was attacked on September 11, 2001. They captured unique footage from the area, including the only images from inside Tower 1, where firefighters were trying to get a handle on the dangerous situation. On March 10, 2002, CBS broadcast an extraordinary film, telling the story of that day from the perspective of those who survived it. The two-hour film was hosted by actor/director Robert De Niro.

Relics From the Rubble: The History Channel covers the efforts to preserve artifacts from the site, like old newspapers, beer cans and ID cards.

Telling Nicholas: James Ronald Whitney's feature-length documentary will be broadcast as part of HBO's new season of "American Undercover Sundays." "Telling Nicholas" is the story of a father who must deal with telling his son about his mother's death in the World Trade Center tragedy.

Tales from Ground Zero brings to life the heartwarming and often heartbreaking stories of the human/animal bond and its unique role on September 11. Some of the show's tales include the incredible stories of animals that helped save their owners from death and injury.

Why the Towers Fell: PBS's "Nova" series gives an account of the investigation by the American Society of Civil Engineers.