I didn’t artistically respond to 9/11 until a few years later, the day I watched 9/11, the French documentary about the NY fire department, which just happened to place them there at the time of the tragedy. I lived out in the woods with no TV on 9/11/01, but emerged to go to grad school at the San Francisco Art Institute, during which we watched this documentary in a class called Personal Culture.
Needless to say, the horror finally hit home. The film crew was up in the mix with the firefighters every step of the way, and the fear was palpable. I went home reeling, and immediately contrived and filmed the short video piece below, as a visual way to process the impermanence of all life.
NPR asks “Are All Young Artists ‘Post-9/11’ Artists? “Their worldview is defined by the angst, the unease, the trepidation of the difficulties of the 21st century,” he says.
I think most humans struggle with these feelings throughout history. However, 9/11 being the first attack of our lifetimes on American soil, did ripple into our cultural landscape and into our collective soul.