Zygote's Alaskan Artist-in-Residence to Discuss Creative Process

Since 2013, Zygote Press has been partnering with Alaska’s Rasmuson Foundation to exchange artists through an eight-week residency program. Since the program was implemented, a number of Cleveland-based artists have spent two months creating work in Alaska, and Alaskan artists have had the opportunity to explore their craft at Zygote.

Zygote Press’ current Rasmuson Artist in Residence (AIR) is Michael Walsh of Homer, Alaska. In conjunction with his residency, Walsh will discuss his unique creative process at Underdog (in the basement of Happy Dog in Gordon Square) from 7 to 9 p.m. this Wednesday, July 15.

Walsh creates camera-less 16mm and 35mm films and projects them into, onto and around found three-dimensional objects. He works with celluloid film and digital video, as well as painting and installation work.

“All of my work is non-narrative and my inspiration comes from light itself, to quirky pop culture references,” Walsh reveals. “All of my work in some form includes the manipulation of film in a very physical way.”

Walsh’s residency at Zygote Press began June 5. For the past month or so, Walsh has been using Zygote’s printing presses and equipment to apply imagery to thousands of feet of film.

“If I can get my hands on a 35mm projector before the screening, I will show an excerpt of what I've been doing while at Zygote,” explains Walsh with slightly reserved optimism. “While here, I'm creating a 35mm film using the printing press process. I brought 3,000 feet of 35mm clear leader and have been directly applying imagery to the film. I also brought an hours' worth of past work that I will show at the Underdog; anything from new digital shorts to longer abstract work. I have 16mm prints, as well as digital work to show.”

Walsh has spent more than 20 years developing his moving image art. He earned an MFA in Film/Video and New Genres from the Peck School of the Arts at UW-Milwaukee. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at SFMOMA, Bunnell Street Arts Center, the Anchorage Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Nam June Paik Center in South Korea.

“I've had the great fortune to be students of and friends with some of the great American experimental filmmakers; like Robert Nelson, George Kuchar, Bruce Conner and many others," he says. "They all showed me how to work with this art form in ways that I carry with me to this day.”

Walsh’s residency at Zygote Press runs through Aug. 2. His presentation at Underdog is free and open to the public.

(Happy Dog) 5801 Detroit Ave., 216-651-9474, happydogcleveland.com
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