Private Project

The Great Basin! Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Desert

The Great Basin! Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Desert is a film, book and print project that addresses climate change, the severe drought in the Western United States, gun culture, the military’s use of the basin and range of Nevada for atomic testing, cultural stereotypes, my own personal history, and my experiences in this mostly remote area. In the 15 minute short film I am creating complex collages of my still and motion captures made in Nevada with appropriated short clips from Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, recent weather footage, The Lone Ranger, as well as John Wayne’s and other historic films, cartoons, and many other cultural artifacts, in order to speak to the place and its significance.

Bruce Conner’s short films are very much informing my current work. Starting with his first film A Movie (1958), Conner appropriated found footage and montaged disparate imagery in order to speak about current culture and events, including the Cold War. Dara Birnbaum’s Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman (1978), a re-edit of television’s Wonder Woman footage, and Christian Marclay’s The Clock (2010), which consists of over 12,000 appropriated clips from the history of cinema, are also inspirations. Stanley Kubrick’s work is of course an important reference and influence.

The book component of The Great Basin! Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Desert project references Pocket Western Pulp Fiction books from the 1940s and 1950s, appropriating their design. The inside pages collage stills and text derived from the film. The book also includes the short story “And You Come Across The Basin Alone”, that I have written under a nom de plume.

  • Eric Weeks
  • Eric Weeks
  • Eric Weeks
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    May 10, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    3,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Environmental Film & Screenplay Festival 2023
    Los Angeles, California
    United States
    July 31, 2023
    Winner Best Nature Film
  • New Filmmakers New York 2023
    New York, NY
    United States
    September 23, 2023
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Eric Weeks

Eric Weeks is an artist using photography and video, a curator, and Chair of the Photography & Video Department at the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA. His short films and photographs contemplate our shared human condition. He has exhibited his photographs and short films nationally and internationally, including in Australia, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Morocco, Singapore, South Korea, Spain and the United States. His work is in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Maison Européene de la Photographie, Bibliothèque Nationale, Yale University Art Gallery and the Sir Elton John Collection, among others. He is the author of three monographs: World Was in the Face of the Beloved, A Rose By Any Other Name and Twentysix Wawa Stores. Portfolios have appeared in FotoNostrum, Dodho, Zoom, Photo +, Fahrenheit and Dear Dave. Awards include a City Corps Artist Grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts; an Individual Creative Artist Fellowship Grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; Open Call Winner, Art Speaks Out, ikonoTV, Berlin; Finalist, Black Maria Film Festival, Jersey City; and Semi-Finalist, G2 Green Earth Film Festival, Los Angeles. Weeks received a MFA from Yale University, and a BFA from the School of Visual Arts. His work is represented by Galerie Catherine & André Hug in Paris.

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