Experiencing Interruptions?

The Machines Possessed Me (v1.5)

In the early days of producing the experimental "Abductions with the Alter Boy" TV show I didn't have my own editing system as I do now. We depended on organizations I worked at for this. We shot footage at CAN TV on June 19, 1998 for five Alter Boy episodes. Trish and I got access to SAIC's Media 100 after hours. The door key didn't work and I had to Taekwondo kick it open, having learned such skills at the Peace School in Chicago. I loaded my Gadomski episode footage into the Media 100 and discovered an amazing thing. The Media 100 would preview every frame at the speed you were moving your mouse over the footage. The visuals and sounds that this produced from my Alter Boy footage entranced me and I took up a lot of time improvising very much like I did when I was a kid doing "Electronic Tonalities." Trish got bored and fell asleep. This edited sequence is the result of the improvisation. I've edited out virtually all recognizable content and left in only content-free abstractions. You can find "Electronic Tonalities" at https://soundcloud.com/mikebohacz/electronic-tonalities?in=mikebohacz/sets/my-audio-autobiography .

  • Michael Bohacz
    Director
    History of the Moon, Electromagnetic Fields Forever, Abductions with the Alter Boy
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short, Web / New Media, Other
  • Genres:
    video art, new media art, visual music, colour music, intermedia, experimental film, non-narrative film, avant-garde film, cinéma pur, microcinema
  • Runtime:
    38 minutes 19 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 3, 2022
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Aspect Ratio:
    4:3
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Accolade Global Film Competition
    La Jolla, CA
    United States
    November 29, 2022
    Official Selection: Experimental
  • San Francisco Arthouse Short Festival
    San Francisco, CA
    United States
    May 20, 2022
    Semi-Finalist: Best Experimental Short
Distribution Information
  • YouTube
    Distributor
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights, Internet
  • Vimeo
    Distributor
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights, Internet
Director Biography - Michael Bohacz

After receiving my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in 1981, I chose not to pursue a master’s degree. My choice not to continue my formal education in the arts arose from the idea that life would act as my art teacher and it would mentor me to my mastering of my art practice. SAIC hired me anyway (without an advanced degree) and I began to teach there as an Instructional Technician in their video art department known at that time as the Video Area. The SAIC Video Area in the 1980s was a unique place. Founded by artist Philip Lee Morton, it provided students with two relatively new and very exciting media for artistic exploration: video synthesis and digital computers.

Chicago’s home grown video art movement was based around the Daniel J. Sandin Analogue Image Processor (IP) and Thomas A. DeFanti’s digital computer innovations. I became intimately involved with these technologies because one of my tasks as an employee of the SAIC Video Area was to maintain and upgrade the equipment. Our faculty, students and I made many works of experimental video art during those years.

I began working on collage video art mixed with image processing. I made works based on a theory I named “Video I Ching” (since shortened to V-Ching) where I would record material from TV and collect sequences from movies and TV distributed on VHS tapes. I would run these collected sequences through a technical process whereby the scenes would mix together randomly. I would then edit a “narrative” from what I found the most interesting and intriguing composites. I made many experimental works based on this aesthetic method. "History of the Moon" and "Electromagnetic Fields Forever" represent two examples. V-Ching still informs my art making.

Another project I worked on quite a bit during my time at SAIC was a role-playing game based on Dr. Timothy Leary's theories on the future evolution of the human nervous system. With the working titles of "Black Wholes and Blobs" and "Destiny," I was unfortunately not able to bring the game to complete fruition. I'd like to find time to finally finish this project.

After leaving SAIC in the mid 1990s I took up with a Chicago company called Rising Star, a creative computer technology reseller. Some of the people at Rising Star would become creative collaborators. They included John Steven Keith, Barbara Ann Perry, John S. Banks, Jesse Keeler, Steve Perry. It was also at Rising Star I met my art-life partner Patricia Ann Happel. Under the guise of our company Cyberscope Wizards, my wife Trish and I would create what I like to call stealth enlightenment programming. I signed up as a producer at the Chicago Access Network (CAN) and we created the experimental television series "Abductions with the Alter Boy." This CAN television program has been featured in the documentary film "Access Nation." The series is now available on Amazon and Vimeo On Demand. After Rising Star I continued my experimental video art and worked as a freelance cinematographer, video editor, motion graphics artist, sound designer.

We’re currently working on more experimental TV and movie projects (like "Robots and Reptiles Theater," "The Devil’s Lantern," "Psychedelic Frankenstein"). In addition, every spring the Cyberscope Wizards host a celebration of art, electricity, chaos. We unleash our primal spirits, videotaping our performances and the transformative recycling of outmoded technology into high-voltage excitement. We call it Cybernalia.

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Director Statement

I consider myself a fringe transmedia conceptual artist and have experimented with all kinds of media: drawing, performance, writing, music, painting, moviemaking, game design. I also believe that one can think of one’s life as a work of art and I accept the notion that we can think of art as a spiritual practice. I have practiced my art since I can remember. Part of my practice has always been encouraging others to get involved in the joy of creativity.