a fence is a fence but the clouds move freely

a fence is a fence but the clouds move freely is a brief essay on the origin of four small towns in rural Kansas and Oklahoma, told through each town’s respective water tower. Tall tales, public memorials, and roadside signage present in a region shadowed with settler-colonialism, imperial pursuits, identity fictions, and the threat of severe weather.

  • Curtis Byrnside Miller
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Short
  • Genres:
    landscape film, essay film
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 10 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 28, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    16mm, digital video
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Curtis Byrnside Miller

Curtis Miller is an artist working across film, video, photography, and publication. His films have screened internationally at the Centre for Contemporary Arts - Glasgow, EXIS - Seoul, Fracto - Berlin, Montreal Underground Film Festival, and the Kinodot Experimental Film Festival - St Petersburg. His work has shown domestically at the Chicago Underground Film Festival, ICDOCS, Milwaukee Underground Film Festival, the Hyde Park Arts Center - Chicago, Indiana University - Bloomington, Gallery 400 - Chicago, and Tiger Strikes Asteroid - Chicago, as well as Renaissance TV through The Renaissance Society - Chicago.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

a fence is a fence but the clouds move freely developed out of a larger, multi-year project entitled A Brief History of Chasing Storms, a feature-length non-fiction film about the relationship of the south plains to its weather extremes. I captured the footage here during a filming and research trip to the region. The film's text was composed from discussions with locals from the towns of Wakita, Oklahoma, Freedom, Oklahoma, Protection, Kansas, and Greensburg Kansas, as well as additional research.