Ethan Crenson
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October 3rd videos  Ethan Crenson & Amanda Alic
The October 3rd Videos
running times: variable
color, sound

Filmed on October 3rd several years in a row (and considered an ongoing project) we set up outside of the New York Public Library and asked passers-by to tell us a joke in any language. Polish, Hebrew, German, Wolof, Spanish, Hungarian, Serbian, Pular, Igbo, Farsi, French, Russian, Norwegian and, of course, English speakers offered us jokes over the years. The project seems to suggest the rigor of a conceptual exercise, but the subject has a less austere quality (and we are not so rigorous...missing a couple of years here and there.) The jokes may not be universal, but the telling of them has a quality seems so.
a selection of highlights from various years and languages can be found at:

Untitled for Susannah Ray  Ethan Crenson & Amanda Alic
untitled (for Susannah Ray)
2003 (first version), 2004 (second version)
color, silent

Commercial airliners fly endlessly in a video loop, threatening to collide, but always missing. Based on a drawing by the photographer Susannah Ray. We first saw the drawing in the weeks following a certain incident of international terrorism (which occurred while we were on our honeymoon). An innocent drawing had acquired a very uneasy resonance and we decided to adapt it to video.

People in Trees  Ethan Crenson & Amanda Alic
People in Trees
running time: 3:38
color, sound
with David Ramirez, John Keefe, Edie Winograde & Matthew Crenson

Very much as the title implies, single figures appear high in a tree in a snowy, quiet, otherwise depopulated landscape. It is ambiguous and meditative.