Scary Stories (2014-ongoing)

Scary Stories is an ongoing participatory video project, which uses drawing and storytelling to explore various concepts of fear, creating a record of personal and collective anxieties in contemporary America. Started in 2014, this experimental piece develops in the intersection of art, social practice, oral history and digital media.

I invite the participates to meet with me and tell me stories about anything "scary" in their own lives or the life of their community. In addition, I invite them to listen to another person’s story and respond to it through digital drawing or writing. I eventually edit the stories and drawings into short films, which are screened as stand-alone pieces or shown in multi-channel video installations.

As of today, I have talked to seventy men and women coming from different parts of the US, as well as Europe, Asia, and South America; the interviews took place in New York City (2014), San Antonio and Pittsburgh (2015) and New Orleans (2016). The Scary Stories archive currently consists of fourty films, their lengh varying from 1 to 11 minutes.

The collection of films reveals not only the participants' individual concerns, but collective worries shared by the majority of people living today: racial and economic tensions, troubling news about international politics and ecology, and existential fears related to the meaning of human life and the nature of time.

Scary Stories: The woman question, 05:06 min., 2016. Narration by Sarah Hollars, drawings by Robert Marshall and James Whitman.

Scary Stories: Unspeakable things, 11:18 min., 2015. Narration by Mona Sharma, drawings by Mira Schor.

Scary Stories: The supernatural in Sebring, Ohio, 07:40 min., 2014. Narration by Jim Seffens, drawings by Becky Brown.