Film

  • The Farnsworth Scores
  • GRANTEE
    Rob Mazurek & Lee Anne Schmitt
    GRANT YEAR
    2016

Lee Anne Schmitt, The Farnsworth House, 2014, Plano, IL. Courtesy of the artist.

The Farnsworth Scores is an experimental film and musical composition conceived by cornetist and visual artist Rob Mazurek, in collaboration with filmmaker Lee Anne Schmitt. The film and soundtrack capture the interaction between humans, nature, and architecture at Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's iconic Farnsworth House. With its steel frame and walls of uninterrupted glass, the Farnsworth House stands as a contemplative, sculptural dwelling intended by the architect to give nature "a more profound significance than if viewed from outside." The glass, which simultaneously delineates and joins interior and exterior space, acts as catalyst for this expanded dialogue. The Farnsworth Scores uses two single-track shots and the transparency of the glass to shift the viewer playfully between the house's interior and exterior, while the sound track reveals the separation. The film explores the intimacy of the artistic process and questions architecture's role in reconnecting humanity with nature.

Rob Mazurek is a composer, cornetist, and improviser whose broad electro-acoustic palette defies simple categorization. His work has earned him a reputation as a respected figure in the international creative music and avant-jazz scenes. His expansive vision and vast catalog of over 300 compositions and 54 recordings have kept him reshaping modern music's cutting edge for the past three decades. He leads and composes for projects ranging in size from solo to orchestra. Mazurek's solo endeavors highlight the breadth of his virtuosity and rich improvisational vocabulary. His work has been featured in the Wire (UK), DownBeat, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Tribune. As a multimedia artist, he has exhibited his video, painting, and print works internationally, including commissions from New Music USA and the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, among others.

Lee Anne Schmitt, associate director of film directing at CalArts, is a filmmaker and artist who creates evocative, deeply felt works that consider everyday elements of American life as cultural ritual. Her cinematic investigations examine the intersections of landscape with personal memory, with the history of the American Left and corporate land abandonment. As a graduate student at CalArts, Schmitt worked extensively with the artist Lee Lynch to create a series of films detailing the processes of American history. She is currently completing her third feature film. Recipient of a Creative Capital Grant in 2015, Schmitt has screened work at venues, including the Museum of Modern Art (New York), SFMoMA (San Francisco), the Centre Pompidou (Paris), Anthology Film Archives (New York), and the Pacific Film Archives (Berkeley).