The Forgotten Adventures of Krazy Kat

The Forgotten Adventures of Krazy Kat, 1 min colour video, 1996: ArtRage, ABC TV, 1996; ArtRage, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1997; Griffith Artworks, 2007.

Most of the images I used for this piece were shot on a ‘field trip’ I made to Las Vegas while doing an artist-in-residency at the Australia Council’s Santa Monica studio. I figured if LA was the mecca for the art of automobility, then Las Vegas was like a sister city connected by a thin ribbon of blacktop: a mirror image of the kitsch surfaces that spring up in these just-add-water metropolises. This was one of the first things I ever did in AfterEffects, and the images are masked and ‘animated’ after the style of George Herriman or at least that was the inspiration. Las Vegas has a dizzying array of industrial-military landscapes of consumption edged hard up against the inhospitable desert. One could easily forget that not so long ago, this was the site of atomic testing and military secrets. The music is a mash-up of Raymond Scott and Carl Stalling, themselves masters of the mash-up from the same era as Herriman (the ’30s and ’40s). The work was commissioned to fit into the late night rock programming of Rage, and so I adopted a stance that I thought matched that space, yet still managed to look odd against the slick production values of the commercial music video.

Ross Harley 24 May 2007