Travis Wilkerson describes himself as a “radical filmmaker.” Local audiences will be able to sample his work on Oct. 25 when the Los Angeles resident kicks off this year’s visiting artist series presented by the Teledramatic Arts and Technology Department (TAT) at CSU Monterey Bay and the Monterey Bay Film Society.
He will make two presentations, both free and open to the public, at noon and again at 2 p.m. Both will be held in the TAT studio on Sixth Avenue at A Street.
Wilkerson is a contemporary practitioner of agit-prop “third cinema” media activism. His best-known work is the experimental documentary “An Injury to One,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2003.
It centers on a significant episode in American labor history, the murder of Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) organizer Frank Little in Butte, Montana, in August 1917. The film provides the historical background to the event, the decades-long exploitation of the region and its workers by the Anaconda Copper Mining Company.
Wilkerson’s film also examines the present state of Butte, a decayed industrial city of 32,000 people, blighted by the largest body of contaminated water in the United States, the Berkeley Pit. This is the legacy of Anaconda, which abandoned the town decades ago. The company reportedly had extracted $25 billion worth of copper by that time.
His other films include "Accelerated Underdevelopment" (on the Cuban filmmaker Santiago Alvarez) and "Who Killed Cock Robin?"
In 2009, he presented the first ever performance art at Sundance with "Proving Ground," a live multi-media presentation chronicling the history of U.S. aerial bombings.
In addition to Sundance, his work has screened at scores of festivals worldwide, including Toronto, Rotterdam, Marseille, Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival, Hot Docs, Vienna International Film Festival and Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival.
Among his awards are the Documentary Prize from the New York Underground Film Festival, the Innovation Award at the Chicago International Documentary Film Festival and the Narrative Integrity Award at the Ann Arbor Film Festival.
He’s also a co-founder of the micro-distributor Extreme Low Frequency, which releases little-seen works of radical cinema, both classic and contemporary.
Driving directions and a campus map are available at csumb.edu/map. While the event is free, visitors will have to purchase a parking pass from machines located on the parking lots.