Donnie Stroud & April Totten

Anticipating Atlantis, Shuttle Shack, Donnie Stroud & April Totten, 2012
HD video, 20 minutes each
Photo credit: Rena Kosnett
Exhibition location: storage shack along main road, theater screening
Anticipating Atlantis is an experimental film documenting the artists’ personal road-trip across the United States to witness the 2011 launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis, the last space shuttle launch in American history. Their itinerary took them “backwards” along the iconic American road trip path from west to east, tracing the production routes enlisted in the creation of the Space Shuttle. Bringing together audio, scale models, interviews, photographs, and found footage such as NASA training animations, (gained through unexpected and significant access to NASA’s shuttle support teams and their facilities), the film weaves a trip through “space” that is at once physical, historical and psychological.
Donnie Stroud & April Totten have collaborated for several years, most recently in the group show Sculpture Garden at the Las Cienegas Projects. Their video work has also recently screened in a Film Forum event at the Hirshhorn Museum. Their collaborations include video installation, stop-motion animation, sculpture, performance, and the calculated destruction of fine scale models. They live and work in Los Angeles. Totten received her MFA from Cal Arts in 2009. Stroud studied theater at the University of Texas-Austin and at Circle in the Square in NYC. They will show excerpts from Anticipating Atlantis; an experimental documentary film centering on the team’s cross-country drive to witness the last American Space Shuttle launch. The film explores the current state and potential future of our national community through the lens of the ground-level economic landscape and the wide range of effects recent fiscal and political changes have had on individuals and institutions such as NASA.