"Pittsburgh City Paper" - january 6-13, 1999

"Arts & Entertainment"

Air Drops and Rollercoasters

Short films screen at Film Kitchen

by Bill O'Driscoll


This year is the 25th since tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE began making films, as well as the 25th that he's been named tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE. But just as he claims to "go by a zillion different names," he resists being labelled "filmmaker" or even "artist." Tent, as he's known, prefers terms including "as been," "psychopathfinder" and "sprocket scientist"--all suggestive of his mission as a self-appointed cultural gadfly.

"Most of the things I do serve a couple of purposes," says Tent, who claims to have made about 190 films and videos. "one, to undermine so-called reality, or what I call 'reality maintenance traps.' [Two,] to introduce into society what I call 'mystery catalysts,' things that will hopefully stimulate people to question their surroundings."

One such catalyst is deployed in Air Drops, Tent's record of releasing cryptically encoded paper airplanes from airplanes flying over Baltimore in 1997 and over the Carnegie Mellon campus this past September. Air Drops screens along with Ward of Mouth, a 1989 short that depicts him being assaulted with a food product, and Philosopher's Union Member Mouthpiece: Emma Elizabeth Downing (1988), in which a performer friend soliloquizes about Christianity, Jung and "the crying of mammals throughout time."

Tent, who has lived in Pittsburgh since 199[6], frequently hits the road to screen his work in cities across the country. "Most people I know are trying to get other people to accept them as artists. I'm always trying to get people to accept me as not being an artist," says Tent, 45, whose jobs include projectionist at The Andy Warhol Museum, "Art to me is just an outmoded context for creativity."


Film Kitchen is sponsored by Pittsburgh City Paper, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Wall-to-Wall Studios, WYEP-FM and Heads Together Video.


to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE movie-making "Press: Criticism, Interviews, Reviews" home-page

to the "tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - Sprocket Scientist" home-page

to the "FLICKER" home-page for the alternative cinematic experience

to find out more about why the S.P.C.S.M.E.F. (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Sea Monkeys by Experimental Filmmakers) is so important

for A Mere Outline for One Aspect of a Book on Mystery Catalysts, Guerrilla Playfare, booed usic, Mad Scientist Didactions, Acts of As-Beenism, So-Called Whatevers, Psychopathfinding, Uncerts, Air Dressing, Practicing Promotextuality, Imp Activism, etc..

for info on tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's tape/CD publishing label: WIdémoUTH

to see an underdeveloped site re the N.A.A.M.C.P. (National Association for the Advancement of Multi-Colored Peoples)