Sara Harris & Jesse Lerner
california | film/video/new media
Artist in Residence Program 2019
I believe in the practice of listening to landscapes and moments, and the power of holding those in recorded sound as a gift to the future. Interweaving sounds of places over time with voices of humans and other animals are at the kernel of my journalism, teaching, and art practices. I explore the fluidity between two spaces and the sonic expectations they carry. I believe that sound can be the most visual medium and look forward to exploring this idea at Headlands.
My work as a filmmaker centers on two complementary projects—one formal, the other sociopolitical. My work’s challenge to traditional documentary forms is intertwined with a sustained inquiry into the dynamics of nationalism, the liberating potential of radical social and cultural experiments, and the complex interplay between art, culture, and politics. These films aim to challenge the conventions of documentary filmmaking with new hybrid modes that question the genre’s truth claims and the ways these are constructed.
While at Headlands
While at Headlands, Sara Harris and Jesse Lerner will further their collaborative project, The Fragmentations Only Mean, an audiovisual landscape mining the archive and documenting geographic, phenomenological, and historic connections between Los Angeles and the California High Desert through the work of late assemblage artist Noah Purifoy (1917–2004). Purifoy co-founded the Watts Towers Center for the Arts in 1963, and after many years serving on the
California Arts Council, retired in 1986 to a remote desert site north of Joshua Tree National Park. Over the last 18 years of his life, Purifoy created a sprawling series of sculptures from cast-away materials that extend inquiries about philosophy, social justice, race relations, and human interactions with the natural environment from the North American landscape into a universal space.
Selected Audio Works
Sara Harris; Along Came a Spider, 2008; broadcast on PRI’s Living on Earth
Sara Harris; Deported, 2003; broadcast on NPR’s All Things Considered
Sara Harris; Voices from Toussaint l’Ouverture High School, 2004; broadcast on NPR’s All Things Considered
Sara Harris; Water, 2007; installed for the FM Ferry Experiment by Radiosonideros