Local Doc ‘Ongoing Box’ Focuses On Pittsburgh Artists

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Over the past decade, musician/artist David Bernabo has immersed himself in Pittsburgh’s music, art, and dance scenes, but it wasn’t until recently that he decided to branch out into film and video. He channeled his knowledge of the city’s arts and cultural community through his debut documentary Ongoing Box: A Film about Process with Pittsburgh Artists, which looks at a number of local creatives and their craft. On August 14th, the work will make its Pittsburgh premiere at Melwood Screening Room.

Ongoing Box investigates the role of process in the arts. Conceptual artist Lenka Clayton creates new works in her Artist Residency in Motherhood series, while movement theater artist Mark C. Thompson works with miming and sculptural movement for a piece on predation. Blaine Siegel works across mediums to develop new diamond-shaped paintings, a dance installation with partner Jil Stifel, and a large video work. The definition of ‘artist’ is also expanded to include Kevin Sousa, chef and owner of Union Pig and Chicken, Superior Motors, and formerly Salt of the Earth, as he forages the formerly steel-infused neighborhood of Braddock, PA for wild edibles. Through studio works-in-progress, performance, interview, and filmed experiments with smoke/motors/ice, the film documents a cultural landscape that revels in new collaborations, new work, and a strangely freeing lack of commercial expectation. Other participants include choreographer Maree ReMalia, documented as she prepares the evening length piece The Ubiquitous Mass of Us, painter Stephanie Armbruster working on new encaustic paintings, photographer Garret Jones as he begins documenting Pittsburgh in portrait, and luthier Raymond Morin (of Pairdown) as he and Adam Rousseau build a handful of guitars from scratch.

Ongoing Box begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $8. The documentary will also screen later this year as part of the afronaut(a): 2.0 film series.

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