Sunday, March 22, 2015

3/25 Mock Up on Mu (Craig Baldwin in-Person)

MOCK UP ON MU (2008) 110 minutes
Directed by Craig Baldwin

A radical hybrid of sci-fi, spy, Western, and even horror genres, Craig Baldwin’s Mock Up On Mu cobbles together a feature-length "collage-narrative" based on (mostly) true stories of California's post-War sub-cultures of rocket pioneers, alternative religions, and Beat lifestyles. Pulp-serial snippets, industrial-film imagery, and B- (and Z-) fiction clips are intercut with newly shot live-action material, powering a playful, allegorical trajectory through the now-mythic occult matrix of Jack Parsons (Crowleyite founder of the Jet Propulsion Lab), L.Ron Hubbard (sci-fi author turned cult-leader), and Marjorie Cameron (bohemian artist and "mother of the New Age movement"). Their intertwined tales spin out into a speculative farce on the militarization of space and the corporate take-over of spiritual fulfillment and leisure-time.


Craig Baldwin is a filmmaker and curator whose interests lie in archival retrieval  and recombinatory forms of cinema, performance, and installation. He is the recipient of several grants, including those from the Rockefeller Foundation, Alpert Award, Creative Capital, Phelan, AFI, FAF, and California Arts Council. Over the last two decades, his productions have been shown and awarded at numerous international festivals, museums, and institutes of contemporary art, often in conjunction with panels, juries, and workshops on collage and cultural activism. His own weekly screening project, Other Cinema, has continued to premiere experimental, essay, and documentary works for over a quarter century, recently expanding into DVD publishing.

Craig Baldwin attended the University of California at Santa Barbara, University of California at Davis, and San Francisco State University (Masters, 1986). In the Cinema Dept. there, he studied under Bruce Conner and became increasingly drawn to collage film form.  His interest in the re-contextualization of "found" imagery led him to the theories of the Situationist International and to various practices of mail art, zines, altered billboards, and other creative initiatives beyond the fringe of the traditional fine-arts curriculum. After three short films, his first to be commercially released was Tribulation 99, a satirical collage rant on conspiracy theory, xenophobia, apocalyptic thinking, and US covert interference in Latin America. 

His first feature-length production, Sonic Outlaws, was an experimental documentary on the emerging "electronic folk culture", exploring the legal, political, and artistic implications of the audio-collage work of culture-jamming collectives like Negativland, Tape-beatles, Emergency Broadcast Network, and the Barbie Liberation Organization. Mr. Baldwin then completed Spectres of the Spectrum, a 90-min. sci-fi spoof utilizing early educational kinescopes to criticize the corporate control of electronic-communications technologies. His latest ‘collage-narrative’ feature, Mock-Up On Mu, parodies the impending militarization of space by means of allegories drawn from urban myths of post-War California subcultures.