This is a clip from the Richard Linklater’s, 1991 debut film, Slacker. Linkenlater referenced that his intent for the term Slacker was not the popularized misconception of an apathetic and aimless young person but rather someone with enough vision to reject dogmatism of social hierarchy.
I think as it relates to this opening scene it’s like providence that the very title of the film and subject itself could take on multiple lives. For the director and a lot of fans the term Slacker is understood as someone intelligent, bohemian, in raw culture as opposed to some upper-crust folks, who might view the term derogatorily, as an individual uninformed, uncultured and lazy. These two beliefs exist concurrently over one thing. But which one is it? I think it’s both. Whether one belief or life takes favor the thing exists for all time to be defined by the lives and deaths of those perceptions.
The film started me thinking about my practice as derivatives of subjects like recognizing parts to understand the whole. I’m thinking a lot about how we construct our perceptions of things and working to create images that are manifestations of the most powerful associative properties of that subject (these day’s I’m really hating on overabundance). It’s like editing down a long verse into a more succinct poem. For me, I believe it’s more palatable as trying to understand the ether I look to scrutinize the thing, strip it down and rebuild it anew. A structure changes and it becomes something different entirely but is somehow still recognizable as akin to the original subject. I find figure, scene, and narrative in all of it but it’s still neither here nor there (and I’m into that).
by Chase Szakmary