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Gratuitous Art Films
Brooklyn, NY

ARTIST STATEMENT: Art does not love you, and cares not your opinion of it. Art hates the rising of mercury and the clear sense of purpose. Art is a winding boa forever unable to tie itself in a bow tie, but always aware of the smell in the room. That smell is audience. Parasitic by nature, wise like a lemming, blind as a thrown stone on the surface of a lake. The lake, that polluted body of undrinkable water, sends its odors from Hollywood all the way to Jerusalem. We choose grains of sand to stand in for time because we know the weight of timeless things. We throw pianos from the moon because we believe in abrupt endings. We use women like chopsticks, and chopsticks like women because we know that neither is perfect to eat food with and that is why we must make films because films will not unmake us. If they could we would all have video wills buried in the brains of automobile gods strung across garbage fields of dreams.

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Gratuitous Art Productions/Films is a collaborative art project between Jeff Burns and Cat Gilbert. We at Gratuitous seeks out the connections and inflections between today’s audience and yesterday’s bully pulpit. Gratuitous techniques have been keystones in both propaganda and film making in the 20th century and over time, connotations-symbolic, political or otherwise allow us to manipulate sound and images to gratuitously inflict our own narratives.

We at Gratuitous dig deep into the trenches of ephemera obscura, sourcing from over 65 years of public domain material ranging from the propaganda of the Prelinger archives, to the wax cylinders in Thomas Edison’s Attic. The very sources of the material form a foundational context that allows these short films to work with so many layers. The corporate lens and the time of its conception make each film source a treasure trove of metaphor and social relevance.

GAF has been a participant in many shows including the first incarnation of Sonik/Lucid Fest in Long Island City, Perpetual Art Machine at Scope Basel 2010, Sonic Jukebox at Soundfjord, London, “Glitch Generation” at Brooklyn Arts Council and many others.

If you’d like to have GAF at your gallery, performance space or event please contact us at

647 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217


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