'Ongoing Box' Explores the Artistic Process

By Mishkin, Kate | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), August 14, 2014 | Go to article overview

'Ongoing Box' Explores the Artistic Process


Mishkin, Kate, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


David Bernabo, an artist himself, is setting the record straight on the age-old debate surrounding the definition of "art." If an artist has the intent to make art, the result is art.

That's what he's conveying in "Ongoing Box," a 100-minute film that tracks the process of eight Pittsburgh artists. The media these artists work with are slightly unconventional and include dance, improvisation, cooking and installation. The film follows each artist as he or she creates and executes art in an objective documentary made almost entirely by Mr. Bernabo.

A manager at Highmark by day and artist by night, Mr. Bernabo has dabbled in all kinds of art, from jazz composition to sound installation to video art. This is his first feature-length film.

"It's a one-person show. It keeps the cost down," he said. The budget for the film was $600, and Mr. Bernabo hopes to break even by hosting premieres for the film and then making it available online.

While he hopes to attract a wide array of audiences, Mr. Bernabo expects that a vast majority will be artists while the film is still premiering.

"I think artists of various sorts would be more instantly attracted to this, but in Chicago, two academic writers came out and saw similarities with process of [making art and] writing their own academic work," he said. "So I think it has a wider appeal, so I can see the initial audience being artists, Pittsburghers with an interest in what's happening, students, and then people slowly tying that into their own lives and their own processes. …

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