Contact me at

“The Endless End” explores the rich past and complicated present for all non-human life. Facing West Shadows: The Endless End” is a multimedia exhibit at the Institute of Contemporary Art San Jose (ICASJ) on display from April 1 to Aug. 14. The installation, created by artist collective Facing West Shadows, combines video, audio and physical art forms in a series of connected rooms inside of ICASJ. The exhibit draws on themes of ancient animal life, human intervention and earth in the age of climate change. Right as I took my first step in, I was met with eight simultaneous projections (six from above, two on the ground), shooting a mix of video, photo and animation all across the room. A delicate and hauntingly beautiful soundscape played as the walls began to tell their story. The entirety of the exhibit’s inside is lined from floor-to-ceiling with huge sheets of crumpled white paper. Visuals of different animals, fossils and human silhouettes glide across the walls, each taking on their own form and distortion from the abnormal creases and crimps of the wall’s bright white paper. Small, vibrantly colored stencils are placed in projectors on the floor and projected on top of the quickly changing media, all of which resemble a complex root structure or splintering network of veins.  Immediately upon entering, “The Endless End’s” story is captivating. While onlookers may not be told where they are in the story, or how each scene relates to the next, the overarching theme is clear: climate change and human activity have fundamentally deteriorated life for animals. “The Endless End” creates a truly transcendent atmosphere. The two rooms the exhibit inhabits feel almost like a cave, provoking an immediate sense of both isolation and escape from the outside world. I soon forgot I was looking at projections onto paper and felt totally immersed in the story and imagery of the room. No words were spoken in the masterfully made soundscape of “The Endless End,” though so much was conveyed through music, visuals and design. Not having a defined start or finish, the exhibit performs nonstop, which ultimately adds to its mystery and beauty. As I came to the end of my stay, I was left reveling in the enormity of animal history. Though I also left with a deep, all-encompassing feeling of smallness — the kind that only art can provide."
~ The Santa Claran, MATTHEW LALLAS (2022)
“The design of the installation is in part inspired by proto-cinema technologies and even cave paintings —especially the abstract lines that some scholars believe created a sense of movement when viewed by torchlight. Mock-ups and in-progress animations show an experience that feels primordial and raw. Animations of branches and fungi growing create a sense of vibrancy, but there is also a ghostly feel to the apparitions of extinct or endangered species projected on the cavern walls. “There’s not a didactic element to it that’s going to tell people what to think and feel,” Kientz says. Nonetheless, in keeping with the circular spirit of the installation’s title, the artists conceived the abstract narrative in terms of cycles, such as darkness and light, past and present, and preservation and survival. FWS proposes that visitors slow down and observe, but not in a detached or neutral way. Viewers can sit with the experience as it washes over them, and no immediate call to action is required—no comments, reshares, or likes. The artists argue that such contemplative observation leads to more radical ends. Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, which galvanized action against DDT, was prompted by a letter from a friend who had observed birds dying on her property following insecticide sprayings. The Endless End is an invitation for us to find a place within our political lives for this kind of observation and committed connection to the lands we
inhabit. The current ecological crisis marks the end of many things—species, ways of being, possible futures. But, the artists say, it’s important to acknowledge that as serious as these endings are, they do not add up to the end. There is always a future; darkness and loss are not the same as apocalypse. The brown pelican’s demise never came, because people acted. And so, Greer says, the piece asks us, “How do we survive this?” If we predict we’ll have to give up, Kientz says, “we give up on our ideas and on our imagination.” ~ Matthew Harrison Tedford (2022) 
"Lydia Greerʼs spare retellings of her family stories belie their own complexity. Using the imperceptible twenty-four-frames-per-second rhythm of live-action film rather than the ten to twelve frames per second of typical animation, Greer assigns characters to simple objects and allows them to enact oblique narratives about consumption, youth, and political upheaval. This minimalist animation is preceded by segments of live video, allowing the artist to transfer the responsibility of storytelling from the narrator to the viewer, exploring the form of the “play” as an active exchange."~ Berkeley Art Museum curator Dena Beard (2009) 

"A Self Made House opens with the artist Lydia Greerʼs stepfather telling a family folktale of two sisters, a violent hog, and a house that forms itself. Much like the way the story is told, Greer shapes this film through hand-made animation, performance, and shifting narratives. Greer lets the story (and the house) build itself through the assemblage of divergent genres, interpretations, and narrative devices."
~ Rose Khor, Curator, Santa Clara University Video Exhibition: Memory Mine (2012)

"Lydia Greer will be screening a work, Audition, that is itself enfolded within her brilliant animated film A Self Made House. This work consists of multiple takes of amateur actors auditioning for a single role. Presenting multiple images of a person both historical and fictional, personal and archetypal, Audition fuses and confuses the representation with the represented." ~ Farley Gwazda, curator and co-founder/director of Martina Johnston Gallery & director of the Worth Ryder Gallery at UC Berkeley (2015) 

"Facing West: A Shadow Theater Opera (Lydia Greer: Artistic Director) is a handcrafted, multisensory immersion into a key moment in the evolution of the American West. Modernizing traditional shadow puppet theater,Facing West merges visual techniques that range from projected video, animation, and shadow theater to create a dense and holistic visual landscape. Drawing inspiration from the book Walt Whitman and the Opera, Facing West explores Walt Whitman's obsession with the traveling operas of the wild west and the gold rush era. Pairing its innovative visual elements with operatic voice and cello, the piece is a singular and immersive work that examines local history through a unique creative lens." 
~ Kathleen Maguire, Cinema Arts Program Curator at the Exploratorium Museum, San Francisco, CA (2018)

This brief survey of recent experimental animation features films by both new and established local film artists (Meghana Bisineer, Lydia Greer, Jeremy Rourke, Kathleen Quillian, Allison Leigh Holt,  Scott Stark) who continue the long Bay Area tradition of bold experimentation and cinematic risk-taking as they continue to redefine how we think of moving-image animation. These filmmakers defy medium and genre boundaries—whether using the artisanal hand markings of a paintbrush or high-tech computer-generated imagery. The program zigs and zags from pixelated, live-action documentary to abstract hallucinations. Other films use found objects and images, and even hand-built bamboo huts. All explore multiple geographies past, present, and future—ranging from sixteenth-century poets in Rajasthan, India, to present-day Mission District underground filmmakers. Music and sound composition are as important as image, with the creation of original soundscapes, songs, and performances. Each film is a unique and colorful song of transformation and metamorphosis, reflecting the excitement of a world in constant motion. 
— Jeffrey Skoller
Jeffrey Skoller is a filmmaker, writer, and associate professor of film and media at UC Berkeley, as well as cocurator of Alternative Visions

More Press: (Strangloscope International Film Festival-featured USA artist 2023)