A film by Pieter Schoolwerth and Alexandra Lerman
Produced by Pieter Schoolwerth, Alexandra Lerman and Miguel Abreu
Featuring (in order of 'appearance') Nate Young, Pieter Schoolwerth, John Olson, James Baljo, Madeline Hollander, Dean Bein, Anarexia Hurls, Mike Caiazzo, Alanna Higgins, Amina Oliveros, Dave Castillo, Contessa Stuto, Judy Schoolwerth, and Blake Rayne.
Music by Nate Young (Wolf Eyes), Soren Roi (RØSENKØPF, Nothing Changes NYC), and Jonathan Canady (Deathpile, Angel of Decay).
Special Effects by Maria Beliaeva and Alexander Chertok
Sound Mix by A.J. Tissian, The Wave Lab NYC

Images of New York Exhibition:

Your Vacuum Sucks This film began one day when a very rare space opened up while I was cleaning my house. I was using a shitty old green vacuum and noticed it wasn't picking anything up, and out of banal frustration I instinctively blurted out "this vacuum sucks!" I then stopped for a moment to reconsider this statement: if it didn't suck it wouldn't be a vacuum. In other words, performing the function of 'sucking' is precisely what creates its identity, yet if it doesn't work properly it still possesses and maintains this same identity - it sucks. There is (apparently) only one way it can be. Therefore as one negotiates the presence of a vacuum one is up against a dictatorial feedback loop in which by intrinsically logical necessity there is but one possible outcome, or way of being and feeling the presence of 'it'. This somehow seems inordinately unsatisfactory. For the purposes of this film I wanted to understand why this is the case, and determine if, perhaps, there might be another way out of this situation - a different way in which the vacuum space of the world could 'work' and be experienced. That being said, it seemed the best way to 'figure' this out was to set up a situation in which a figure enters the vacuum, is sucked-in so to speak, and in doing so also contractually accepts the terms necessitated by the feedback loop that his/her body also literally be sucked-out. By existing both ‘in’ the vacuum – as a visual abstraction of itself - yet also literally removed from 'it', one might have an appropriate model by which to represent life in this previously unknown space - one in which 'space' (it's self [sic]) has literally been 'taken out'. In this process of producing simultaneous presence and absence with a human body, maybe it could be possible to inhabit a newly destabilized space-less ground zero of sorts, wherein the vacuum's categorically enforced, sadistically singular rule of being is momentarily suspended, so that something else could happen… and everyone has a vacuum, which they routinely use to prepare and maintain the ground below. Your Vacuum Sucks is a film in which the lead character has been digitally erased from the image. Appearing as a hole, a shadow, or a mirror of his properly embodied friends and coworkers he pays a friendly visit to in each of the four scenes, he engages in a series of rebuslike exchanges in which he attempts to negotiate the nature of his existence, whereby he is present to others entirely through his own visual absence. The moving image on screen is composed of two disparate moments in time compressed, and running along side each other in parallel as two separate filmic layers. Everywhere the lead figure appears in the top layer his body is ‘sucked-out’, and the space of his silhouette filled in with a different take of the same shot showing through the bottom layer, depicting a moment just before, or is it one soon to follow? The result of this superimposition is an image of temporal compression – two discrete moments in time are represented with a single image. Like coming to terms with walking around in the vacuum space of 2015, the time of this world can also apparently be rather slippery to negotiate it seems…

Pieter Schoolwerth is a visual artist and film maker who was born in St Louis, Missouri in 1970 and graduated from the California Institute of the Arts. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, where he has been exhibiting his paintings and videos regularly since 1994. He has has participated in exhibitions throughout the U.S. and worldwide including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT; and the ICA, Boston. He is represented by Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York; What Pipeline, Detroit; Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris; and Gallery SKE, New Delhi. From 2003- 2013 Pieter also ran the Wierd Records label and the Wierd weekly party in New York City, which produced 30 releases and over 500 live music events.