Aperture – Take 7

Oracle Film presents…

Aperture Series
Take 7 – Nelson Carvajal

Screening selected works followed by Q&A Reception with the filmmaker

Reserve Your Seats Now
Admission is FREE in Public Access Theatre
April 30, May 1 & 2, 2015, at 8:00 pm
May 3, 2015, at 7:00 pm

Oracle Film is excited to showcase the work of Chicago Filmmaker, Nelson Carvajal. The series will screen 12 short films over the course of the 80 minute event, all directed and edited by Nelson Carvajal. Q & A sessions will follow each evening, along with a special filmmaker reception May 1, 2015 and May 2, 2015.

Here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll see:


Nelson Carvajal is an acclaimed video artist and writer, whose filmography has focused on appropriation art in the digital age. A majority of his work falls under the “video essay” label, with video shorts ranging from mash-ups to remixes to supercuts, all of which survey the shared connections between genres, filmmakers and the American pop culture. His work is featured year-round in the Press Play video blog at indieWIRE, RogerEbert.com and Fandor.

Carvajal picIn 2012, Carvajal teamed with fellow Chicago filmmaker Amir Georgeto create a month long video art show called “Film Is Dead: Edges of the Digital Frame” at the I Am Logan Square gallery. Carvajal was the recipient of the 2013 Trailblazer Award from his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, for his significant accomplishments in the industry. In 2014 Newcity Magazine recognized him as one of the Top 50 Figures in Chicago Film. Carvajal’s video work has screened at various film festivals including the Oregon Independent Film Festival, the Boston Science Fiction Film Festival and the London Underground Film Festival.


I grew up in a very jovial, youthful apartment household. Born in Chicago, my parents were teenagers at Von Steuben High School when they had me, unexpectedly. I was always around past due VHS copies of rated R films. I devoured the movies—auto tracking and all—as a kid. I was in love with movies, pure and simple.

By the time I was a teenager, I went to the movie theatre as often as I could. This was before the Internet had really taken off as a platform for streaming movies. By the time I was an undergrad, studying Media Studies in the Division of Communication at UW-Stevens Point, I began to see the turning of the tide. Facebook was just coming along for the first time, online channels like Vimeo began to attract the more serious videographers and young America was completely at ease with illegally downloading movies as opposed to paying to see them on the big screen.

While many today see the instant gratification culture as a step back, I see it as a radical step forward. We are all appropriation artists to some degree. Every time you share an Internet meme to your Facebook timeline, you are illegally publishing content that you did not create. But it goes unpunished. In fact, it’s celebrated. Because of this, I have been very vocal about the gray areas of copyright laws when it comes to video artists like myself appropriating movie and TV clips; we are trying to reshape the way we once viewed these pieces of media. We’re like moving image collage artists, consistently hungry with challenging what an image was “supposed to mean” and continuing to study the ever-shifting cultural contexts of today’s mindset. Akira Kurosawa once proclaimed, “It is wonderful to create!” Well, the digital tools of today’s online world give us unprecedented power to create content and share them instantly.


    Carvajal’s year-end video essay that looks back at the tumultuous year that was 2014.
  • ASTRO//SPLICE (2014)
    Space, a facade or frontier? Video art piece created for the Hairpin Arts Center’s one-night event circling around themes of space travel and adventure.

    A visual essay on culture, history and the act of physical filmmaking used to recreate memories, myths and images.

    Carvajal’s most popular mashup trailer. It combines the new PLANET OF THE APES films with Richard Linklater’s critical darling BOYHOOD.

  • TV TAKEOVER (2014)
    Video essay created for RogerEbert.com that uses Peter Finch’s infamous speech from NETWORK to look at television as a new age nightmare.

    Documentary short commissioned by indieWIRE’s Press Play video blog. It highlights one of Chicago’s leading micro-cinemas.

  • BLACK FRIDAY (2013)
    Vertical video installation piece juxtaposing America’s “Black Friday” phenomenon with people who live in garbage.

    Horizontal video installation piece showing the path and price of chocolate.

    Carvajal’s viral video sensation that catapulted his video supercut filmography to a national spotlight.

  • RAFFLE TUCKER (2012)
    Rudy Schroeder took a chance on a raffle ticket to win a Tucker Sedan in the summer of 1949. What happened next, no one could predict. Documentary short commissioned by Richard H. Driehaus.

  • COBRAFACE (2011)
    “An unformed being.” That’s the description of the title character in this hypnotic, found footage-esque video short. Music scored by Dukes.

  • EUPHONY (2011)
    A radical video essay, Carvajal challenges our sense of perception and perspective. Juxtaposing scenery from a wintry and seemingly innocuous day in Chicago, Illinois with CBS news audio of a violent anti-government demonstration in Cairo, Egypt, “Euphony” asks the viewer to consider the roles of time and place within the strong disconnect of the shared human experience.


The Aperture Series is hosted by Oracle Film. Each series consists of a weekend dedicated to showcasing the films of individual independent filmmakers. Providing them with an audience, while offering free screenings to the community through Oracle Production’s Public Access Theatre model.

With our film projects, we embark on an exploration of the medium to stretch the limitations of the cinematic art form. Oracle Film joins its audience in a dialogue dissecting the barriers between the filmmaker and the film viewer. Oracle Film elevates its community by placing free film at the citizens’ fingertips.

From the simplest narrative to the experimental and avant-garde; from showcasing the individual filmmaker to producing works of our own – we make art, we make it free, and we share it with as many people possible – for free.