Hollywood Archeology

Lowell Darling


Portfolio of twenty 8 x 8 inch pigment prints


Lowell Darlings work has been an important, yet under-appreciated part of the conceptual art movement in California since the early 1970’s. His film, Hollywood Archeology was the culmination of a project spanning two decades. For years, while living in Hollywood the artist collected weather beaten strips of film discarded by the Film Studio's. While looming large in his mind, the project awaited resolution for over twenty years.

In 1997 we introduced to Lowell the concept of digitizing the film to create large format prints of the 35 mm film. The enlargement process gave new life to these tiny fragments of damaged film and made visible the beautiful abstract forms that were concealed to the naked eye.

But, perhaps the most central element of his work of this period was the film he created from these found fragments. Lowell spliced 80,000 frames of the found film into a hypnotic abstraction. The film, Hollywood Archeology was premiered at Gallery 16 on September 4 1997 with a live soundtrack improvised by Les Claypool of Primus. A slightly altered version of the film was later scored by Tom Waits.