The Destruction Project is a documentary-based, experimental video about destruction in the everyday lives of rural women. It is presented in short chapters, with each one constructed differently. The imagery captures the unexpected beauty visible in change and loss: demolition derbies, agriculture, and blurry scenes. The soundscape includes interviews with women about the impact of destruction in their lives. The text is from journal entries.
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Jojin Van Winkle is a visual artist, filmmaker, and writer. Her film, video, photography, and audio research centers around the practice of listening. This listening focuses on resilience, environmental stewardship, and the human condition. She participates in national and international artist residencies and exhibits large-scale installations. As an assistant professor, she directs Carthage College’s Photography and Film and New Media Program (USA).
Van Winkle’s recent video and photographic work was the subject of a solo exhibition at MMoCA (Madison Museum of Contemporary Art) in Madison, Wisconsin from October 2020-April 2021. In August 2019 Van Winkle participated in a month-long, unplugged residency at the Arteles Creative Center in Haukijärvi, Finland. In 2016-17 Van Winkle was an artist-in-resident at the Madison Children’s Museum, collaborating with Museum staff and over 500 local children on a multi-media permanent installation, Stair Trek: Core to Cosmos, located in one of the seven-story stairwells of the Museum. The installation includes motion-activated animations, soundscapes, and large-scale painting from the children’s drawings. In 2016 she worked with youth in Skopelos, Greece to create a short film for the Skopelos International Film Festival for Youth (SIFFY), part of a filmmakers residency program sponsored by the Skopelos Foundation for the Arts.
For the Liberian land rights documentary, “The Land Beneath Our Feet” (2016, 60 min.), Jojin Van Winkle was an associate producer, with additional camerawork. She was the USA-based cinematographer for PBS/Independent Lens documentary, “In the Shadow of Ebola”, (2015, 27 min.). Both documentaries screened at international and national festivals, winning awards. MFA and MA—University of Wisconsin-Madison; BFA—School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Through the making of this work, I interviewed individual women in the Midwest and in California. These were in-person interviews and then virtual interviews due to Covid-19 circumstances. The
connections I’ve made will continue to fuel the trajectory of this project.
The Destruction Project is part of my ongoing research, a multi-part, documentary-based, experimental moving image project which examines the roles of destruction in the everyday lives of women and families in rural areas. Its main themes are:
• destruction as entertainment (phase 1),
• destruction as rejuvenation (as creative/transformative/resilience processes) (phase 2),
• and destruction as irreversible (as devastation) (phase 3)
Contextually I am interested in the way destruction intersects with play, violence, anger, choice, and change, impacting the everyday existence of women. I hope to discover and uncover additional social implications in this work as I continue to document women and their experiences. This research is part of my ongoing practice of “listening more”, collecting stories related to resilience and the human condition.