What if we treated old cameras and microphones not as exhibits in a museum of technology, but as working tools? Once we remove all of the optical glass from a Bell+Howell, what can we do with it? How can we use this microphone from a thrift store? If we restored the effaced Indian place names, what would happen to our movement through the city? What if we looked at then edifices of Chicago’s famous architects, even the memorials, and saw huge erasers? What if we worked collaboratively in the last bastion of individual authorship — experimental film? How can we film maps so that the films also map the recent history of film maps? Can filmed bodies remember what wasn’t?
The canoes of early Chicago float into Land Marked/Marquette (2005) as pasted historical elements and as camera supports. We don’t see through the eyes of some Indian or white settler; we watch the movie produce the historical gap separating machinic 20th century vision from the situation of looking at contemporary Chicago and it’s camera-armed tourists while aboard a transport that structured the city’s prehistory.