Ceramic Displacement is a 1979 film by Fred Stodder and potter Thom Chambers that seems similar to but predates viral internet videos by a few decades. Stodder, armed with a Super 8 camera, filmed Chambers as the potter shaped ceramic vessels on a wheel in the back of a Volkswagen van driving around Laguna Beach. The vessels Chambers shaped were “donated” to the environment, which in some instances meant tossing them from the door of the moving van. Stodder made the public a part of this work by filming their reactions as the van drove past. Their confusion often gives way to amusement and creates some great shots, such as the woman who stares with a cigarette dangling from her mouth.
In all, it’s a piece of video art that is also silly and fun. Sadly, Chambers passed away suddenly in 1991. It would have been great to see what he could have produced in the age of YouTube.
Bill Rodgers is a Contributing Editor at CFile.
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