San Francisco, CA
Rick Prelinger is an archivist, writer, filmmaker and outsider librarian. In 1982, he founded Prelinger Archives, a collection of industrial, advertising, educational and amateur films that was acquired by the Library of Congress in 2002. Prelinger has partnered with the Internet Archive (of which he is a board member) to make 2,100 films available online for free viewing, downloading and reuse. Films from the Prelinger Archives are also available for viewing through the Linger iPhone app. Prelinger’s archival feature Panorama Ephemera (2004) played in venues around the world. He has recently made several film programs that he categorizes as “historical interventions,” called Lost Landscapes of San Francisco (five annual parts) and Lost Landscapes of Detroit. With Megan Prelinger, he is the co-founder of Prelinger Library, an appropriation-friendly private research library open to the public in downtown San Francisco. His archival work currently focuses on collecting, recontextualizing, and exhibiting home movies and amateur films.
No More Road Trips?
The documentary film No More Road Trips? investigates the artist’s lifelong fascination with travel: the highway, the sensation of movement, and the landscape as a space that combines nature and culture with social relations. Movement and nomadism are deeply ingrained in North American culture and are experienced as a fundamental entitlement: the right to freedom of motion. Historical trends contribute to that collective perception; a majority of Americans and their ancestors are immigrants. However, it is increasingly clear that this entitlement is rubbing up against inflexible limitations. As energy costs rise, fuel supplies are disrupted and economies gyrate, one might question whether the world is approaching peak travel.