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Ruth Dusseault - filmmaker - City Builders and Ecopunks
  • Ruth Dusseault wrote:


    My name is Ruth Dusseault and I am an independent artist and filmmaker.  I am developing a documentary project called City Builders and Ecopunks, which starts in Joplin Missouri, three weeks after the storm.  I received a grant to revisit the town seven months later, when I interviewed city officials and survivors, scanned rescued photos and collected public documents that outlined the citizen’s vision plan for a greener, more sustainable rebuild.  I am interested in utopian expressions in the built environment, as they reflect the historic reality in which we live.  I am doubtful that this particular vision will be realized, but it is worth recording and watching it change during fruition.


    I am not a Hollywood filmmaker, but I would like to include the story of the Factor e Farm in this documentary film as part of a Guggenheim Fellowship.  I would be glad to share my skills with you in exchange for permission to visit.



    Toggling between the two places, Joplin and Maysville could not be farther apart in look and character, but both places are engaged (differently) in envisioning a sustainable future.  As a case study, Joplin reflects the problems associated with current economic and climate conditions.  Like all of us it is heavily dependent on a global supply chain, but its history is rooted in homesteading.  Joplin’s ancestors were bound tightly by shared philosophies.  They worked the land for shelter and sustenance, and they still champion self-reliance as an implicit midwestern virtue.  The Factor e Farm and related experimental communities share this attribute, but in the present day.  Their presence articulates important hypothetical questions.  How does a community affect our physical and mental health? Can small communities thrive in a global economy?  How can they survive an increase in natural disasters associated with climate change?  Can new solutions be shared with the developing world? And how does new technology supply the means for a post-scarcity economy?





    Please visit to view these projects of note:



    Four year national survey of DIY homemade recreational battlefields; extreme use of recycled industrial detritus; several artist grants and showings ongoing; publication pending with essay by Michael Shanks, Professor of Archeology and faculty at Stanford Design School.



    Wendover residency in 2010; experimental film 21st & 20th.


    Continual photographic documentation of the 6-year transformation of an historic industrial site into a retail-based simulacrum of itself; largest urban redevelopment in the U.S.; High Museum of Art 2006, New Photography show with Taryn Simon and Sze Tung Leong.

    Architectural survey of early 20th century tourist attractions that interpret nature; NEA Design Award 2006.

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  • I would like to raise money to come and film there.  I know Marcin is busy in the workshop, and he reserves the winter months for such endeavors, but these grant deadlines are approaching mid Sept. and I would feel more comfortable if I knew he was ok with the project.  Is there some way to have a phone conversation?

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