“My Bed” is positioned on sharp rocks in the midst of crashing waves. Throughout the duration of 24 hours, the menstruating woman tackles the storms of past traumas biting into a piece of fruit to relieve the discomfort.
My Bed is directed by Lauren Vroegindewey, a multimedia artist and humanitarian born in Sonora, California is a performance artist, video artist, sculptor, and painter exploring notions of sustainability and vulnerability often using her body as a tool. Shown locally and internationally; her most recent accomplishments entail her award winning film My Bed for best sound design and experimental short, her film Achromatic, Stream of Consciousness premiered at L.I. MoCA, her film Cleansing premiered at Costa Rica's La NoBienal, and a performance art piece exhibited at Ethan Cohen’s KuBe in Beacon, NY.
What was the inspiration behind the making of "My Bed"? The inspiration behind “My Bed” emerged from the state of isolation and suspension that individuals experience; while pushing the boundary of body and earth and how they relate. I wanted to tackle the question: What are the “borders” we create and how can we begin to heal? I was reflecting on the brokenness of the human condition and the very place we call home and felt compelled to execute a durational performance art piece. Bonding in empathy with both; our ecosystems and humans who have experienced trauma, I built this empathic connection with women and their hardships of menstruation and homelessness. Sometimes the inspiration is drawn out of spontaneity such as at the end of the performance, tearing a piece of the quilt, standing up, and waving my banner of femininity to the crashing waves. What were some of the challenges of making the film? I produced this film on a low budget with a minimal crew, also losing valuable footage from the endurance performance due to the waves.
When did you realize that you wanted to make films and what was the first film project that you created? I realized I wanted to make films while in Scotland where I was given the opportunity to experiment with projections using film acetate. I fell in love with the tedious process of direct animation and drawing and etching on frames. When returning to the US, I started to experiment with combining the analogue with the digital. This process allowed me to slow down and be present within my art practice. The first film I created was entitled “Achromatic, Stream of Consciousness.” The montage is a personal landscape based on a stream of consciousness writing comparing lead white to our society’s centuries-old power structure of men and the effects this has on women. Which directors have been influential in your work and why? The directors that have been influential in my practice entail Stan Brakhage, Naomi Uman, Carolee Schneemann, Ja'tovia Gary, Wes Anderson, Barbara Hammer, Marie Menken, Maya Deren, Marina Abramovic, and Pipilotti Rist. These brilliant artists have been influential figures in avant-garde cinema. Some focus on freeing the body, implementing a new geographical reality, exploring juxtaposition of spaces, and stray away from the traditional theatrical platform of creating. What genre of filmmaking do you like to work on? The genre I’m drawn to is experimental and avant-garde. I’m captivated by the notion of straying from conventional patterns and challenging the content of filmmaking. I’m interested in incorporating Stan Brakage-style illustrations and old techniques of handmade filmmaking. I think it forces us to slow down in such a fast paced culture and adds texture and a sense of sensory depth to the digital visual.
What is the most challenging aspect of making an independent film? The most challenging aspect of making an independent film would be a lack of resources to bring the vision to fruition. If I have a vision, I’m going to create and execute regardless of what I have access to. The way I work around low budgets is being an advocate for using recycled materials, at times using up-cycled trash in my films to raise awareness of pollution and the human mark on the environment. What is your plan for further distribution of your film? My plan is to identify partners who have an interest in my genre and may share common values. My goal isn’t about money. I make art from my heart, hoping it speaks to others. How can cinema change the world and have an impact on society? I believe it is the responsibility of creators to tell complicated stories and explore taboo topics; to not be silent about the many injustices happening in the world, and raise awareness of the human and environmental trauma around us. Cinema is a pivotal and powerful tool, especially in the culture we’re living in where we’re consumed with media. Through cinema, I want to encourage and give a voice to those who are often unheard and how the fragmentation of the mind can be pieced back together. Films have the potential to seek justice in our current society for the persisting evils and injustices surrounding us. I believe that pain is inevitable, but it does not have to control. When filmmakers connect with empathy, there’s a tangible output that has an effect on society. Cinema evokes emotion and that’s when change can happen.
What is your next film project? Under the umbrella of EcoGroove Tribe, my collaboration with Kasia Skorynkiewicz and Charlee Swanson will bring “The End” to be performed and filmed at Gardenship, located at Kearny Point, NJ in the Spring of 2021. This is the first of a Trilogy, executing an experimental video art piece dealing with social and political issues that influence our future and bring to light the negative impact the consumer culture has on our environment. This project will be a call to action. Why do you make films and what draws you to the language of cinema and directing? Film is a therapeutic process of communication between my unconscious and conscious mind. I make films in hopes of providing an experiential opportunity to challenge conventional perception, attempting to stimulate a mixture of sense experience and emotion to provoke a psychological response in the viewer that questions the choices we make daily. I’m drawn to sight and sound, two senses pivotal within cinema. I enjoy experimenting with narratives, sound design, editing, and how shooting can be a spontaneous act of expression. My work is a product of my personal ethos, sustainability and vulnerability. Often working intuitively, drawing inspiration from my past and the environment around me, the subject matter and theme of each body of work I make determines the materials. My research opens me to new areas of interest and my creative impulses lead me to the next body of work, all resulting in the manifestation of my emotional expression.