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Lost and Found and Shown

By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 12, 2007 6:28PM

At least since Warhol began displaying boxes of soup cans and Brillo pads in gallery settings, the concept of the “found” object as art has been a primary component of our culture. In other words, there’s a very good reason why “America’s Funniest Home Videos” has been on the air since 1989 (hint: it’s not Bob Saget). We’ve become a voyeuristic culture, with an appetite for spying-as-entertainment as an antidote to the increasingly formulamatic output from Hollywood. This partially explains the runaway successes of postsecret and FOUND Magazine.

2007_4found.jpgAnother reason why we love this stuff is, well, because it’s usually pretty damn funny. And nothing is funnier than the hilarious, absurd (and often oddly touching) artifacts served up at the Found Footage Festival. Curators Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher will present their special “Best of the Found Footage Festival” lineup tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the Chicago Cultural Center and again on Saturday at 7:30 pm at The Empty Bottle. The show compiles more than an hour’s worth of footage from videos that were found at garage sales, thrift stores, warehouses and dumpsters throughout the country. There’ll also be some live comedy and commentary to go along with such precious clips as Jack Rebney, the world’s angriest R.V. salesman, and a medley of self-released music videos about the signs of the zodiac.

We’ve been given a head’s up that they’ll be debuting some newly discovered footage and several “locally cultivated videos” found in Chicago. While we doubt that would include any footage involving local celebrities, it certainly makes us daydream. Wouldn’t it be great to watch Dorothy Tillman lose her temper with a postal employee? Or perhaps a little karaoke with Daley and Oprah?

For ticket prices and information, check out the festival’s website and MySpace pages.