Art Papers  

more from the
Sept/Oct 2014 issue:

Joyce Pensato

by Will Corwin

Everything Is Intertwined:
Jay Kinney's Gnosis Magazine

by Victoria Camblin

Defining Provincialism, the Primal Scene
by Terry Smith

The Zombies Are Real
by Kojo Griffin

White Walkers #SnowJam2014

by Paul Boshears

A Local History of the Paranormal
from Ichabod Crane to the Kinderhook Creature

Artist Project / Christopher Kline

Bruce G. Hallenbeck as Jonathan Stokes on set during the filming of Shadow Tracker: Vampire Hunter (1997), directed by Joe Bagnardi [photo: Jeff Kirkendall, courtesy of the artists]

Bruce G. Hallenbeck is a writer, horror filmmaker, and cryptozoology researcher from the small Hudson River Valley town of Kinderhook, NY. Hallenbeck shares this hometown with artist Christopher Kline, whose ongoing project, O.K., explores Kinderhook's unusually rich (and eccentric) cultural legacy. The Dutch settlement was the birthplace of President Martin van Buren, the long-rumored inventor of the very term "Okay." Kinderhook also inspired Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and is now home to Frank Serpico—the whistle-blowing policeman who inspired Sidney Lumet's 1973 Serpico, and whose portrayal earned Al Pacino a Golden Globe. Hallenbeck is among the town's more obscure figures; his expertise in the paranormal, and the area's particular influence on his cult horror films and non-fiction writing, make him a part of Kinderhook's living archive.

Kline was commissioned to create a project for print and web distribution that would function as a case study in research-oriented artistic practice, and an investigation into a notion of a cultural community—that is, how oral and archival histories shape its identity, and they might re-engage its participants. The result is a document available in two forms—as a PDF, downloadable here, and as a limited edition Risograph-printed booklet, designed by John McCusker. It is only one ephemeral part of O.K.'s development not only through research and publications, but through exhibitions, workshops, and performances. These multi-disciplinary explorations will culminate in the realization of a full-scale community theater musical—a synthesis of document and participation, "dead" pasts and living presence.

Download + Read PDF:
A Local History of the Paranormal
from Ichabod Crane to the Kinderhook Creature

Christopher Kline co-runs the Berlin project space Kinderhook & Caracas with Sol Calero, and performs regularly under the stage name of Hush Hush. John McCusker is an American graphic designer, based in Berlin.

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