“The Indian Boundary Line” Thomas Comerford



The Indian Boundary Line, 2010, 16mm/8mm/super-8mm on digital betacam, color. 41 mins.

From 2001-2010, Chicago musician and filmmaker Thomas Comerford made a series of quietly-observed films that contemplate the entwined social, political, and environmental histories of Chicago (Figures in the Landscape, 2002; Land Marked/Marquette, 2005). The Indian Boundary Line (2010) follows a road in Chicago, Rogers Avenue, that traces the 1816 Treaty of St. Louis boundary between the United States and “Indian Territory.” In doing so, it examines the collision between the vernacular landscape, with its storefronts, short-cut footpaths and picnic tables, and the symbolic one, replete with historical markers, statues, and fences. Through its observations and audio-visual juxtapositions, The Indian Boundary Line meditates on a span of land in Chicago about 12 miles long, but suggests how this land and its history are an index for the shifting inhabitants, relationships, boundaries and ideas of landscape — as well as the consequences — which have accompanied the transformation of the “New World.”


Airing Thursdays and Fridays Mar 5 – 13th, 7 pm CST

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