Fragments of Creation

Unfinished work for the motion picture "Plantasm"

6 Minute Motion Picture

Panspermia (aether) adrift across the megacosm on pulses of immortal power. Eternal sperm with no purpose in time but to scatter. Sun nourished. Conscious without narrative. Imperceptible at the origin. Communication is constant, gently modulated, infinitely nuanced, and distributed over millennia.

Video, 3-D animation.

adrift across the megacosm on pulses of immortal power. eternal sperm with no purpose in time but to scatter. sun nourished. conscious without narrative. imperceptible at the origin. communication is constant, gently modulated, infinitely nuanced and distributed over millennia.

OCEAN (water)
the plant is an animal with its stomach in its root. the animal is a plant that has its root in its stomach. ocean everywhere flowing, unfiltered and exchanging life within life becomes blood of arthropods, cnidarians, echinoderms, hemichordates, lophophorates, mollusks, sponges and worms. blood is bound in flesh and forced through stagnate and polluted veins. white sea touching it’s salt edge. across the divide of sea and land comes a faint smell of rotting protoplasm.

TIDE POOLS (earth)
like a hurt thing that can’t die the sea lies breaking on marsh and pond. waters divide from waters, waters from dry land, air from fire animal consciousness is a product of the material brain with a nervous system designed for short duration and limited but violent action. from the tepid shore animals spread their energy-hunger like a plague for sin over the land.

GARDEN (air)
on terrestrial earth the prima materia of breath, moisture, flesh and love are inverted into alchemical poison, coagulation, and wildfire. the veins of animals are filled with ocean and set upon dry land. advancing from the ocean’s shade and twilight plant’s life giving carbon dioxide is replaced with poisonous oxygen. seed drifting in air poisoned with oxygen. by toxic wind propagated or by bees, hardly more than breezes themselves. time is plant time unfolding in millennia.

the poison of oxygen is fuel for fire. fire glows in sunlight but burns in oxygen. on the earth the generous sun becomes combustion, furious in eruptions of wildfire. the blood of the beast within the first man is cooled by contentment and ease and rests gently in the garden. the first woman is formed from the man’s bone. she holds and radiates the power of erection, pleasure and abundance. the first woman inverts the alchemical poison, coagulation, putrefaction, and wildfire into breath, mist, touch and joy. the divided man and first woman live together with compassion, equality and mutual comfort.

The Mad Botanist

Unfinished work for the motion picture "Plantasm"

3.5 Minute Motion Picture

Live action composite with photo montage and found film. Film fragment for “Plantasm”

Made from nothing. Each of the constituent parts is nothing but the whole is something. Sounds like a mighty precarious existence to me.

The protagonist was sent from Baton Rouge to get help from a Good and Wise man. He demonstrates his goodness and wisdom. What are you doing? Demonstrating my goodness and wisdom. It isn’t necessary.


60 Minute Motion Picture


Video. Drawing. 3-D Animation.

Stenography is a one-hour experimental comedy written in prose and poetry. It was inspired by historical circumstances in Germany in 1923 where revolutionaries from both the left and right fought in the streets of Munich for the soul of Germany and as it turned out, the rest of the world. The revolutions failed and the leaders were imprisoned. It opens with a description of revolutionary circumstances and concludes with an exchange of insults between representatives of the political left and right.

That exchange of insults is named in the text as “flyting.” The dialogue of the revolutionaries and language of a chorus of stenographers and jailers is written in the Norse Song Meter of “Flyting of Loki” from the Poetic Edda.

The dense faceted narrative is intersected at intervals with a poem of love describing the romantic triangle between mind, words, and writing at the origin of consciousness. The fictional account is faceted, transformative and one of many possible interpretations.

It opens with a description of revolutionary circumstances and concludes with an exchange of insults between representatives of the political left and right.

That exchange of insults is named in the text as “flyting.” The dialogue of the revolutionaries and language of a chorus of stenographers and jailers is written in the Norse Song Meter of “Flyting of Loki” from the Poetic Edda.

The dense faceted narrative is intersected at intervals with a poem of love describing the romantic triangle between mind, words and writing at the origin of consciousness.

The fictional account is faceted, transformative and one of many possible interpretations.


Written and directed by Lee Murray

Music and Sound by David Smith

Reader of Genesis
Kirsten Kluver

Underwater Archaeologist
Nils Haaland

Megan Thomas

Scott Working

Amateur Soldier
J Richard Thomas

Royalist Student
Jackson Hal Cottrell

Modernist Dancer
Hannah Thomas

Mary Kelly

Jaim Hackbart

Thom Sibbitt

With Graditude
Metropolitan Community College
Bob Maass
Nebraska Arts Council


6 Minute Motion Picture

The schalmein is a war horn that called the pagan teutons to battle. Many reeds were attached to a single tube and screamed rage and terror in malevolent discord. A choir of the damned. In the howl of schalmeinen are the unquiet souls of an original humanity. From that wellspring rises the primal right to possession of the earth. A birthright is held by will and self-determination. The schalmeinene sound the timeless burden of justice. A mother is dying sprawled ridiculously in the blood of her children. Men are stripped of honor and peace for distant purposes. That won’t be explained. Houses, fields and animals are burning. For no reason. It might have been a mistake. A quiet girl is sold and raped for a price. She didn’t get an explanation either. For common dignity. For love. For eternity. Uprise and stand in a storm of blood vengeance. The schhalmeinen call. Answer.


11.5 Minute Motion Picture

16mm film. 8mm film. Cropped Commercial Film. 3-D animation. Photography. Drawing.

Written, illustrated, photographed and recorded by Lee Murray
Voices performed by Laney Yarber

Permit me to suggest a context for Isabella.

What is the form of Isabella?
The language of Isabella is compressed into a series of dynamic associations. Some of the poetic imagery is literally pictorial.

Why is the action of Isabella familiar?
Isabella is captured while gathering flowers and taken into the underworld. That was the fate of Persephone in Greek mythology.

Why are there bulls in Isabella?
The character of the adventurer Rodrigo is inspired by the
Greek myth of Theseus who invaded the underworld. Theseus' second wife was Phaedra. Phaedra's mother was Pasiphae. Pasiphae was overtaken by lust for a bull and gave birth to the Minotar.

Why are there nurses in Isabella?
In Racine's version of the story a nurse companion is a prominent character.

Does the author of Isabella support bull fighting as entertainment?
No. Bull fighting and hell are closely associated for a reason.

Do any of these facts add up to a complete understanding of the content of Isabella?
Not really. They are points of departure and final limitation. The contentious factions of the author's imagination must be directed along some path otherwise he gets dizzy.

I characterized the work earlier as dynamic associations and that's pretty much it. I found this in the poetry of Bertolt Brecht recently.

How long do works endure? As long as they are not completed. Since so long as they demand effort they do not decay.

I wouldn't want to say "demand" in this situation. I'd say "invite." That's more considerate and less self-important.

The Red Lion, The Young Queen

58 Minute Motion Picture

Hypertext. Digital Illustration. Video. Drawing.

Sex and Power Land and The Red Lion, The Young Queen were created together and based on related texts. From the outset I expected the video of the Red Lion to be included within the hypertext of Sex and Power Land but that wasn't technically feasible at the time. Flash Video has brought the world of electronic publishing into the compass of my desire.

The Red Lion, The Young Queen is sci-fi soap opera based on incidents from Edgar Allan Poe's Ligeia. It is linked to the Maps section of Sex and Power Land. The hypertext includes further sci-fi parody and observations on the relationship of spirit to commerce pegged together by way of hyperlinks between key words within the body of the texts.

Written and  directed by Lee Murray

Illustration, Cinematography and Music by David Smith

Photo-montage by David Smith

Drawings by Joe Tuckness

Funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts New Forms Regional Initiative

Dean Rostov
Laney Yarber

Edger Allen
Roald A. Martinsen

Kelli Fischer

Maria Golla

Anna Dine
Arianna Movassagh

Sandra Abrams

Excursionist's Son
Ian Abrams

Truck Driver
Barbara Simcoe

Joe Tuckness

Art Direction and Set Construction
Jerry Janosco and Joe Tuckness

Ann Harkness and Karen Smith

Barbara Simcoe

Thanks to Ron Underwood, Texas Stadium Corp. Hundley Boat and Recreation Center and

The Dallas Parks and Recreation Dept

Funded in part by the City of Irving Special Projects Fund

Dance of the Drowned Sailor

35 Minute Motion Picture

16mm film. Video. Digital Iillustration. Cropped Commercial Film. Drawing.

This is the new Continuous Entertainment. The world has changed little in substance since this motion picture was new. The thoughtless manner and angry tone of social protest is still with us. Dance of the Drowned Sailor takes note of the way one form of objection to government involvement in social change and economic regulation may be expressed in the language of threats of violence. Those hyperbolic threats sometimes have unintended consequences.

Witten and directed by Lee Murray
Illustration, soundtrack, cinematography by David Smith

The Archivist
Steve Foster

Ann Harkness

A Witch
Kelly Graham

Angry Voice
Barbara Simcoe

Conspiratorial Voice
Lee Murray

Singing Voice
Ann Harkness

Ron Courtney

P.M. Summer

Joe Yancey

Barbara Simcoe

Drawings in Woodcut Style
Joe Tuckness

Post Production
Carolyn Perritt

Video Editor
Ron Huebner

Video Editor
Carolyn Perritt

Funded in part by a grant from The Independent Production Fund
We also thank Andrea Nasher and Video Post and Transfer.

Security Family

9 Minute Motion Picture

16mm Film. Audio Montage.


Security Family was originally a sound montage cut on analogue audio tape by David Smith. To produce this new narrative David re-recorded and reconceived a story originally on a vinyl record designed to accompany a life insurance sales film strip. The beeps indicated when to change the slide. This was made in the time frame in which David received the news that he was to become a father for the first time. The chaos and terror represented here may be considered a wild and care free young artist's vision of the future as a family man. The offspring that ocassioned the creation of this montage is Milo Smith who appears as Security Baby.

The incidents in the film itself were imagined by Lee and David in consultation over a period of time. As with the development of the earlier “Case of M. Hacksaw” the film makes an open narrative more concrete but adds (as you might expect) another dimension of free association.


Directed and Edited by Lee Murray and David Smith.

Audio Montage by David Smith

Jim Security
Lee Murray

Mary Security
Ann Harkness

Security Baby
Milo Smith

Insurance Salesman
P.M. Summer

Ron Heubner

Younger Man
Josh McKay

Mischo McKay

Disappointed John
Steve Foster

Dumpster Neighbor
Barbara Simcoe

Paula Sanders

Special Thanks - Omar Gondinaz, Ron Heubner.


17.5 Minute Motion Picture

16mm Film
Directed and Edited by Lee Murray and David Smith
Written by Lee Murray
Cinematography by David Smith

Ann Harkness

The Saint
Mark Gash

Bill Farmer

Used Car Salesman
Seth Massey

Bus Station Clerk
Wynema Shertz

Steve Foster

"Festa para um Rei Negro" and "Ze Paraira" by Jeffry Barnes with the Eclipse Brass Band
"Ode to Detroit" and "Corporate Blues" words by Lee Murray, music by Steve Foster and Barbara Simcoe.
Incidental Music by David Smith

Revis Meeks - Location Crew

Special thanks - Ron Heubner, Helen Harkness, Kevin Strickler

Partially funded by The Southwest Alternate Media Project Regional Fellowship Program through a
Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts/American Film Institute.

The Case of M. Hacksaw

40 Minute Motion Picture

S8mm Film.

The text for a work of experimental fiction was created by David Smith by cutting and pasting fragments of a story from the True Romance genre of fiction. (That’s “cut” as in disassociate words on a page of paper by drawing the edge of a sharp instrument across the paper between the words and “paste” as in apply a sticky substance to the backs of small pieces of paper so that they'll adhere to to a larger surface) The content of the motion picture “The Case of M. Hacksaw” emerged as David and I read his text imaginatively and discussed what concrete events might be recorded on film that would illustrate the unfolding narrative. The character of Mr. Hacksaw was created to represent the process of creation.

Directed by Lee Murray
Written by David Smith and Lee Murray
Cinematography by David Smith
Soundtrack by David Rosenblad

Mr. Hacksaw
Ross Owens

Nancy Page
Becky Danvers

Aurora Borealis

Mickey George

Michael  McGinn

Recreational Sex Worker
Sibil Madrigal

Recreational Sex Worker
Rowena Bush

Recreational Sex <Worker
Belladonna Beasley

Recreational Sex Worker
Kelso Stigal

Film Transfer – C.F.A Toronto

The Untidy Story of Goldie Showers

48 Minute Motion Picture

3/4 inch Video


70s avant garde dressed in Texas leather.


Produced and Directed by Lee Murray and David Smith

Music by David Rosenblad Performed by The Atomic Ant Men

Goldie Showers
Melissa McConnel

Chuck Showers
Max Butler

Brad Brown
Steve Carter

Sylvia Myles

Atomic Ant Men
Atomic Ant Men

Inhabitants of the Bars of Ancient Denton, TX
Everyone Else