PRISM Index release party at Skylab

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

For a steady influx of new music compilations, there's Paste magazine. The Believer distributes new poetry mixes, and outfits such as Wholphin Video and OSU's own Journal of Short Film put together compilations of short films.

"I wanted to create something that had that all in one place, could be one experience," said artist and show promoter Jeffrey Bowers. From this idea, PRISM Index was born.

Like a cross between a 'zine and an extra-elaborate exhibition catalog, this "mixed-media art compilation" presents 80 pages of images and short writings, an 88-minute DVD of short films and a 72-minute CD between a cover of handmade paper, designed and silkscreened by Bowers. It's available locally at the Wexner Center store, Used Kids Records and Lost Weekend Records.

Inspiration came when the Columbus native and OU film graduate was in San Francisco working for Wholphin, the video arm of literary purveyor McSweeney's. For more than a year, he sent calls for submissions out to his personal network of artists, filmmakers and musicians, along with some pleading e-mails to a few personal favorites.

The yield includes a self-deprecating introduction by "Cyrus" co-director Jay Duplass; animal fashion drawings by award-winning cartoonist Lisa Hanawalt; a short by experimental film legend Mike Kuchar, and a poem and a Waylon Jennings cover by Ray Raposa, aka Castanets.

PRISM Index #1 was completed in March and distributed in the spring and summer through most of the country. Bowers scheduled release parties in many cities, he explained, "but never got to Columbus."

Shortly after his recent move back to town, Skylab's John Bennett offered to host a local launch party. Friday's event features a show of original art by contributors, a screening of select shorts from the DVD and sets by a few of Bowers' favorite local bands including Brainbow, plus a set from Castanets - live from Portland, Oregon, presented via Skype.

Said Bowers, "I think it'll lend a very peculiar intimacy, playing to a laptop."

PRISM Index release party

9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10


57 E. Gay St., fifth floor, Downtown