Some artists work in clay, some in pastels, others in oil.

The video artists who run the website Everything is Terrible! are currently working in dogs.

The Everything is Terrible! folks make short comedy videos for posting online. But they also make feature-length films that are basically video collages of “found footage.” They take video or film clips of almost anything and put them together with music and other sounds to make something entirely different.

For their latest film, they focused on dogs. They sat through some 2,000 VHS tapes to find every kind of dog footage: Dogs jumping through windows, dogs rescuing humans, dogs being lewd, dogs just being.

The result is “Doggie Woggiez! Poochie Woochiez!” which is touring the nation with a live stage show featuring the Everything is Terrible! crew dressed in furry dog costumes, dancing and singing. On Sunday, it comes to Space in Portland.

Between the found footage film and the live show, the evening is basically two hours of dogs, but in ways you’ve probably never dreamed of seeing them.

“The best way to describe it is: Have you ever been to Chuck E. Cheese’s? Well, it’s like that on acid,” said Nic Maier, one of the filmmakers and performers in the group, who uses the professional name Commodore Gilgamesh. “Dogs are used in entertainment a lot, more than monkeys, so we were able to find a lot of clips and put them together in a way that’s funny and enjoyable.”

Maier, who is based in Chicago, said that even though the film is funny, he and his co-filmmakers aren’t making fun of dogs. They hope the film makes some serious points, at least subliminally, about the lengths people will go to make dogs look silly for entertainment.

“It’s like kids in entertainment. Dogs don’t really have a voice, they have no control over how they’re presented,” said Maier. “We always do our best to not admit we’re saying anything serious, though.”

So if you do get any serious points from this film, which Maier calls “psychedelic and comedic,” it’s your own fault.

If you’re wondering why Maier and his crew picked dogs for this kind of film treatment, you might be surprised.

“We’re all cat people, really,” said Maier. “But I’ve personally been obsessed with dogs for a long time, just the way they come up so much in film, TV, pop culture.”

Maier said the crowd that comes to see this film includes people interest in found footage video, in innovative art, and in dogs in general. As well as people who like to laugh.

Even though the film has no real story and is sort of an assault on the senses, it seems to have fairly broad appeal.

“We’re surprised, because we were sure everyone would hate it,” said Maier.

Hate dogs?

Now that’s just silly.

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @RayRouthier


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