October 8th, 2009


Karo syrup + chocolate syrup + red food colouring =

October 8th, 2009

Wanted: Desert Zombies, Vampires, Make-up Artists. No Experience Necessary.

I’m in residence at ASU Art Museum in Tempe, AZ. I’ll be working on a few different projects, the first of which starts next week. Details on how you can participate, below:

vampire huntingzombie loop

“Jillian Mcdonald, artist-in-residence at ASU Art Museum seeks participants in a video installation for her November exhibit at ASU.”

Interested parties will attend an information session and audition on October 15th at 11 a.m.; attend a rehearsal on Oct 22nd starting at 11 a.m.; and be videotaped together on the afternoon of Oct 31st in the desert. The information session, audition and rehearsal will be held in the project’s gallery at ASU Art Museum. No acting experience or knowledge of vampires and zombies necessary, however feel free to do some research online.

zombies vampires

Zombies may also, if interested, participate in a further performance on the Light in early November. Contact Jillian Mcdonald, info below, to receive notifications.

Also seeking enthusiastic makeup artists – with or without experience. Make-up artists will come to an information meeting on Oct 15th at 2p.m., and a workshop Oct 16th or 23rd at 11a.m.. These meetings will also be held in the project’s gallery in ASU Art Museum. Make-up for the video will be done at the museum on the late morning of Oct 31st. There is no cost to participate, make-up will be provided.

Please sign up with me directly if you are interested in participating in the project (phone 917.443.8107, email jmcdonald[at]jillianmcdonald[dot]net). Feel free to send questions or concerns. Interested parties who cannot make the scheduled dates, please inquire about alternative times.

*images from Vampire Hunting, Zombie Loop, and Undead in the Night

October 7th, 2009

Undead in the Night on Swedish TV

Undead in the Night thumbnail

The National Swedish TV Arts and Culture program, Kobra, featured my Undead in the Night performance in Malmö, Sweden as part of their Horror Ministry series about, yes, horror. The performance was a collaboration with Lilith Performance Studio in Malmö, Sweden and 100 non-professional actors, out in the forest in the middle of the night. It placed two undead creatures (hideous Zombies and stunning Vampires) in the same scenes along with their victims, violating the codes and boundaries of the horror genre, and creating an impossible scenario. The audience, transported 8 people at a time to an undisclosed forest location, became visitors in a living horror movie. Following a path in the dark various scenes came alive along a 3 km long horror path.

Also featured in the TV program which aired Oct 1 are Seth Grahame Smith, author of bestseller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Max Brooks author of The Zombie Survival Guide, and Freddie Wading, lead singer in several Swedish horror-themed punk bands. Most of the interviews are in English. Check out the whole horror series which is fascinating, or just scroll in this “Zombier” episode to 20:45 for the segment on Undead in the Night, created by Ulrik Petersson.

Watch Zombier online.

October 1st, 2009

Zomblogs aplenty

The Zombie Research Society, of which I am a board member, gets some attention for their blog, named here in the “top 3 zombie blogs”:

Video GameE3 2009Attack of the Show
September 16th, 2009

Zombieland Coming Soon (to a theatre near you)…

Although I haven’t seen it, I predict the best thing about the upcoming Zombieland is Woody Harrelson, reprising his redneck uber violent role from Natural Born Killers. The zombie film has come a long way, and finally gets what it deserves – a superstar! The film features a group of young vigilantes, led by a very buff Harrelson, who survived Zombieland so far by “being very careful”. Case in point: they wash their hands with Purell, in the age of swine flu and Zombie breakouts. Those smart cookies are the other leading male, Jesse Eisenberg, who looks and sounds an awful lot like that nice naive Canadian Michael Cera, and a pair of cute girls who wield a mean chain saw.

Note in the trailer a customary reference to another horror film moment: the banjo duel in Deliverance:

And if you’re not into zombie comedies set in the desert, how about a zombie film set on a Norwegian ski slope? Dead Snow is not funny.

September 1st, 2009

Electric Company revisited

I’ve been watching the Best of the Electric Company, a TV show from The Children’s Television Workshop that ran from the early 70s. One of my favourite clips so far, featuring Morgan Freeman and watchable on repeat, is worth sharing.

August 18th, 2009

Math tries to catch up with pop-culture


Oh those Canadian mathematicians are such smarty-pants; anything for publicity.

This item from several alert friends this morning…

Recently a group of Canadian mathematicians used the epidemiology of a zombie breakout to predict the outcome of “similar” viruses. Defining a zombie as

a reanimated human corpse that feeds on living human flesh,

they conclude that

if zombies actually existed, an attack by them would lead to the collapse of civilisation unless dealt with quickly and aggressively.

In a scientific paper discussing their findings, the authors assert that humanity’s only hope against such zombies is to

hit them hard and hit them often.

Perhaps they should have simply hired (insert the name of your favourite zombie fan here) who could tell them all of that and so much more. I suspect they needed an official excuse to watch piles of zombie flicks.

Read about it on Canada.com or BBC News.

August 18th, 2009

Diarama drama – another review (sight unseen)

Off the radar for the past four months, I’ve probably missed a lot of important information. Waiting at the Greenpoint G train station last night I was ill prepared for a poster advertising the upcoming TV series, Vampire Diaries. Reading later about the main characters who are either “beautiful and popular” or carrying “dark, deadly secrets of their own”, two thoughts raced through my mind:

1) how refreshing, it’s high time someone made melodramatic books and motion pictures about beautiful young vampires.
2) Dear Diary, I am beautiful and in love with the dangerous vampire next door – it’s complicated, what shall I do?

Vampire Diaries is based on a series of young adult novels. For those who can’t get enough of Twilight and True Blood – hold your breath; here comes more of the same.

As much as I disliked Diary of the Dead, Romero’s recent zombie film (2007), at least the zombies have some character, albeit rotting and unpleasant. I might actually read their diaries.

August 9th, 2009

Monsters of a different kind…


Visit and enjoy a whole page of black and white monsters made by various artists and programmers like Christian Gross, who made the Hihi monster, pictured above.

August 8th, 2009

Monsters on our Minds

There is a lot of writing in the press these days about Zs and Vs:
For those who need an infusion of pop-monstrousness…check these links:

In the Blood: Why do vampires still thrill? by Joan Acocella

A Trend With Teeth By Ruth La Ferla

Zombie Films as Liberal Parables in The New York Times’ blogs.

Poor poor modern vampires, stuck merely “hot and bad” while zombies are busy enacting “progressive ideals of common cause and collective action”. If, like me, you’re jaded by the beautiful immortal Twilight and True Blood variety of pouty hero-vamps who aren’t even dangerous drinkers – one is “vegetarian” and the other sips synthetic blood substitute, though you know they both want the real (pretty young) thing – check these new creatures. Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s novel The Strain and Park Chan Wook’s film Thirst, below, offer monsters you can really sink your teeth into, or vice versa.

the strain