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Conversations at the Edge (CATE) Resource Guides


This page contains links to articles, interviews, and videos that can be incorporated into your syllabus in preparation for an event or afterward for post-event discussion and research. Go to for detailed event information.

Gene Siskel Film Center

Presented in partnership with the 33rd Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival as the official opening night screening. A project of Chicago Filmmakers, the festival runs from March 30 to April 2.


“Fuses the heart of a poet with the mind of a scientist.” – Chris Stults, ArtForum


Award-winning filmmaker and School of the Art Institute of Chicago alum Deborah Stratman’s (MFA 1990) latest film is a profound exploration of the past and future of Earth through one of its most elemental materials—rocks. Meditating on our planet’s dramatic physical and biochemical evolution, Stratman weaves together sci-fi and sci-fact to imagine a time where life endures but humans have disappeared. Featuring a breathtaking array of sources, including J.-H  Rosny’s turn-of-the-century speculative fictions about rock-like organisms, interviews with renowned geologist and environmental activist Marcia Bjørnerud, revelatory micro photography, and earthly observation, LAST THINGS asks us to ponder our place in this cosmic history and among the innumerable life forms our planet has produced. Stratman will be joined by her research collaborator, the writer Sukhdev Sandhu, to discuss the ideas and questions that informed the project.

Deborah Stratman, 2023, USA, 50 minutes plus discussion

Format: 16mm on digital

In French and English with English subtitles


Deborah Stratman makes films and artworks that question power, control, and belief, considering how places, ideas, and society are intertwined. She regards sound as the ultimate multi-tool and time to be supernatural. Recent projects have addressed freedom, surveillance, broadcast, sinkholes, comets, raptors, orthoptera, levitation, exodus, evolution, sisterhood, and faith. Stratman’s work has been exhibited and awarded internationally for the past three decades. She lives in Chicago where she teaches at the University of Illinois.

Sukhdev Sandhu is the author of London Calling: How Black and South Asian Writers Imagined A City (HarperCollins), I'll Get My Coat (Book Works), Night Haunts (Verso), and Other Musics (MoMA). His writings—on documentary and international film, experimental music, and migrant aesthetics—have appeared in journals such as Film Comment, Frieze, Artforum, Art in America, Wire, 4 Columns, The Guardian, and Süddeutsche Zeitung. He is an associate professor at New York University where he also directs the Colloquium for Unpopular Culture.


Deborah Stratman (Interview)
Konnie Sutherland | FEMEXFILMARCHIVE | 2020

Deborah Stratman: Sound, image, espionage, and methods of control (Interview)
Pamela Cohn | Bomb Magazine | January 2015

Deborah Stratman (Review)
Chris Stults | ArtForum | October 2014

Deborah Stratman: Safe and Sound (Review)
Samuel La France | Cinema Scope n.59 | June 25, 2014

Science, Knowing, Magic (Interview)
Pablo de Ocampo | The Herb Alpert Award in the Arts | April 2014

Volumes and Pressures: Deborah Stratman with Aily Nash (Interview)
Aily Nash | The Brooklyn Rail | September 2012

Why Are Artist Filmmakers Turning to Landscape?
Erika Balsom | Frieze | April 16, 2018

Chapter V: A Transgenerational Inheritance @itsherstory__
part 1  |  part 2  |  part 3
Ina Lopez | Instagram | MARCH 29, 2021 


See all Deborah Stratman titles available through Video Data Bank here.
Streaming videos available using ARTIC login are linked below. For information about viewing more Debora Stratman titles, email



33rd Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival
Onion City is a production of Chicago Filmmakers, a media arts non-profit that provides education, film exhibition and resources for filmmakers and film lovers.

Pythagoras Film
Deborah Stratman's website.

Conversations at the Edge Lecture Recordings
Conversation at the Edge video recordings (2016–present.) Available with SAIC login credentials.