It’s fitting that filmmaker Chad Stockfleth’s documentary chronicling the Elephant 6 collective is only available to view via VHS. While tendrils of the loose collective would certainly extend into the new millennium, the roots and spirit of the affair very much reside in the firmament of the late 1990s.
A grainy hour and forty one minutes, A Future History Of: The Elephant 6 Recording Co. paints the screen with color, providing both history and context for the assemblage’s shared collective aesthetic. As a “movement,” E6 was founded in Colorado, with associated participants as far west as San Francisco. However, its lifeblood and beating heart was Athens, GA, whose underlying presence is very much a part of the film.
A near decade in the works, Stockfleth independently released the documentary earlier this summer. But wait, the means of actually viewing the film are as curious as the collective itself. At present, A Future History is available to screen in select US cities by … calling a hotline. Carmen Sandiego-scavenger-hunt style, the telephone number can be found printed on pamphlets advertising the documentary, which are scattered across the country in various record stores, boutiques and coffee shops. 90s indeed!