PRINT January 1982

THE UNCANNY RESURRECTIONS OF “AMERICA IS WAITING”

Scott Cook

This week the editors recall Scott Cook’s essay on Bruce Conner’s film America Is Waiting (1981), which was published in the magazine in January 1982.

Taking its title from the David Byrne–Brian Eno song on their 1981 album, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, Conner’s America Is Waiting is composed of footage taken from newsreels, movies, television commercials, and educational films—productions that each capture something of America’s idea of itself. Cook calls Conner’s films, which are often made of found materials, “resurrections.” “There is something about them that is both ghoulish and uncanny,”