Untitled Document

Christo Running Fence Reels - 85 min. 1976 to 2011

The artists known as Christo and Jeanne-Claude along with a hired crew of enthusiastic local assistants erected a major early work spanning both Sonoma and Marin counties in Northern California. "Running Fence", the culmination of 42 months of collaborative efforts, was 24.5 miles long and 18 feet high, with one end dropping down to the Pacific Ocean.

This monumental temporary artwork was made of 240,000 square yards of heavy woven white nylon fabric, 90 miles of steel cable, 2,050 steel poles, 350,000 hooks, and 13,000 earth anchors. Paid for entirely by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, the completed Running Fence existed for only two weeks in September of 1976. The materials were then given to the local ranchers whose properties had generously provided the site.

In 1976 a Vietnam veteran named Charlie Collins came to the Sonoma State Art Department where I was teaching filmmaking and offered the services of his home-built helicopter to gain unique access to the soon to be completed Running Fence project that was all the buzz in the community. With the help of my film students Gregg Fautley and Donna Page we set out to film every aspect with our 16mm cameras. The footage, containing many beautiful and rarely seen images, remained incomplete for many years, and now has finally found a form such that this valuable glimpse of history can be more widely shared.



Don’t Squeeze The Fence


Hard Art Hats

Tape-Splice Mystery

Charlie I

Charlie II


Camera Reels