It sounds like a great idea…but how do I go about kidnapping myself? How do I get away from the everyday stresses that pile up so relentlessly? Just ask Kidnap Kate, AKA Kate McCabe, and she’ll tell you. “’Kidnap Yourself’ is the title of a He Said song I heard in 1986. The concept of those words stuck with me, and I interpreted it as being in charge of where you wanted to be. When I moved to the desert, I felt like I had done exactly that: kidnapped myself!”
Kate felt like a friend at first sight. We met when she debuted her film, Known Unknowns, at the Beneath the Desert Sky concert July of 2020, and clicked immediately. The film features 21 timelapse sunrises that all start in the dark and reveal something about the day, each sunrise with its own distinct soundtrack. The experience was a “chart-topping and a magical night,” – her words, but nonetheless true. The film is one of many she’s created over the years. Many of these have a dark approach to documenting landscape, like her short timelapse piece inspired by the Anthropocene and the unfolding Fukushima nuclear disaster, You and I Remain. Another example is a landscape film in the old secret police (Stasi) neighborhood of Berlin titled, There are No Shadows in East Berlin.
Growing up in Philadelphia, Kate discovered her love for the arts through dance. Her mom got certified to teach dance when she was very young and encouraged Kate’s artistic nature. Dance and music were everywhere in her life. An art major in high school, Kate’s exposure to the photography dark room led her directly to film and animation in college. With an MFA in Experimental Animation from CalArts, she shares that everything connects back to dance for her, “Even when editing my own films, it feels like everything I do – photography, film, painting, or writing are all equally different, yet essential and connected parts of who I am, and music stays at the core of all this.”