Cecilia Dougherty

By | Blog, Lo-Tech

(source: https://www.ceciliadougherty.com/bio/ )

Cecilia Dougherty is a video artist, photographer, and writer. She has screened and exhibited her work in numerous film festivals, galleries and museums internationally for over twenty-five years. Her videos are included in many university film collections and are archived at the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley. In addition to explorations in electronic media itself, her themes range from lesbian and female sexual identity to family psychologies and the outsider experience of popular culture.

She has written stories and book chapters for a range of publications including: “Writers Who Love to Much: New Narrative: 1977-1997” (2017); “From Site to Vision: The Woman’s Building in Contemporary Culture (2011); and “Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945-2000” (2010). She has contributed articles, interviews, and other writing to a wide range of publications from chapbooks to contemporary art periodicals. Much of her writing is about film, video and the contemporary cultural moment. She has published poetry and short stories as well.

In 2013, Dougherty published her first book entitled “The Irreducible I: Space, Place, Authenticity, and Change,” which examines subjectivity using a mix of disciplines from film and art to architecture and social sciences in order to create a map of individual space within continually changing social spaces. “The Irreducible I” is based on her PhD dissertation.

Her current work includes a collaboration with artist David Dasharath Kalal in the creation of an online artspace called In-Between Theories (2017, ongoing), the theme of which is the investigation of the familiar territory of the everyday. In-Between Theories is a consideration of a space/time of poetic alliances, networked histories, and connections that exist within the interstitial spaces of allied creative activity. The collaborative effort has resulted in the curation of a film festival program and live performance, with panel discussion, for the New York MIX Festival (2017), and the commission of a browser-based art piece by Ukrainian artist Luba Drozd. Dougherty and Kalal have also set up a podcast, called In-Between Theories, in which they are interviewing artists in relation to the theme of interstitial spaces in film and electronic media.

She is currently writing a feature film script based on the award-winning novel “Zipper Mouth” by Laurie Weeks.

Dougherty teaches film/video production and editing in the Media Culture Department at the College of Staten Island, CUNY and screenwriting and narrative development at The Pratt Institute. She has a PhD in Media Philosophy.

Sadie Benning

By | Blog, Lo-Tech
Sadie Benning’s career began at 15, when they received a Fisher-Price PXL 2000 toy video camera from their father for Christmas. Benning remembers, “I thought, ‘This is a piece of shit. It’s black-and-white. It’s for kids.’ He’d told me I was getting this surprise. I was expecting a camcorder.”

Reminiscent of journal entries and filmed mostly in their bedroom, the videos Benning created with the PXL 2000 are a window into their teenage world in Milwaukee. The artist acknowledges, “I got started partly because I needed different images and I never wanted to wait for someone to do them for me.” Suddenly, Benning became a pioneer of a new and rapidly popularizing genre of film: Pixelvision, as the videos were coined for their flat, pixilated quality. In Jollies (1990), by describing past sexual and romantic experiences, Benning recounts the path that lead them to realize, “I was as queer as can be.” Despite the attention that these movies received, the works were developed at a time, as Benning now reflects, before they fully understood their transgender, nonbinary identity.

Benning eventually began to work in other mediums, embracing the immediacy of tactile materials as an alternative to the long process of filming and editing video. Benning explains that a “painting might not literally have the ability to talk like a film…yet it still has something to say.” They incorporate sculptural elements into their paintings; often, wood is cut into pieces, coated with colored resin, sanded, then fit back together like a jigsaw puzzle.

Benning attributes this experimental process to a lack of formal training as a painter, explaining, “The history of painting is heavy with arguments, and as much as I am interested in knowing about them conceptually, I don’t want to feel oppressed in the studio. I want to be free to try things that don’t make sense yet. I put materials together that maybe shouldn’t be and don’t follow hierarchies.”

Benning takes this same approach to Shared Eye (2016); with the addition of found photographs, toys, and shelves, the work has moved even further from traditional painting. Though the work is inspired by things that bother the artist—like the current political climate and how rampant sexism, racism, xenophobia, white supremacy, and capitalism affect the unconscious—Benning also wants audiences to bring their own interpretation to it, noting that there are “infinite ways of looking at the piece.”

By Hannah Traore, Twelve-Month Intern, Department of Painting and Sculpture, 2019

Destiny Deacon

By | Blog, Lo-Tech

(source: https://www.mca.com.au/artists-works/artists/destiny-deacon/ )

Born 1957, Maryborough, Queensland. Lives and works Melbourne, Victoria. KuKu (Cape York) and Erub/Mer (Torres Strait) people.

Destiny Deacon is a descendant of the KuKu (Far North Queensland) and Erub/Mer (Torres Strait) people. An artist, broadcaster and political activist, her performative photographs, videos and installations feature members of her family and friends as well as items from her collection of ‘Aboriginalia’ – assorted black dolls and kitsch. Partly autobiographical and partly fictitious, her acerbic and melancholic work deals with both historical issues and contemporary Aboriginal life and is informed by personal experience and the mass media. Deacon’s humorous works examine the wide discrepancies between representations of Aboriginal people by the white Australian population and the reality of Aboriginal life. In her ‘lo-tech’ productions, Deacon creates an insightful comedy that is effective in establishing a discourse about political, Indigenous and feminist concerns.

Deacon has been exhibiting nationally and internationally since the early 1990s in solo and group shows. Her major survey exhibition Destiny Deacon: Walk & don’t look blak, was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney in 2004, and subsequently toured to Wellington City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand; Adam Art Gallery, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand and Cultural Centre Tjibaou, Noumea, New Caledonia in 2005, and the Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo in 2006. Selected group exhibitions include Who’s Afraid of Colour?, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2016); 13th DongGang International Photo Festival, DongGang Museum of Photography, South Korea (2014); Whisper in my Mask, TarraWarra Biennial 2014, TarraWarra Museum of Art, Victoria (2014); Land, Sea and Sky: Contemporary Art of the Torres Strait Islands, Queensland Art Gallery|Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane (2011); Integracion Y Resistencia En La Era Global, 10th Havana Biennale, Havana, Cuba (2009); Revolutions – Forms that Turn, 16th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney (2008); and Culture Warriors: The National Indigenous Art Triennial, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (2007).

Deacon’s work is held in the major state galleries of Australia, and in many regional, corporate and university collections.