Philip Mallory Jones

A media artist who has been active in video since the early 1970s, Philip Mallory Jones synthesizes what he terms the "realities of African culture and my own emotional and metaphysical odyssey." He writes: "My work has always considered the screen as a canvas, rather than a window, and explored ways of telling stories through emotional/sensorial experience. I am seeking, in my research, a synthesis of African and diaspora sensibilities and my artmaking, to transpose this synthesis to electronic media art."

Jones explores the emerging global African diaspora culture and consciousness through nonverbal storytelling and an evocative, transcultural language of sound and image construction. Rhythmically textured tapes such as Wassa (1989) and Jembe (1989), shot in Burkina Faso and Angola, engage in a transcultural dialogue through the development of codes based on what Jones terms "emotional progressions and an African sensorium." Articulating social themes with personal resonance, Jones merges experimental narrative and subjective documentary forms. In multi-channel installations such as Footprints (1987) and Dreamkeeper (1989), the complex visual, aural and narrative constructions encourage transcultural interpretation.

Jones has long played an important role in the media arts field; he was founder and Executive Director of Ithaca Video Projects, a pioneering media arts center, from 1971 to 1984, and Director of the Ithaca Video Festival from 1974 to 1984. Jones received a B.A. from Beloit College and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Cornell University. Among his numerous awards are grants and fellowships from the New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Television Laboratory at WNET/Thirteen, the American Film Institute, and Creative Artists Public Service (CAPS). He founded Footprints Productions, Inc. in 1988, and is currently its director. He has taught at Cornell University, Ithaca College and Howard University; and is currently an assistant professor in media/communications at the State University of New York, Fredonia. He has been artist-in-residence and visiting artist at the Television Laboratory at WNET/Thirteen; American Center, Paris; Long Beach Museum of Art, California; Colgate University; and Temple University, among other institutions. His videotapes and installations have been exhibited internationally, at festivals and institutions including the Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Artists Space, New York; American Film Institute National Video Festival, Los Angeles; 2nd National Black Arts Festival, Atlanta; FestRio, Brazil; and the California Afro-American Museum, Los Angeles. His videotapes were the subject of a 1990 retrospective at The Brooklyn Museum of Art. Jones lives in Atlanta, Georgia.