Tom Kalin

Tom Kalin's work in film and video traverses diverse genres and forms, from independent feature films to activist television spots and resonant video poems. Kalin has received international recognition as a prominent figure in the New Queer Cinema. His first feature film, Swoon (1992), for which he was director, co-producer, writer and editor, is characterized by his distinctive negotiation of style, narrative, cultural theory and political consciousness.

In the late 1980s Kalin was a founding member of the AIDS activist collective Gran Fury, which gained attention for its provocative public art projects. His lyrical yet incisive statements on the media representation of gay sexuality and AIDS, as exemplified by They are lost to vision altogether (1989), expanded the definition of activist video.

Kalin has produced several prominent independent feature films, including I Shot Andy Warhol (1996) and Go Fish (1994). He co-wrote the screenplay for Cindy Sherman's feature film debut Office Killer (1997), and wrote Somebody's Sins (1997), a feature screenplay about Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith.

Kalin continues to work on a smaller scale in video, merging text, music, and poetic images in short experimental pieces that fuse the personal with the political.

Tom Kalin was born in 1962 in Chicago. He earned a B.F.A. from the University of Illinois and an M.F.A. from the Art Institute of Chicago, and studied in the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program. He has written for publications such as Art Forum, Aperture, and The Village Voice, and has taught at California Institute of the Arts, Brown University, and Yale University. He is currently Assistant Professor in Columbia University's Graduate Film Division. Kalin has received the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, as well as grants and awards from the Rockefeller Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Paul Robeson Fund, New York State Council for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Swoon (1992) received the Best Cinematography award at the Sundance Film Festival and the Open Palm Award (recognizing outstanding first features) from the Independent Feature Project, among other awards. Kalin's work has been screened at the The Getty Research Institute and American Film Institute, Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and at festivals in Hong Kong, Berlin, Amsterdam, New York, and Barcelona. He lives in New York.