Branda Miller

Known for video art works in which social themes are embedded within experimental forms, Branda Miller approaches video-making as an educational tool. Since 1987, she has worked with urban youth and community groups to craft a series of multi-cultural, social-issue tapes in which the production process itself is a vehicle for the empowerment of the videomakers. This collaborative project stresses media literacy as a means of giving voice to under-represented communities.

In video workshops, Miller serves as artist, teacher and consultant on projects about juvenile delinquency (?What's Up?, 1987), high-school drop-outs (Talkin' 'bout droppin' out, 1989), teen-age pregnancy (The Birth of a Candy Bar, 1988) and drug abuse (We Have the Force, 1989). The tapes are energetic, vibrantly edited collages, with lively rap and original music soundtracks. While Miller provides creative guidance and structure, the active participation of the youths as writers, directors and editors is essential to her process-over-product strategy.

Miller has also produced experimental works such as L.A. Nickel (1983), a dramatic fusion of verite street scenes and evocative aural scores. Working individually and collectively, Miller uses innovative video forms as a vehicle for cultural and social activism.

Miller was born in 1952. She received a B.A. from Pomona College and studied in the Graduate Film and Television Program at New York University. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; the MacMurray Video Residency, American Film Institute Television Workshop; and an Emmy Award for Best Editing of a National Television Special. In 1989, she was a visiting artist at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Miller's work is in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; and Long Beach Museum of Art, California. It has also been widely exhibited at festivals and institutions including The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Documenta 8, Kassel, Germany; World Wide Video Festival, The Hague; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Bonn Videonale; and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. She lives in Upstate New York.