Artist Talk + Screening

Wednesday, May 14, 2008
6:30 pm

Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI)
535 West 22nd Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10011


Admission free

Leslie Thornton joins EAI for an evening exploring the role of photography in her moving image work. Thornton's rigorously experimental film and video work is an investigation into the production of meaning through media. For Thornton, form and content are equal and inseparable.

At EAI, Thornton will screen rarely-seen film and video works in which she has investigated the porous boundaries between the still and the moving image. She will speak about the impact and influence of photographic concepts and techniques on her media practice. For Thornton, one of the main issues surrounding photographic media, including film, is the assignment of value that takes place when images are captured by a camera.

In addition to working in film and video, Thornton's practice has recently embraced digital photography, which she uses as a vehicle to question the art world's current approach to media as an art commodity. Thornton plans a special performance for the program, in which the artist will reduce a handmade film-strip into individual photographs for the audience. The artist will invite each audience member to choose a still from a long strip of her digital photographs. She will then cut the photograph off the strip, sign it, and give it away.


Screening Program:

X-Tracts, 1975, 9 min, b/w, 16mm film
Jennifer, Where Are You?, 1981, 10 min, color, 16mm film
Adynata, 1983, 30 min, color, 16mm film
Photography is Easy, 2005 ,5 min, color, video
Let Me Count the Ways: Minus 6, 2006, 1 min, b/w video
Sahara Mojave, 2007, 12 min, color, HDV


Leslie Thornton was born in 1951 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Her epic project Peggy and Fred in Hell is an ongoing cycle of interrelated films, videos and installation environments. Exploring the aesthetics of narrative form as well as the politics of the image, Thornton forges a unique and strangely beautiful syntax, one that poses its critique at the same time that it mesmerizes and confounds. Thornton's works are interventions on contested terrain, in which the stakes are conventions of reading and writing, legibility and transparency. For Thornton, the conventions of narrative and montage must not simply be renounced, but used as tools against themselves. Thornton writes, "I see myself as writing with media, and I position the viewer as an active reader, not a consumer. The goal is not a product, but shared thought."

Thornton studied with filmmakers Hollis Frampton, Stan Brakhage, Paul Sharits and Peter Kubelka at the State University of New York/Buffalo, and with Richard Leacock and Ed Pincus at MIT in Cambridge, MA. She has been honored with numerous awards, including the Maya Deren Award, the first Alpert Award in the Arts for media, a nomination for the Hugo Boss Award, two Rockefeller Fellowships, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Jerome Foundation, and Art Matters.

Thornton's film and media works have been exhibited worldwide, in venues including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre George Pompidou, Paris; Rotterdam International Film Festival; New York Film Festival; capcMus»e, Bordeaux; Pacific Film Archives, Berkeley; and festivals in Oberhausen, Graz, Mannheim, Berlin, Austin, Toronto, Tokyo and Seoul, among many others. Her ongoing work Peggy and Fred in Hell was cited in several "Year's Best" lists, including the Village Voice and The New York Times, and she was the only woman experimental filmmaker included in Cahiers du cinema's "60 most important American Directors" issue. Thornton is Professor of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University.

Leslie Thornton's work is currently included in the Whitney Biennial 2008 exhibition. The first exhibition of her photographs will be held this fall at FluxSpace in Philadelphia.


About EAI

Founded in 1971, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) is one of the world's leading nonprofit resources for video art and interactive media. EAI's core program is the international distribution of a major collection of new and historical media works by artists. EAI's activities include a preservation program, viewing access, educational services, online resources, and public programs such as exhibitions and lectures. The Online Catalogue provides a comprehensive resource on the 175 artists and 3,000 works in the EAI collection, including extensive research materials. www.eai.org

Please visit EAI's new project, The Online Resource Guide for Exhibiting, Collecting & Preserving Media Art, a comprehensive source for information on single-channel video, computer-based art, and media installation: http://resourceguide.eai.org

Electronic Arts Intermix
535 West 22nd Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10011
(212) 337-0680 tel
(212) 337-0679 fax