Microscope is very pleased to present an evening of short films by New York-based artists Will Bragger and Matt Whitman, as part of our emerging artist series YES.
The work in the program by Bragger and Whitman, who both work with analog film formats in distinct ways, treat celluloid film as a means to extend or incorporate other and historically separate mediums, such as painting and digital media.
Will Bragger has been making films since 1994 by applying paint, ink, and other materials ranging from ammonia to xeroxed paper directly onto filmstrips, repurposing in part the early abstract film concept of visual rhythm, originally represented in works with animated elemental shapes. His colorful, cascading imagery is the result of the sedimentation of chemical interactions and processes, frequently occurring by chance, as well as the manipulations of photographic emulsion by the artist. Bragger’s hand-made 16mm films transferred to 4k video — informed by jazz, noise, and electronic music — present a wide range of tempos and variations as they strives to “create visual silent music with rhythms of forms, texture and color.”
Although shot on various analog film formats, Matt Whitman’s works in the program are focused entirely on the digital screens of current consumer products and devices. These works — in which words often materialize on the digital displays as if they were machine generated — embody a view of our social media conversations, especially in the way they deal with time and repetitiveness. The swiping through images on an iPad suggests the flow of film frames through a projector. Sentences embedded within Facebook backgrounds are often broken up into fragments, at times translating emojis or other image-based elements into text. In Whitman’s words, “these pieces are seen to perpetuate, in vain, a synoptic visual language of social media, while responding to the immediacy and anti-preciousness of written language created for and within a digital social space.”
Bragger and Whitman will be in attendance and available for Q&A following the screening.
General admission $8
Students & Members $6
Will Bragger (born 1968 Warwick, RI) is a Queens-based artist. He studied filmmaking at the University of Rhode Island (BFA ’91) and Massachusetts College of Art (MFA ’94). At the University of Rhode Island, Bragger conducted a weekly film series entitled “For Films Sake” focusing on films notably considered works of art. In 1992, he moved to Boston and began working mainly in color 16mm film. His work has been shown among others at Anthology Film Archives, Millennium Film Workshop, the Haverhill Experimental Film Festival, Haverhill, MA, AS220 Gallery, Providence, RI, and Echo Park Film Center, Los Angeles, CA. Bragger primarily works on 16mm film with inks, markers, tape, glue, and various chemicals. His early films were shot on Super 8mm and 16mm, and made with extensive use of stop motion animation.
Matt Whitman (b. 1988, West Chester, Pennsylvania) is a New York based artist working with moving image, photography, installation, writing and performance. His work has appeared at Anthology Film Archives, New York; La MaMa, New York; Ethan Cohen Gallery, New York; the Brooklyn Film Festival, New York; CROSSROADS, SF Cinematheque, San Francisco; The Front, New Orleans; The Lab, San Francisco; Unexposed Microcinema, Durham, North Carolina; and ‘8 fest’ Toronto, Ontario among others, with forthcoming screenings at the Manchester Film Festival, Manchester, UK in March 2020. He has taught at Parsons School of Design since 2014.