Brakhage Center for the Research and Study of Creative Experimental Cinema/Media
Film Studies Professor Daniel Boord together with Bruce P. Montgomery, Faculty Director of Archives, and the Department of Art and Art History have launched the Brakhage Center for the Research and Study of Creative Experimental Cinema/Media. The Center aims to document the experimental film/media world and exploit the strengths and diverse contributions of a wide range of media art making and scholarship. The influence of innovation in computer technology has profoundly changed how we express ourselves artistically. Media Arts is a field that represents the convergence of technology with the established forms of art making such as cinema and digital video. The Brakhage Center will provide a platform to facilitate a dialogue on the state of the media arts among artists, scholars, museum curators, and other centers of artistic endeavor around the country. The basic research emphasis of the center is innovation in media artistic expression, as well as its study and preservation. As such, the Center will allow CU-Boulder to become nationally and internationally prominent within the growing field of media arts.
The aim of this center also will be to educate students and the public about the artistic and cultural importance of media art, as well as to encourage new artistic talent. Media art is at a crossroads between analogue and digital. The Center will offer leadership in this transitional period by providing a bridge between past accomplishments and future generations of (artistic) filmmakers and media artists.
The Brakhage Center for research and the study of creative experimental cinema/media is named after one of the most influential filmmakers of the twentieth century, Stan Brakhage. Through the creation of nearly 400 films over the last half of the 20th century, Brakhage pioneered a means of filmmaking that explored the way we experience cinema as viewers - exploring its psychological and philosophic dimensions. Brakhage’s original style of moving image making has, it is said, “changed everything from cartoons and television commercials to MTV music videos and the work of such mainstream moviemakers as Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, and Oliver Stone” (The Criterion Film Collection 2003).
The Brakhage Center is based on the donation of the films and papers of Brakhage with help from the New York-based H.G. Donner Foundation. The Brakhage collection is currently attracting broad national and international interest and scholars to CU-Boulder to study the papers. The Brakhage archives present the opportunity to use them as the foundation to build a more ambitious and significant collection, encompassing the materials of other leading artists in the experimental film world. As stated in the flagship 2030 proposal, such a center will be a major draw to the “world’s best thinkers: to visit, work, and study at CU-Boulder.” We envision CU- Boulder as a national and international locus of scholarship in counterparty moving image art. Broadly conceived, the Brakhage Center will promote the understanding and preservation of artistically innovative media art. It is envisioned that the Brakhage Center will create on-going relations with centers of film preservation and study.