IUB Performing Arts & Entertainment

IU Cinema Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lecture Series: David Gatten

Working with Words: Historical Documents, Systems of Knowledge, & Text-as-Moving Image Art David Gatten

Over the last 19 years, David Gatten (b. 1971, Ann Arbor, Michigan) has explored the intersection of the printed word and moving image. The resulting body of work illuminates a wide array of historical, conceptual, and material concerns, while cataloging the variety of ways in which texts function as both language and image in cinema, often blurring the boundary between these categories. These movies measure the movement of desire across distance, and the manner in which words, books, letters, and other written or printed communications might both produce and mediate that distance.


Using traditional research methods (reading old books) and non-traditional film processes (boiling old books) Gattin’s films trace the contours of private lives and public histories, combining philosophy, biography, and poetry with experiments in cinematic forms and narrative structures. Exploring the archive in unusual ways and making connections across categories of knowledge and fields of meaning, Gatten’s movies construct new compositions and generate unexpected conclusions from 19th-century scientific treatises, “out-dated” 20th-century instructional texts, and rare books from 18th-century personal libraries.

His latest major work, The Extravagant Shadows, was ranked the No. 9 film of 2012 in the Film Comment international film critics poll of the “50 Best Independent Films of 2012.” Feature articles about and reviews of The Extravagant Shadows have appeared in Artforum, Film Comment, Reverse Shot, Fandor, and IDIOM, among others. This series is sponsored by The Media School, The Media School’s cinema and media arts program, and IU Cinema.

Tuesday March 21, 2017 03:00 PM
Tuesday March 21, 2017 05:00 PM
The Indiana University Cinema is located at 1213 E. 7th Street, Bloomington, Indiana. We are located at the East end of the IU Auditorium building. Our main entrance is on the North side, facing the Wells Library.
Jessica Tagg
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Tickets are required for all screenings. You can pick them up at the IU Auditorium box office M-F 10-4 or in the Cinema lobby 60 minutes prior to any IU Cinema screening.
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