Awards $715,000 to 22 U.S. Media Artists
New York, NY - National
Video Resources (NVR) is proud to announce the recipients of its Media
Arts Fellowships. Awarded annually for 19 years, the Fellowships recognize
the artistic excellence of 20 film, video and new media artists in the
United States with cash awards of $35,000 each. For the third year,
two additional Fellowships of $7,500 each acknowledge emerging artists
working in film and video whose work shows exceptional promise.
Since its establishment
by the Rockefeller Foundation in 1988, the Media Arts Fellowships program
has awarded nearly $10 million to 300 gifted media artists working in
a variety of genres in the U.S. and is known as one of the most prestigious
grants in the media arts. Brian Newman, Executive Director of NVR, noted
"Those nominated for the 2006 Media Arts Fellowships represent
some of the most important media artists working in the country today.
From emerging artists to those more established in their careers, from
documentarians to artists using software as their medium, they represent
a wide array of artistic vision, and we congratulate them all."
This year's group
of 22 Fellows includes Oscar- and Emmy-nominated filmmaker Arthur Dong
and his new documentary investigating the history of the Chinese in
American feature films; Kelly Dobson and her project exploring communication
between humans and robots; and Sterlin Harjo, whose narrative tells
about a young Seminole man on a journey toward self-awareness in Oklahoma.
Additionally, Fellowships were awarded to documentarians Keith Beauchamp,
Liz Mermin, Mylène Moreno, Meena Nanji, Ian Olds, Anayansi Prado
and Sheila Sofian; new media artists Ben Fry, Shih Chieh Huang, Paul
Kaiser and Shelley Eshkar, Ruben Ochoa, and Julia Reodica; fiction filmmakers
Nanobah Becker, Selena Burks and Debra Granik; and experimental makers
Andrew Blubaugh, Ernie Gehr, Beatriz Santiago and Soon-Mi Yoo. (Brief
descriptions of the Fellows' funded projects and bios are attached.)
Tania Blanich, Director
of the Program for Media Artists, noted that among the 2006 Fellows
is Ian Olds, who had been nominated for the Fellowship with his filmmaking
partner Garrett Scott. Tragically, Mr. Scott died of a heart attack
at age 37 in early March, shortly after the panel had recommended the
team for funding, and merely two days prior to winning a 2006 Independent
Spirit Truer than Fiction Award for Occupation Dreamland. "Scott
was considered a talented and promising filmmaker by both peers and
audiences," said Blanich. "We at NVR are pleased to support
Ian in what would have been their next documentary together."
of the Fellowships include 2005 Sundance winners Ira Sachs (Forty Shades
of Blue) and Craig Brewer (Hustle and Flow); Charles Burnett (To Sleep
with Anger); video installation pioneer Shigeko Kubota, widow of Nam
June Paik; and documentarian Ross McElwee (Sherman's March). The full
list of Fellows can be found at www.MediaArtists.org.
NVR is a not-for-profit
organization founded in 1990 by the Rockefeller Foundation. The organization
fosters independent artistic expression by supporting the creation,
dissemination and public awareness of independent media in all forms.
The cornerstone of its support for artists is the Media Arts Fellowships,
which support the creation of new work that brings innovation to the
media arts. The Rockefeller Foundation and the Ford Foundation are key
funders of the program. Further information about NVR can be found at
2006 MEDIA ARTS FELLOWS
The Media Arts Fellowships
support artists working in narrative, documentary, experimental, installation
or work that centers on dynamic, computer-mediated media, such as web
art, robotics, virtual reality, and interactive installations. An asterisk
* next to the individual's name indicates a recipient of an Emerging
explores the growing epidemic of hanging deaths of African-American
men in the deep South. Previously, Beauchamp spent nine years researching
the Emmett Till case. The resulting debut documentary, The Untold Story
of Emmett Louis Till, was cited by the US Department of Justice as a
major factor in their 2004 decision to reopen the case. In 2005, he
was awarded the National Board of Review and Motion Picture's Freedom
of Expression Award.
New York, NY
Full is a fiction
film about a 27-year-old gay (nadleeh) Navajo man forced to return home
to the queer Native American nightlife culture of Albuquerque, New Mexico
after failing as a disc jockey in New York City. Becker is a Navajo
writer and director (Flat) who graduated from Brown and the Directing
MFA program at Columbia University, and was a 2005 Sundance Fellow.
Scaredycat, a short
experimental documentary exploring the role fear plays in our lives,
takes as its point of departure the filmmaker's response to an incident
in which he was mugged and beaten. Blubaugh's experimental documentaries
have screened at Sundance and other notable festivals. He is an instructor
at Northwest Film Center in Portland.
Fuse melds fiction
and documentary to tell the story of a young woman's erratic teenage
years as a runaway, based on the life of the filmmaker's foster sister.
Burks's first film, Saving Jackie, a documentary portrait of her mother's
spiral out of crack-cocaine dependence, premiered at Sundance 2005.
She graduated from Wright State University.
is a collection of robots with complicated psychological states, such
as anxiety or other neuroses, in an on-going exploration of how to facilitate
empathic communication between machines and humans. Dobson, a doctoral
student in the MIT Media Arts and Sciences program, has exhibited her
work internationally, including at ISEA in Helsinki and Tallinn, The
Kitchen in New York, and the Millennium Museum in Beijing.
Los Angeles, CA
The Chinese in Hollywood
Project documents the visual and social history of the Chinese in American
feature films since the early 1900s. Dong is a 1994 Fellow whose films
have earned him a George Foster Peabody Award, three Sundance Film Festival
awards (including the Directing Award for the Fellowship-funded documentary
Licensed to Kill), an Oscar nomination and five Emmy nominations, among
other honors. He serves on the National Film Preservation Board and
the Board of Governors at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,
representing the Documentary Branch.
Processing, an open
source programming language that teaches the fundamentals of computer
programming for images, animation and sound, supports and expands the
artist's own work while providing a wide community of artists with the
tools to advance their own work. Fry is currently working on visualization
of genetic data at the Broad Institute at MIT. His work has appeared
at the Whitney Biennal, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Ars
Electronica, and in several Hollywood films.
San Francisco, CA
On Location is an
experimental video that traces the topography of New York City, playing
with time as it investigates history and the continual metamorphosis
of the urban landscape. Gehr teaches at the San Francisco Art Institute.
His films have screened internationally, including retrospectives at
the Museum of the Moving Image, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris;
the Rotterdam International Film Festival; and the San Francisco Cinematheque.
New York, NY
Church Ave. is a
fiction film that tells the story of a pivotal year in the life of a
young streetwise Brooklyn man. Granik's debut feature, Down to the Bone,
won the Dramatic Direction Award at Sundance in 2004 and has screened
at festivals, including Deauville, Locarno and Pusan. She graduated
from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts graduate film program.
Four Sheets to the
Wind follows a young Seminole Indian man as he sets out on an offbeat
journey of mourning for his father and learns about living life, one
day at a time. Harjo, himself Seminole, was one of the first five Annenberg
Film Fellows at the Sundance Institute. His short film Goodnight, Irene
premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, and screened at the Berlin
International Film Festival, among others.
SHIH CHIEH HUANG
New York, NY
POF-TTN06 is an
interactive installation in which found and collected objects - including
toys, electrical devices and sensors - are reassembled in a way that
subverts their intended function and causes the viewer to look anew
at the familiar materials that surround us. Huang's work has exhibited
at museums and galleries worldwide, including the Tokyo National University
of Fine Arts and Music; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Burgos, Spain;
and the New Museum in New York.
PAUL KAISER and
New York, NY
Playground is an
interactive installation that explores children's natural movements
and the structured choreography and social patterns they create when
at play. Using motion-capture and artificial intelligence, the installation
will react in direct response to participants. Kaiser, a Guggenheim
Fellow, has taught at several universities and been an artist-in-residence
around the country. Eshkar, a multimedia artist and experimental animator,
has explored three-dimensional figural drawing and animation, particularly
using motion-capture technology. The two have worked together for eleven
years, and are known for their digital dance works with choreographers
such as Bill T. Jones and Merce Cunningham.
New York, NY
at the nature of faith in the contemporary United States. Mermin's recent
documentary The Beauty Academy of Kabul played at numerous festivals
internationally, was broadcast on BBC2 and across Europe, and is currently
in theaters across the US. She is a graduate of both Harvard and New
Los Angeles, CA
Home Team documents
the fans of Chivas USA during the Major League Soccer club's second
season in 2006. Moreno's recent documentary Recalling Orange County,
which reflected on her experience growing up as the daughter of immigrants,
has been screening at festivals and will be broadcast this fall on public
television during the inaugural season of VOCES. She studied at both
Harvard and Stanford.
Santa Monica, CA
Told through the
eyes of three Afghan women - a doctor, a teacher and a women's rights
activist - View from a Grain of Sand reveals how war, international
interference and the rise of religious fundamentalism have stripped
Afghan women of rights and freedom. Nanji, based in Los Angeles and
New Delhi, has produced and directed a number of experimental and documentary
works. She received a Media Arts Fellowship in 1995.
Los Angeles, CA
Class: C's Vancade
is a 2-D video game inspired by the evolving role of the artist's van
from street vending vehicle to a mobile artists' space. The game - combining
a mid-1980s esthetic with today's multi-faceted gaming capabilities
- allows the player to sell tortillas and fund art exhibits as they
navigate the streets of Los Angeles. Ruben Ochoa, an artist whose work
often explores the interjection of art into unsuspecting environments,
received his MFA from UC-Irvine.
New York, NY
21st Century state intervention, glimpsed through the eyes of various
agents working in and around a U.S. Special Forces camp in post-conflict
Afghanistan. Olds was nominated for a fellowship along with his filmmaking
partner Garrett Scott, who died in early March 2006. They had co-directed
Occupation Dreamland, about American soldiers in Iraq, which won a 2006
Independent Spirit Award. Olds directed the fiction short Two Men, an
official selection of the 2005 Clermont-Ferrand International Film Festival
and Best Short winner at the 2005 Woodstock Film Festival.
Los Angeles, CA
Children In No-Man's
Land uncovers the plight of the 100,000 unaccompanied minors crossing
the U.S./Mexico border every year. Born in Panama, Prado moved to the
United States as a teenager. Her debut documentary Maid in America,
about Latina immigrant women working in Los Angeles, screened nationally
on the PBS Independent Lens series in Fall 2005. Prado received her
BA in Film from Boston University.
hymNext: The Living
Sculptures Project is an installation that comments on modern sexuality,
confronts the traditional roles of the female body and presents a collection
of synthesized hymens. The unisex hymens are sculpted with living materials
into a variety of designs for application on the human body. Along with
laboratory imaging and informational kiosks, Reodica uses the intersection
of art and science to expand public understanding of the possibilities
for medical and scientific arts in a time of emerging technologies.
San Juan, PR
Glosario | Glossary
is an experimental film about incomprehension, language and invention
made with speakers of Nicaraguan Sign Language. This new, gestural language
developed spontaneously when deaf children from different parts of Nicaragua
were brought together in the first school for deaf children in the country.
Santiago lives and works in Puerto Rico, creating absurdist improvised
performances that comment on social relations. Her work has shown in
the US and abroad, including the Outpost for Contemporary Art in Los
Angeles, ApexArt and e-Flux in New York, and Museo de Arte Moderno de
República Doimnicana and Ex-Teresa Arte Actual in Latin America.
SHEILA M. SOFIAN
and live action, Truth Has Fallen will follow the work of James McCloskey,
whose mission is to free prisoners wrongfully convicted of murder. Sofian
is an animator and documentary filmmaker whose award-winning films have
shown at film festivals internationally. She is Department Chair of
the Animation Program at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, CA.
SOON-MI YOO *
Jimmy's Reward imagines
the life of a Korean boy whose brief service as a Navy "mascot"
during the Korean War is documented in seven photographs at the U.S.
Navy archive. The search to find Jimmy invokes the historical landscape
of the Korean War and addresses the complex issues of personal and national
identity. Korean-born Yoo's work has been exhibited at festivals and
galleries internationally. She has been awarded several residencies
and fellowships, including from the American Photography Institute.