Michael Sicinski writes on MUBI, "Simple in concept but flawless in execution, Palmerston Blvd. is the story of a single year in the life of a family apartment, presented as a 14-minute temporal condensation. Although Browne is committed to an experimental vision, the power of this film derives from his classical approach. Much of Palmerston is framed in a wide angle that absorbs the main picture window and dining area, offered up like a proscenium. It’s here that we can discern the changes that define Browne’s family life—the eventual absence of some, the signs of new presences, and of course the shifting of the seasons. Smaller details are also brought to the fore, mostly to display their specific play with the sunlight or their refractive character. Like a living Alice Neel canvas, the film gives us flowers in mason jars and changing leaves out the window on the corner. Palmerston Blvd. is a dynamic film, in large part because it maintains a tension between the pictorial and the narrative. It’s the story of a space, and like all spaces, it comes to an end."
Eli Hayes writes, "It's going to be difficult for many of the short films screening at TIFF '17 to top Dan Browne's Palmerston Blvd.: a simply stunning work of audiovisual and temporal exploration, a journey in time and light, space, day and night. Shadows dance across the screen in both smooth and jagged movements through static, nostalgic environments—the catalyst for a chopped up and fragmentary dreamscape of memory, sitting adjacent, in the portal of parallels, just on the other side of reality. Remarkable."
I am also excited to announce Palmerston Blvd. will be presented at Antimatter [Media Art] Festival in Victoria, BC, this October. This year's edition is their twentieth anniversary -- congratulations to curators Deborah de Boer and Todd Eacrett for their hard work! In addition to being shown in the curated short film programming, Palmerston Blvd. will also be presented during the festival as a screen installation at The Ministry Of Casual Living that will be visible on the street. More details TBA soon.
The 2017 San Diego Underground Film Festival lineup has been announced, Generationscreens Friday August 25th in a programme with works by Sky Hopkina, Karissa Hahn, Josh Weissbach, Ryan Wicks, Jeremy Moss and more! The full selection of artists is outstanding, I wish I could be there in person!
For July and August, Confluence (2017) will be on continuous public display in the main floor lobby of Richmond-Adelaide Centre (130 Adelaide Street West, Toronto), consulting by Public Art Management.
^ Confluence (2017, 20 min); installation at Richmond-Adelaide Centre, 130 Adelaide St. W.
I've also been increasingly exhibiting my digital collages, with editions for private collections, including the ORION head office in Toronto, and an inclusion in the first issue of a zine called Winter. I'm slowly building towards a show and online print store, but in the meantime, I have an abundance of recent artists' proofs from my digital album -- if you are interested in acquiring one, please email me.
At the end of August, memento mori (2012) will be presented as part of 17 Days Video Series, Vol. 10, curated by Adriane Little. This series presents the work of seventeen artists continuously over a seventeen day cycle, and will be exhibited at The Bret Llewellyn Art Gallery at Alfred State College (Alfred, NY), from August 28th - September 19th, and Atrium Gallery at Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, MI), from November 6th 2017 to April 29th, 2018. I am very honoured to be included.
^ "For Paul Sharits", still image from memento mori (2012)
This month I finished a three-year long project, Palmerston Blvd., a work that is my most personal to date. Shooting with a DSLR and intervalometer, I recorded the changing conditions of the bay window in my apartment over the course of a year, producing a time-lapse of over 250,000 images. As a point of comparison, memento mori (2012), which incorporated the sum total of photographs I had taken at the time I made it, uses 128,000 images -- in other words, I took more photos of this window than the entirety of the rest of my work. Unbeknownst to me upon starting the project as a series of photo sketches (which were posted to Instagram from 2013 to 2015), what I ended up crafting a portrait of was the domestic conditions of my son's first year of life, and our eventual growth beyond this apartment into a new home. For those who have seen Poem (2015), this is a complimentary piece.
Palmerston Blvd. is one of Toronto's oldest residential streets, the houses built largely in the first decade of the twentieth century on grand scales that have since been subdivided into rental units. Between Bloor St. and College St., it features large stone gates, a massive canopy of trees, and cast-iron street lamps of an original design that was common to North America in the 1920s -- a feature stripped from almost every other street in Toronto. You can read more about the street here, and even see the window from which the film was made directly below the pedestrian crossing sign in the second picture. We moved into the apartment in December of 2012 and left in April of 2015.
I plan to write something with more extensive detail on this work in the near future, however for now I will just mention that it would not have been possible without the help of my partner, Kat. I also want to give special thanks and credit to filmmaker Andrew Kim, who acted as a camera assistant while I hosted him during his visit to Toronto for the Images Festival, helping me immensely by reloading the camera battery and memory card during the final continuous sequence that lasted for over a week.
Still images from Palmerston Blvd. (2017), 14 minutes, 4K digital, silent.
On April 8th and 9th, Cinema 25 in Manchester (UK) will be hosting a full retrospective of my film and video works, The Cinema of Dan Browne. This event is my first international solo show and I am honoured that it will take place over two nights and include all of my works to date. The first evening will cover my films from 2007-2011, plus some never before seen Super 8 rarities and the UK premiere of The Lost Cycle (2016). Day two will cover my digital work, including memento mori (2012) and a post-screening live interview via Skype. Special thanks to curator and host Christian Dymond.
On Saturday April 8th, I will be performing live DJ and VJ sets at Electric Circuits Festival in Kingston, ON, as well as taking part in a panel discussion on digital art in the afternoon at the Tett Center.
On Saturday April 8th, NOFEST in Milan, Italy, will also host the World Premiere of my new film, concrescence (2017). This is one of several new short films, with more to come soon.
Routes (2011) screens as part of "Focusing on the landscape," at Sessió Xcèntric, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, on April 20th. From the programme description by curator Albert Alcoz: "Exploring the representation of nature in the film medium serves to transfigure it. Speeding up its development in time, suspending its physical presence, distorting its configuration or revealing its interstices are cinematographic operations that expand perception of the landscape. Describing the immanence of the forest is the pretext for a selection of films that show the landscape not as a physical place, but as a series of cultural perceptions, based on a place."
I am excited to announce that I was commissioned by Images Festival to make the official trailer for this year's festival. This was a great honour, and since it is Images' 30th anniversary, I decided to pay homage to the festival's staff, artists and attendees by creating a collage out of the nearly 15,000 images in their archives. If you've ever been to Images before you will see some familiar faces, and maybe even yourself! Check out the trailer below, or on the big screen at this year's edition, which runs from April 21-28th in Toronto. The music is by Karl Fousek, "Second" from Pattern Recognition (2015).
This winter I'm taking a breather from making new works in order to focus on my dissertation, which centres around process-based aesthetics and decay in experimental film. Writing about decay and the world feels very appropriate right now, I think I chose a timely topic! Been reading a lot of theory and am excited by my recent discovery of Bataille's The Accursed Share, which I feel perfectly summarizes the role of avant-garde cinema -- looking forward to writing on this connection, which seems to have gone unaddressed. I've also completed some notes towards a short theoretical/aesthetic manifesto called "The Fragile Image," that is an attempt to work through some common themes in my practices. Whatever happened to the days when artists wrote creative manifestos? We need more of that!
I will be doing live improvised video projections with pianist Jacqueline Leung at Audiopollination #51 at Array Space on Saturday February 11th in Toronto. I'm also exhibiting two video installations, Cathedral and Grid024 (both 2015), on The UMW Media Wall at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA. And Núria Giménez Comas will be presenting her re-scored version of my film Abraxas (2006) in concert at "Zone(s) de combat," Consortium on February 10th in Dijon, France.
(By the way, if any web developers out there reading this are familiar with Koken -- which this site is run on -- I'm encountering glitches when updating content that I really could use some assistance with!)
2016 was a great year for me personally, and not such a great one for the world...
Let's start with the good: I somehow managed 52 screenings, installations, and live performances, including five solo presentations and a Loop Collective touring programme that spanned from coast to coast. I made seven new 16mm films, a handful of other projects, and resurrected four older films with new digital restorations. I finally managed to place all of my work in distribution with CFMDC and Light Cone, so something will survive if my house burns down. My films were mentioned on 'best of' year end lists by Rinaldo Censi, Donatello Corona, and Ángel Rueda, and I was happy to do my first lengthy interview on my filmmaking with Edwin Rostron. I have three new projects in process that I am confident will be among my best work to date, and I began several new collaborations and working relationships with other artists and organizations that I look forward to continuing in the coming year. And my personal life continues to blossom as I enjoy the struggles and triumphs of being a parent.
As for the downs: while I'm not the type to wax dramatic over the deaths of celebrities I've never met (with the possible exception of Leonard Cohen), the stories of rampant environmental destruction that filled this year's news -- the death of 80% of the Great Barrier Reef, the loss of 2/3 of wild animals, the radical acceleration of Arctic ice melt, and the near certainty that a great catastrophe will be upon us all within fifty years or sooner -- have left me feeling increasingly pessimistic about the future, especially given the ascendant world political scenario. I find myself mulling over Hölderlin's question, "What are poets for in a destitute time?" It can seem profane to task oneself with making and exhibiting artworks in such a climate (sometimes even impossible), but they are also needed now more than ever. I will be taking a sabbatical from most social media platforms for the next while with the hope of being able to better ground myself, but please feel free to write me anytime, I would love to hear from you!
B Movie (2005) will be presented in Montreal at La Lumière on December 16th as part of Contre Courant, a programme of found footage works curated by Guillaume Vallée.
Finally, I'm happy to announce that the final show prints of the films in The Lost Cycleare ready and will soon be available for rental via CFMDC and Light Cone, at long last. Please go and rent them! :)
Hope you all stay warm and focused this winter.
Still images from On Sundays (2007) and Field (2016).