VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Bowman, Brice

Brice Bowman
US media artist


Interview: 10 questions

1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background

I grew up in Napa, California a small town near San Francisco. I have Art degrees from San Francisco State University and Sacramento State University specializing in painting. I started out as a Photo-Realist painter but evolved to Abstract Expressionism. I painted very seriously from 1973 to 1995 with studios in San Francisco and Berkeley California. Over time I became more interested in the grain of film and moving images instead of pigment on canvas. In my view my pictorial results in my photography shows that I am an ex-painter.

2. When, how and why started you filming?

WHEN: I officially started making films in 1995 (the year of my last painting), although I did not successfully complete my first film until 1998, a film I titled Transitional Construction representing among other things the construction of a work of art transitioning from one media to the other.

I painted “everything” out of me and was not willing to “just go through the process of painting just because I could”. I lost belief in the end result of painting and did not believe painting possessed in the end that which I set out to acquire in the journey of creating paintings.

The visual and psychological results of film signalled something far more effective to me when done than a painting hanging on a wall did.

3. What kind of subjects have your films?

Apparently I don’t have the capacity to put into words what the subject is in my films. When I was a painter I found the ability to be confident in what the subject was, but with my films I can only attempt to describe what they will fell like, and to some degree what they will look like and indeed this might be the subject of my films, i.e., the combination of these too.
I do not feel my films are a conceptual outgrowth of my paintings. The two medias in that sense are very different for me.

4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?

I have no principles, or styles in mind as I attempt to follow the psychological suggestions of the images that occur to me to splice together as I build a time line in my films.

5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.

I have used or use an Arri16BL, Bolex H16 SBM, and a Canon 5D Mark ii. I edit the films in Final Cut Pro, and use Logic Pro to compose the sound all done on a Mac Pro.

6. What are the chances of new media for the genre film/video in general and you personally?

For me film is my medium of choice and it seems to me it is a very under rated medium with a much more effective capacity to create with than all of the traditionally medias that gallery exhibit for the only purpose that they are easier to attract buyers for.

7. How do you finance your films?

I use my salary as a school teacher to finance my films.

8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film maker or do you work in a team?

I work alone. I do absolutely everything on my films. I want full expressive control over them.

9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?

Man Ray and Kiki of Martparnesse, Maya Deren, Jean Cocteau, Marcel Duchamp, Edward Hopper, Paul Cezanne, Henry Matisse, Luis Bunel and Salvador Dali, Isadore Isou, The Letterist movment, Dada Art, Surrealism, Alexandar Hammid, Stan Brakhage, Jonas Mekas, The San Francisco Art Institute, P. Adams Sitney.

10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?

Make as many successful films as is reasonable and have them exhibited very widely, particularly in Europe.

Can works of yours viewed online besides on VideoChannel?
Yes my works can be viewed other places online.