VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Bunkley, Brit

Brit Bunkley
videomaker from New Zealand


Interview: 10 questions

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

I attended Macalister College in St Paul Minnesota (73-75), and then Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) (75-78 …BFA). At that time, we had amazing professors including Siah Armajani, Ken Feingold and Bill Bollinger and also a lively visiting artist’s series that included Germano Celant, Vito Acconci and Robert Irwin.

I moved to NYC in 1979 where I attended the MFA program at Hunter College. I graduated in 1984. During this period I was very lucky to have received a Rome Prize Fellowship (“Prix de Rome”), a New York State Council on the Arts (N.Y.S.C.A.), Project grant, a C.A.P.S. (Creative Artist’s Program Service), N.Y. State artist’s fellowship grant, and a USA National Endowment for the Arts Artist’s Fellowship. I was a frequent finalist for public art commissions throughout the late 80’s and early 90’s (before moving for a teaching position in New Zealand). I have received over a dozen permanent and temporary commissions in the USA and New Zealand.

2. When, how and why started your filming?

In the late nineties I first used video as a virtual tool with 3D Studio digital software to visualize public art commission with animated “flyovers”. I soon began experimenting with other animation capabilities of the software. In the early 2000’s I added actual footage to the digital animations and have since focused more on straight video with fewer effects and animations.

3. What kinds of topics have your films?

I am intrigued by the intersection of virtual and physical sculpture and the juncture of animation and captured video. The content of the art work often focuses on an oblique sense of paranoid apocalyptic fear tempered with a sense of whimsy and irony. Although my media of choice has evolved to a certain degree, I am pursuing interests that are fairly consistent with my last 30+ years of practice: eccentric architecture, Kafkaesque dreamscapes, the social and political apocalyptic dimensions of art, indexes of conflict, and whimsical human revelry.

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

My films are intuitive, basically improvised from an overall idea. So for instance, I travelled to the American Southwest looking for evidence of the Manhattan Project (which developed the first atomic bomb) in the Los Alamos region. I ended up with the video “By Blood and Water, By Blood and Sand” ( which included dream-like clips from the Southwest coast of NZ’s North Island in addition to the US Southwest – home to both the atomic bomb and regions of extreme human caused environmental degradation.

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

I currently use a powerful desk top computer and laptop with 3D Studio Max and Adobe software and HD video cameras.

6. These days digital technology is dominating also video as a medium. In which way the digital aspect is entering the creation of your videos, technologically and/or conceptually?

I am actually using less digital effects than I used to do – less 3D animation and green screen compositing. That said, I discovered photogrammetry software in the last that is capable of scanning in not only small object but also large building s and even landscapes. I have used this form of scanning in an attempt to create dream-like “fly-overs” utilizing intentional partial and noisy (bumpy) 3D models (see the mid-section of Kafka’s Sisters

7. How do you finance your films?

Self-financed, and through teaching and research grants.

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

I work individually as a video artist. I have never worked with moving film.

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

Wim Wenders, Werner Herzog, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Andrei Tarkovsky, Mathew Barney, Sam Taylor-Wood, David Lynch, Laurie Anderson, Bill Viola, Gary Hill etc.

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

Nothing specific. They are almost always improvised.

Can works of yours viewed online besides on the CologneOFF platform? Where?
List some links & resources!video/c4gy