VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Towne, Shawn

Shawn Towne
video artist

artist biography

His video “Linear Succession” is part of the “image vs music” selection

biographical details at the end of the page—>


Interview: 10 questions

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

I began my studies pursuing painting and printmaking at Montserrat College of Art, but my obsession with technology made me shift to digital arts in my sophomore year of college. I completed two B.F.A. degrees in Graphic Design / Typography and Electronic Imaging / Photography, both from the College of Visual Arts at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. I will complete my M.F.A. in Visual Art in January of 2007 from Lesley University’s Art Institute of Boston. The pursuit of learning and higher education is of the utmost importance to me, as I see it as the artist’s most vital tool for bettering their ability to communicate and express. Thus, I am currently employed as a college educator teaching digital art. Beyond my educational pursuits I am also married to Jennifer Tribou, a designer of home decor as well as an artist herself, and live on Cape Cod with our puppy, Kiley.

2. When, how and why started you filming?

Filming has always been an intriguing method of communication to me. My first film was in high school and the experience was thrilling because it was new. Unlike with design, where typically you are presenting a static image, in video there is the constant challenge to entice the viewer into staying longer.

3. What kind of subjects have your films?

I have been working strictly with non-objective content for the last year and a half but see myself branching out to work with the figure in the near future.

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

I don’t see myself as having any specific style or following the same principles with every endeavor. Typically I do work non-objectively, but I see this, as with all of my work, as an “in progress” phase of my life.

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

I work strictly with digital processes. Although I am not opposed to alternative methods, I feel that the digital process brings me a higher sense of self-gratification. My current equipment ranges from DV cameras, web cams and digital SLR. I edit using Final Cut Pro.

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

Video has become a more accessible medium over the last few years thanks to video Podcasting. Currently I am struggling with the personal question of identity in a rapidly growing medium. I have yet to join in the Podcasting scene but am keeping it in mind as a venture of personal exhibition.

7. How do you finance your films?

Currently my work is independently funded.

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

I often collaborate and brainstorm on ideas with other artists but as for the production it is typically just me.

if you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?

I enjoy human contact and working with other artists can be exciting but secretly I find that I am a control freak and often retreat to my studio alone.

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

There are a number of artists whom have inspired me, some old and some young. I give thanks to my mentors, who let me into their lives to witness their own processes and personal explorations. My students continue to keep me in check with the direction of the medium. And most importantly, my wife who has supported and continues to inspire me.

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

To continue to do what I love without the constraints of funding.

  • Can works of yours viewed online besides on VideoChannel?
  • Yes, my work may be viewed at