Bruce Conner Moves On
July 8, 2008 8:23 AM   Subscribe

The news today is that Bruce Conner, an amazing artist across many forms, died yesterday.
posted by njohnson23 (22 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I don't want to nitpick, but a single link post to a news article is not FPP worthy. Where's the beef? How about some links to the amazing artist? Examples of his work maybe?
We have news sites that give us the news.
posted by a3matrix at 8:32 AM on July 8, 2008 [3 favorites]

This is quite sad -- both Conner's death, and such a sparse remembrance. Here's his first film, A Movie from 1958, for those who haven't seen it.
posted by jrb223 at 8:32 AM on July 8, 2008 [2 favorites]

Conner deserves a better obit than that tiny squib. The Wikipedia entry has quite a bit more information. Several of his haunting and witty films, like Valse Triste, are on YouTube. Among the filmmakers who were decisively influenced by his early work -- particularly his 1958 collage masterpiece, A Movie -- was a young race-car fan from Modesto named George Lucas [self-link]. Conner's effect on contemporary film style and the visual lexicon of music videos was considerable.
posted by digaman at 8:33 AM on July 8, 2008

and here's his 1978 video for Devo's Mongoloid.
posted by jrb223 at 8:35 AM on July 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

here one can find a series of 'photograms' he made in the '70s.
posted by jrb223 at 8:45 AM on July 8, 2008

Beautiful Conner prints.
posted by digaman at 8:45 AM on July 8, 2008

A 1990 interview.
posted by digaman at 8:47 AM on July 8, 2008

Mea Culpa, a film from 1981.
posted by jrb223 at 8:50 AM on July 8, 2008

and here's a better obit, with even more films and clips from films.
posted by jrb223 at 8:58 AM on July 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

I had forgotten that he did the Mea Culpa video. Most of that album doesn't need a video, but it works really well.

On to more abstract renderings, Mr. Conner.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:00 AM on July 8, 2008

Is there a term for a post to Metafilter that sucks but is redeemed by links submitted by other members?
posted by Burhanistan at 9:01 AM on July 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


I've seem most of Bruce Conner's videos, and they are a paragon of the found footage technique. He is THE name in found footage, at least for the midcentury. His work is such that if you didn't know it, you might find it trite or cliche, when in fact he was the tastemaker, the inventor, the father of that form, long before it became associated with mere kitsch.

I went to the De Young recently, where one of his stuffed pantyhose assemblages is housed, and stood by it for 15 minutes, glowing, hoping for a chance to talk about his work, to evangelize his name, to passerby.

When I taught my found footage class, I think Ten Second Film made the biggest impact. I showed it following Emak Bakia, but the day before any of his longer works. It cracked those 19 year olds up.

I'm a fangirl for you, Bruce Conner. Thanks so much for defining the art style which I hope to study my life long.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:03 AM on July 8, 2008 [2 favorites]

And hey, Previously!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:11 AM on July 8, 2008

Report was one of the first experimental films that I really liked. In the Re/Search pieces, he came across as a really cool guy.
posted by drezdn at 9:14 AM on July 8, 2008

Ambrosia, THE forgotten name in mid-century collage film was the Canadian Arthur Lipsett, whose haunting masterpiece 21-87 -- which included found footage -- was the source of Lucas' phrase "the Force," as I made known in the Wired story linked above.
posted by digaman at 9:19 AM on July 8, 2008

Thank you for helping beef up the anemic FPP, guys. All this stuff is new to me, and I'm amazed at the breadth of his work.
posted by Spatch at 9:46 AM on July 8, 2008

There's a ton of hits on YouTube for "bruce conner" but since I'm unfamiliar with the guy I'm not sure which are relevant.
posted by DU at 10:18 AM on July 8, 2008

Conner's punk-era photographs are currently on exhibit at the Berkeley Art Museum.
posted by digaman at 1:34 PM on July 8, 2008

Conner, a true artist's artist, made inkblot drawings are just indescribably beautiful. I can, and did, look at them for hours.
posted by R. Mutt at 3:30 PM on July 8, 2008

Wow, this is a gem of a thread! I knew Conner worked in many media, but jeez. He tried what looks like close to a dozen different modes, and none feel like failed experiments. I'm glad he was with us for his allotted time.

He reminds me of Joe Brainard in his facility with different media.
posted by ferdydurke at 3:56 PM on July 8, 2008

I recall seeing 'A Movie' and 'Report' as part of some film student's senior screening back in the 80's, and being struck speechless. Later that same day, we watched Michael Snow's 'Wavelength.'

I grew me some new eyes that day.

We seem to be moving away from the dots lately, but fuck it, for gratitude's sake:

posted by Kinbote at 5:47 PM on July 8, 2008

Damned if I can find a link to 5 x Marilyn, but it is a very fine piece.
posted by Wolof at 6:21 PM on July 8, 2008

« Older Sewn artifacts based on children's drawings   |   Naxalite revolt in India Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments