Janis Crystal Lipzin
Janis Crystal Lipzin has been called "one of the key American media artist of this era" by
Steve Anker, Dean of the School of Film &Video at Cal Arts. She has been making art in
virtually every form of reproducible media for nearly forty years. Utilizing such diverse
media as 8mm and 16mm film, various kinds and formats of photographic prints and
transparencies, video, audio, digital photography, multi-media installations and media
performance, she has confronted an array of uncomfortable subjects such as pyromania,
prehistoric murder, pesticide abuse, reproductive rights, and mortality. Another central foundation of her practice is a diverse approach to materials. In her hands light sensitive film becomes a medium to be worked, marked, chemically altered, affected by light both within and exterior to a camera.
Lipzin's work frequently has been at the forefront of an avant-garde art practice that
seeks to push the limits of what is possible with the media arts while enriching their
possibilities for personal expression. She approaches this effort on a number of fronts:
formally within the aesthetics of the film itself, in the overt content of the work, and in
the context in which it appears. She creates moving image works that break out of the
usual confines of cinema and takes to the street, the storefront, and the abandoned naval
shipyard as possible sites of engagement and beyond the conventions of industrial processes.
According to Grahame Weinbren, editor of Millennium Film Journal "Lipzin has had an
unmatched impact on the art of film through her activities on behalf of the experimental film community and her influence on several generations of students since the 1970s."
She taught Film and Interdisciplinary Studies at the renowned San Francisco Art Institute from 1978 to 2009 where she served as Chair of the prominent Film Department, and before that, directed the influential Film/Photo Program at Antioch College. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Ohio University in Painting and Photography. She also studied painting at New York University and received her MFA in Film from the San Francisco Art Institute.
Lipzin's films and photo work have been featured in numerous museum shows including the Venice Biennale, the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the New Museum of Contemporary Art (NY), the Institute of Contemporary Art in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Berkeley Art Museum, the Corcoran Gallery, the Neuberger Museum at SUNY
Purchase, and the Kunstmuseum in Berne, Switzerland. Her many awards include three
Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her films and videos are
distributed internationally and a recent digital film, De Luce 1: Vegetare has been shown in more than 22 venues in eight countries including at the Edinburgh Film Festival, Videoex in Zurich, the San Francisco Film Festival, Black Maria Film/Video Festival, Antimatter in Victoria, Canada; KLEX in Kuala Lumpur, the Havana Film Festival, and the Kauna Biennial in Lithuania and in the 2013 Venice Biennale. Her most recent hybrid film, Micro-Celluloid Incidents in 4 Santas, has won prizes at the Black Maria Film Festival and Montréal Underground Film Festival. A seminal essay on her working process, "A Material Film Practice in the Digital Age," was published in the Winter 2012 issue of Millennium Film Journal.
She has been active in critical writing and curatorial actions throughout her career. She also founded and directs eye music, the pioneering microcinema that produced media events at the
Exploratorium and New Langton Arts in San Francisco and internationally.
A selection of Janis Crystal Lipzin's work is available to watch on Fandor: http://www.fandor.com/filmmakers/director-janis-crystal-lipzin-2599