Claire Bain

Originally from New Mexico, Claire Bain lives and works in San Francisco. She studied "traditional" filmmaking at City College of San Francisco, and then went on to graduate from the San Francisco Art Institute Film program, while working as a film optical printing technician. Her art practice incorporates writing, painting, sculpture, and digital media into work that investigates systems-power-identity; film form/function is often an element. She has served on the board of Canyon Cinema, and now guest curates and helps with Social Media at Artists' Television Access (ATA). She works part time at the San Francisco Public Library, where she has initiated a partnership with ATA to present a series of 16mm films from the library archives. Her films and videos have been shown in the San Francisco Bay area and New York City; her performances and installations have been presented locally, and she has painted several murals in San Francisco.


This is from her original bio, now (in 2015) over 20 years old. It still applies:
My film work has informed my painting and photography, and vice versa. I have two approaches to film/video. One is more formal, primarily concerned with light, composition, emulsion and rhythm; meaning reveals itself gradually or indirectly. The other approach is a direct communication of thoughts, observations and questions through the use of characters. Occasionally both approaches are used, and with the latter, more narrative, approach a bit of the former always creeps in to cause a tiny (or not so tiny) rupture. I grapple with the media indoctrination we in this society have had; it disgusts and fascinates me at the same time. That is why I imitate it, and the culture it represents. In doing this I'm also trying to find where I fit in. With my formal, "experimental" work I find the answer in a similar way to the way I sense my belonging when I commune with nature. That work is ultimately the most important to me; I need to do it and to experience the work of other film artists. It is a most direct and unique form of communication.