Featured Faculty: Kristin Reeves


Kristen Reeves is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art & Design. She has shown her interdisciplinary work internationally in museums, galleries, theaters, art events, and festivals such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Microscope Gallery, Brooklyn; Crossroads Film Festival, San Francisco; Antimatter [Media Art] Festival, Victoria; European Media Arts Festival, Osnabrück; Revelation Perth, Australia. Kristin was awarded the 2016 Indie Grits Film Festival Helen Hill Memorial Award, and she is a Signal Culture Artist in Residence. Reeves has also collaborated in over 20 live multimedia projects staged in performance venues such as Steppenwolf Theater, Chicago; The Boiler, Brooklyn; The Granoff Center, Providence. Kristin has had an impressive exhibition record in 2016, in addition to excellent teaching in the classroom.

Since joining the Murray State Art & Design faculty in 2015, Kristin has completed three short experimental film/video/animation works: Body Contours 2015, Music of Desire 2016, and CPS Closing & Delays 2017. Body Contours and Music of Desire continue a body of work examining the history and authenticity of photographic media’s ability to represent and sometimes even stand in for a human body.  Clinical films have been surveying the body, exposing where it hurts, and giving expert instruction on how to best control and understand our uncontrollable selves since motion picture’s invention. As an artist, Kristin is interested in the same questions as well as searching for truth through the use of the found media bodies she examines, exhumes, and reanimates.

While researching the mind/body/signal/sequence phenomenon of trauma, Kristin was an artist-in-residence at Signal Culture media arts residency in Owego, New York. With the aid of their analog video synthesizers, she was able to model a signal overload of the physical media bodies she had amassed, 16mm educational/medical/hygiene films as well as animations of looping forms and fractured lyrics melted into the film with a laser cutter. Signal Culture’s Jones Rasterizer inspired the base of her modeling method. Kristin converted the visual image of the filmic body into a controlling signal, which was then applied back onto itself through the Jones Rasterizer. The process resulted in a visual representation of body as signal, a signal which then directs the filmic body’s new reanimated narrative loop, resulting in Body Contours and Music of Desire’s meaningful esthetic.

14908240_10154482780028311_5194487592442009383_nVideo still Music Of Desire, 2016, 8min video

Body Contours was exhibited internationally through 2016, and Kristin was honored with the Helen Hill Memorial award from the Indie Grits film festival in Columbia, South Carolina, in honor of Columbia native and animator, filmmaker, and teacher Helen Hill (1970-2007). Music of Desire debuted in January 2017 in Mediated, an exhibition of selected works from the Signal Culture artist residency and runs through March 3rd, at Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ Davis Gallery in Geneva, New York.

Video still Body Contours, 2015, 6min. video

Kristin took a detour from her clinical found footage series and completed CPS Closing & Delays in January, another short experimental hybrid 16mm film/video. The Chicago Board of Education made history in 2013 by approving the closing of 49 elementary schools and one high school, the largest public school closing to date in the United States. Kristin has documented all 50 schools on a 100’ roll of 16mm film in 2014. She shot on film with the intention of distressing the film by hand with bleach and melting the affected neighborhoods into the film to amplify the feeling of loss. With video, Kristen was able to capture the engaging community surrounding the schools.

This material still feels very current to Kristin due to the national political debate surrounding public school funding. Another factor that contributed to this material was access to the Department of Art & Design’s laser cutter. The process of melting animations directly into the film was a technique she developed in collaboration with filmmaker and educator Roger Beebe while pursuing her MFA at the University of Florida in 2010. After graduating, Reeves did not have access to a laser cutter with the control needed to complete this project until joining the Murray State faculty.

Film still CPS Closings & Delays, 2017 6.5min. 16mm film/video

Below Kristin Reeves describes her pieces with links to the videos. Congratulations to Kristin on her incredible exhibition record and studio practice!

Excerpt of Music of Desire

Music of Desire, 16mm film to video using analog video synthesizers, 8min, 2016.
Feel the sensation of becoming suspended between pleasure and a reverse soundtrack of desire. I built this model of pleasure to include discomfort using found clinical 16mm films reanimated with real-time analog video processing tools at Signal Culture media arts residency.


Excerpt of Body Contours

Body Contours, 16mm film to video using analog video synthesizers, 6min, 2015.
Make movies in your mind, feel the soundtrack, and drift away from your body for the win. Produced through a media art residency at Signal Culture using real-time analog video processing tools and found 16mm educational films.


Excerpt of CPS Closings & Delays

CPS Closings & Delays, 16mm Film/HD Video, Sound, 6.5min, 2017.
The Chicago Board of Education made history in 2013 approving the closure of 50 schools, the largest public school closing to date in the United States. I shot all 50 schools on a 100’ roll of 16mm film while my DSLR caught vignettes of their communities.


Other film, video, animation, work can be found here: https://vimeo.com/kristinreeves



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