Gregg Biermann

Gregg
Biermann

“Often working with footage from Hollywood classics like THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939), REAR WINDOW(1954), NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959), and others, Biermann’s work takes advantage of the possibilities of digital cinema to advance rigorous compositional strategies. His recent The Age of Animals (2014) is an unsettling, and dizzying lament on the end of animal life of planet Earth. “As a whole, Gregg Biermann’s recent work suggests a sense of the overwhelming in a historical moment in which we are disoriented visually, sonically, socially, politically, and even biologically. It reflects and refracts the sense that, even as we attempt to make sense of the contemporary world, it continues to shift, becoming a foreign and unfamiliar territory. In Biermann’s work, as in contemporary life, our landmarks are constantly shifting, forcing us to find new ways of locating ourselves in a spatial and temporal situation that is ever slipping beyond our mind’s grasp.”-- Jaimie Baron, Experimental Response Cinema”

Filmmakers remix classic movies for countless reasons: nostalgia, mining old footage for new meaning, creating jokes or social commentary. Then there's Gregg Biermann, who processes Hollywood classics and sometimes his own footage through mathematical formulas designed to create digital optical patterns that are not always beautiful, psychologically innovative or rich in visual puns, but are always fascinating to watch. Biermann's videos come from a mindset similar to math rock. They’re metric experiments, not overburdened with heavy-handed meaning. They challenge the idea of artistic choice. While the filmmaker determines which formula to use for the edit, the actual cuts are out of his splice-by-splice control. Then he stitches his videos together manually, one digital edit at a time, in a laborious process — not through some software that spits out his movie in a matter of seconds. Biermann is often less concerned about story, the dialectic clashing of images or the movement of characters or shapes through a frame than he is with the rigorous formulas he sketches out on scraps of paper. He overlays iconic shots from the pantheon of Hollywood classics in ways that obscure meaning but test just how much the original footage can be reprocessed and assaulted without losing its conceptual gravity. He treats scenes from Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles and Victor Fleming like musical notes he plays to a self-designed score. The outcome of his aggressive structure is both sonically and visually terrifying. He’s violating the most basic assumption about what films should do: They should be vessels of meaning, right? But instead, he creates works that are mostly about form, not symbolism. --Kyle Harris, Westword

Films

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    The Waters of Casablanca
    Animation
    Experimental
    Installation

    The Waters of Casablanca
    Gregg Biermann

    black and white, sound, 6 min
    Rental formats: DVD NTSC, DVD PAL
    • Cameraless / Handmade
    • Films About Film
    • Found Footage
    • Music
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    Cinema Study
    Experimental
    Installation

    Cinema Study
    Gregg Biermann

    black and white, sound, 4 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
    • Films About Film
    • Found Footage
    • Music
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    Spherical Coordinates
    Animation
    Experimental
    Installation

    Spherical Coordinates
    Gregg Biermann

    black and white, sound, 9 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
    • Films About Film
    • Found Footage
    • Music
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    The Hills Are Alive
    Experimental
    Installation

    The Hills Are Alive
    Gregg Biermann

    color, 8 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
    • Dance
    • Films About Film
    • Found Footage
    • Music
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    Happy Again
    Experimental
    Installation

    Happy Again
    Gregg Biermann

    color, sound, 5 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
    • Dance
    • Films About Film
    • Found Footage
    • Music
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    Another Picture
    Experimental
    Installation

    Another Picture
    Gregg Biermann

    black and white, sound, 4 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
    • Films About Film
    • Found Footage
    • Music
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    Utopia Variations
    Experimental
    Installation

    Utopia Variations
    Gregg Biermann

    black and white, sound, 5 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
    • Films About Film
    • Found Footage
    • Music
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    High Noon Reflections
    Experimental
    Installation

    High Noon Reflections
    Gregg Biermann

    black and white, sound, 12 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
    • Films About Film
    • Found Footage
    • Music
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    Labyrinthine
    Experimental
    Installation

    Labyrinthine
    Gregg Biermann

    color, sound, 15 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
    • Films About Film
    • Found Footage
    • Music

Biography

Gregg Biermann is Co-President of the New American Cinema Group/Filmmakers' Cooperative in New York and is Professor of Cinema Studies at Bergen Community College in New Jersey and has also taught film history and analysis at NYU Tisch School of the Arts.