all images by Stan VanDerBeek from See, Saw, Seems (1965), 16mm film transferred to video, black and white, sound, 14:33 min, Realized with Johanna Vanderbeek, Soundtrack: Jay Watt © Estate of Stan VanDerBeek. All rights reserved.

Join us for a panel discussion with Martha Colburn, Art Jones and Melissa Ragona on collage animation films by Stan VanDerBeek.


Martha Colburn is a filmmaker well-known for her animation films, which are created through puppetry, collage, and paint on glass techniques. She has made over forty films since 1994. Colburn began working with film in the ’90s when she acquired a used projector and began splicing found footage into her works. Now, she works for years on a single project, and her films result from intensive research and meticulously rendered stop-motion animations that include photography, collage, and painting, lending them an intimate, handmade quality. The artist’s vibrant imagery can belie the seriousness of the themes she addresses, which include America’s history of war and violence, and crystal-meth addiction in rural areas. Colburn received a BA in Painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art and Design in Baltimore, and began her filmmaking career making various Super 8mm and 16mm films. Colburn has attended art residencies at The Royal Academy of Visual Art in the Hague, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin. Her films are included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and her film Triumph of the Wild is permanently on show at the Military History Museum in Dresden, Germany.

Art Jones is an artist working with installation, photography, the moving image, and audio. His work makes extensive use of popular music and mainstream media culture as raw material to be sampled and re-combined in order to examine implicit meanings or suggest new ones. Historically, he has been at the center of Activist Media movements in the US and internationally (reflected in key works that are housed and circulated by Video Data Bank). At the core of his work is a belief in the potential for a democratized street-level media. As a VJ, he has performed with a variety of musicians and artists, including Soundlab, DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid, DJ R-Ina, Amiri Baraka, Femmes with Fatal Breaks, and Alec Empire and Phillip Virus. He has completed a trilogy of music videos. Jones' films and audiovisual performances have been presented at the Museum of Modern Art, London's Tate Gallery, Roulette, and numerous media festivals and broadcast outlets internationally. 

Melissa Ragona is an Associate Professor of Visual Culture and Critical Theory at Carnegie Mellon University. Ragona’s critical and creative work focuses on sound design, film theory and new media practice and reception. By forging approaches from the disciplines of film studies, art history, and new media technologies, her work has sought to present a more complex aesthetic, theoretical, and historical foundation for the analysis of contemporary time-based arts. She has curated exhibitions and served as a curatorial consultant at various venues throughout the US, including the Mattress Factory Contemporary Art Museum (Pittsburgh), the Miller Gallery (Pittsburgh), PPOW Gallery (New York), as well as the Museum of Modern Art (New York). She has lectured on experimental film, sound, performance and installation at Yale University, Princeton University, Tate Modern in London, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, Freie Universität Berlin, as well as The Academy of Fine Arts (KUVA) in Finland, and other venues both nationally and internationally. Her book, Readymade Sound: Andy Warhol’s Recording Aesthetics, is forthcoming and her essays and reviews have appeared in OctoberFrieze, Art Papers and numerous edited collections.