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Image of an enchanted book spewing words


Kelly Egan

Assistant Professor, Media and Cultural Studies
B.A. (Carleton), M.F.A. (Bard), M.A., Ph.D. (York/Ryerson)
Certificate in Film Preservation (George Eastman Museum)

Traill College, Scott House 203, ext. 6042, kellyegan@trentu.ca

Graduate Faculty, M.A. Public Texts, PhD Cultural Studies

I approach both creative and critical work as a media archaeologist, combining critical histories and material analyses by considering the story of a medium outside of its hierarchal, canonical and linear history. Influenced by my training in film preservation, my research centers on dead and obsolete media--not just those that endure--because they can illustrate an alternative history outside of dominant narratives, and allow us to reimagine new relationships between technology and artistic practices. Her dissertation “The Projector’s Noises: A Media Archaeology of Cinema Through the Film Projector” (2013) explores how twentieth century artists critically engaged with the film projector’s noises at moments of technological transition, and how this engagement challenges the dominant structures of the cinematic apparatus by drawing attention to the liveness and performativity of the cinematic event.

My filmwork explores issues of materiality, intermediality, and media obsolescence. I am known for my work in optical sound (using the optical soundtrack on the filmstrip to probe the materiality of language), cameraless animation, and the creation of "film quilts" (which challenge dominant forms of narrative through the symbolic patterns produces in quilt-making practices). My films have been screened at major festivals across Canada and internationally, including the Toronto International Film Festival, the Images Festival, the New York International Film Festival, the Rotterdam International Film Festival and EXiS Experimental Film and Video Festival. My film quilts have have been exhibited at the York Quays Gallery/Harbourfront Centre and the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto, The Factory: Hamilton Media Arts Centre and L’espace virtuel in Chicoutimi, PQ.


Athyrium filix-femina (for Anna Atkins) 5min, 35mm, Colour, Sound (in progress)
ransom notes 5 min., 35mm, Colour, Sound, 2011.
if there are any heavens my mother will (all by herself) have 2min., 35mm, Colour, Sound, 2007.
A Firefly 2 min. 35mm, Black and White, Sound, 2007.
catalogs: wish list 5 min. 35mm, Colour, Sound, 2006.
c: won eyed jail 5 min., 35mm, Colour, Sound, 2005.
transparent “c” 3 min., 16mm, Colour, Sound, 2005.
mary/me 4 min., 16mm, Colour, Sound, 2004.
object/loss 4 min., 16mm, Back and White, Silent, 2004.
breath 3 min., 16mm, Colour, Sound, 2003.
Bodies of Knowledge 5.5 min., 16mm, Colour, Sound, 2002.
cockroach 4.5 min., 16mm, Colour, Sound, 2002.
finger petals 4 min., 16mm, Colour, Sound, 2002.