Bruce Conner

(1933 - 2008)

Bruce Conner was born in McPherson, Kansas, in 1933 and studied art at Wichita University, the University of Nebraska, the Brooklyn Art School, and the University of Colorado. Moving to San Francisco in 1957, Conner became involved with the Beatniks. He continued to live and work in San Francisco, until his death in 2008. Conner first made a name for himself in the 1950s with assemblages/sculptures of found objects. In the late 1950s, he began making short movies that proved highly influential and established him as one of the seminal figures in the history of independent, avant-garde filmmaking. Conner's first film, A Movie (1958), a visual collage created from bits of B-movies, newsreels, and other footage, has been listed on the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Connor was also responsible for Crossroads (1976), produced with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, which turned the destructive and sinister atom-bomb test in Bikini Atoll into elegiac visual poetry. Conner’s inventive technique and conceptual density using assemblage, montage, and tour-de-force editing has made him the originator of many movements. When asked if he was the father of MTV, he replied with, “I demand a DNA test.” or “Don’t blame me!”

 

Mongoloid

(Bruce Conner, 1978)

A documentary film exploring the manner in which a determined young man overcame a basic mental defect and became a useful member of society. Insightful editing techniques reveal the dreams,...