David Gatten


Over the last 15 years, David Gatten (b. 1971 in Ann Arbor, Michigan) has explored the intersection of the printed word and moving image. Using traditional research methods (reading old books) and non-traditional film processes (boiling old books) the films trace the contours of private lives and public histories, combining philosophy, biography and poetry with experiments in cinematic forms and narrative structures. Exploring the archive in unexpected ways and making connections across categories of knowledge and fields of meaning, Gatten’s films construct new compositions from 19th c. scientific treatises, “out-dated” instructional texts and rare books.  His work resides in the permanent collections of the British Film Institute, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Art Institute of Chicago.  Gatten was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to continue his film series investigating the library of William Byrd, which Artforum called “one of the most erudite and ambitious undertakings in recent cinema.”