Discipline: Film/Video – experimental, Literature

Abigail Child

Discipline: Film/Video – experimental, Literature
Region: New York, NY
MacDowell Fellowships: 1983, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999

Child has been at the forefront of experimental writing and media since the 1980s, having completed more than 30 film/video works & installations and written six books. A pioneer in montage, Child addresses the interplay between sound and image. Her films rewrite narrative, creating the cult classics Perils, Mayhem and Covert Action (1984-87). Other productions borrow documentary to poetically envision public space including B/Side (1996) and Surf and Turf (2011). Child’s re-constructed home movie The Future is Behind You (2004) served as inspiration for UNBOUND: Scenes from the life of Mary Shelley shot as imaginary home movies. In recent years, Child has expanded her vertical montage to multiple-screen installation with Mirrorworlds and The Milky Way.

Child is the principal director, cinematographer, and editor on her films, though she often collaborates with renowned poets. Cultural displacements, mostly urban ones, have been at the heart of her concerns. She has been honored with numerous fellowships, awards, grants, and exhibitions are renowned museums worldwide. Harvard University Cinematheque has even created an “Abigail Child Collection” which will preserve and exhibit her films.

Child is also a writer with more than five books and numerous chapbooks. Her critical study, This is Called Moving: A Critical Poetics of Film (2005) is the only critical book written by an active American artist/filmmaker in over two decades. Her book of poetry Mouth to Mouth came out in 2016, courtesy of Eoagh Press and was honored with a Lambda Prize in 2017. Child is Emeritus Professor of Media at Tufts University and lives and works in New York City.


Irving Fine

Abigail Child worked in the Irving Fine studio.

Youngstown Studio was given to MacDowell by friends of Miss Myra McKeown in Youngstown, OH, where she promoted both art and music. It was renamed Irving Fine Studio in 1972 in honor of Irving Fine, a distinguished composer, conductor, and teacher who was a MacDowell Fellow during the 1940s and 1950s. The simple interior of the studio…

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