Discipline: Film/Video – experimental

Carl Elsaesser

Discipline: Film/Video – experimental
Region: Brooklyn, NY
MacDowell Fellowships: 2024

Carl Elsaesser is a graduate of Hampshire College and University of Iowa. He lives and works between mid-coast and interior Maine and Brooklyn, NY. In his work, Elsaesser mixes genres and materials to produce work that critically investigates the overarching presence of the historical without losing sight of individual experiences of human connection.

His previous works have screened regularly at festivals and exhibitions including The Berlinale, The New York Film Festival, Cinema Du Reel, and The National Gallery of Art, among many others. At the European Media Arts festival, he won the EMAF Media Art Award of German Film Critics (VDFK).

While at MacDowell, Elsaesser worked on his first feature film, Coastlines. The project uses the video diaries of a Maine family found via Craigslist to produce a porous cultural ethnography of the landscape. Using the diaries, he explores fictions, ethnographic interventions, and cinematic genres to tell a sweeping epic of the formation of the state's coastline alongside the intimacies of one family.

Also while in residence, he finished the last touches on and presented a new short. That work would have its premier in the coming months at First Look, a festival that takes place at the Museum of Moving Image in Queens, NY.


New Jersey

Carl Elsaesser worked in the New Jersey studio.

The yellow clapboard New Jersey Studio, located on a grassy, sloping site, was funded by the New Jersey Federation of Women’s Clubs and built as an exact replica of Monday Music Studio (1913). The studio’s porch rests on fieldstone piers that increase in height as the ground slopes to the west. Like Monday Music Studio, New Jersey…

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