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65 5th Ave, Room 411
New York, NY, 10003
United States

Funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Graduate Institute for Design, Ethnography & Social Thought at the New School incubates advanced transdisciplinary research and practice at the intersection of social theory and design and fosters dialogue on related themes across the university.

Bill Morrison


The GIDEST seminar is held on Fridays from 12-1:30pm. All seminars take place in the GIDEST Lab at 63 Fifth Avenue, Room 411.

Sessions are devoted to discussion of pre-circulated papers that can be downloaded one week in advance by clicking on the presentation title below.


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Bill Morrison

BEYOND ZERO: 1914-1918

This seminar will focus on Bill Morrison's film, Beyond Zero: 1914-1918. Sourced from original 35mm nitrate footage shot during the first World War, the work pieces together a unique visual exploration from footage never before viewed by modern audiences, and never to be be seen again outside of this film. Serbian composer Aleksandra Vrebalov created the score, commissioned and performed by the Kronos Quartet.

Bill Morrison‘s films are instantly recognizable for their meticulous combination of rare archival material and commissioned contemporary music. With his detailed meditations on impermanence, visuality, sound, and often on film itself, he is producing one of the most distinctively coherent bodies of work in contemporary American cinema.

Among his most notable works, Decasia (67 min, 2002), a collaboration with the composer Michael Gordon, was added to the US Library of Congress’ 2013 National Film Registry; Spark of Being (68 min, 2010), a collaboration with trumpeter/composer Dave Douglas, won the Los Angeles Film Critics Award for Best Independent Film of 2011; The Miners’ Hymns (52 min, 2011), a collaboration with Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, was described as one of “the best and most beautiful films of the year” by the Huffington Post; The Great Flood (78 min, 2013), a collaboration with guitarist/composer Bill Frisell, won the Smithsonian Ingenuity Award of 2014 for historical scholarship; and the recently-released Dawson City: Frozen Time was described as "an instantaneously recognizable masterpiece" in The New York Times.

Recently honored with a mid-career retrospective at MoMA, Bill is a Guggenheim fellow who has received the Alpert Award for the Arts, an NEA Creativity Grant, a Creative Capital Grant, and a fellowship from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. His theatrical projection design has been recognized with two Bessie awards and an Obie.

Earlier Event: October 20
Fred Moten and Stefano Harney
Later Event: December 1
Tanya Kalmanovitch