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THOMAS DEXTER

is a moving-image and sound artist. Dexter's solo and collaborative projects have been featured at Microscope Gallery, Experimental Intermedia, PS1, Roulette, The New York Museum of Art and Design, Sight and Sound Festival, Issue Project Room, the Mononoaware Festival, The Lesley Heller Workspace, Festival of Ideas for the New City, The Invisible Dog, and ESP TV among others. He is a member of Future Archaeology.

contact :: thomas.dexter(at)gmail.com
  • "My process is intuitive and experiment driven, often beginning with the raw materials and mechanisms of sound and image production. From there, wires are intentionally crossed, and function is aggressively reframed in the service of creating useful or illuminating mistakes. I often work by way of repetition and subtraction – creating process narratives in which surface features are gradually removed until the material supports bleed into the foreground. Alternately, I sometimes focus on a single formal or kinetic quality and work toward distilling its presence. Common to these approaches is an interest in finding points along the sensorium that are transitional or unresolved; the thresholds at which fundamental shifts occur. For me, these places hold possibility, and ultimately, beauty."
  • SQUARE/GETS/THE/CIRCLE @ BALAGAN SCREENING SERIES (2013)

    Documentation from an expanded cinema performance

    "Square" involves mixing live direct animation on 16mm film with pre-composed footage and opto-electronic sound synthesis (light to sound). Performed as a triple 16mm projection, I was interested in creating a narrative beginning with illusion and ending with blunt materiality (the direct manipulation and destruction of the film's surface).
  • SQUARE/GETS/THE/CIRCLE @ SIGHT/UNSEEN (2013)

    Documentation from an expanded cinema performance
  • SQUARE/GETS/THE/CIRCLE @ SIGHT/UNSEEN (2013)

    Documentation from an expanded cinema performance
  • ACTION/FILM @ THE INVISIBLE DOG (2012)

    Documentation from an evolving performance that uses direct animation on 16mm film-leader, light-to-sound synthesis, and the destruction of the film itself.

    Action/Film uses a painterly vocuablary of direct animation gestures on the film's surface (drawing, etching, scratching) unfolding in real-time on 2 or 3 simultaneous loops. The sound is generated through custom transducers sampling directly off of the screen.
  • ACTION/FILM @MICROSCOPE GALLERY (2012)

  • ACTION/FILM @ THE ANARCHIST ART FESTIVAL (2012)

  • ACTION/FILM (2011)

  • IMAGES (2006 - 2013)

    Photo documentation from selected performances in NYC.
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  • RUIN II (2014)

    30min looping HD (excerpt)

    16mm "scratch" film digitized and reanimated in a continuous loop.


    RUIN I (2012)

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  • DRIFT 18HZ (2014)

    Triple 16mm projection, modified shutters, film leader
  • COLOR STUDY 18HZ (2014)

    Triple 16mm projection, modified shutters, acrylic dye on film leader
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  • DEAD LANGUAGE (2014)

    Film leader, pins
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  • OPTICKS I: STAR/BLINDED (2014)

    11min looping single channel HD video and sound.

    The first in a series of video works inspired by Newton's early scientific investigations into the nature of light and visual perception (sometimes involving direct and dangerous self-experimentation)


    Isaac Newton - in an undated letter to John Locke

    The manner was this. I looked a very little while upon ye sun in a looking­glass wth my right eye & then turned my eyes into a dark corner of my chamber & winked to observe the impression made & the circles of colours wch encompassed it & how they decayed by degrees & at last vanished. in a few hours time I had brought my eys to such a pass that I could look upon no bright object with either eye but I saw ye sun before me, so that I durst neither write nor read but to recover ye use of my eyes shut myself up in my chamber made dark for three days together & used all means to divert my imagination from ye Sun.

    But now I have been very well for many years, tho I am apt to think that if I durst venture my eyes I could still make ye phantasm return by the power of my fansy.


    Using the destruction of the camera as allegory, Opticks (I) explores the inter­dependance of the external world and the sensory medium.
    As exhibited at the Mission for Temporal Art
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  • GRAVITY (2014)

    5min looping 2 channel HD video and sound (excerpt)
  • SYNC/DRIFT I (2013)

    3min looping single channel HD video and sound (excerpt)

    Footage from Emerson, Lake and Palmer live at California Jam '74 used expressly without permission.

  • SYNC/DRIFT II (2013)

    4min looping single channel HD video and sound (excerpt)

    Footage from Michael Angelo Batio: Starlicks® guitar instructional video used expressly without permission.

  • SUPERBOWL-XLVII-SPATIALLY-AND-TEMPORALLY-FLIPPED-AND-SELF-SUPERIMPOSED-SO-AS-TO-OBSCURE-THE-GAME-OBJECTIVE-AND-ENCOURAGE-YOU-TO-LOOK-AT-THE-PRETTY-COLORS-AND-SHAPES (2014)

    4 hour looping single channel HD video (excerpt)

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  • SUPERBOWL-III-SPATIALLY-AND-TEMPORALLY-FLIPPED-AND-SELF-SUPERIMPOSED-SO-AS-TO-OBSCURE-THE-GAME-OBJECTIVE-AND-ENCOURAGE-YOU-TO-LOOK-AT-THE-PRETTY-COLORS-AND-SHAPES (2014)

    4 hour looping single channel HD video (excerpt)

  • SPIN CYCLE: HORIZON I (2012)

    Looping single channel HD video and sound.

    A powerdrill mounted HD camera flattens and warps space as it approaches its representational and mechanical limits. All visual effects and sounds were derived from the camera apparatus itself.

  • SPIN CYCLE: HORIZON II (2012)

  • SPIN CYCLE: HORIZON III (2012)

  • SPIN CYCLE: HORIZON IV (2012)

  • UNTITLED (2011)

    6min ink on 16mm film leader and optoelectronic sound transferred to HD (excerpt)
  • DRAWING ON FILM (2009)

    Film process-drawings made, exhibited, and discarded over the course of a gallery show. The drawings are made on a simple apparatus suggesting a loom. The process is transparent and the results are immediate.
  • FILM STILL (2010)

    Installation. Ink on film leader, copper tubing, rewind hardware, spools.

    The film's original function is apparent but inaccessible..
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  • DARK DETECTION - (2009)

    7min rephotographed Super 8 film, sound, electronics.

    A modified "darkness alarm" circuit sonifies areas of moving shadow.
  • STRIATED FIELDS I (2007)

    VHS tape transfered to HD. 5min looping.
  • SAISFACTION IS DEFERRED (2011)

    Intro and verse of pop song time-stretched at a ratio of 1:33. 4 hours (excerpt)



    Rendering of a Marshall® guitar amplifier and cabinet dimensionally stretched at a ratio of 1:33.
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    Rehearsal for live performance of SATISFACTION IS DEFERRED. Thomas Dexter: Guitar, Jake Adams: Drums.
  • FUTURE ARCHAEOLOGY: OHM IV (2013)

    A site-specific performance environment harnessing the conductive / resistive properties of the human body to create an evolving soundscape. Premiered at SIGHT + SOUND festival 2013
  • FUTURE ARCHAEOLOGY: OHM (2010)

    Exploring the conductive / resistive properties of graphite and the human hand, OHM transforms the Splaterpool gallery walls into interactive sonic drawings. Part of the Dead of Winter series, curated by Maria Chavez. See the full event documentary HERE
  • OHM II (2011)

    Performance documentation. Crowd interaction is harnessed into a large-scale "human sound circuit."
  • DRAWING STUDY FOR "OHM"

    Sound circuit drawing exercise.

    With Heather Dewey-Hagborg.
  • OPEN CIRCUIT (2010)

    Interactive sonic architecture and performance @ PS1 MOMA.

    in collaboration with Heather Dewey-Hagborg and Matt Radune.

    Performances by Maria Chavez & Shelley Burgon.
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  • HYDROPHONY (2010-2011)

    Chance compositions comprised of underwater recordings taken from the East and Hudson rivers. Hydrophony brings unheard acoustic worlds to the surface - allowing the listener to experience familiar sites of recreation, travel, and industry in a new and intimate way. External site

    With
    Heather Dewey-Hagborg.
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  • LIVE @ ROULETTE NYC (2007)

    Audio/visual duets with Maria Chavez exploring memory and interpretation.
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  • FUTURE ARCHAEOLOGY

    Collected installations and performances 2008 - 2011. External link: www.futurearchaeology.org

    In collaboration with Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Ellie Irons, Dan Phiffer and Matt Radune.
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  • Selected Exhibitions, Screenings and Performances

    2014 Dark Map, Lesley Heller Workspace, New York, NY
    2014 Weird Science, Kunsthalle Galapagos, Brooklyn, NY
    2014 The Luminous Surface, The Mission for Temporal Art, Marshall, NC
    2014 Recent Moving Image Work, Bushwick Open Studios, Brooklyn, NY
    2014 Open Call Screening, Sight/Unseen series, Baltimore, MD
    2013 Screening, Ende Tymes Festival, The Silent Barn, Brooklyn NY
    2013 Solo Performance, Distended Cinema, Outpost Artist Research, Queens, NY
    2013 Solo Performance @ The Silent Barn, Brooklyn, NY
    2013 Solo Performance. Sight / Unseen series, Metro Gallery, Baltimore, MD
    2013 Solo Performance. ESP TV series, Museum of Arts and Design, New York , NY
    2013 Space Time, Lesley Heller Workspace, New York, NY
    2013 Solo Performance, Balagan Screening Series, Cambridge, MA
    2013 Future Archaeology IV, Sight and Sound Festival, Eastern Bloc, Montreal, QC
    2012 Thomas Dexter: Noise Index, Solo Performance/ Screening, Microscope Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
    2012 Collaborative Performance, ESP LAB, Vaudeville Park, Brooklyn, NY
    2012 Solo Performance, Invisible Dog Art Space, Brooklyn, NY
    2012 Bushwick Open Studios Film Festival, Microscope Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
    2012 The Sum of its Parts, Bushwick Open Studios, Brooklyn, NY
    2012 Solo Performance, Distended Cinema, Firehouse Arts Space, Brooklyn, NY
    2012 Solo Performance, Anarchist Art Festival, The Living Theater, Brooklyn, NY
    2011 Future Archaeology III, Sys(x)tem, Splatterpool Artspace, Brooklyn, NY
    2011 Floating Points: Volume (IV), Issue Project Room, Brooklyn, NY
    2011 Monitor Digital Art Festival, Guadalajara, Mexico
    2011 Collaborative Performance, INDEX Festival, Millennium Film Archives, New York, NY
    2011 Parson's College Urban Festival, New York, NY
    2011 Sea Worthy, EFA Project Space, New York, NY
    2011 New Museum Festival of New Ideas, New York, NY
    2011 Collaborative Installation, Open Circuit, PS1/MOMA, New York, NY
    2011 Open Circuit, PS1/MOMA, New York, NY
    2011 Collaborative Performance, 3 Legged Dog, New York, NY
    2011 Dead of Winter Works, Splatterpool Artspace, Brooklyn, NY
    2010 Mono No Aware IV, Lumenhouse, Brooklyn, NY
    2010 Hear and Now, Beta Spaces, Brooklyn, NY
    2010 Collaborative Performance, Unity Gain Series, Secret Project Robot, Brooklyn, NY
    2010 Solo Performance, Optosonic Tea series, Experimental Intermedia, New York, NY
    2010 Bring to Light NYC festival , Brooklyn, NY
    2010 Collaborative Performance, Art in Odd Places, New York, NY
    2010 Solo Performance,OffTrack, 319 Scholes Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
    2010 Williamsburg Art Walk, Brooklyn, NY
    2009 Black Thursday Halloween City!! Beta Spaces, Brooklyn, NY
    2009 Conversation Pieces, Cepa Gallery, Buffalo, NY
    2009 Performance with Maria Chavez, Unity Gain Festival, Brooklyn, NY
    2009 Collaborative Performance with Loud Objects, Issue Project Room, Brooklyn, NY
    2008 Maria Chavez with Thomas Dexter, Roulette, New York, NY
    2008 Works in Progress, Fotofono, Brooklyn,, NY
    2008 Repetition, Firehouse Gallery, Queens, NY
    2008 Solo Performance, Material Matter, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
    2008 Solo Performance, Build / Decay Festival, The Tank, New York, NY
    2008 Collaborative Performance with Loud Objects, The Stone, New York, NY

    Awards, Panels, Bibliography, Videography

    2014 Brooklyn Based – What to see at Bushwick Open Studios
    http://brooklynbased.com/blog/2014/05/29/what-to-see-at-bushwick-open-studios/
    2014 - 2015 Smack Mellon Gallery juried pick:
    http://smackmellon.org/index.php/contact/hot_picks/hot-picks-2014/thomas-dexter/
    2013 Gorky's Granddaughter video series subject:
    http://www.gorkysgranddaughter.com/2013/06/thomas-dexter-june-2013.html
    2012 Dead of Winter Works Documentary
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfX5UlILLSk
    2011 Panelist, Misadventures in Manipulation, Harvestworks, NYC
    2009 Guest Artist, Visual Music, NYU Tisch
    2007 – 2014 Assistant to structural film pioneer and media artist, Ernie Gehr

    Education

    2001 BA (Psychology) Bennington College, Bennington, VT