Queen's University

Emily Pelstring, MFA

Assistant Professor, Cultural Studies Program, Department of Film and Media
CREATIVE ARTS, FILM AND MEDIA, FEMINISM, DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES, SEX AND GENDER, VISUAL ART
LinkedIn profile for Emily Pelstring, MFA

Autobiography

I am a visual artist and filmmaker, currently working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Film and Media at Queen's University. My work spans the areas of installation, performance, animation and video, and my interests as a creative practitioner are around the cultural context for technologies of visual representation. Through a critical feminist engagement with narrative and the moving-image spectacle, my work is intended to open up space for alternative forms of pleasure in encounters with the moving image.

In my single-channel films, I explore the ways in which technical errors, aesthetic gratuitousness, and chance can engage popular presuppositions about mastery and authorship. I enjoy distorting images with optical filters and other forms of image processing.

Most recently, my work interrogates hetero-patriarchal culture through affirmative engagement with collectivity and camp aesthetics. These areas of inquiry have led me to experiment with collaborative structures (bands, art collectives) and extra-institutional exhibition contexts (the DIY venue, the site-specific performance), resulting in interdisciplinary, collaboratively produced bodies of work. I have two ongoing multimedia collaborations, Inflatable Deities  (with Jessica Mensch) and The Powers (with Jessica Mensch and Katherine Kline).

The possibilities for critical play as a feminist strategy guide both my practice and my teaching, and I encourage inquisitive, exploratory and analytical attitudes in the classroom. I have taught both film and new media production courses at Concordia University and at Dawson College. I currently teach 2nd-year production and upper-year digital and multi-media courses. I hold a BFA in Film/Animation/Video from the Rhode Island School of Design as well as an MFA from Concordia University

My work has been shown internationally in galleries, film festivals and music festivals, including Transmediale Berlin, The Ottawa International Animation Festival, MIX New York Queer Experimental Film Festival, Seoul International New Media Festival, L’Alternativa Independent Film Festival Barcelona, NeXT International Film Festival Bucharest, Antimatter Media Art Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Pop Montreal, the PHI Centre, Khyber Centre for the Arts, Galerie La Centrale and FoFA Gallery. My research has also been supported by residencies at the Experimental TV Centre, Studio XX, and SAW Video Association, and I have done visual commissions for musicians including Aids WolfAroarAJulia HolterSlim TwigU.S. Girls, and co-directed a Prism Prize-nominated video for Yamantaka // Sonic Titan with Ruby Kato Attwood.

Most Recent Project

I Babysat for Those Fools

'I Babysat for Those Fools' is a mural framing a series of videos, and was co-authored with Jessica Mensch. The videos are dramatic reenactments based on the anecdotal accounts of Amityville residents during the 1970s, when a horrific murder shook the town and subsequently fueled the Amityville Horror fiction franchise. The videos recount seemingly unrelated tales told by Amityville residents: memories of a teenage babysitter, recollected rumors about the high school football team, and a haunting premonition before a fatal car accident.

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Other Projects

  • Scotopia

    This exhibition consists of several works: a series of sculptures that integrate animation as screen reflections on glass through the special effects technique of Pepper’s Ghost; a diagonally projected animation that uses anamorphosis to reconstitute images; and a soundscape.

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