David Gracon is a media maker, programmer and scholar. He is a native of Buffalo, NY and has been invested in post-punk, indie, experimental music scenes, zine communities and college radio; as well as activist orientated experimental film, video and documentary communities and collectives since the mid 90’s.
He is an associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Eastern Illinois University where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Media Studies, Alternative Media, Film Studies, Documentary Theory/Production and Digital Video. In 2012, he was the recipient of the 2011-2012 Michael R. Hoardley Instructional Technology Award for the innovative use of technology in the classroom. He has taught at the University of Oregon, University of Rochester, University at Buffalo (SUNY), Medaille College (Buffalo, NY) and Precarpathian National University in Ukraine. He also taught English in Japan (Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program — JET), Poland, Lithuania and China.
During the 2017-2018 academic year he was a U.S. Fulbright Scholar teaching Media Studies at Precarpathian National University in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine. His Fulbright project was titled Media Literacy Now! and he integrated media criticism, digital production and community/civic engagement during this international exchange experience.
His research is concerned with critical cultural studies, the political economy of media (especially the music industry), visual studies, alternative media (DIY culture, fanzines, punk subcultures, experimental media) and media subcultures.
His media projects consist of experimental film and video, as well as experimental ethnography and traditional documentary works. The Ordinary Video Series consists of 50 short haiku-like/minimalist observational documentaries that explore the intersections between digital media, nature, consumer culture, nothingness and socially constructed spaces. The HD videos were shot spontaneously on his consumer grade mobile Smartphone between 2013-2016. In the fall of 2012, he toured his first feature length documentary Walls of Sound — A Look Inside the House of Records at various art spaces, indie theaters, libraries and universities in Oregon, Washington, Illinois and New York. In 2009 he co-curated and toured the Tuff Stuff from the Buff film and video program around the Pacific Northwest by bicycle.
His film and video works have screened widely at the Mexican Center for Music and Sonic Arts (CMMAS), Chicago Underground Film Festival, Seattle Underground Film Festival, Pittsburgh Independent Film Festival, Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center (Buffalo, NY), Squeaky Wheel Film and Art Center, Pacific Cinematheque (Vancouver, Canada), Sarah Lawrence College Experimental Film and Video Festival, Trans Tech 2001: The Toronto International Video Art Biennial, Euro Underground Film Festival (Maribor, Slovenia), Super 8 Film and Video Festival (Rutgers University), From Zine to Screen, Liberty Hall (Portland, Oregon), New Music and Video Art: Machinohana-San Gallery (Kanazawa, Japan) and many others.
He is the programmer and founder of Hallways Microcinema in Champaign, Illinois where he organized 21 experimental film, video, performance and music events between 2015-2017. He has also programed film/video works for the Basilica Soundscape in Hudson, NY.
David completed his Ph.D in Communication and Society at the University of Oregon and his MA and BA at the University at Buffalo (SUNY) in The Department of Media Study (documentary and experimental media) and Sociology.
For more information consult David’s CV: GRACONCV_6-20-18
David’s university homepage
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