Paul Sharits 

(1943-1993) is widely known for his structural films, the use of multiple projectors, infinite film loops, experimental soundtracks, and interventions at the level of the filmstrip in order to realize his elemental mode of cinematic presentation.

American avante-garde experimental filmmaker, artist, and professor of media studies, Paul Sharits, was born in Denver, Colorado on February 7, 1943. Tragically, he died on July 8, 1993 in his home in Buffalo, NY. He is survived by his son, Christopher, Christopher's wife Cheri, and three grandsons. (...)


Paul Sharits went to The University of Denver's School of Art (DU) where he earned a BFA in Fine Arts. At the time he was known as a young painter, however, he had been making films since high school. While studying art at DU, he began a mentorship with Stan Brakhage that soon became a lifelong friendship. Stan Brakhages manipulation of film structure through experimental and scratch film's influence is evident in Sharits' early work.


In 1964, he attended Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana for his MFA in Visual Design. After he received his MFA, he moved his family which consisted of his son, Christopher, and his wife, Frances, to Baltimore, Maryland where he taught at The Maryland Art Institute. Later, he taught at and became a pinnacle force behind the development of the Center for Media Studies at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. He divorced his wife in 1968. Shortly thereafter, he was recruited by Dr. Gerry O'Grady at The University of Buffalo Center for Media Studies along with the most prominent emerging experimental filmmakers of the time which included James Blue, Hollis Framton, Tony Bannon, Tony Conrad, and later, Peter Weibel.


Paul enjoyed relative acknowledgement during his lifetime, with shows at the Bykert Gallery, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, and Walker Art Center among other institutions, and has been posthumously exhibited at the Whitney Museum, MoMA, Pompidou, Louvre, and the Burchfield-Penney Art Center in Buffalo, New York as well as the widely renowned Greene Naftali Gallery exhibition of both his works on paper and his four projector installation Shutter Interface which was nominated for Solo Exhibition of the Year at the 2009 First Annual Art Awards at the NYC Guggenheim Museum.


The four projector Shutter Interface installation was acquired by and is now on exhibition in the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C.. Current major projects include a March 2012exhibition at the Albright-Knoz in Buffalo, NY and, in later 2012, a one man super retrospective, exhibition, and colaborating publication in Barcelona Spain. The retrospective will travel to several museums including in Museum Serralves in Porto Portugal.


Trained initially as a painter, and a prolific theoretical writer, Sharits' art-making was in fact wide-ranging, evidenced by his early involvement with Fluxus artists in New York. His many works on paper — from diagrams to abstract film scores, fashion drawings, and hallucinogenic illustrations — have yet to be fully integrated into his better-known body of work.

(Christopher Sharits "About Paul")




His films are distributed through The Film-Makers' Cooperative NYC, Canyon Cinema SF, Lux London, Light Cone Paris, and the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre Toronto. His artwork is represented through Greene Naftali Gallery NYC and the Estate of Paul J. Sharits.



Paul Sharits, flicker / strobe, multi projection


Paul Sharits (2008) edited by Yann Beauvais. Known primarily for his experimental cinema and pictorial works, Paul Sharits developed an oeuvre that evolved around two central themes: one, closely related to music and the world of abstraction, the other, within the psychological and emotional arena of the figurative. This complete monograph, drawn from a recent exhibition, explores the connections between these two practices, and in addition provides a general introduction to a remarkable body of work. Illustrated throughout, the monograph also includes several essays, texts by Paul Sharits and interviews. (les presses du réel)

Notation. Calculation and Form in the Arts (2008) is a comprehensive catalogue (in German) edited by Dieter Appelt, Hubertus von Amelunxen and Peter Weibel which accompanied an exhibition of the same name at the Academy of the Arts, Berlin and the ZKM | Karlsruhe. (ZKM)



Mark Fell has been one of the leading innovators in the fields of experimental electronic music and sound art. Combining interests in experimental music, contemporary art, computer technology and philosophy, his work has been performed and exhibited internationally to wide critical acclaim. Mark Fell is one half of snd. (Mark Fell)

Radio Dada (2008) by Rosa Menkman. She turned a high-end camera on a screen that was showing, in real time, what she was filming, creating a feedback loop. Then she glitched the video by changing its format and subsequently exporting it into animated gifs. She sent the file to Extraboy, who composed music for the video. (Rosa Menkman)

Rosa Menkman (1983) is a Dutch visualist who focuses on visual artifacts created by accidents in digital media. The visuals she makes are the result of glitches, compressions, feedback and other forms of noise. By combining both her practical as well as her academic background, Rosa Menkman merges her abstract pieces within a grand theory artifacts (a glitch studies). Besides the creation of a formal Vernacular of File Formats, within her static work, she also creates (narrative) work in her Acousmatic Videoscapes. In these Videoscapes she strives for new forms of conceptual synthesis (synesthesia) of sound and video artifacts. (Rosa Menkman's blog)

Blazes (1961) is a three-minute film directed by Robert Breer, a well-known avant-garde artist, animator, and film director. This short film displays Breer’s signature style: animation, playful abstraction, and fast-moving images. In Breer’s own words, Blazes is essentially "One hundred basic images switching positions for four thousands frames. A continuous explosion." Indeed, the film consists of stills resembling abstract paintings of basic shapes in basic colors, cut and combined in different ways and rhythms. (Kathleen Sun)

Oscilloscope Works (2004-2009) by Robin Fox. The oscilloscope is in ‘polar’ mode, so instead of scanning left to right, displaying the conventional ‘trace’ of the waveform, the trace orbits the screen. Waveforms create woven circles, loops, twisting spirals, filigreed knots. (Real Time)