Dinorah de Jesus Rodriguez
I work with expanded cinema, experimental film, video art, installation and public intervention. My goal as an artist is to affect the electromagnetic energy of my audience through subliminal manipulation of the subconscious. I achieve this in large part by co-opting the same strategies and cinematic devices used by mass media and advertising, such as the formulaic use of light and sound cues, and the time-tested technique of embedding hidden messages in single film frames. I believe there is tremendous power in what is not consciously seen, and I harness that power through the hidden mechanisms in moving images.
My process is a combination of primitive craft, appropriation, and slick digital technology. I often mark upon found images that have served as cultural icons and change their meaning. I create direct film animations, investing hundreds of hours of real-time to color and scratch frame by frame upon celluloid, yielding three minutes of screen-time. The product at the end of that laborious task is a distressed, fleeting image that leaves the audience unsure of what they saw and didn’t see, creating a rich and fertile ground for questioning.
I see the function of my public intervention and site-based installation work as establishing a shared archival existence in the collective experience, propelling the cinematic image beyond its conventional rectangle and freeing the viewer from predisposed expectations about how to look at film. Defying the standing assumption that art is created primarily for archival collection, I often tear apart one work to create another from the same footage, or project original works until they deteriorate.
I am very excited by time-based experiential work that expands beyond visual art as an object. Experiments with multiple projections have figured prominently in my work, as have collaborations with performance artists, and installations that involve nature and the outdoors.
Dinorah de Jesús Rodríguez is a film, video and installation artist working with various manifestations of projected imagery. Combining hand-crafted 16mm film with video, installation and performance, her experimental works have been exhibited internationally in film festivals, museums, galleries, TV, public outdoor installations and multimedia performances. Known for her many multidisciplinary collaborations, Rodriguez has worked on projects with a variety of international artists.
Rodríguez studied filmmaking with such visionary experimentalists as Barbara Hammer, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Rob Nilsson and the late Warren Sonbert and Marlon Riggs. After years of independent study and refining her craft, she earned a B.A. in Film Production from San Francisco State University School of Creative Arts. She has won prizes at the Big Muddy and Black Maria Film Festivals, and her work has been screened in numerous international art fairs, film festivals, galleries, museums, and alternative public venues. Her work has been supported by such organizations as The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Funding Arts Network, Fundación Valparaíso, Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Jentel Artists Residency Program, Visual Studies Workshop, Tigertail Productions, Miami Light Project, San Francisco Festival 2000, and Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, among others.
Rodríguez was a Visiting Faculty Artist in the MFA Program at Visual Studies Workshop (SUNY) in Rochester, NY, and Guest Lecturer at the University of California and Florida International University. She has served as a Media Arts Jury Panelist for YoungArts, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation’s National Video Resources, the Louisiana Division of the Arts, and the North and South Carolina Art Councils. Her work is in public and private collections including the Filmmakers Coop in New York, Vasari Project at the Miami-Dade Public Library in Miami, Visual Studies Workshop Film Archive in Rochester, Pacific Film Archive at the Berkeley Art Museum in Berkeley, Girls’ Club Collection in Ft. Lauderdale, and Proyecto Videolab in Coimbra, Portugal, as well other international archives, universities and cultural institutions.
Originally from Cuba, Rodríguez has spent most of her life in various cities within the United States, with periods of residence in Latin America and Spain. She currently works in Museum Education at Miami Art Museum and is co-founder and co-director of Flashlight Project, a mentoring and digital arts program working with artists, youth and special populations. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Miami Beach Film Society and curates film screenings and moving image exhibitions at the Miami Beach Cinematheque.
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