Kevin B. Lee (Chicago)
December 2016 to March 2017
Kevin B. Lee (*1975) is one of the most well known and productive protagonists in the field now known as “Videographic Film Studies”, or more generally, the “Video Essay” genre.
Over the last ten years Lee has produced more than 300 short, analytical videos in which film reflects on film, sounds and images comment on, analyse and criticise other sounds and images. Furthermore, he is also one of the few people who knows the history of this form and is familiar with the forerunners of this genre such as Harun Farocki or Helmut Färber. In Interface 2.0. (2012), Lee extends Farocki’s reciprocal reflection on film and video (Schnittstelle / Interface) with the digital interface of Final Cut and considers how word and image relate to each other under the changed conditions.
Between 2013 and 2016, within the context of two Master programmes at the School of the Art Institute (Chicago), Lee has moved beyond the film-critical framework in the narrow sense to explore a further field. A much respected result of this work is Transformers. The Premake, a 24 minute Internet video which arranges a wealth of material available online (fan videos, Wikipedia entries, Tweets etc.) into a “desktop documentary” which, two weeks before the premiere of Michael Bay’s film, presents a critical production history of the film.
Here, as in his other work, Lee demonstrates not only technical accomplishment and astounding productivity, but also a consciousness for the forms of circulation, the economics and politics of every (including his own) image production.