Dr. Jonathan Walley
Professor Walley teaches courses in film studies, as well as Elementary Cinema Production (CINE 219) and Screenwriting (CINE 328). He has also taught seminars on avant-garde film and documentary.
His primary research interest is avant-garde cinema, particularly its relationship to the avant-garde in general and its manifestations of the major aesthetic and theoretical preoccupations of modern art. He has published essays in October, The Velvet Light Trap, the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, and the online journal Senses of Cinema, and has contributed to several anthologies related to avant-garde film and the art world.
He is currently writing a book on "paracinema," works that do not use the film medium but are nonetheless identified as films by their makers. Such works have their roots in the first wave of European avant-garde art and filmmaking of the 1920s, but became especially prevalent in the 1960s and 70s, and again in the last two decades. By finding "cinematic" qualities and effects in materials other than film, paracinema challenges the assumption that the nature and possibilities of an art form (cinema) are defined by its medium (film).
Paracinematic works include the "solid light" films of Anthony McCall and Lis Rhodes, Tony Conrad's Yellow Movies series and "culinary" films and film performances, Ken Jacobs's shadowplays and "Nervous System" performances, and more recent cinematic performance and installation works by Bradley Eros, Kerry Laitala, and Bruce McClure, among many others. Walley’s book examines the historical, institutional, aesthetic, and theoretical circumstances under which avant-garde filmmakers and critics have envisioned, produced, and understood such non-filmic “films.”
His other scholarly interests include film and video in the art world (“artists’ film” and film/video installation), experimental documentary, the history of film theory, and the horror film. He is researching trends in contemporary Asian and American horror films with Dr. Jane Greene, also of the Denison Cinema Department.
Professor Walley received his B.A. in Film from Bard College in Annandale, New York. He received his M.A. and Ph.D in Film Studies from the Communication Arts Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Recent publications (see Full CV [pdf] for more):
On Ponech on the Essence of Cinema, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 2007.
Modes of Film Practice in the Avant-Garde, in Art and the Moving Image ed. Tanya Leighton (London: Afterall/Tate Publishing, forthcoming, April 2008).
The ‘Paracinema’ of Anthony McCall and Tony Conrad, in Avant-Garde Film ed. Dietrich Scheunemann (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2007).
An Interview with Anthony McCall, in Anthony McCall: The Solid Light Films
and Related Works ed. Christopher Eamon (Chicago: Northwestern University Press, 2005).
Selected Online Publication Information:
Anthony McCall - An Introduction
Anthony McCall - Solid Light Films