Richard Misek is a film-maker and researcher whose work explores and occupies the spaces between nonfiction film, visual art, and streaming media.
He studied English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford, and was a Frank Knox Fellow at Harvard University. He received an MA in Film and Television Studies from the University of Warwick, and a PhD in Screen Studies from the University of Melbourne.
He is author of the book Chromatic Cinema (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), the director of the feature-length documentary Rohmer in Paris (2013), and co-creator (with Charlie Shackleton and Oscar Raby) of the hybrid VR experience / expanded cinema performance A Machine for Viewing (2019 & 2021). His articles have been published in academic journals including October and Screen. His creative work has been exhibited at festivals including Sundance, Rotterdam, CPH:DOX, BAFICI, Jeonju, IDFA, and Melbourne, and at venues including the National Gallery of Art (Washington D.C), the Museum of Moving Image and Anthology Film Archives (New York), the British Film Institute and Barbican Centre (London), the EYE Filmmuseum (Amsterdam), Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Denmark), and Forum des Images (Paris).
He was the most cited video essayist in Sight and Sound’s ‘Best Video Essays of 2017’ poll, and has been Principal Investigator on two recent UK Arts and Humanities Research Council projects focusing on the video essay: ‘The Audiovisual Essay: a digital methodology for film and media studies’ (2015-17) and ‘Cinema Unframed: exploring the screen in virtual reality, through live installation and mobile app’ (2017-19). He is currently Principal Investigator on the Arts and Humanities Research Council project, ‘Digital Access to Arts and Culture Beyond COVID-19’, in partnership with Arts Council England and digital arts agency The Space.
My current work explores the opportunities provided by digital programming to make arts and culture more accessible and inclusive. As a part of my current research project, I am facilitating knowledge-exchange about best practices in digital arts programming, sourcing and analysing equality data on online audiences for arts and culture, and helping Arts Council England and digital support agency The Space make the argument for blended live and digital delivery of arts and culture beyond the pandemic. More about this work can be found on my blog, Art on Demand.
The above project emerges from my background over the last ten years as an online-friendly film-maker, whose work exists across sited and digital, formal and informal, academic and non-academic distribution platforms. For example, my hybrid VR experience and expanded cinema performance A Machine for Viewing (co-created with Charlie Shackleton and Osar Raby) was performed to live audiences at IDFA 2019 and Sundance 2020; following the closure of physical venues, it was remade as a hybrid essay film / desktop documentary for Melbourne International Film Festival’s online platform (2021).
My creative work also interlaces with my methodological interest in bridging the gap between creative practice and academic film and media studies. I am on the editorial board of InTransition: journal of videographic film and media studies, and am a leading advocate of practice-based film and media studies. For example, my AHRC project ‘The Audiovisual Essay: a digital methodology for film and media studies’ (conducted in partnership with the Whitechapel Gallery, London) provided a forum for academics and artists to discuss the future of experimental film and media, and allowed a group of scholars to generate their first audiovisual research outputs.
Finally, all of these interests and activities intertwine with my long-standing interest in the role of appropriation and creative transformation across film, media, and visual art. For example, my short film Captured Images (2018), made for Random Act / Channel 4, and my forthcoming film A History of the World According to Getty Images (2021) explore this theme with a critical focus on the activities of the commercial archive industry.
I supervise MA and doctoral dissertations, and welcome research proposals in areas including (but not limited to) transmedia, documentary film, video technologies and aesthetics, montage and collage, urban cinema.
I am particularly committed to practice-based research, and would welcome any media-focused projects that aim to utilise audiovisual and/or digital research methodologies.