Richard Misek is a film-maker, montagist, and theorist. He studied English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford, and was a Frank Knox Fellow at Harvard University. He subsequently received an MA in Film and Television Studies from the University of Warwick, and a PhD in Screen Studies from the University of Melbourne.
His research and teaching interests encompass video technologies and aesthetics, editing and montage, remixing and copy culture, the essay film, artists’ film and video, and the interstices between film and digital media. As a practice-based researcher, he works across documentary, experimental film, and digital film studies to explore the poetics and politics of the moving image. His essay film Rohmer in Paris (2013) has screened at over twenty five film festivals on five continents, and at venues including the National Gallery of Art (Washington D.C.), the BFI and Barbican (London), and the Museum of Moving Image and Anthology Film Archives (New York). In June 2016, he curated ‘Indefinite Visions’, a series of events at the Whitechapel Gallery and Close Up Film Centre (London), bringing together international academics, film-makers and artists for presentations, conversations, and screenings on the indefinite and the illegible in experimental film and commercial cinema.
He is Principal Investigator on the ARHC Digital Transformations project, ‘The Audiovisual Essay: a digital methodology for film and media studies’. He is also a leading proponent of video essays and ‘videographic’ film studies. He believes in the combined power of word and image to create new knowledge.
My current research focuses on exploring moving images through the use of moving images. For example, my feature-length essay film Rohmer in Paris (2013, 67’) uses the films of Eric Rohmer to explore how cinema maps screen space onto urban space. My video essay, The Definition of Film (2015, 8'), transforms Hollis Frampton’s experimental film Zorns Lemma into an online video, so exploring how video challenges our understanding of what constitutes a ‘film’. My current projects aim to extend the ‘found footage’ methodologies of my recent work into new forms including online video, gallery installation, and virtual reality.
The above creative works form part of a broader research agenda focused on bridging the gap between film production and film studies. As well as making essayistic films and videos (including Mapping Rohmer, the first double blind peer-reviewed video essay to appear in a film journal), I am on the editorial board of InTransition: journal of audiovisual film studies, and am a leading advocate of practice-based film and media studies. My current AHRC project (‘The Audiovisual Essay: a digital methodology for film and media studies’) provides a forum for academics and artists to discuss the future of digital film studies, and is allowing a group of scholars to generate their first audiovisual research outputs.
My practice-based research in turn feeds into my more traditional scholarly focus on the role of appropriation and creative transformation across film, media, and visual art. My recent writing focuses in particular on how ‘found footage’ film-makers and appropriation artists engage with visual property. My articles have been published in journals including October, Screen, The Quarterly Review of Film and Video, and Continuum, and in edited collections published by Routledge, Palgrave-Macmillan, and the AFI. I am also author of the first ever book-length history of colour in cinema, Chromatic Cinema (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), which explores the uses and meanings of colour in film, from hand painting in early films to recent trends in digital colour grading.
I supervise MA and doctoral dissertations, and welcome research proposals in arease 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.