Magdalena Bermudez 10F

Visiting Assistant Professor of Film and Video
Magdalena Bermudez
Contact Magdalena

Mail Code PF
Magdalena Bermudez 10F
Jerome Liebling Center JLC 103

Magdalena Bermudez is interested in tricky pictures — images that stretch our perceptual capacities, require us to rethink our dimensional assumptions, and encounter familiar relations anew.

Her work often recontextualizes scientific or operational images to interrogate their formal qualities, drawing out the aesthetics of machine learning experiments or the politics of dissection. As big technology companies recast images as infrastructure for their emerging virtual empires, her work questions the politics of the new era of surveillance capitalism while examining the peculiar defects and perplexing repercussions of systems built from stolen pictures.

Her work has been screened internationally at various film festivals, including the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Antimatter [Media Art], Athens International Film + Video Festival, BIDEODROMO International Experimental Film and Video Festival, Iowa City International Documentary Film Festival, Milwaukee Underground Film Festival, Black Maria Film Festival, West Virginia Mountaineer Short Film Festival, Tranås at the Fringe, and The Festival of (In)appropriation.

Bermudez received her B.A. from Hampshire College and her M.F.A. in Cinematic Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her practice examines the entangled relations between people and technologies, prodding at the slippery boundaries between human and informational bodies through essayistic film and video works.

Recent and Upcoming Courses

  • 16mm Film Workshop: Experiments with Light and Shadow is an introductory filmmaking course, introducing students to the fundamental skills of working with a 16mm Bolex camera, analog editing, optical printing, camera-less techniques, animation, projection, and digitization, demonstrating a fully analog and hybrid workflow. In addition to technical workshops, students will critically engage with a wide variety of analog moving-image practices, meeting the works of filmmakers such as Barbara Hammer, Paige Taul, Su Friedrich, and Edward Owens. Students will complete a series of exercises as they hone their skills, culminating in a final creative project Keywords:Film, Moving-Image, Cinema, Production, Art

  • Automated Images: Moving-Image Collaborations with Nonhumans explores artistic practices that engage with animals, plants, and technologies to question the possibilities, limitations, and politics of entangled authorship. Surveying artists and filmmakers working with chance operations, collaborating with nonhuman animals, and engaging with machine learning algorithms, we will examine the complexities of entangled authorship. Over the course of the semester students will meet a range of thinkers and makers, including Sondra Perry, Meghan O'Gieblyn, Jake Elwes, Ruha Benjamin, and Tomonari Nishikawa. Students will experiment with a range of moving-image and sound making apparatuses over the course of the semester, from contact microphones and hydrophones to macro-cinematography, to develop ways of making which stretch beyond their perceptual capacities. These experiments will feed the development of two creative projects, in which students will navigate the complexities of collaborating with the more than human world Keywords:Film, Video, Cinema, Production, Art The content of this course deals with issues of race and power.

  • Introduction to Non-Fiction Moving-Image Practices is a time-based production course, taking an expansive look at histories, theories, and methods of non-fiction film and video making towards the development of artful moving-image practices. Throughout the semester, students will be introduced to the fundamentals of video production including cinematography, sound recording, lighting, and editing. Students will meet a wide range of non-fiction modalities, from observational and expository works to diary and essay films. We will consider various approaches to representing the "real" and question the ways power and authority are encoded in form. Over the course of the semester, students will complete a series of projects, honing their technical skills and cultivating their artistic visions. Keywords:Film, Video, Non-Fiction, Documentary, Production

  • Subjective Archives will delve into the processes that feed our image-making practices, examining research as an integral act in the creation of moving-image works. We will expand our definitions of 'research', straying beyond the institutions of libraries and archives to consider the manifold ways our work is informed by and in conversation with other media. Meeting artists and thinkers such as Harun Farocki, Ja'Tovia Gary, Mary Helena Clark, Teju Cole, and Saidiya Hartman, we will critically engage with the ways documents, images, and ephemera are transformed through each artists' creative practice. In addition to exploring artworks and texts by other makers, students will examine their own patterns of research, auditing the media they ingest and reflecting on their habits of collection. Over the course of the semester students' will complete creative projects as they burrow further into their own subjective archives. Keywords:Film, Video, Archive, Research, Production