Joel Katz is a media and installation artist whose work deals with the exertion of power relations and control in American history.
He began his career as a sculptor and received his M.F.A. from Hunter College in 1986. His installations have shown in numerous alternative galleries including the South of Market Cultural Center (San Francisco) and Artist's Space (New York), as well as in public spaces including the New York City Subway system (Subway Obscura, 1989).
Oniera (1984), his first film, was shot in super-8 and has shown in numerous festivals nationally and internationally, including the Berlin and London Film Festivals. Mnemonic Study: Ellis Island Fragments (1985) has also shown in festivals and alternative cinemas as well as in the Jewish Museum (N.Y., 1986).
He began working in video by developing a course for teenagers while working as an art teacher at the Bank Street School for Children, and went on to teach video courses in numerous N.Y. City Public High Schools as part of a literacy program organized by the not-for-profit Rise & Shine Productions. He has since taught courses at Downtown Community Television and Deep Dish TV.
Corporation with a Movie Camera (1992), a videotape about how corporate representations have shaped American's ideas about the Third World, was his first major release in video. It is in worldwide distribution and has shown at many festivals nationally and internationally, including the American Film Institute Video Festival, the Havana Film Festival, Montreal Film Fest. and VIPER Fest. in Switzerland. It won a Silver Apple Award at the National Educational Film & Video Festival and Best Experimental Documentary awards at Oberhausen (Germany) and Athens Film Festivals. Later videos include Dat's Entertainment, soon to be broadcast on PBS as part of a Learning Channel series and Ellipsis, produced for a Brazilian festival of short works.
The projects he is currently developing are Peripeteia: Carrie Wagner's Travels, the second part of trilogy about the politics of the camera as traveller of which Corporation with a Movie Camera was the first part, and Johnny & Clyde, a feature film script based on a weekend incident in the life of J. Edgar Hoover.
by . Desmontaje: Film/Video/Apropiacion/Reciclaje (Demontage: Film/Video/ Appropriation/Recycling), 1993. Valencia: Institut Valencia d'Art Modern, 1993.
by . EYE WEEKLY, Apr. 22, 1993.
by . Leonardo, 1993, v. 26, no. 5.