Daniel Cockburn


Daniel Cockburn (CA)
Daniel Cockburn's video works deal with rhythm, language, cognitive patterns, and thought experiments. Using gesture, repetition, and a heady quantity of voiceover, they attempt to detail -- in an obsessive, overanalytical, and possibly unhealthy manner – the shape of thought. If his videos set themselves impossible cognitive tasks, they gamely document the traces of their failure. Cockburn's work has a love-hate relation with pop culture and movies (Hollywood and otherwise), craving and envying their power while simultaneously critiquing their more shadowy ideological aspects -- often via humour. Bergson called humour “something mechanical encrusted upon the living”; being human these days means embodying this mechanical/living tension, and Cockburn's work aims to delve into that tension in a funny and unsettling way.  In his 2015 EMARE residency at Impakt, Daniel Cockburn will research, create, and present an hour-long lecture-performance on Tuesday May 26, with the working title "All The Mistakes I’ve Made, part 2 (how not to watch a film)".  
All the Mistakes I've Made pt. 2 (How Not To Watch a Film)

n the year 1994, two reigning horror-movie directors each released a film: John Carpenter’s In the Mouth of Madness and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. A preliminary comparison between these two films reveals… well, let’s be honest: if Daniel Cockburn had never made a preliminary comparison between these two films, he’d probably be a lot happier right now. But here we are.

This autobiographical lecture performance tells the tale of a child who “discovered he could turn any film into a horror film simply by watching it” and asks what happens when such a child grows up and turns his superpowers on the real world. Along the way, we will encounter: a film-projection mishap, French filmmaking dogma, the Y2K crisis, a correspondence with a famous American filmmaker, and some seriously detailed grammatical analysis of classic power-ballad lyrics.

lecture performance

Grant: April–June 2015 Impakt (NL)

EMAP/EMARE grants of Daniel Cockburn