David Blair (filmmaker)
David Blair is an artist working in the fields of video art and digital media. His first digital feature, the 1991 cult hit Wax or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees, a co-production with ZDF, German Television, opened theatrically to excellent reviews at the Public Theater in New York, played cinemas in 26 U.S. cities, and had additional theatrical play in Japan and Australia. Blair performs in the film, which additionally features a cameo by William Burroughs. Wax or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees was the first film streamed across the Internet in 1993 with the New York Times declaring it an “historic event." That same year, the hypermedia version of the film, Waxweb, was one of the first sites on the World Wide Web. Waxweb has been presented in museums world-wide.
Life and work
Blair is primarily a video artist working in intermedia frameworks, which include long-form experimental fiction; large scale installation that include painting, drawing, sculpture; as well as performance, all integrated by his moving image work. The direct sequel to Wax or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees is called The Telepathic Motion Picture of THE LOST TRIBES, an experimental, mythopoetic fiction based on 25 years of research, production, and writing. This second major project is supported by awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, US/Japan Friendship Commission with Blair as a visiting artist in Tokyo in 1995, Japanese Ministry of Culture, Tokyo University with Blair as a special visiting artist in 1996-7, and New York State Council for the Arts. It has also been supported by commissions from NTT InterCommunications Center in Tokyo, Culture Capital Europe in Copenhagen, and Animate Projects in London. Blair was an artist-in-residence at CNES, the French Space Agency, in 2015-6.
The Telepathic Motion Picture of THE LOST TRIBES is presented as long-form moving image narrative and large museum installation. In 2013, the project had a three-month show called The Telepathic Place: from the making of The Telepathic Motion Picture of THE LOST TRIBES at the Museum of Modern Art in Antwerp presented in 5 rooms, 22 video channels, and mixed media. This project has also had solo shows in New York, Paris, and Rotterdam. Blair is currently in simultaneous production and release for the video version of the project, which takes the form of a 26 year, 26 episode per year television show, each episode 26 minutes long, in which everything happens all at once.
- Wax or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees, feature film
- Waxweb, hypermedia version of Wax or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees
- The Telepathic Motion Picture of THE LOST TRIBES, television series
- Documentation of The Telepathic Place: Installations of the Telepathic Motion Picture of THE LOST TRIBES