Nathaniel Dorsky


Nathaniel Dorsky has been making and exhibiting films within the avant-garde arena since 1964. In recent years, his films have shown at numerous museums and festivals in the United States and Europe, including the Louvre and Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Whitney Biennial and The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Tate Modern, London; the Vienna Film Museum, Vienna; the Armand Hamor Museum, Los Angeles; the Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley; a one-person show at the Walter Reade Theater of Lincoln Center, New York, and in 2001, The Museum of Modern Art in New York which has purchased almost his entire personal body of work  dedicated a weekend to a twelve-film retrospective of his films.  Centre Pompidou, Princeton University, and the Pacific Film Archives have also purchased the majority of his personal films.  Dorsky has twice been a visiting teacher at Princeton University and in 2009 taught two advanced semester-long seminars.   He has published a highly acclaimed book on film titled Devotional Cinema.

Dorsky lives in San Francisco and makes his livelihood as an editing consultant and film editor. Some documentaries that he has edited include: My Eyes Were Fresh: The Life and Photographs of John Gutmann, Pirkle Jones: Seven Decades Photographed, NightWaltz: The Music of Paul Bowles, The Ballets Russes, What Happened to Kerouac?, The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg, and Music Makes a City.

Dorsky has received funding for his own poetic films from the National Endowment for the Arts 1988, 2002, 2005; the Rockefeller Foundation, 2003, 2005; the LEF Foundation, 2001; the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 1998; the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Art, 2000; the California Council for the Arts, 1997, and the Peter Reed Foundation, 2010.

His personal poetic filmography includes:

For more information about Dorsky's work, please visit Dorsky's artist statement can be seen here. For an excellent review of Dorsky's career, please see the article in Artforum by P. Adams Sitney.

For a personal take on Dorsky's work, a new essay by the media historian Deidre Boyle, one of the participants on our panel, is available here.