Max Bernstein was born in Buffalo, NY where he received his BA in Media Study with a concentration in film and video production, from the University at Buffalo. Bernstein also received an MFA in film production and studio art from the University of Colorado at Boulder. In addition, a technical artist with the Wooster Group, a video and sound designer for Michelle Ellsworth, the Flinching Eye Collective, a contributing artist for You and Me, one half of Outlier, a video artist for Friends Of The Tank, and a life long multinstrumentalist, a member of Eupana, composer, and sound engineer at Tribal Studio. Bernstein’s personal works combine elements of cinema, theater, sculpture, performance, and newmedia, often-exploring contemporary notions of representation and phenomenology throughexperimental narrative and technology. His media, performances, and installations have beenexhibited nationally and internationally at diverse venues including, Albright Knox Art Gallery, TheDenver Art Museum, The New School, Tucson MOCA, AS220, WNDX festival, New Orleans FilmFestival, Vox Populi Gallery, CentralTrak Dallas, the Biennial of the Americas, and possibly the side ofa building somewhere in your neighborhood. Bernstein has taught film history and production at theUniversity of Colorado Boulder, and video art at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. Mostrecently, Bernstein has been touring as video engineer for Kaki King.
Working as an artist puts one into direct contact with phenomenological experiences, as we must become conscious of the problems inherent to representing moments or ideas authentically and clearly. Much can be lost in translation from source to expression, and from expression to reception, as all representation requires memory (a flawed system) for context, and meaning. The projected image is a mode of both presentation and representation, which permits multidimensional expression of both time and space. This illusive form allows for the reproduction of moments, which appear very similarly to the way in which our visual sensibilities render the world around us. It is the perception of liveness and the likeness to true visual experience, which compels me to utilize projection as the predominant medium in my work.
I am interested in freeing both the viewer and the media from their expected roles of subject and spectator; encouraging a new kind of cinematic captivation through immersion, and the blurring of screen space and viewer space, art space and public space. Utilizing a combination of objects, projections, live performers, and ephemeral space and time, I seek to activate the viewer’s self-awareness through physical engagement with animated objects, and unexpected engagement. I am attempting to contend with problems of representation as well as the immobility of the spectator caused by many artworks, which center through, architecture, proscenium perspective, and containment of the medium. I am interested in investigating the representational limitations of both objectness and the moving image by using images to re-insert auras back into objects and objects to re-insert auras back into images.
All space has the potential to be artistically engaged space; all architecture, all public space, all private space, all sonic space, all visual space. It simply must be claimed as such. Re-contextualized by the artist for any period of time. The sonic and visual worlds we live in are constantly, and violently encroached upon by the commercial advertising industries. I am interested in balancing that effort; reclaiming the potential of the expressive world. All work has a place. The world is a canvas “if you want it.”