Elder, R(ichard) Bruce 1947-

views updated

ELDER, R(ichard) Bruce 1947-

PERSONAL: Born June 12, 1947, in Hawkesbury, Ontario, Canada; son of David Murdoch (a teacher) and Edrie M. (Campbell) Elder; married Kathryn Florence LeRoy, September 4, 1970. Education: McMaster University, B.A. (summa cum laude), 1969; University of Toronto, M.A. (magna cum laude), 1970; attended Ryerson Polytechnic University (now Ryerson University), 1976. Hobbies and other interests: Wine tastings and wine appreciation, West African drumming, Middle Eastern drumming.

ADDRESSES: Home—692 St. Clarens Ave., Unit 5, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M6H 3X1. Offıce—School of Image Arts, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria St., Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5B 2K3. E-mail—[email protected]; [email protected]; and [email protected].

CAREER: Ryerson Polytechnic University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, lecturer, 1972-77, professor of film and media studies, 1977—, professor of communication and culture, 1999—. York University, visiting associate professor, 1985-86, adjunct professor, 1998—. Also works as a filmmaker.

MEMBER: Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Association for Computing Machinery, Film Studies Association of Canada, Canadian Filmmakers' Distribution Centre, Writers Union of Canada, Northeast Modern Language Association, Canyon Cinema Cooperative.

AWARDS, HONORS: Canadian film Award, best experimental film, 1976; Los Angeles Film Critics Circle Award, best independent/experimental film, 1981; Sapwan Sahota Distinguished Research Award, Ryerson University, 2000.


Image and Identity: Reflections on Canadian Film and Culture, Wilfrid Laurier University Press (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada), 1989.

A Body of Vision: Representations of the Body in Recent Film and Poetry, Wilfrid Laurier University Press (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada), 1997.

The Films of Stan Brakhage in the American Tradition of Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, and Charles Olson, Wilfrid Laurier University Press (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada), 1998.

Contributor to periodicals.

WORK IN PROGRESS: In the Destructive Element Immerse: Film and Movements of Dissent in Twentieth-Century Art, completion expected in 2005; research on the intellectual reception of film in the early twentieth century.

SIDELIGHTS: R. Bruce Elder told CA: "My body of work comprises three components. First there is the creative film work—films that belong to the avantgarde tradition. Second, there is the writing, principally on film and its place in culture, but it includes as well philosophical articles on modernity and the place of art in the culture of modernity. Third, there are philosophical tracts on art and creativity. The division of my work into these creative and philosophical components highlights a tension with which all my work deals. I believe that modernity has seen the spiritual disenfranchisement of the modes of experience that the strongest and most enduring art provokes. So, along with efforts to produce artworks, I have attempted to formulate a philosophical defense of the importance of art.

"My writing is inspired by the conviction that modernity has reduced experience to its nadir. In my work I explore the possibility of reanimating modes of experience that modernity has disenfranchised. The cost of failing to acknowledge these repudiated modes of experience, I believe, is that we fail to understand a dimension of our being, and that we are therefore alienated from part of ourselves—and that carries with it the threat that this unknown and repudiated part will come to dominate us.

"Working in the area where philosophy, aesthetics, media studies, and cultural studies intersect gives my work a synthetic quality. I draw from a wide range of philosophical writings and press them into the service of forming an understanding of avant-garde art. And I write about art as one who has an understanding of art-making."