David Scott Kessler

2015 Pew Fellow

1/11: David Scott Kessler, 2015 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.
2/11: David Scott Kessler, 2015 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.
3/11: David Scott Kessler, Lopi: A Saga in Four Divinations, 2014, 100 feet, four channel video installation with live score by the Ruins of Friendship Orchestra, part of Due North exhibition at The Icebox at Crane Arts, Philadelphia. Photo by Jen Brown.
4/11: David Scott Kessler, Lopapeysa narrative film and seating installation, 2014, 15-minute HD video, velvet bench, fireplace, fur, part of Due North at The Greyspace at Crane Arts. Photo by David Scott Kessler.
5/11: David Scott Kessler, Lopi: A Saga in Four Divinations, 2014, 100 feet, four channel video installation with live score by the Ruins of Friendship Orchestra, part of Due North exhibition at The Icebox at Crane Arts, Philadelphia. Photo by Jen Brown.
6/11: The Voice of the Oracle of Neptune, installation view, video installation in subway concourse from Philadelphia Underground, Dilworth Plaza, 2010. Photo by David Scott Kessler.
7/11: The Pine Barrens: Summer 2014 edition, 2014, film screening and performance with live score by the Ruins of Friendship Orchestra, “Denizens of the Pines” at Ashleigh Homestead, Browns Mills, NJ. Photo by Eric Ashleigh.
8/11: David Scott Kessler filming The Pine Barrens, 2015, on location in the Great Swamp, Wharton State Forest. Photo by John Pettit.
9/11: Still image from film, Lopapeysa, “Closeup of Weaving Girl,” HD video, 2014, filmed by David Scott Kessler.
10/11: Still image from film, Lopapeysa, “Pyramid House,” HD video, 2014, filmed by David Scott Kessler.
11/11: Still image from film, Lopapeysa, “Girl on Cliff,” HD video, 2014, filmed by David Scott Kessler.

“Often with little more than tone and concept in mind, I will begin filming and, like the traveler, see where that leads me.”

David Scott Kessler (b. 1975) is a filmmaker and director whose work explores place, moving through “the confluence between the real and imagined,” he says. Originally a painter, his work combines film, installation, writing, performance, and drawing to suggest what he describes as “a world beyond reality.” Kessler’s current project, The Pine Barrens—which confronts environmental degradation and human response to it—has included bi-monthly performances over the last three years, during which he collaborated with The Ruins of Friendship Orchestra, inspiring him to think about what he sees as the “untapped potential for the merger of live music and documentary.” In 2014, he produced and directed two music videos for singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten. He has studied at Parsons School of Design, The University of the Arts, Constantijn Hygens Christelijke Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in the Netherlands, and Montclair State University. Kessler’s work has been shown at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Housing Works, New York; Summerhall, Edinburgh; The National Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia, and many others. He is the founder of the media production company Studioscopic.

References

Grants & Grantees

In 1995 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 16 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 23 dance and music organizations in the greater Philadelphia region.

Raphael Xavier presents Raphstravaganza, a contemporary circus-style performance featuring street performers, extreme BMX riders, acrobatic contortionists, and live music.

Collaborators & Colleagues

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Collaborators & Colleagues

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Collaborators & Colleagues

Susan Warden is an independent choreographer who served as artistic director for 940 Dance Company at the Lawrence (Kansas) Arts Center.

Grants & Grantees

Bobby Zankel is a musician and a 1996 Pew Fellow.

Grants & Grantees

Sheila M. Sofian is a filmmaker and a 1997 Pew Fellow.

Grants & Grantees

In 2002 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 57 dance, music, theater, and visual arts organizations and practitioners in the greater Philadelphia region.

Grants & Grantees

Vox Populi’s exhibition mined historical notions of “the underground” in relationship to the work of director and cult legend Timothy Carey, and explored his legacy.

Visual artist and Pew Fellow Pepón Osorio talks about the relationship between artistic practice and “the local.”

Grants & Grantees

Peter Rose is a multimedia artist and a 1997 Pew Fellow.

Grants & Grantees

WHYY is the region’s leading public media company and PBS/NPR member station serving one of the nation’s top 10 markets, with more than 2.9 million households in the 5-county greater Philadelphia region, the State of Delaware, and all of Southern New Jersey.