Bruce Charlesworth is an interdisciplinary artist whose work intersects film, video, photography, performance and installation. He began his career making short films and photo-novellas, and is one of the pioneers of post-modern staged photography. Charlesworth has also designed, directed and appeared in over twenty video and film projects, written numerous scripts and short fiction works and shot a feature-length film, Private Enemy-Public Eye. His projects for live performance and theater have always involved the use of video, sound and other technology as a way to expand the boundaries of the stage and allow performers to interact with a larger world.
One of Charlesworth's early innovations was to use video and audio to power narrative aspects of physically immersive environments. Over time, these hybrid works have become increasingly complex in their narrative, performance and architectural content. More recently he has utilized sensors, robotics and control software to contribute to an interactivity that is predominantly physical and psychological.
Charlesworth's artwork has been widely published and exhibited at many major international museums, galleries and film festivals, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Musée National d'Art Moderne in Paris, the American Film Institute and the Tate Gallery in London. Multimedia environments have been commissioned by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, San Francisco's Capp Street Project (where he was the first artist-in-residence), the International Center of Photography and other institutions.
His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Fundação de Serraives in Oporto, Portugal, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts and the Walker Art Center, among others. He has received many awards for his work, including fellowships and grants from the McKnight, Jerome, Bush and Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2007, he was awarded a Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for his interactive video installation work.
At the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Charlesworth teaches Graduate Seminar/Studio, Senior Projects and a variety of interdisciplinary courses. During 2009-10, he was a Fellow of the Center for 21st Century Studies.
Samples of his work:
Five-room interactive environment with video and audio, in progress, 2009-2012
To be premiered as a solo exhibition at the Milwaukee Art Museum, 2013
THE CIRCLE LINE
Interactive video environment, 2008
Video compiled from three videos from the environment AIRLOCK (2004), 2005
THE HAPPINESS EFFECT
GLIMPSES OF PROTOPLASM
Excerpt from the multimedia theater piece by Bruce Charlesworth and Colleen Ludwig, 2002
Multimedia installation, 1994
Multimedia environment with video and audio, 1987