John Davis is a Northern California musician and filmmaker building on the relationship between moving image and sound through live performance and studio-based works. Encouraging sensory response through familiar and unexpected uses of traditional media, John employs chance and collaborative exchange as regular means for creative expression.
With collaboration and live performance work, John alternates as both musician and filmmaker. Improvisation generally defines these partnerships, giving priority to spontaneity over formal rehearsal. John's recent collaborators have included Lawrence Jordan, Craig Baldwin, Paul Clipson, Kerry Laitala, Mary Helena Clark, Joshua Churchill, Suki O'kane and Chris Duncan among others.
Utilizing both original and found-footage, John's films and videos incorporate personal, nostalgic, cultural and ecstatic themes that foster unique single-channel artworks. His work has exhibited widely, most notably at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The San Francisco Cinematheque, The Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, South By Southwest in Austin, The Antimatter Media Art Festival in Vancouver, Festival Images Contre Nature in France, The Optica Festival in Spain, Instants Vidéo Numériques et Poétiques in Marseilles, The Milan Film Festival, The Swedenborg Film Festival in London, The Alchemy Film And Moving Image Festival in Scotland, Transmediale in Berlin, Impakt in the Netherlands and Videoex in Zurich.
As a musician, John incorporates prepared instruments, phonography, magnetic tape manipulations, short-wave radio and electronic musical circuits as a means for encapsulating listeners within deeply crafted sonic environments. He has released music on the Root Strata, Digitalis, Students of Decay, Bimodal Press and Peasant Magik labels in the US. John also collaborates with Collin McKelvey as one half of the multimedia project IN/S.
As far afield as Davis may go in his works, the listener never feels completely removed from some hint of melodic structure. Often it’s vague, more a memory than something tangible, but it still exists. This lets the work stand up to close examination, and it consistently reveals itself to be deeply intricate while pushing at its own borders. -Hypnagogue.net
John has an MFA in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute and a Bachelor of Science in anthropology from Loyola University in Chicago.