SCMS Previews, Part 1: Will Fech on “Jon Jost: An Online Auteur”

Grad/Aperture invited Concordia graduate students who will be giving papers and chairing panels at SCMS 2015 to promote their presentations. Our first contribution comes from PhD student Will Fech on his panel, “Jon Jost: An Online Auteur”. Will will present this paper on Sunday, 29 March at 9:00AM-10:45AM (Session S).

My paper examines the online activity of indie radical filmmaker Jon Jost, who maintains several blogs devoted to contemporary culture, personal filmmaking practices, and political commentary. By analyzing these blogs – where he posts candid correspondences with festival organizers who reject his work, for example –  I show how this outsider filmmaker has stretched the normal parameters of contemporary auteurism through alternate online means of artistic and political expression.

This topic marks a tidy intersection of two different interests. I have an ongoing fascination with Jost, whose career I have followed since meeting him in Nebraska in 2006. I have followed his blogs and other Internet-based activity closely since then and thought I could make an intervention therein. Also, I like to question the evolving nature of cinematic auteurism in the digital age, and how off-the-grid artists engage with and operate outside of conventional industrial zones. I can speak fairly well to Jost’s biography as well as his artistic preoccupations, so if someone happened to ask about those at the conference, bully for me.