Chris Skinner started his career making works in the realm of digital media over a decade ago. He has since earned a Master's Degree in Electronic Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as a fellow. As well his work has shown internationally at venues such as Ars Electronica and the Version Festival.
In the intervening years, he has taught at various institutions of higher learning including the State University of New York, Albany and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His teaching philosophy involves hands-on training with the tools of the video and electronic art fields from the stages of pre-production through to the stages of post-production.
A couple of Skinner's favorite practices for his own work involve the appropriation of classic and B-grade cinema as source material to venture into expressing a derived and abstracted auto-biographical storyline. Another practice involves testing his own endurance and the audience's endurance of observation and self-observation externalized through idiosyncratic spoken language much like works by Dan Graham, Tony Oursler, Mike Kelley, Martha Rosler and even Lee Friedlander.
Mr & Mrs Skinner is a recently initiated and ongoing project by Chris Skinner to explore the concept of self-love from its silly sentimentality to its necessity as an advantageous adaptive trait in an ultra-competitive modern world. The ability to express positive feelings of love and hope towards oneself through another person's eyes. Of course in this case the other is the internalized other that we all struggle with understanding and showing empathy toward. That internalized other and no other, one of the challenges in the project lies in building a believable narrative of an artist couple working together on art projects and also facing the ups and downs of living together. The project also forces to the surface the challenge that is the ability to be both masculine and feminine inhabiting one body down to owning both types of sexual characteristics and cultural markers simultaneously in one person's body form. This project deals heavily with conceptions of utopia. There is an element of body dysmorphia at play in the works by Mr & Mrs Skinner as well.
Other topics of concern to Skinner include the influence of popular culture on the general public depiction, interpretation and professional diagnosis of mental illness. One example would be the "patient" who believes he is living in a reality TV show or the "patient" who believes their life to be a movie. Such a person's expectations of action and consequence can become detached from the accepted civil, social order that surrounds them and the structures that underlie everyday experience. That which is so often referred to as the collective subconscious.
Chris Skinner has participated in social media experiments, festivals, music projects, films, videos, painting and digital image creation. This site is but a small archive of his work over the years.
-MFA in Integrated Electronic Art, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2005
-BFA Transmedia and Video (Studio Art), University of Texas at Austin, 2002
-Adjunct Professor, Introduction to Video Art, Intermediate Video Art, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Spring 2009-2010
-Guest lecturer, Video Art, Screenwriting, Emerson College, Spring 2009
-Adjunct Professor, Video Art, State University of New York at Albany, Fall 2008
Grants and Awards
-Net Art Commission, Rhizome and The New Museum, 2007-2008
-“Five Highest Rated Works”, Memefest, 2007
-Festival of Radical Communication, Slovenia, July 2007
-Eyebeam Resident Artist, 2005
-Future of the Present Grant, Franklin Furnace, 2006
-Software Art Award Finalist, Transmediale.04
Selected Public Exhibitions
-After the Fall, Moscow Biennial, 2013
-Blind Spot, Moscow International Film Festival, 2009, Kansk Festival, London, 2009
-Molecules to the Max, IMAX production, continuously screening internationally
-Worldshaving, Hallwalls, Buffalo, NY, May 2011
-The Sound of Art Release Party, Curated by ArtFagCity, Santos, New York, NY, November 2010
-Untitled (video screening and performance), The Stone, Manhattan, New York, October 2008
-D.A.A.T.M.I.B.I.H., Texas Educational Theatre Association annual conference, Dallas, TX, January 2005
-Versionfest 03, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL, March 2003
-Sonoteque, Chicago, IL, March 2003
-Prix Ars Electronica 2003-CyberArts, Net Vision/Net Excellence, Vienna, Austria
-Next 5 Minutes 4, Amsterdam, September 2003
-Remote DVD Magazine (Denim and Diamonds videos), 2005
-Free Speech Television (Re-code.com videos), 2004
-Bloodlink Records (Denim and Diamonds audio/video work), enhanced CD-EP, 2004
-Asking For Trouble Records, Glasgow, Scotland, (The Meaning of Things, 7 inch single), 2004
-DVision DVD Magazine (Re-code.com videos), 2003
-SELECTFEST 4 DVD, (RETAG: Retroactive Logo Distribution video work), 2003
-SELECTFEST 4 CD, (Denim and Diamonds audio/video work), 2003
Selected Lectures and Workshops
-Guest artist talks, Texas Educational Theatre Association annual conference, Dallas, TX, January 2005
-Open End Gallery, Version 04, Chicago, IL, May 2004
-Heaven Gallery, Version 04, Chicago, IL, May 2004
-SELECTFEST, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL, November 2003
-Creative Rights Conference, Illegal-art.org, Philadelphia, PA, October 2003
-Brooklyn Underground Film Festival, Brooklyn, NY, October 2003
-FACT Centre, Liverpool, UK, May 2003
-Waygood Gallery, Newcastle, UK, May 2003
-ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art), London, UK, May 2003
-The Lost Film Festival 8, Philadelphia, PA, April 2003
-Open End Gallery, Version 03, Chicago, IL, March 2003