Faculty/Staff Directory

Janie Geiser

Theater Faculty, Puppetry


Phone: 661.222.2738

Room: E312

Janie Geiser is an internationally recognized experimental filmmaker and visual/performance artist, whose work is known for its  investigation of the emotional power of inanimate objects its embrace of artifice, and its integration of projection and performance.  “Geiser gives voice to the reaches of the unconscious, pointing to the abandoned splendor that exists prior to the rules of society and language.”  (---Holly Willis, Res, 2004).

Geiser is a recent recipient of the 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award, awarded to “exemplary individual artists in contemporary dance, jazz, theatre, and related interdisciplinary work who had proven their artistic vitality and commitment to their field. “

One of the pioneers of the renaissance of American avant-garde puppet theater, Geiser creates innovative, hypnotic performances and installations that integrate performing objects, puppets, and projection. Her work has toured nationally and internationally.  It has
been presented at The Public Theater, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Redcat, The Walker Art Center, Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, and other venues.  Geiser’s work has been recognized with a Guggenheim Fellowship, an OBIE Award, and funding from Creative Capital, the Rockefeller Foundation, NEA, Center for Cultural Innovation, MapFund, the Center for Culutural Innovation, the Durfee Foundation, and others. Recent original performances include Fugitive Time  (2014) and Clouded Sulphur (death is a knot undone) 2013.  She is currently developing Sound House, a new installation/performance with composers Cassia Streb and John Eagle, as well as a new work for life size puppet called HERE/There.

Geiser’s films have been screened at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim
Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, Pacific Film Archives, the Centre Pompidou, the Salzburg Museum, SFMOMA, LACMA, and at more than 10 New York Film Festivals, the Rotterdam International Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, the London International Film Festival, and the Hong Kong International Film Festival. Her 2014 exhibit at China Art Objects in Los Angeles, Object Permanence, featured single channel film and photographs. She received a 2011 California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists, and a 2006 COLA fellowship for her installation The Spider’s Wheels, which featured a large mechanical projection box.

Geiser’s films are in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, The New York Public Library's Donnell Media Center, and the California Institute of the Arts. Her book The Tornado Treaty is in MOMA’s Artists Book Collection. The Archive of the Academy of Motion Pictures has selected her body of work for preservation in their archive of avantgarde films, and her film The Red Book was selected for inclusion in the Library of Congress, in the Smithsonian's National Film Registry. The Fourth Watch (2000) was selected by Film Comment as one of the top ten experimental films of the past decade. 

Geiser currently lives in Los Angeles, where she is a founder and co-artistic director of Automata, dedicated to the creation, presentation, and preservation of puppet and object performance, experimental film and music, pre-cinematic attractions, and other lost and neglected forms.




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