We usually cover art found on the street but Elliot Bamberger has created a series of films that is art about the street. We love his film above for the Mission district as it incorporates a lot of the murals and artwork from the area into the piece.
What inspired you to make the neighborhood videos?
Well, I first started walking around the city extensively around the age of thirteen and over the years have been able to observe the city change neighborhood by neighborhood, block by block, some more than others; change is change whether bad or good but I wanted to start documenting city blocks/places remaining that I felt were culturally, architecturally and historically significant and authentic that may or may not exist at some point in the city’s future. Furthermore, San Francisco neighborhoods are very different from one another so I thought that it would be best to pursue my own visual form of documentation within the context of each neighborhood that I choose to portray.
The mission Video includes a lot of the murals and the street art that makes that neighborhood so artistically vibrant. Are you a street artist or muralist? If yes can you tell us about your work if no can you tell me a bit about what attracted your relationship is or views are on street art?
I wouldn’t consider myself a street artist or a muralist but come 7th/8th grade, a few of my friends and I started to get into writing; we all had our own words to get up around the city. For my friends and I, writing was a great opportunity to get outside and explore the city at a young age. There isn’t any direct correlation between my current work and my own hand in writing but street art and graffiti that I like will always have a place in my portraits of neighborhoods that are rich in those materials as seen in the Mission.
Do you have an art and design background? If so can you elaborate a bit?
I graduated from Massachusetts College of Art in May of 2012 with a BFA in Film/Video. I applied to a few other colleges/universities with more traditional/commercial film programs but was only accepted to Mass Art. At the time I would have preferred the more traditional and commercial route but in retrospect I’m very happy that I studied film/video in a program that allowed me to experiment within the medium in ways that I’m not sure would have been encouraged in the other film programs that I initially preferred.
Do you work by yourself or do you work with others on your videos?
I work alone but will occasionally get outside help with sound and color while in post-production.
Can you tell me more about the series of the videos you are working on?
The San Francisco Neighborhood Portraits project is a way for me to preserve cultural and architectural authenticity within the context of the neighborhood. The presentation involves collage by means of cropping images of houses, businesses and other select city landmarks and features and placing them on a black backdrop. In addition to trying to be stylistically original, aesthetically I am also able to pick and choose aspects of each neighborhood that I want to include as I compose my own cityscapes.
Where do you get your inspiration?
From walking around the city, my favorite pastime. The way in which, I render cityscapes in my videos has been developed from the perspective of the individual who walks the city in order to experience it.
Is there a specific message you are trying to get across through your videos?
I guess I would like people to walk around the city (or their own outside environment) more and just look around. The way I render my city compositions is highly subjective in terms of what I include and omit and I want other people to nurture their own way of seeing the city that is more personal to them and actively work on becoming more intimate with their surroundings wherever that may be.
View all posts by Elliot Bamberger