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Wheeler Winston Dixon

"Wheeler Winston Dixon is a masterful film editor. His sensitivity to the movement within the frame and of the camera itself allows for fluidity in his editing that is exuberant and refreshing. It is as though his films tap into our collective unconscious by exploring the surface realities that permeate our lives." - Bruce Rubin, Former Associate Curator of Film, Whitney Museum of American Art

"Dixon applies tonal, structural and chromatic strategies, such as color inversion, to live footage to create shifting images that also engage with political and philosophical undertones [creating] film poetry as painting for the twenty-first century." - Sarah Tremlett, The Poetics of Poetry Film (Intellect Press, 2021)

"There are already enough images in the world. In my videos, I prefer to use existing imagery, playing with it to the point of abstraction to create an other-worldly experience. Although the original images are rooted in the real world, the final product exists in a phantom zone, existing only as long as the image is projected on the screen. At the same time, I hope to seduce the viewer into believing that however unreal these images are, they still have some sort of temporal reality. It is this gap between the actual and the imagined that informs all of my work." - Wheeler Winston Dixon

Dixon's films have been screened at The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, Anthology Film Archives, Filmhuis Cavia (Amsterdam), Studio 44 (Stockholm), La lumière collective (Montréal), The BWA Katowice Museum (Poland), The Microscope Gallery, The National Film Theatre (UK), The Jewish Museum, The Millennium Film Workshop, The San Francisco Cinématheque, LA Filmforum (Los Angeles), The New Arts Lab, The Collective for Living Cinema, The Kitchen, The Filmmakers Cinématheque, Film Forum, The Amos Eno Gallery, Sla 307 Art Space, The Gallery of Modern Art, The Rice Museum, The Oberhausen Film Festival, Undercurrent, Experimental Response Cinema and elsewhere.

Dixon's complete film work from 1966 to 2003 is archived in the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art. Dixon's contemporary video work is collected in the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

Entire contents of this website copyright © 2015 - 2022 Wheeler Winston Dixon. All rights reserved.

  1. Serial Metaphysics

    “Serial Metaphysics — a thirteen-minute experimental 16mm film which has been described as 'an examination of the American commercial lifestyle, recut entirely from existing television advertisements' — was edited by Dixon himself, on a single night, New Year’s Eve 1972, culled down from 72 hours of American TV commercials. The film is a fever dream as seen through our existing television advertisements, foreshadowing for hopeful future generations a promised future life of happiness and security in the land of plenty.

    The Whitney Museum of American Art screened the film in 1973, and then screened it again the following year. The film was also shown at the Oberhausen Film Festival and several other film festivals. In 2003, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, acquired all of Dixon’s experimental films — which include the following: Quick Constant and Solid Instant (1969) Madagascar, or, Caroline Kennedy’s Sinful Life in London (1976) — for a career retrospective.” – Bryan Thomas

    "Wheeler Winston Dixon is a masterful film editor. His sensitivity to the movement within the frame and of the camera itself allows for a fluidity in his editing that is exuberant and refreshing. He is skillful not only in manipulating the flow of images but the flow of ideas as well. He has assembled his images mostly from television commercials and juxtaposed them in such a way that their very ordinary nature suddenly becomes extraordinary. Through the editing process he reveals secrets of our culture that have always been sitting on our television screens but we have never seen them be fore. It is as though his film taps into our collective unconscious by exploring the surface realities that permeate our airwaves. Magical realms, pubescent fantasies, dreams of wish fulfillment, all so innocuous and tame on the television set, assume strangely mythic proportions through Wheeler's editing and even the mundane world we accept so readily begins to look somehow dreamlike and unreal. This fusing of dream and waking consciousness creates the magic of Serial Metaphysics." - Bruce Rubin, Former Associate Curator of Film, Whitney Museum of American Art

    "It’s all about the American commercial vision that offers you of an endless dream of a life of plenty, security and happiness, and how this dream is merchandized, especially to children. The images in Serial Metaphysics that I think that are the strongest are the images of beauty, and the way that they’re underscored and repositioned. One woman looks impassively at the camera, and then suddenly blows a huge bubble of bubble gum. Towards the end of the film, a group of children are playing organized sports at a school. When they go back to classes, we discover that the school is really a prison, and they’re all locked into individual cells. Everything in Serial Metaphysics is for sale. The way that I made films at that time, I would think about them for a week or two and then I would make them. And this, I thought, this is what I’m going to do with the commercials. And suddenly, the structure for Serial Metaphysics came to me. You look for the structure that arises out of the material." - WWD

    Read an Interview with Dixon here: sensesofcinema.com/2003/feature-articles/wheeler_winston_dixon/

    This video was created using footage and soundtracks in the Public Domain, or released as CC0 Public Domain materials, and is made entirely from recycled, repurposed and refashioned images and sounds.

    Copyright © 1972 Wheeler Winston Dixon. All rights reserved.

  2. Fluid Geometry

    “The future is fluid. Each act, each decision, and each development creates new possibilities and eliminates others. The future is ours to direct.” – Jacque Fresco

    This video was created using footage and soundtracks in the Public Domain, or released as CC0 Public Domain materials, and is made entirely from recycled, repurposed and refashioned images and sounds.

    Copyright © 2021 Wheeler Winston Dixon. All rights reserved.

  3. Look

    “It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.” - Henry David Thoreau

    This video was created using footage and soundtracks in the Public Domain, or released as CC0 Public Domain materials, and is made entirely from recycled, repurposed and refashioned images and sounds.

    Copyright © 2017 Wheeler Winston Dixon. All rights reserved.

  4. Human Scale

    "Civilization is crushing us; you can see it in the scale of the buildings, the elaborate outdoor malls where no one ever goes, the walkways that carry us from one building to another without ever touching the Earth - and yet we keep endlessly walking, intent on whatever errands we think are important." - Wheeler Winston Dixon

    "One thing is sure. The earth is now more cultivated and developed than ever before. There is more farming with pure force, swamps are drying up, and cities are springing up on unprecedented scale. We’ve become a burden to our planet. Resources are becoming scarce, and soon nature will no longer be able to satisfy our needs.” - Quintus Septimus Florens Tertullianus, Roman theologian, 200 AD

    This video was created using footage and soundtracks in the Public Domain, or released as CC0 Public Domain materials, and is made entirely from recycled, repurposed and refashioned images and sounds.

    Copyright © 2016 Wheeler Winston Dixon. All rights reserved.

  5. Neon Flag

    "I made this video in 2018, two years into the Trump presidency. When Biden was sworn into office in 2020, I thought we might be in for a period of more enlightened discourse. But now comes SCOTUS with a series of disastrous decisions that seriously curtail our personal liberty. So here's the American flag for 2022 in crisis mode, uncertain of which way the wind blows, and what direction it will be pushed in next." - WWD

    “What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for I walked down the side streets under the trees with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon. In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations!” – Allen Ginsberg

    This video was created using footage and soundtracks in the Public Domain, or released as CC0 Public Domain materials, and is made entirely from recycled, repurposed and refashioned images and sounds.

    Copyright © 2018 Wheeler Winston Dixon. All rights reserved.

  6. Wheeler Winston Dixon - 2022 Show

    “Here’s a collection of some of the films I’ve created in 2021 – 2022, in a one hour show meant to be viewed at one sitting.” – WWD

    Dixon's films have been screened at The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, Anthology Film Archives, Filmhuis Cavia (Amsterdam), Studio 44 (Stockholm), La lumière collective (Montréal), The BWA Katowice Museum (Poland), The Microscope Gallery, The National Film Theatre (UK), The Jewish Museum, The Millennium Film Workshop, The San Francisco Cinématheque, LA Filmforum (Los Angeles), The New Arts Lab, The Collective for Living Cinema, The Kitchen, The Filmmakers Cinématheque, Film Forum, The Amos Eno Gallery, Sla 307 Art Space, The Gallery of Modern Art, The Rice Museum, The Oberhausen Film Festival, Undercurrent, Experimental Response Cinema and elsewhere. Dixon's complete film work from 1966 to 2003 is archived in the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art. Dixon's contemporary video work is collected in the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

    "Wheeler Winston Dixon is a masterful film editor. His sensitivity to the movement within the frame and of the camera itself allows for fluidity in his editing that is exuberant and refreshing. It is as though his films tap into our collective unconscious by exploring the surface realities that permeate our lives." – Bruce Rubin, Former Associate Curator of Film, Whitney Museum of American Art

    "Wheeler Winston Dixon applies tonal, structural and chromatic strategies, such as color inversion, to live footage to create shifting images that also engage with political and philosophical undertones [creating] film poetry as painting for the twenty-first century." – Sarah Tremlett, The Poetics of the Poetry Film

    "There are already enough images in the world. In my videos, I prefer to use existing imagery, playing with it to the point of abstraction to create an otherworldly experience. It is this gap between the actual and the imagined that informs all of my work." – Wheeler Winston Dixon

    Films included in this program:

    OUTLINES – vimeo.com/494549150

    WHAT COMES NEXT – vimeo.com/645397164

    LUMINOUS BODY – vimeo.com/517499724

    CHROME DESERT – vimeo.com/569464177

    CHILDHOOD – vimeo.com/532751005

    BIG CITY – vimeo.com/577816047

    URBAN RENEWAL II – vimeo.com/650939245

    OMICRON – vimeo.com/657620956

    TOURISTS – vimeo.com/707581306

    CAN I BORROW TEN DOLLARS? – vimeo.com/714776676

    SAY WHAT? – vimeo.com/719463715

    PALM SPRINGS – vimeo.com/720908627

    DON’T SAY A WORD – vimeo.com/729780975

    THE NEW WORLD – vimeo.com/703030821

    ANOTHER NIGHT OUT – vimeo.com/580011074

    FLUID GEOMETRY – vimeo.com/558628516

    HOPSCOTCH – vimeo.com/679874119

    ANALOGUE DREAMS – vimeo.com/537831583

    IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE – vimeo.com/731952290

    These videos were created using footage and soundtracks in the Public Domain, or released as CC0 Public Domain materials, and were made entirely from recycled, repurposed and refashioned images and sounds.

    Copyright © 2022 Wheeler Winston Dixon. All rights reserved.