Michael Betancourt

Artistat ...
Savannah,
United States
Focus area: AI (Machine Learning, Neural Networks, Deep Fakes)

Michael Betancourt is a board member of the Art of Light Organization. His research concerns media history, digital technology, and capitalist ideology; he wrote the first history of motion graphics from its origins to the commercial appropriation of avant-garde film and video art in the United States, published in 2013, as well as a number of other books on media art and animation. As a pioneer of “Glitch Art,” he has engaged the links between theory and practice by databending images and video since the 1990s. His visually seductive glitch works bring the visionary tradition into the present. By emphasizing their digital origins, his aesthetics encourages the viewer to find poetic meaning in their everyday life. His movies and statics have shown internationally at film festivals and art fairs, including the Black Maria Film Festival, Art Basel Miami Beach, Contemporary Art Ruhr, Athens Video Art Festival, Festival des Cinemas Differents de Paris, Anthology Film Archives, Millennium Film Workshop, the San Francisco Cinematheque’s Crossroads, and Experiments in Cinema, among many others. His interactive publication the ____________ Manifesto is a well known work of interactive net.art from the 1990s. One of his games-as-art, Toonzy! The Cartoon Role-Playing Game, was nominated for an Ennie Award as Best Free Game in 2016. This aesthetic work is informed by ground breaking historical research: in 2006, he found the oldest surviving hand-painted abstract films (produced in 1916 by Mary Hallock-Greenewalt). He also wrote the first history of motion graphics in the United States from its origins to the commercial appropriation of avant-garde film and video art.

Journal Articles:
Artists' Statements

YEAR: A Study in Creating Space With Color

April 2005
Theoretical Perspective

A Taxonomy of Abstract Form Using Studies of Synesthesia and Hallucinations

February 2007
Artists’ Articles

The Semiotics of the Moon as Fantasy and Destination

October 2015