Karen Johannesen is an experimental filmmaker and the Programmer & Director of The Chicago 8 Small Gauge Film Festival from 2011-2015. She works predominately in Super 8mm and is dedicated to keeping small gauge film formats alive by continuing to work in super 8mm and by programming screenings of small gauge film works. Karen has traveled & presented S8 film programs at CalArts, San Francisco Cinematheque, Otis College of Art & Design, and the Echo Park Film Center in Los Angles. Karen has a BFA in Painting from The University of Illinois at Chicago and an MFA in Filmmaking from The San Francisco Art Institute.
“Karen Johannesen’s Light Speed meditate(s) on domestic details, hinting at the eternal within the everyday” Steve Polta
Karen’s films are informed by her background in painting and interest in optics, light, phenomenology, quantum physics, & landscapes. Using single-frame filmmaking techniques, hand-processing, oversaturated colors, & forceful editing, her films push super 8mm to the edge of the modest format. Her subject matter is of the ordinary, everyday, & domestic that points to a greater dynamic element underlying the structure of the films.
“At the ultramicroscopic level, the universe would be akin to a string symphony vibrating matter into existence.’’ Brian Greene, Fabric of the Cosmos.
Karen has exhibited her films at: San Francisco Cinematheque, Anthology Film Archive, The Toronto International Film Festival, The Museum of Modern Art NY, The International Film Festival Rotterdam, The Center of Contemporary Culture (Spain), Media City Film Festival (Canada), and The Korean Super 8 Experimental Film Festival, The Busan Short Film Festival (Korea), KLEX (Malaysia) The Experimental Film Conference (England), and the Images Film Festival (Canada).
76 Station. S8, color & b/w, silent, 6 minutes. 2000
Green Curtain. S8, color, silent, 3 minutes. 2001
Algonquin Winter. S8, color, silent, 3 minutes. 2002
Photogram Blue & Red. S8, color, silent, 6 minutes. 2003
Oscillate. S8, b/w, silent, 5 minutes. 2003
Untitled. S8, color, silent, 3 minutes. 2003
Pink Opaque. S8, color, silent, 3 minutes. 2003
Light Quanta. S8, color, silent, 5 minutes. 2004
Light Speed. S8, color & b/w, silent, 6 minutes. 2007
Daylight & The Sun. S8, b/w, silent, 5 minutes. 2009
Resonance. S8, color, silent, 3 minutes. 2010
Te Lapa. S8, b/w, silent, 3 minutes. 2015
Chromatic. S8, color, silent, 5.5 minutes. 2015