Colorado Creatives

Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Phil Solomon

#29: Phil Solomon

In the realm of experimental film, Phil Solomon is a name to remember: His work has been oft-awarded, screened internationally and exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Biennial in New York. For nearly 25 years, he’s been sharing his pioneering techniques and inspiring students to go further at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he collaborated with a fellow legend, the late Stan Brakhage. And he’s far from finished, as you’ll see below; read on for Solomon’s answers to the 100CC questionnaire.
Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?

Phil Solomon: Brian Eno. A man blessed with an exquisite aesthetic sensibility, interesting ideas and the right spirit needed for collaboration. I have been searching for forms in cinema that move calmly and inevitably, much like his best music. I think our mutual interest in textures and light would be mutually beneficial.

Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?


Elizabeth Warren, because she seems remarkably sane. Same for Bernie Sanders. These two would be My Dream Ticket for these troubled and maddening times in America. A vote for common sense, common cause and decency.
What's one art trend you want to see die this year?

Unnecessary multiple screen installations when one (or none) will do. More screens do not necessarily mean more interesting.

What's your day job?

Professor of film studies at the University of Colorado Boulder.
A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?

Retire from teaching, move into a self-designed home with privacy within five to fifteen miles of a beach in a warm clime like SoCal or Hawaii, read, make films, save dogs and travel.

What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?

Substantive fellowships for individual artists in all fields, with a national panel of experts adjudicating. USA Artists and Creative Capital provide excellent models.
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?

Stan Brakhage (1933-2003) will always be my favorite Colorado Creative. Knowing him as I did, I'd like to think that he's still currently working...

What's on your agenda in the coming year?

Installation of a new piece entitled EMPIRE x 8 at the Ryerson Museum in Toronto, from April 29 to June 28; three retrospective screenings at the Toronto International Film Festival, June 25 to June 27; two retrospective screenings and an installation at the Jerusalem Film Festival in July. New digital video work will be ready in the fall.

Who do you think will get noticed in the local art  community in 2015?

I truly have no idea. Some local fine artists that I know like Michelle Elsworth, Xi Zhang, Lanny DeVuono, Michael Theodore, Peter Yumi and my colleagues in Film Studies are doing some wonderful work these days. Depends on what you mean by "getting noticed" and "local community,” I suppose.

Learn more about Phil Solomon online


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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd