Christopher Lowther

“Cowboy Cruising” was a multi-media and multi-projector piece which exploited the way men look at each other in classic Western films—where the gaze takes on clear homoerotic and homosocial connotations.

Joan Hawkins, author of "Cutting Edge: Art-Horror and the Horrific Avante-Garde"

"Cowboy Cruising" 2005-06
"New World Disorder: Disaster & Desire" Video Installation

The work is an interrogation of the perverse pleasure of disaster/ruin, the representation/ function of disaster and desire, and the experience as mediated via film representations. The “Desire” aspect of Disaster & Desire is two-fold: On the one hand it references the way desire is represented in disaster films, and on the other it references a wish/desire for disaster. I have a conflicted view of disaster as I also see it as a positive agent of needed change. For example, the recent Fukushima nuclear disaster prompted the Japanese government to re-evaluate nuclear energy and consequently their last nuclear reactor was shut down. In addition to universal change I also wonder what personal truths would be revealed to me in the event of a disaster in regard to those I love, and even those I wasn’t aware that I loved. And what problems and dysfunctions would it solve?

Irwin Allen’s disaster films employ a similar method of re-uniting and repairing relationships in the wake of catastrophe. Husbands and wives whose relationships seemed broken and beyond repair somehow find hope and come to realizations about their feelings for one another. Strangers who normally would not associate become friends and caregivers. In contemplating the cathartic benefit it has for me, I concede that it is a romantic view of disaster, but one that is nevertheless mediated by film and its enduring power over me. 

Towering Inferno 2012-13
Video Installation
Airport 2013
Video Installation
This is not a traditional catalogue essay, in the sense that it does not provide one sustained argument about the work, New World...more As I mentioned earlier, contemporary critics were quick to read Allen’s films in terms of social criticism. As J. Hoberman notes in a...more
Earthquake 2013
Video Installation
The Poseidon Adventure 2013
Video Installation
Earlier, I wrote about the use of monitors and clocks in terms of mastery and intimacy. But for those of us who have lived through...more
“You resist temptation admirably,” Dr. Louis Judd tells his recalcitrant patient Irena in the 1942 horror classic, Cat People...more
Artist's Statement  

Consideration of several aspects of space — cinematic, cultural and sexual — are directions that I have taken with my work in various digital art mediums. In some instances the intersection of these directions reveals faults and cracks, fissures that need to be exposed and re-evaluated. The slippage that occurs along these faults suggests new ways of looking at space and the ways in which we experience and negotiate space. 

"Out of the Myth" Video Installation  

The “Out of the Myth” series is comprised of four pieces that explore censorship in film and space. The pieces are united as an examination of cinematic space, and a desire to make Queer space in cinema through recontextualization, extension and other artistic strategies.

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Cowboy Cruising 2005-06
3 Channel Video Installation
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Rope Reconstructed 2007
3 Channel Video Installation & 1 inch Scale Diorma
Representations of sexual preference or orientation are complex processes in the cinema. From the classic scene in the Maltese...more This inability to speak is not evident in Lowther’s next project, the conceptually and architecturally adventurous Rope Reconstructed. The...more
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A Queer Shadow 2007
Single Channel Interactive Video Installation
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Rebel Love: A Woman Scorned 2006-07
2 Channel Video Installation
Questions shift from interior, domestic space to exterior, sexualized space, inform A Queer Shadow, Lowther’s single projection...more
Turn finally to Rebel Love: A Woman Scorned, in which Lowther deconstructs Nicholas Ray’s classic film Rebel Without a Cause. Widely...more
Other Works  
"Gaslight" 2014  
"The Plague Doctor" 2014  
Coming in 2014. Coming in 2014.
"Strangers on a Train" 2014  
"High Rise Rear Window" 2014  
Coming in 2014. Coming in 2014.
"Cão Sem Dono" 2011  
"Cão Sem Dono" 2011  
Sculptural piece that contains the animation. A stop-frame animation about a dog in search of an owner.
"Tease" 2010  
"Tease" 2009  
An interactive boite d'optique that plays with desire and
A photo series that plays with desire and expectations.
"City of Panic" 2007  
"Lifeboat" 2007  
A stop-frame animation centered around a city in the grips
of panic.
A three channel video installation based on the Hitchcock
film of the same name.

"Digital Daydreams" 2006  
"Keine Ahnung" 2006  
An animation about a monkey's use of his active imagination in order to escape reality. A live-action and stop frame animation centered on enigmatic and paranoid fantasies.
"Space Monkey" 2006  
"Somnambulist" 2006  
Two monkeys exploring space find each other in this romantic-adventure animation. A single channel video based on personal dream metaphors and symbolism.
"Synthesis" 2006  
"Living Room" 2005  
A single channel video that synthesizes disparate images and sounds. A single channel interactive Flash installation that explores the relationship between entertainment and surveillance.
"Post-Human" 2005  
"Touch" 2005  
An interactive Flash project that intersects cybernetics and surveillance. A single channel live action & stop motion animation that investigates "touch" in an increasingly cybernetic world.

Christopher Lowther is Assistant Professor of Time-Based Media at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. He also holds a secondary faculty appointment in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UAB, and serves as Director of the Leonardo Art & Engineering Interdisciplinary Program. He teaches Video, animation, interactive design, and 3D modeling/animation. Lowther is the recipient of the prestigious College Art Association Professional Development Fellowship (funded by the National Endowment for the Arts) in recognition of his innovative use of space and video projection to reference stereotypes of masculinity in Hollywood film. He also was awarded the Alabama State Council on the Arts Visual Artist Fellowsip in 2012. Lowther's videos and installations have exhibited both nationally and internationally.

UAB Magazine has featured the Time Based Media area in their current online issue here.

I have uploaded 3 film papers I wrote as an undergraduate at Indiana University. You can view "Rebel Without a Cause: Sissy Boys and the Gauge of Masculinity" here. You can view "Dead Ringers: The Ungenerating Terror" here.

"New World Disorder: Disaster and Desire" will be exhibited at the University of Tulsa in the Alexandre Hogue Gallery October 2013.

I was awarded a $5,000 Visual Artist Fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts.

IU Film Professor Joan Hawkins has finished her essay, "we may never love like this again: Disaster & Desire"

I am featured in the September 2012 issue of B-Metro Magazine. Additional images can be found here.

I presented the Leonardo Program at the 2012 SECAC Conference on a panel called "Design Innovation and Entrepreneurialism."

The Time-Based Media area that I created at UAB 4.5 years ago has been ranked #18 Best Animation Program in the South by Animation Career Review.

The Leonardo Art + Engineering Program has been commissioned by the Birmingham Regional Planning Commission for $26,000 to create a video/animation for the 280 Rapid Transit proposal.

A $12,000 NEA grant proposal that I co-wrote for Space One Eleven has been awarded.

Dr. Bharat Soni, Chair of Mechanical Engineering, and I are spear-heading a brand new interdisciplinary certificate program between Art & Engineering. We are calling it Leonardo and it was approved and started fall 2011. You can download the brochure here. And you can view an article in UAB Magazine on Leonardo here.

Current Project

"Cão Sem Dono" the animation is complete. Please check photos above.

Upcoming Projects
I am starting a new suite of works entitled, "New World Disorder: Disaster & Desire." Brett Levine, freelance writer and former Curator of the San Francisco Museum of Craft + Design, and Joan Hawkins, Associate Professor and Director of Film & Media Studies at Indiana University-Bloomington and Editor for Culture, Theory and Critque are writing essays for the exhibition catalogue. Check back for progress.

Current Exhibitions
No Dead Artists, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans.

Third Coast National Juried Exhibition, K Space Contemporary, Corpus Christi Texas

New World Disorder: Disaster & Desire, Alexandre Hogue Gallery, University of Tulsa, Tulsa Oklahoma.