Saturday, January 10, 2015

Former MIT Professor ‘Robs Bank,’ Films ‘Heist’

NyPo explains:
A wacky former MIT professor took cinema verite to a whole new level by robbing a Manhattan bank and recording the heist, authorities said.
Joseph Gibbons, 61, a filmmaker and “visual artist’’ who taught for a decade at one of the world’s most prestigious universities, has gone rogue, robbing banks as part of his latest “art’’ project.
Gibbons was charged on Friday with robbery after allegedly making off with $1,000 from a Capital One branch at Bowery and Grand Street in Chinatown.
While waiting for his arraignment, the eccentric academic boasted to fellow inmates that his crime was for art’s sake.
“He was doing research for a film,” said his dazzled cell-mate Kaylan Sherrard, 27.
“It’s not a crime; it’s artwork… He’s an intellectual,” Sherrard gushed.
In former interviews, Gibbons has admitted to using illegal drugs to inspire his short, semi-autobiographical films.
“The romantic idea of the artist getting involved in these kinds of activities as a kind of research, gaining experience. But that was the big inspiration on me,” Gibbons told online art journal “Big, Red & Shiny.” 
Now facing felony charges in two states, Gibbons appears to have taken his modus operandi a bit far.
He entered the Manhattan bank on New Year’s Eve around 2 p.m., wielding a camcorder and politely handed the teller a note demanding a donation for his church, according to court documents.
Rhode Island police had also been hunting for Gibbons, who staged a similar stick-up there in mid-November and made off with $3,000 in cash, authorities said.
Judge Abraham Clott set bail at $50,000 after Gibbons’ attorney said his client was mentally sound.

MIT has removed the Gibbons page from their web site.

Here's the cached version:

Gibbons’ work in film and video is characterized by a time-honored approach – that of the artist’s use of his own life as source material, a laboratory for self-observation and experimentation.

Though his work is rooted in autobiography – according to critic J. Hoberman, Gibbons “invented a new mode of psychodrama which might be termed the ‘confessional’” – it ultimately subverts that genre. Blurring the boundaries between fact and fiction, self and persona, his films and tapes combine a desire to connect, to confess, with a contradictory impulse to confabulate and dissimulate.

He has been recognized with fellowships and awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the NY State Council on the Arts, the Creative Capital Foundation, The LEF Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.

His work has been exhibited at numerous institutions including the Museum of Modern Art in NY, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Centre Pompidou, and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, Spain. His work has thrice been chosen for the Whitney Biennial (1993, 2000, 2002) and is regularly programmed at the NY Video Festival, the Rotterdam Film Festival, and the Black Maria Film and Video Festival. His films have been broadcast in Spain, France and Germany as well as on PBS. He has collaborated on performances, films and videos with artists Tony Oursler, Karen Finley, Tony Conrad, and Emily Breer.

His last feature film “The Genius” had a month-long run in NYC’s Anthology Film Archives and was included in such festivals as MOMA’s New Directors/New Films, AFI and Rotterdam. His most recent work “Confessions of a Sociopath” was included in “Best Films of the Year” lists in Film Comment and Artforum magazines.

According to his linked-in profile, he was a lecturer at MIT  for 8 years 11 months from August 2001 to June 2010.

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