INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
The New Yorker JULY 9, 2008 - by Andrea K. Scott
BRUCE CONNOR, R.I.P.
Odds are you've never heard of Bruce Conner. The American artist, who died on Monday, at the age of seventy-four, was established but hard to pin down. A Beat sculptor in the '50s, a maker of hallucinatory collages and intricate mandalas in the '60s, and the staff photographer for the Punk fanzine Search And Destroy in the '70s (to cite just a handful of his aesthetic personae), Conner was probably best known for his experimental films, which included Cosmic Ray and Vivian. Dennis Hopper, a close friend of the artist's for decades, told the L.A. Times in 1990: "Bruce's movies changed my entire concept of editing. In fact, much of the editing of Easy Rider came directly from watching Bruce's films, and, when I look at MTV, it seems they all must've been students of his." Indeed, Conner was an early adopter of the music-video genre, though, true to peripatetic form, he made only a couple of pieces: one for the band Devo and another for a collaboration between Brian Eno and David Byrne. "America is waiting for a message of some sort or another", a voice intones during the song; in Conner, we've lost a versatile and visionary messenger.