John Di Stefano

John is presently Associate Professor at University of Sydney - Sydney College of the Arts, and formerly was Chair of the Video Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Postgraduate Coordinator at the National Art School (Sydney, Australia); and Associate Professor and Director of Postgraduate Studies at Massey University’s School of Fine Arts (Wellington, New Zealand). He has also been a faculty member at California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts), and at the University of California. He is a founding member of the contemporary art research centre, Litmus (, and founding-convener of the biennial conference, Expanding Documentary (New Zealand). John is an editor of the international art publication, Art AsiaPacific (Hong Kong/New York).

John has exhibited internationally since 1985. His work is focused primarily in video/film, installation, photo-based and time-based media, but has also included performance, bookwork, site-specific and public art projects. Thematically and conceptually, much of his creative practice synthesizes traditions of conceptual art, documentary practices and critical theory. He examines how concepts and perceptions of memory, space/place, and time shape the articulation of subjectivities so as to reconcile the personal with the social, the everyday with history. His current research interests and projects include: examining notions of temporality and disappearance; the evolving and hybrid forms of documentary practices in contemporary art; and an inquiry into the essayistic form in current film and video.

His video work has won several awards, including the New Vision Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival, and has been selected for official competition at various festivals including the Festival International du Documentaire de Marseille. His video work has also been broadcast on American public television (PBS), and in 2001, was cited as one of the “best of the year” by the publication Artforum (New York). His video work is distributed by Video Data Bank (Chicago) and V-Tape (Toronto).

For over two decades, John's gallery-based work has been exhibited internationally in commercial and public art institutions including, Eastlink Gallery (Shanghai), William Wright Artists' Projects (Sydney), Enjoy Public Art Gallery (Wellington), Bartley+Co Gallery (Wellington), Articule (Montréal), and the BSR Gallery (Rome). He has been commissioned to create public art works, and site-specific works for various institutions and venues including the New Zealand Film Archive, and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE). His work has been included in various public art contexts including FED TV (Federation Square, Melbourne), Projects on Lake (Pasedena, US) and Artbox Project (Wellington).

John’s gallery-based curatorial projects include Satellite (Shanghai), Open Cities (Hong Kong/Chicago), and Not On Any Map (Chicago). He has programmed film and video for the Film Centre (Chicago), the New Zealand Documentary Film Festival (now, Documentary Edge Film Festival), and the Los Angeles International Lesbian & Gay Film & Video Festival. He has published in various international journals and anthologies, most notably in Queer Looks (Routledge); in Peter Greenaway's Postmodern/Poststructuralist Cinema (Scarecrow); in Performance: design (Museum Tusculanum); in the visual art journal Art Journal (New York) and in the cinema studies journals Wide Angle and Illusions, amoung others. His book-works VITALITY [1988] and Unfold [2011] were published by Artextes Press (Montréal) and Enjoy Public Art Gallery (Wellington) respectively.

Artist Code: 287


You Are Here

2009, 64:50 minutes, colour, English, Italian, French with English Subtitles


2000, 22:00 minutes, colour, English

(Tell Me Why) The Epistemology of Disco

1991, 24:00 minutes, colour, English

Critical Writing

Moving Images of Home
by John Di Stefano. Art Journal, Winter 2002, v. 61, no. 4.
Straight women, gay porn, and the scene of erotic looking
by Laura U. Marks. Jump Cut, Mar. 1996, no. 40.
Videos eye economics and bodily functions
by Cameron Bailey. Now, Oct. 26, 1995, v. 15, no. 8.
Videos eye economics and bodily functions
Corporal Economics, 1995. Toronto: Mercer Union, 1995.