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(tell me why): The Epistemology of Disco

John Di Stefano

1991 00:24:00 United StatesEnglishColorStereo4:3Video


(tell me why): The Epistemology of Disco is an often humorous, at times sarcastic and poignant look at the role that disco music has played in the formation of gay male identity. The piece challenges the notion of disco as merely a "leisure activity" by positing disco as an important cultural space created as an expression of gay sexuality.

This title is only available on CHANNELING: an invocation of spectral bodies and queer spirits

About John Di Stefano

John Di Stefano is a Canadian-born visual artist, videomaker, writer, and curator, based in Sydney, Australia. John's career as an artist spans over twenty-five years. 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. His work often 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 video work has won several awards, including the New Vision Award at theSan Francisco International Film Festival, and has been selected for official competition at various festivals including the Festival International du Documentaire de Marseille. Screenings include: Videonale - Festival of Contemporary Video Art (Kunstmuseum, Bonn); New Filmmakers - Anthology Film Archives (New York); Transmediale (Berlin); Barcelona Museum of Modern Art; Kassel Documentary Film Festival; Para/Site Art Space (Hong Kong); Hammer Museum (Los Angeles); European Media Arts Festival(Osnabruck); Human Rights Film Festival(Sarajevo); Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles); Royal Academy of Art (Copenhagen); Palais des Beaux-Arts (Brussels); STROM kunstfestival (Kunsthaus Rhenania, Cologne); Karsten Schubert Gallery (London). Bruno Brunnet Fine Arts (Berlin);Stockholm International Film Festival; American Film Institute Video Festival (Los Angeles); New Langton Arts (San Francisco); A-Space (Toronto); the New Zealand Film Archive (Wellington); Moving Image Centre (Auckland); Domus Artium Museum (Salamanca); Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus) and the Cinematheque (San Francisco).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). 


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 British School at Rome Gallery (Italy). 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 (Pasadena, US) and Artbox Project (Wellington). John’s gallery-based curatorial projects includeSatellite (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, and theLos Angeles International Lesbian & Gay Film & Video Festival. He publishes 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 andIllusions, among others. His book-worksVITALITY [1988] and Unfold [2011] were published by Artextes Press (Montréal) and Enjoy Public Art Gallery (Wellington) respectively.


John is presently Associate Professor at University of Sydney - Sydney College of the Arts. Formerly he was Chair of the Video Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and has also been a faculty member at California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts), the University of California, the National Art School (Sydney), and Massey University (New Zealand). He is founding-convener of the biennial conference, Expanding Documentary (New Zealand), and an editor of the international art publication, Art AsiaPacific(Hong Kong/New York).