Working at the intersection of film, art and interdisciplinary media theory, Colin Gardner earned his M.A. in History from St. John's College, Cambridge and Ph.D. in Cinema Studies at UCLA before becoming Professor of Critical Theory and Integrative Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he teaches in the Departments of Art, Film & Media Studies, Comparative Literature, and the History of Art and Architecture.
Gardner has published two books in Manchester University Press's "British Film Makers" series: a critical study of the blacklisted American film director, Joseph Losey (2004), and a monograph on the Czech-born British filmmaker and critic, Karel Reisz (2006). Related research has also appeared in the Franco-American film journal, Iris; the Parisian web-based theoretical journal, Critical Secret No. 6 (2001), Interdisciplinary Humanities (2002), and Media History (2006). He is currently researching a book on Samuel Beckett's experimental work for film and television.
Gardner is also the author of critical essays on Bob Rafelson's Five Easy Pieces and The King of Marvin Gardens (for Creation Books' Jack Nicholson: Movie Top Ten and Site Street Journal respectively); Losey's The Assassination of Trotsky, in Trudy Bolter's Le politique eclate (Paris: L'Harmattan); as well as a theoretical study of Diana Thater's video installations in Space, Site, Intervention: Situating Installation Art (Erika Suderberg, ed.) for the University of Minnesota Press.
His extensive list of catalog monographs include essays on Mike Kelley for the Whitney Museum of American Art, John Baldessari for the Graphische Sammlung, Albertina in Vienna, Wallace Berman for the Institute of Contemporary Art in Amsterdam, and video artist Rachel Khedoori for the Kunsthalle in Basel. Gardner has worked extensively with the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum (CAF), including catalog essays for Sandow Birk's "Prisonation" series, Linda Stark's "Runaway Love" retrospective, and the 2001 group exhibition, "Diabolical Beauty," co-curated with UCSB Professor, Jane Callister. Gardner is currently curating the film component for "Damaged Romanticism: A Mirror of Modern Emotion," an exhibition slated for the Blaffer Gallery, the Art Museum of the University of Houston in 2008.
Public lectures include discussions of Stan Douglas's video work at Cal Arts and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Diana Thater's "Knots + Surfaces" projected DVD installation at New York's Dia Center for Arts' Robert Lehman Lecture Series (published in 2006); "Decentered Spectatorship: Constructing a Hybrid Scopic Space in Recent Art Film and Video," at Louisville's Speed Art Museum; and analyses of cinema and the brain for Warren Neidich's "The Mutated Observer: Neurological Structures, Perception and Visual Culture" at UC Riverside's California Museum of Photography and his interdisciplinary panel on "Movies, Buildings and Brains" at UCLA.
"Thinking the Unthinkable: Time, Cinema and the Brain," in Journal of Neuro-Aesthetic Theory,
No. 3, Summer 2004
"Composite Memories: Jean-Francois Podevin's Time Machines." (San Luis Obispo Art Center).
"Antonioni's Blow-Up and the Chiasmus of Memory" in the Journal of Neuro-Aesthetic Theory, No. 2, Summer 2002.
Joseph Losey's "Don Giovanni," in CriticalSecret No. 6.
"Painting the Cinematic Body: Elizabeth Saveri's Obsessive Compulsion"
"Buzz Spector: The Position of The Author"