The Department of Communication Arts congratulates Aaron Granat for receipt of the Edna Wiechers Arts in Wisconsin Award. As a Comm Arts staff member, Granat provides expert videography and video editing, supports our film production students, and helps run the day-to-day activities of the Instructional Media Center.
As an undergrad in Communication Arts, Granat was introduced to pioneers of avant-garde filmmaking like Stan Brakhage, Andy Warhol, and Martin Arnold. Drawing inspiration from these filmmakers, Granat creates his own experimental films and installations, using improvisation and seeking a direct, intimate connection between artist and audience.
In 2019, Granat co-directed “Resonance Madison,” a performance combining contemporary dance, classical music, and visual art. The performance, staged in and around the Humanities Building and livestreamed by Wisconsin Public Television, was supported by the Bolz Center, the Division of the Arts, and the Dance Department. In the Winter of 2021, Granat collaborated with Madison-based artist Thomas Ferrella and “you of all people,” an experimental music collective, to create Shadowlands. An artistic response to salt pollution, this video installation and performance was featured as a part of Winter is Alive. Aaron views Shadowlands as a stepping stone to the performances he intends to produce with his award.
With the Edna Wiechers Arts in Wisconsin award, Granat plans to create a series of performances, each with a group of interdisciplinary artists, generating novel, symbiotic experiences. Artists will be gathered in venues large enough to support social distancing, and the performances livestreamed. Ultimately, he aims for the dynamic one finds in live musical performance, in which improvisation can create exciting new tangents that move performers and audience alike.