Bill Morrison (born on November 17th, 1965 in Chicago) is a New York based filmmaker and artist. From 1983 to 1985, Morrison attended Reed College and graduated from Cooper Union School of Art in 1989. His films incorporate rare archival material, are set to contemporary music and have been screened in theatres, cinemas, museums, galleries, and concert halls around the world.
Morrison worked at the New York Museum of Modern Art between October 2014 and March 2015. He is a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, received the Alpert Awards in the Arts, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Creative Capital, and a fellowship from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. Furthermore, his theatrical project design with Ridge Theatre was awarded with two Bessie Awards and an Obie Award.
Morrison has collaborated with a multitude of influential composers and performers of our time, such as: John Adams, Maya Beiser, Gavin Bryars, Dave Douglas, Richard Einhorn, Erik Friedlander, Bill Frisell, Philip Glass, Michael Gordon, Henryk Gorecki, Michael Harrison, Ted Hearne, Vijay Iyer, Johann Johannsson, Kronos Quartet, David Lang, David T. Little, Michael Montes, Harry Partch, Steve Reich, Todd Reynolds, Aleksandra Vrebalov, and Julia Wolfe, to name a few.
In 2002, Morrison collaborated with composer Michael Gordon to make ‘Decasia’, a feature-length which was selected by the Library of Congress to its National Film Registry in 2013. The two men’s feature-length was the first film of the 21st century to be selected to the list, earning it recognition from individuals, such as J. Hoberman, the film critic who said it was “the most widely acclaimed American avant-garde film of the fin-de-siècle”. The filmmaker Errol Morris also hailed their creation and deemed it as maybe being “the greatest movie ever made.” Basel Sinfonietta commissioned the film and it was to be shown on three screens surrounding the audience, with 55 musicians performing Michael Gordon’s score.
After his success with ‘Decasia’, Morrison collaborated with composer/trumpeter Dave Douglas and made ‘Spark of Being’. Following the film’s release, they were awarded with the Douglas Edwards Experimental/Independent Film/Video Award at the 2011 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards.
His film ‘The Great Flood’ was the product of one of his latest collaborations in 2014 with composer/guitarist Bill Frisell, leading him to receive the Smithsonian Magazine’s American Ingenuity Award for Historical Scholarship.