Claire I: Rape

Claire II: There's Nothing Harder Than an Abortion

Claire III: The Killer

Claire IV: The Scarlet Letter

About the Artist


Brian Milbrand is a multidisciplinary artist, working with video, film, performance, audio and painting to create diverse artworks. Milbrand’s career began when he joined Kamikaze, a multidisciplinary collective of artists who formed an art space with a gallery and screening room in Fall 2002. During that time, Brian focused on creating personal videos such as “Bush to Hitler in Only 20 Copies (2002),” a copy machine animation of George Bush slowly shifting into Hitler while Brian narrates his experience with warrantless demands for financial records by the FBI while he worked at M&T Bank.

Since working with Kamikaze, Milbrand has worked with a wide variety of collectives including performing with The Real Dream Cabaret. With the Cabaret, along with performing, Brian has created a number of video projects including “The Real Dream Cabaret Choose Your Adventure (2004),” an interactive DVD where the viewer gets to choose what happens next. Brian also created a performance/video adaptation of “The Shell of Sense (2006),” a 1908 short ghost story written by Olivia Howard Dunbar. The adaptation used video as the “other world” a ghost achingly watches her husband and sister fall in love from.

Brian is also currently in the Termite TV Collective, a Philadelphia and Buffalo based video collective focusing on making thirty minute television episodes centered around a central topic. Milbrand has created a variety of videos for the collective, including “Colors of Terror (2004),” a structural film about how terrifying colors can be in a post 9/11 world for the Terror Show, and “Earl Butz (2009)” with Dorothea Braemer, featuring found footage films of farms in the 70’s that were effected by leaving the film in the food visually represented on the film, while a voiceover details the destruction of the American farm by the bigger is better mentality of the Secretary of Agriculture, Earl Butz.

Milbrand also works with Nimbus Dance, a dance collective based in Buffalo, NY and led by dancer Beth Elkins and architect Brad Wales. Utilizing their three channel synchronized projection system, Brian has collaboratively created videos with them since their first show, “Story of a Girl (2006).” From that first show, Milbrand has collaborated with them on four other shows including “The Cell Phone Show (2007),” a kinetic, over-stimulated look at where convenience and consumerism have taken our culture. The synchronized backdrop includes montages of found footage phone usage, hand painted film, a Maya Deren inspired dance film, game show title cards and footage of the Iraq War, providing a distraction from the dancers, live musicians, text messaging and the counting of deaths in the Iraq War, all happening simultaneously.

Milbrand also designs custom interactive programs, including a program utilized in his work with the Reactionary Ensemble. The ensemble is a group of improvisational musicians and video artists using a program scripted by Brian in Max/MSP. The program allows the musicians to control elements of various video samples based upon an analysis of the pitch and volume of each instrument. The performances are improvisational and ebb and flow in a continuous stream of images and sound that range from the abrasive and jarring to the abstract and dreamy. Milbrand directed a collaboration between nimbus dance and Reactionary Ensemble, “radio/ACTIVE (2010),” where the dancers also utilized wiimotes and motion tracking to control the visuals and sounds of the videos. The show focused on images of toxic waste, detailing the destruction of the environment in the neighborhoods around Niagara Falls.

Milbrand also works with a variety of theater groups including Torn Space Theater, Irish Classical Theater, Theater of Youth and Subversive Theater. Milbrand design custom applications to run media for the live events. Milbrand’s show with Torn Space “Trace (2010)” utilized 6 synchronized projections in a white set to create constantly shifting texture, adding to the unease of the characters trapped in the space.

Along with working in these collective environments, Milbrand also has a variety of solo works, including abstract films and videos like “Feedback Oscillations (2005)” and “From Nothing to Nothing (2006).”“Untitled (2005),” is an abstract 16mm hand processed film in which the film is run through three projectors simultaneously, with a different colored filter in front of each projector. The projections are superimposed over each other, and the film is chance operations of basic geometric forms that chaotically combine with the organic shapes of hand processing.

Brian’s films and videos have screened nationally at the Museum of Modern Art, Scope New York Art Fair, PS122, Richmond Moving Image Co-op, Artists Television Access, US Super-8 Film and Digital Video Festival, Athens International Film and Video Festival, Scribe Video Center, Philadelphia Film Festival, Black Maria Film Festival, Garfield Artworks, Cinema Borealis, Bug Jar, Video Mundi, Cayuga College, Detroit Film Center and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, Squeaky Wheel, Burchfield Penney Art Center, Carnegie Art Center, Soundlab and Big Orbit Gallery.

Milbrand has received grants from NYSCA’s Individual Artists Program, Tonawanda’s Council on the Arts and Medaille College’s Faculty Development Grant. Brian has had residencies at Squeaky Wheel and the Experimental Television Center. Milbrand has won Best Video/Film Artist from Artvoice in 2008, 2009 and 2010, as well as the Most Provocative Experimental Artist in any Artform award from Buffalo Spree in 2009.

In addition to pursuing an artistic career, Milbrand also works as the Technical Director of the Buffalo State College Communication Department.