Alla Gadassik is a media scholar, curator, and lifelong cinephile, defining “cinema” broadly. Her research and writing investigates the history and philosophy of different filmmaking methods. Alla’s main area of expertise is animation, covering a wide range of historical, geographic, and production contexts. Additionally, she also researches and writes about histories of cinematography and film editing, much of which is linked on her publication page. Alla currently lives, works, and commits to decolonial futures on the unceded territory of Coast Salish people: Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), and Stó:lō (Stolo). This area is more widely known as Vancouver, Canada. She is an Associate Professor of Media History and Theory at Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECUAD), where she founded the Animate Materials Workshop.
In the image above you can see Alla’s contribution to the 2020 Faculty Show at Emily Carr University, titled The Work of the Work. In one part of this exhibition, the university’s academic faculty — whose work is often more solitary and institutionally invisible relative to their professional artist peers– were invited to perform their work on public display. Alla’s contribution was a workstation titled “The Academic Start-Up,” where she publicly worked on a grant application. A month after this photo was taken, the university would be shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Seven months after that, Alla received the grant.
Below you can see documentation of her parallel pursuits beyond academic and professional spheres, which include raising a person, engaging with contemporary moving-image art, and reflecting on the transformative potential of experimental media.