NAFF tribute: Trevor Alan Taylor (1982-2016)

Posted by By at 30 October, at 11 : 01 AM Print


Trevor Alan Taylor, a former Art Theater employee and Champaign resident, passed away in June at age 34. We had marveled from afar at his wonderful and eclectic adventures since he left our college town roughly 10 years ago, and don’t blame him for seeking out like minds and hearts to work with in exploring that nebulous and hard-to-define category of art called “new media.” With fleeting exceptions like a biennial public performance by UI professor Deke Weaver and friends, we don’t seem to have a rooted nucleus of localized creators bent on taking what might normally be projected on a flat screen, set in front of a seated audience all facing the same direction, and bending expectations like an INCEPTION dream playing out in real time and space. Maybe, some day.

After a stop in Chicago and fateful connections made at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT, Trevor settled in New Orleans, LA, and set out to co-found a new media tribe, Cinema Reset, which certainly benefited from his hands-on involvement and energies. Rachel Lin Weaver, a curator and co-director of Cinema Reset as well as Assistant Professor of Creative Technologies in the School of Visual Arts at Virginia Tech, graciously sent us a few words to share about working closely with Trevor in their projects. Rachel writes:

“Trevor Alan Taylor was a visionary creative presence in the New Orleans community, just as he was in the other places he called home.

“In 2012, Trevor came up with the idea for Cinema Reset, the first arts organization in New Orleans solely dedicated to exploring new and experimental projects at the cutting edge of cinematic storytelling and technological innovation. He would go on to curate video art, sound art, experimental films, and immersive media installations. He also worked to help facilitate numerous free experimental media art workshops. Cinema Reset has grown and evolved since its early years, and we are proud to now be an official annual program of the New Orleans Film Festival.

“Trevor’s unexpected death this year was a terrible blow to so many. In addition to being a curator, filmmaker, and photographer, Trevor was an enthusiastic cyclist, a coffee master, a man who loved DIY technology, and even made his own cheese. He is sorely missed by his many friends and loved ones.

“Trevor’s influence will continue into the future. Cinema Reset continues to take its inspiration from Trevor’s founding dream, and the Cinema Reset team and the New Orleans Film Festival will continue to curate film and media works that are transforming cinema as we know it, challenging the ever-changing boundaries of technology and creativity.”

We thank Rachel for sharing her kind words with us. You can also read some additional thoughts offered earlier this month by your humble program director. The 2016 New Art Film Festival is lovingly dedicated to Trevor Alan Taylor, 1982-2016, RIP.

Let’s NAFF it like we really mean it,

Jason Pankoke
Program Director
New Art Film Festival 2016


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The New Art Film Festival is an annual festival showcasing local filmmakers from Champaign-Urbana, IL, and other downstate Illinois cities.

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