biography
David Scott Kessler is a filmmaker and video artist with a background in painting, sculpture and illustration.

Documentary is at the core of much of Kessler’s work as a form to divert from and experiment with. Through use of cinematically composed documentary footage, advanced digital graphics and written narrative, David creates installations and performances that interpret the perceived identities of specified places. Previous explorations include the New Jersey Pine Barrens, under the Philadelphia el tracks and Skagastrond, a small town in Iceland.

A common thread is the idea of place as storyteller; the notion that a place, either geologically or through unconscious means, has the innate ability to communicate it’s own identity. The objective in documenting these places is to develop a visual language to interpret this identity, shifting the focus from factual information to the tone and character that a place exhibits.

This character is most acutely registered by the naive explorer. It's a first impression infused with preconceived ideas, an initial wonder, not forgotten, but often lost to familiarity. Brief encounters and otherwise mundane moments shift to sometimes epic and mythological proportions.

His first feature length documentary about artist, Zoe Strauss was produced by the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. He has gone on to produce and direct several non-traditional documentaries, narrative films, installations and music videos including the 30 part video series “Shadow World” set under the Philadelphia el tracks. He founded Studioscopic, a company that is making videos for non-profit and arts organizations and recently worked with artist and composer, Michael Nyman at Miami’s Art Basel. Kessler has presented work at Summerhall in Edinborough, Scotland and has designed projects for the creative group Klip Collective including projections for the facade of the National Museum of American Jewish History at it’s inaugural event. Kessler’s most recent video installation, shot at NES, an artist residency in Iceland premiered in the international exhibition, Due North at Crane Arts in Philadelphia. He was nominated for the PEW Arts and Heritage fellowship in 2012.