17 April 2015

Come watch scary movies with me this summer.

Current exhibition: Gaps + Overlaps, UCBA Gallery


I currently have two video works on exhibition in the UCBA Gallery. They are both music video collaborations with singer/songer, friend, and colleague, Mike Roos.


Exhibit Dates

March 27, 2015 - May 1, 2015

Gallery Hours

Mon - Sat  10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

"Ship of Fools" by Mike Roos. Video design and editing by Matt Bennett and Mike Roos.

"Rich Man (Venus and Mars)" by Mike Roos.
Video design and editing by Matt Bennett and Mike Roos.

View the exhibition catalog at:

04 May 2014

Hair Club for Men

Finally remembered to post the fifth and final musical d├ętournement in my series on gender construction and socialization through the media.

Please support The Presets and Van She by purchasing this track through iTunes:

This is my fifth musical d├ętournement involving gender and the media, and the final in this series. This one is an investigation of the ties between hair and male virility, from the classical and biblical periods to today. It is a critique of consumer culture's attempts to play upon male insecurities and sell imagined masculinity.

The images and sounds in this video are the properties of the copyright holders. I mean in no way to infringe on their rights. The content is used solely for the purposes of criticism.

03 May 2014

because they have always already occurred

the present is always already a state of anticipation.

"so, how is it that things happen? aren't we always just waiting for the--"

because they have always already occurred.


st. augustine,

the present is a cavitation bubble.
it makes real and perceptible, anticipation,
in the manner that water moves out of the way ahead of something Other moving through its space.



22 April 2014


It's not a film parody. It's a parody of a reading of film... the dominant, feminist psychoanalytical reading of horror films, steeped in good old fashioned Freudian castration anxiety. It's the Sarlacc pit from whence issues the laugh of Cixous. Zero point, where the pleasure principle meets the death drive.

I learned about this film from a former student, Mark Borison, who recognized the discussion we were having in my Horror Film course about vagina dentatae.

18 July 2013

The Conjuring sure to possess audiences

Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) uses a music box to make one of The Conjuring's many spirits materialize.

Director James Wan, following the international box office success of 2011’s supremely creepy Insidious, returns with the well-constructed haunted house film, The Conjuring. While Wan could have built a successful horror career around the “gore-porn” elements of his earlier Saw (2004), he has instead consistently frightened audiences with suspenseful and unsettling situations. The Conjuring adds another level of terror to Wan’s proven directorial skills with a script based on events from the lives and case files of real-life demonologist couple, Ed and Lorraine Warren.

The Warrens are perhaps best known for their investigation of the supernatural events recounted in the book and film versions of The Amityville Horror, and The Conjuring makes several overt nods to the classic 1979 film version of the incident. Rather than the overt references, though, it is the faithful recreation of the same small-town, New England culture of the early 1970s in The Conjuring that most reflects Amityville. Wan treats the setting with just enough camp to bring grins to reminiscent older audience members, but not so much that the film lapses into parody or loses its terrifying momentum. The result is a smart, scary, and self-aware movie that hits a breathless pace midway in and does not let up until the final credits roll.

The Conjuring is not without its missteps, including a couple of comedic lines of dialogue that, rather than complement the horror, seem out of place. Thankfully, none of those jokes are put in the mouth of Ron Livingston, who, despite stints in several dramatic television series, always carries with him the comedic spectre of Office Space. His understated performance and shaggy-haired look in this film, though, make him nearly unrecognizable and keep his Roger subdued. Of the four principle actors, however, he is the least noteworthy.

Instead, it is Lili Taylor’s performance as his wife, Carolyn, that ultimately shines. For much of the film she, too, is subdued, with most of the early action involving the five young daughters of the family. At the climactic moment of the film, however, her shift in demeanor is captivating. The character of a woman sharing a supernatural bond with demonic, domestic forces is a comfortable role for Taylor, having starred in the 1999 remake of the haunted house classic, The Haunting.

Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, who quite capably embody the Warrens, are no strangers to horror fans, either. Wilson also stars in the aforementioned Insidious and Farmiga is fresh off a successful stint as Norman Bates’ mother, Norma, in A&E’s discomfiting series, Bates Motel. The actors move convincingly and seamlessly between scenes in which they are required to perform as academics, as loving parents, and as stalwart combatants against the forces of hell.

If classic drive-in horror is your milieu, do yourself a favor and see The Conjuring. If you prefer the 2005 remake of The Amityville Horror to the original, hold out for another Saw installment.