History of Art and Architecture

Benjamin Ogrodnik



As a PhD Candidate with joint entry in History of Art and Film Studies, Ben's research lies at the intersection of film and the visual arts. Ben’s dissertation examines the individuals and institutions that transformed Pittsburgh into a global center of avant-garde art and filmmaking in the 1970s and 1980s. He is especially interested in the remarkable flowering of media art centers and museum film programs across the world during those decades. He has written on Andy Warhol, Errol Morris, Alfonso Cuarón, Michael Haneke, and Harun Farocki. 

Areas of Expertise

  • Avant-Garde and Experimental Cinema
  • Late Modern and Contemporary Art
  • Critical Theory
  • Digital Humanities Methods
  • Curatorial Studies

Education Details

M.A., English/Film Studies, The Ohio State University, 2011

B.A., English/Media Studies, Pennsylvania State University, 2009

Selected Publications

Ogrodnik, Benjamin. “Focalization Realism and Narrative Asymmetry in Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men.” Senses of Cinema Vol. 71. 2014. Web.

Ogrodnik, Benjamin. “Today’s Cutting Edge is Tomorrow’s Obsolete: An Interview with Cory Arcangel and Tina Kukielski.” Contemporaneity: Historical Presence in Visual Culture Vol. 3 (2014): 184-192.

Ogrodnik, Benjamin. Rev. of Film Curatorship: Archives, Museums, and the Digital Marketplace, ed. Paolo Cherchi Usai. University of Pittsburgh Film Studies: Special Affects. 2013. Web.

Ogrodnik, Benjamin. “Deep Cuts.” Film International 7.1 (2009): 56-59. 

Selected Awards

Andrew Mellon Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, 2016-2017 

Elizabeth Baranger Excellence in Teaching Award - Honorable Mention, 2016

1st Prize, Graduate Film Studies Writing Award, University of Pittsburgh, 2014

Austrian Committee Room Grant, University of Pittsburgh, 2014

K. Leroy Irvis Fellow, University of Pittsburgh, 2012-2013

Selected Conferences

“The National Preview Network: Regional Development and New Circuits of Independent Film and Video in the US, 1975-1979.” Circuits of Cinema: Histories of Movie & Media Distribution Conference. Toronto, Ontario. June 2017.

“Unreproducible: Liveness, Ruins, and Abstraction in Roger Jacoby’s Pittsburgh Films, 1974-1981.” The Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference. Chicago, Illinois. March 2017.

“Film-as-Art: New Circuits of Avant-Garde Film Exhibition and the Rise of the Museum-based Media Center in the 1970s.” Film & History Conference. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. October 2016.

“Repurposing Industrial Ruins and Aesthetic Obsolescence in Peggy Ahwesh’s Pittsburgh Trilogy (1983). The Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference. Atlanta, Georgia. March 2016. 

“A Vacuum of Directorial Control: The Warhol-Morrissey Antagonism and Experimental Modes of Film Practice in San Diego Surf (1968).” Southeastern College Art Conference. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. October 2015.

“Sensory Anthropology and the Media of War in Harun Farocki’s Serious Games (2009).” Northeastern Modern Languages Association Conference. Toronto, Ontario. May 2015.