Steve Anderson is a scholar-practitioner working at the intersections of media, history, technology and culture. He teaches classes in the production and theory of digital media in the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media.
His book Technologies of Vision: The War Between Data and Images (MIT Press, 2017) surveys the emergence of competing regimes of computational and photographic image making from the 1830s to the present, focusing on cultural implications related to space, visualization and surveillance. His previous book, Technologies of History: Visual Media and the Eccentricity of the Past (Dartmouth, 2011), investigated the emergence of experimental history across a range of visual media including film, TV and digital games.
In 2015, Anderson was awarded a Digital Innovation Fellowship by the American Council of Learned Societies to create Technologies of Cinema, a longform video essay and critical digital archive of technology as seen on American TV and film.
He is the founder/principal investigator of the public media archive and fair use advocacy network Critical Commons. Along with Tara McPherson, he is co-editor of the interdisciplinary electronic journal Vectors and co-principal investigator of the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture, developers of the open source electronic publishing platform Scalar.
His scholarly work has appeared in the journals Visible Language, InTransition, American Literature, GAME: The Italian Journal of Game Studies, The Journal of Media Literacy Education, Frames Cinema Journal, Profession, Pre/Text, The Moving Image, Release Print, The Independent, Filmmaker, Res Magazine, Intelligent Agent, Film Quarterly and Digital Humanities Quarterly, and is anthologized in the books Transmedia Frictions: The Digital, the Arts, and the Humanities; F Is for Phony: Fake Documentary and Truth’s Undoing; Television Histories: Shaping Collective Memory in the Media Age; Digital Youth, Innovation and the Unexpected; and New Media, Old Media: A History and Theory Reader.
Before coming to UCLA TFT, Anderson taught for 15 years in the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where he was the founding director of the practice-based Ph.D. program in Media Arts + Practice and a faculty member in the divisions of Interactive Media & Games, Media Arts + Practice and Critical Studies.
A former documentary film editor, Anderson worked on numerous productions for National Geographic, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, NHK and ABC. He also served for more than a decade as a board member of Los Angeles Filmforum and continues to co-curate with Holly Willis a screening series devoted to experimental digital media titled Blur + Sharpen.
His work has received funding from the American Council of Learned Societies, the NEH Office of Digital Humanities, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
As director of the Transient Media Lab, Anderson catalyzes experiments with a deliberately unstable array of media and technology positioned at the intersection of documentary, interactive and immersive media.
Anderson received a Ph.D. in film, literature and culture from USC and an M.F.A. in film and video from CalArts.