Emily Pelstring photo

Emily Pelstring

Assistant Professor

Film and Media


Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts

Emily Pelstring is full-time faculty in the Department of Film and Media, where her teaching areas include video, performance, sound, animation, experimental media, and music video studies.  Her courses are built around creative exploration and collaboration, and she aims to facilitate a laboratory or workshop environment for students.

Emily's primary mode of research is creative production. Her films, performances and installations have been shown internationally in galleries and festivals and have been supported by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Ontario Arts Council. She has also worked with numerous collaborators and clients as a music video director, and is a two-time nominee for the Prism Prize for Best Canadian Music Video (2012, 2020). Her specializations as an independent filmmaker are in experimental animation techniques for 16mm film and vintage analog video. Her gallery-based practice expands this moving-image experimentation into physical space using techniques such as holography, stereography, animated Pepper’s Ghost displays, and projection-mapped video. These sited object/installation pieces are meant to encourage reflection on the material contingency of the cinematic spectacle and the overlap of science, magic, and spirituality.

Emily also has a longstanding investment in reclaimative myth-making, collaboration, collectivity, speculative futurisms, and the use of camp aesthetics as strategies of resistance in feminist media art. These interests have led her to build bodies of video, installation, music and performance-oriented work with artists Jessica Mensch and Katherine Kline. Their current SSHRC-funded research project is Sistership TV, an episodic series for web which draws on feminist materialist theory and explores themes like the cyborg, telepresence, hysteria, witchcraft, and human-animal relationships. 

Emily is currently working with fellow Film and Media colleagues (Vena, de Szegheo Lang, Na, and Norton) as well as researchers across the university on an international symposium called The Witch Institute, which brings together scholars, artists, and practitioners to explore the meaning and impact of current media representations of the witch.

artist's portfolio: www.emilypelstring.com