Copy of The Interior: Jonathan Rattner

Rattner MiniDoc Screenshot 2.jpg
Rattner MiniDoc Screenshot.jpg

The Interior: Analysis

Jonathan Rattner's short film "The Interior" studies daily life as a dog musher in the depths of Alaska. The film cuts back and forth between sweeping views of Alaska's beautiful scenery, and close up interior moments in the home of a dog musher. The viewer experiences an intimate relationship with Rattner's space, as sounds and imagery layer into a lyrical, poetic flow - it feels like falling asleep in the car, gazing out of the window, but then suddenly being awoken by the brakes. "The Interior" plays with the boundary between intimacy and vast space. It conveys a safe, calm, quiet state of viewing, only to propel the emotions suddenly forward with hyperrealistic, at times grotesque moments.

Rattner experiments with intuitive and meditative filmmaking processes. He believes that by using an "indirect hand" during filming, with the camera acting as a "third eye", a deeper and more meaningful place can be reached. By allowing each shot to guide itself, he creates a unique state of viewing for the observer.  Like ancient Romans seeking signs of fortune in the movements of birds, Rattner reads his landscapes for signs and meaning.

Various juxtaposed sounds add to The Interior's meditative experience.  Sounds of breath, clanking pans, and the murmur of conversation combine with odd perspectives to transport the viewer to the intimate depths of the Alaskan interior. 

Jonathan Rattner's The Interior exhibition & screening took place at  Seed Space /  September 2nd 2017.  For more information on Jonathan Rattner's films and Seed Space Gallery, visit and

By Claire Bloomfield


The Interior: Artist's Statement

January, the Alaskan Interior, 56 mushing dogs, 4 humans, 5 hours of sunlight. This observational work - shot on both 16mm and digital video - examines the interior worlds of its subjects and explores how to write with limited light. For more information or interest in screening the entire film please go to: or

Jonathan Rattner is a lens-based artist who primarily produces experimental nonfiction films and videos. His material usually consists of fragmentary images of the everyday, which are reassembled into unexpected configurations in an effort to draw attention to the forgotten, the ignored, the banal, and the unseen. In his work, Rattner seeks to offer an open and elastic aesthetic experience that reimagines our physical and temporal landscape. He invites viewers to interact with what they see and to create meaning by reflecting on their own experiences, ideas, and truths.

Rattner has exhibited work at the Anthology Film Archives, Walker Art Center, the University of Iowa Museum of Art, the World Social Forum in Brazil, the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, the European Media Arts Festival, Currents New Media Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, L’Alternativa Film Festival, as well as at other colleges, festivals, and galleries in the United States, Europe, and Australia.

Rattner holds MFA's in Film and Video Production and in Intermedia Art from the University of Iowa, and a BFA in Film and Television from Tisch School for the Arts at New York University. For five years he was the creative director of Iowa City Senior Center Television, a television station for and run by older adults. Rattner is currently an active member of the lens-based collective Wildland Urban Interface, and holds the position of Assistant Professor of Cinema & Media Arts and Art at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Claire Bloomfield