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b. 1946, New York City

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Robert Bornn  

Filmmaker and Multimedia Artist

Robert Bornn is a filmmaker and multimedia artist. For more than four decades he has created, exhibited, and marketed a wide variety of media, including films and images beginning in 1968 when his first lyrical film, Mandarin Orange Matrix was screened at the historic Filmmakers Cinematheque, in New York City.  He is also a professional still photographer and was under contract with The Image Bank in its early days.  His subject matter ranges from nature and abstracts to portraiture, dance, and glamour.  He has vividly articulated rural and urban locales as well as special effects from New York City, Nova Scotia, the Adirondack Mountains, Vermont, Coastal Maine, Boston, Northern California, and Vashon Island in Washington. He creates custom photograph and video portfolios for professional and personal use.

In 2004 Robert released his movie, Ocean's Edge - Spirit's Journey (on DVD) celebrating the lyrical, spiritual, and sensuous sides of nature on the Northern California coast.  Ocean's Edge is the first in his Ebb and Flow trilogy film series.  In 2005 he created his next movie, Here and Now: Vashon-Maury Island (on DVD) an alternative, romantic view of nature in a narrative-free and nonviolent style.  In 2008 Robert released the final movie in his film trilogy, Bird Dreams. Each film in the Ebb and Flow trilogy offers an evocative perspective on nature.

Robert has also been a musician for more than 40 years and for more than 12 years was the artistic and founding director of DIAJ (Drummers in a Jam), a performing and recording group which included musicians from the mid-peninsula and wider San Francisco Bay Area (CD and samples available). 

Robert currently performs with SoundMoments Duo in the Puget Sound area. 



Filmmakers Cinematheque, New York City, 1968.  Created and screened film short, Mandarin Orange Matrix.

Museum of Contemporary Crafts, New York City, 1969.  Created an interactive installation in the Contemplation Environments exhibition.  It was a free-form, tensioned fabric and acrylic environment in which people were totally “immersed.”  The guide and visitors' breathing, heart beats, and galvanic skin response controlled all sound and lighting.

Island Gallery, Camden Maine, 1977. Created a harborside gallery to market his photographic works and granite sculpture. 

The Image Bank, New York City, 1978.  Provided glamour and nature images to this international stock agency. Robert was one of The Image Bank's early photographers. 

Exploratorium, San Francisco, 1980.  Built and exhibited Biosis (biosignal imaging system) installation.  It was both an artistic and educational expression using glass, acrylic, and fiberoptic lighting emulating multi-channel biofeedback.  This was for use in the "special needs" and "abled" communities.  Biosis derived from his professional work in the field of psychophysiology.

Joegh Bullock Gallery, San Francisco, 1983.  Exhibited selections from his East Coast photographic collection of glamour, nature, and abstract images. 

Private and Proprietary Commercial Design and Development, 1983 - 2004.  Created computer-based psychophysiological and medical instrumentation for a wide range of health needs.

Mendocino Cinema, 2004, the weekend of July 4th.  Screened Ocean's Edge - Spirit's Journey.

Heron's Nest, 2004Ocean's Edge-Spirit's Journey screened throughout the evening on Vashon Island's "First Friday" gallery tour event. 

The Vashon Theater, 2004. Ocean's Edge-Spirit's Journey opened an evening of films at Vashon Theater on Friday of  Thanksgiving weekend. 

Film Expo 2005, Vashon, WA. Screened Ocean's Edge-Spirit's Journey at this juried evening of films at Vashon Theater. 

The Vashon Theater, 2006. Here and Now: Vashon-Maury Island opened an evening of films.

Local Expo 2006, Vashon, WA.  Screened Here and Now: Vashon-Maury Island at this juried evening of films at Vashon Theater. 


Burgess Theater, Menlo Park, CA, 1997.  In 1997 he created and performed in "Sweet California," an African-inspired performance of original and traditional music and dance, including his original ballet, "California Suite" at Burgess Theater in Menlo Park, California. Robert has been creating original improvisational music for more than four decades and had earlier founded DIAJ for Bay Area drum circles and dancers in the early '90s. 

Haven Media Studio, Menlo Park, CA, 1998.  Produced Pangaea: Old World, New Visions, an album by DIAJ (Drummers in a Jam) (on CD).  Pangaea features Robert Bornn, Laura Worth, and Ma Boukaka, the Congolese musician, entertainer, and teacher with other San Francisco Bay Area musicians.  The Pangaea album contains original, African-Inspired, California-Grown world music. The album was released in 1998.  Robert was the founding and artistic director of DIAJ (Drummers in a Jam) performing and recording group. 

Hidden Villa, Los Altos, CA, 2001, Independence Day.  Robert created and performed in "The World Is You," an original, African-inspired music and dance performance to celebrate World Human Rights. 

SeaDrift Media Studio, Caspar, CA, 2004. Created the movie, Ocean's Edge - Spirit's Journey, a nonviolent nature story from the Northern California coast.  It celebrates the lyrical, spiritual, and sensuous sides of nature.  Evocative African-inspired music: six original instrumental ballads by Robert Bornn (on xylimba and standing drum) and Laura Worth (on alto recorder). The music track for Ocean's Edge was recorded at Haven Media Studio.  Video and sound were edited at the Seadrift Media Studio in Caspar, California. The movie was released in 2004.

Lights of the Sound at Blue Heron Gallery, 2004.  After moving to Vashon Island, Robert and Laura collaborated with local artists to create a celebration of positive dance and music.  This evening of community included an immersive light and sound installation by Robert, his film and music, dance, performance art, Vashon Island's Circle of Sound and music by Laura and him as SoundMoments Duo.  Screened Ocean's Edge-Spirit's Journey.

SeaDrift Media Studio, Vashon Island, WA, 2005.  Here and Now: Vashon-Maury Island is the second movie in a series of nonviolent nature art movies.  This is an alternative, romantic view of nature in an artistic, narrative-free, and nonviolent style.  Filmed throughout 2005, the film's enchanted naturalism touches each season on Vashon-Maury Island in Washington.  Evocative natural waterscapes and landscapes on Quartermaster Harbor are set to a medley from the Discovery Suite, Robert's improvisational piano works.

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Copyright © 2004-2007 by Robert Bornn and Laura Worth. All rights reserved.
Images by Robert Bornn.

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