John Sanborn

Portrait of John Sanborn
Year of birth, place
1954, Huntington, New York, United States
Role at the ZKM
in the collection

John Sanborn is a key member of the second wave of American video artist, whose career spans the early days of experimental video art in the 1970s to the digital media art of today.

John Sanborn's work has been exhibited on television (MTV, PBS, Comedy Central), as video installations (ZKM, Videoformes, Jeu de Paume, Whitney Museum, The Kitchen), video games (Electronic Arts, iD), Internet experiences (MSN, Yahoo), live performance (The Lab, MoMA, NY) and music/videos (together with Rick James, Van Halen, Phillip Glass, Nile Rodgers, Grace Jones, King Crimson, Tangerine Dream).

Recent projects include live video/theater performances of God in 3 Persons, a collaboration with The Residents, at Museum of Modern Art, NY (2020); commissions from the National Museum of Qatar and Jeu de Paume, Paris (both 2019); and the premiere of »The Friend«, starring John Cameron Mitchell, at the Digital Arts Festival Videoformes, in Clermont-Ferrand, France (2021).

John Sanborn holds an honorary Master of Cinema degree from ESEC, in Paris, and was honored as a »Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres« by the Minister of Culture for Republic of France. Sanborn’s YouTube channel has over 21 million views and over 110,000 subscribers. In 2017, the Mill Valley Film Festival honored him with its lifetime achievement award.

John Sanborn lives and works in Berkeley, California, USA.