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About Margaret

I am a curator and filmmaker from Baltimore, Maryland. My work incorporates language, sound and imagery to create installations, films and live 16mm projections.  I am interested in the visceral nature of experience and the potentials of storytelling through the use of 16mm projection and sound.  I am the recipient of a 2016 Rubys Artist Project Grants in media and performing arts, a recipient of The Maryland State Arts Council 2016 Individual Artist Awards... more

One Document for Hope

One Document for Hope
2015 | 16mm to digital | B/W | sound | 8m

The death of Freddie Gray lead Baltimore to an open discussion and protest against police violence, inequality and poverty in Baltimore. The week after Gray's death was a week of rolling emotions, anger, sadness, love, hope, fear, violence and conversation. This short 16mm film was all shot on a hand cranked Bolex camera, on foot. The piece documents precious moments of gathering, celebration and protest in Baltimore from April 28 – May 3, 2015. The soundtrack to this film is a recording of the sterile and procedural narrative of the Baltimore City Police Scanner recorded on Monday April 27, the evening of the uprising.
Documentation: Margaret Rorison
Thanks to Karl Ekdahl for providing the BCP scanner recordings.
Baltimore, Maryland 2015

This film has been exhibited in various festivals both nationally and internationally. It was also included in Abigail DeVille's collaborative project with the Contemporary Museum, "Only When It's Dark Enough Can You See the Stars" at The Peale Museum from April - June 2016

Sight Unseen Workshop & Screening Series

Sight Unseen is a roaming experimental film and workshop series which was initially funded by the MICA Launch Artist in Baltimore Award upon my graduation at MICA in the spring of 2012. Since it's inception, the series has worked with over 120 artists, curated 30 programs and has worked with many venues and institutions including, The Goethe Institute, The Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland Institute College of Art, Johns Hopkins University, The Pittsburgh Filmmakers and The High Zero Foundation.

Sight Unseen organizes a workshop series which is also funded by the MICA Launch Artists in Baltimore Award. Sight Unseen invites chemists, filmmakers and educators to Baltimore to teach workshops on various photochemical processes in collaboration with other community spaces throughout the city. Sight Unseen has invited The Process Reversal Collective, Australian Filmmakers, Richard Tuohy and Dianna Barrie and Alex Mackenzie to conduct workshops and present their works to the Baltimore community.

In 2014, Process Reversal held a two day hand made emulsion workshop at Current Space Gallery and community darkroom. Richard Tuohy and Dianna Barrie from Nano Lab in Australia presented their handmade 16mm films at The Red Room and held a workshop at Full Circle Darkroom on their alternative film processing technique, CHROMAFLEX. And in the Spring of 2016, Vancouver based artist, Alex Mackenzie came to Baltimore to present his live film performances at The Red Room and teach a workshop on expanded cinema at Psychic Readings, a performance and studio space in Baltimore.


PULL/DRIFT is a project that evolved into many parts.

In 2013, Clarissa Stowell Gregory and Joshua Wade Smith collaborated on dance & sculpture for a performance involving: water, woods and raft. Clarissa & Joshua created the site-specific performance PULL / DRIFT on September 8th at Patapsco Valley State Park, Daniels Area.

For six months, Baltimore photographers/filmmakers Liz Donadio, Carr Kizzier, and Margaret Rorison documented the evolution and execution of this site-specific performance, which finalized in a gallery exhibition, Pull / Drift: In the Slipstream at Gallery CA from December 6 2013 - January 10, 2014.

The documentation that I captured from the dance performance became a 16mm film with a live sound accompaniment by sound artist, Josh Millrod. This piece premiered at Mono No Aware Festival of Expanded Cinema in December of 2013. It has been made into a video and has screened at various festival and venues since.

Throughout my documentation process of Pull/Drift, I focused on the flow of the human form and its relationship to its surrounding environments. I was interested in discovering a dialogue between limbs and hips, the curves of the land, the mechanics of flesh, the rhythmic channeling through water, grass and earth. I was captivated by how the development of motion sculptured a new sense of time and established a magical sense of ritualistic bliss.
-Margaret Rorison

Director & Choreographer – Clarissa Stowell Gregory
Sculptor – Joshua Wade Smith
Additional Choreography– Jenny Berkowitz, Lily Susskind, and input from the dancers
Cinematography – Liz Donadio, Carr Kizzier, Margaret Rorison
Dancers – Jenny Berkowitz, Sarah Fask, Danielle Fistner, Hannah Friedland, Clarissa Gregory, Corey Hennessey, Amy Reid, Erin Reid, Christine Stiver, Lily Susskind, Rebecca Tischman
Costume Designer – Stephanie Santos
Music – Rod Hamilton and Tiffany Seal
Post-Production Video Editor for 5minute promo video – Maggie Schneider
Flag Designer & Lead Guide – Graham Coreil-Allen
Flag Guides – Mary Anne Arntzen, Rachel Boss


2014 | 16mm | 3m | sound

This film was shot on one roll of film, triple exposed and shot with a 16mm hand cranked Bolex camera, no edits were made and the short film was composed as I shot. The footage documents the magical wind turbines off the coast of Amager, Copenhagen.

I made a black and white inter-negative from a color work print, then made a positive print from the negative, all of which were processed by hand.

Sound by Mario de Vega

Winner of ORWO Award for Best Cinematography, 53rd Ann Arbor Film Festival, 2015


2013 | 16mm | 3m | sound

The film is shot on one 100' roll of 16mm color film, all of which was composed and shot in-camera. The film is made of up single frames taken during extensive walks throughout the layered historical landscape of Berlin, Germany in April 2013.

The title, DER SPAZIERGANG (The Walk) comes from a story by German-Swiss writer, Robert Walser.


2014 | 16mm | 7m | sound

“…in complete consciousness I understood what for me walking travel and cinema had in common. Sometimes I preferred walking, that is to say, talk
ing with my legs over speaking, which is to say, walking with my mouth- but basically, it’s the same thing”
-Serge Daney

SCANSION is a short 16mm film composed of extensive walks through various Baltimore landscapes. The film has been hand edited like a poem, where cuts function like line breaks, working to establish inherent rhythm and meter.

This documentation is an installation of my short film, running on a continuous loop with an accompanying surround sound speaker installation. The soundtrack has been compiled of field recordings taken on my walks through Baltimore City. Additional sound by C. Spencer Yeh and Lea Bertucci, voice by Kelly Laughlin.

Live Projections

In addition to making short films for the cinematic space and gallery, I am interested in film as a live form of storytelling as well as the various ways in which 16mm film projection can create a visceral experience for viewers. I have projected my films on bills with musicians, collaborated with sound artists to create live performances and used my projector as an instrument exploring ways it can work and improvise with sound, movement and performance.

  • Live performance with Audrey Chen (cello) & Flandrew Fleisenberg (percussion)

    Fire Museum presents Audrey Chen, Margaret Rorison and Flandrew Fleisenberg Philadelphia, PA
  • Live performance documentation

    Fire Museum presents Audrey Chen, Margaret Rorison and Flandrew Fleisenberg November 15, 2014 Philadelphia, PA
  • Mono No Aware VI

    Live performance at Mono No Aware's annual festival of expanded cinema and performance. Light Space Studios Brooklyn, NY 2012
  • Futures Transcended, UMD

    Live projection performance with sound artist, J. Graf. University of Maryland, College Park Stamp Student Gallery. July 2012
  • 2012 High Zero Festival

    Solo Projection Performance 14th Annual High Zero Festival The Theatre Project Baltimore, MD September 2012
  • The Bank

    Baltimore, MD July 2013
  • 5th Dimension

    Baltimore, MD July 2013
  • Mono Aware VII

    Setting up PULL/DRIFT Mono No Aware VII Light Space Studios Brooklyn, NY 2013

    Multimedia performance curated by Bradley Eros. John Cage and Lejaren Hiller's 1969 multimedia Gesamtkunstwerk HPSCHD, presented by Nick Hallett for Darmstadt Essential Repertoire on May 3 & 4, 2013 at Eyebeam Art + Technology Center, produced by ISSUE Project Room in collaboration with Electronic Music Foundation, and NYU-Poly. Eyebeam, NYC May 2013

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Margaret's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.