Tom Hansell is a filmmaker, author and artist who creates work that explores relationships between energy, community, and nature.

HansellHeadshot2018.JPG His documentaries have screened at the Museum of Modern Art and has been included in the Southern Circuit tour of independent filmmakers.  Hansell’s experimental films have screened at the Ann Arbor Film Festival and Big Ears. Hansell began his career at the Appalshop media arts center in Kentucky and currently teaches at Appalachian State University.

Artist statement:

I make films and sculpture that explore relationships between energy, community, and nature.  My work highlights hidden connections between local ecosystems and the human cultures who inhabit these places.

Recently, I have collaborated with a series of rural communities to create a multimedia project that explores human interactions with freshwater ecosystems from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Ohio River.  The local focus of this work provides insight into global connections between the petrochemical industry and plastic pollution.  My past work includes a series of documentary films and a book supporting local efforts to build environmental and economic justice in the Appalachian coalfields.  I have also created self-powered video installations that create their own electricity by pedal power and solar power.

Repurposed materials and analogue image making are increasingly important elements of my work.  I have been experimenting with ways to transform waste into visions that inspire others.  My goal is to create positive feedback loops between geographic place, human cultures, and natural systems. I hope that my projects can help build bridges that bring people together to celebrate common bonds, to discuss differences, and to shape sustainable cultures and communities.

– Tom Hansell 2023