Liza Béar

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Liza Béar and Willoughby Sharp at Avalanche headquarters at 93 Grand Street, New York, c.1973. Background (L-R): Alfonia Tims, Barry Ledoux, Christopher Lethbridge. Photo: Cosmos. (Source).
Willoughby Sharp and Liza Béar, Buffalo, 1973. (Source).

Liza Béar (10 May 1942) is a writer, filmmaker, and media activist based in New York, was the co-founder of Avalanche (1970-1976), and a founding member of Colab. In 1979, after several years doing video docs and interactive telecommunications experiments with other artists, she co-founded Communications Update.

She was raised in both France and England and she studied Philosophy at the University of London. Béar began her career in magazines working in trade journalism on London's Fleet Street, but quickly transitioned into London's underground magazine subculture working as an editor and a translator. She moved to New York City in 1968 where she met Willoughby Sharp through a mutual artist friend. Soon thereafter they began working on the first issue of Avalanche. As co-editor, Béar took care of the magazine's editorial processes and oversaw most of its production operations. During the years of Avalanche 's production (1970-1976) Béar became an important figure in the alternative art scene of New York's SoHo neighborhood. [1]

Her films have been shown at the São Paulo Biennial, the Festival of the Other Avant-Garde, Austria, the Edinburgh Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, the Museum of Modern Art and many other international venues. Awards include a NEA Artist Fellowship (1983), Jerome Independent Filmmaker Fellowship (1984), and NYFA Creative Non-Fiction Fellowship (1990). Since 2003, she has made 250 short political and art films shown on the internet and other venues. Her film Earthglow was screened at the ICA, London, and the Kinomuzeum Festival, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, in spring 2013. (2013)