Zachary Horton is a media, literary, and environmental scholar, as well as a filmmaker, photographer, and camera designer. He is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh. He grew up in rural Northern California, and still feels the irresistible pull of the wilderness, wherever it may be.
Zach received his PhD from UC Santa Barbara in September 2015. His academic research primarily focuses on the relationship between scale, ecology, and technological mediation. He worked for five years as a Fellow and researcher at the national Center For Nanotechnology in Society, where he focused on innovation and business culture in the domain of emerging technology. He directs a number of ongoing projects (details on the Projects page). He is working on a book titled Mediating Scale: From the Cosmic Zoom to Trans-Scalar Ecology.
He has an MFA in Film Directing from the American Film Institute Conservatory, studied Philosophy and Creative Writing at Oxford University, and earned his BA in both Media Arts and Philosophy at the University of California, San Diego. He was the 2002 recipient of the national Cary Grant Film Award for his short film work. In 2009, after four years of work, he completed his “Disaster Trilogy,” three feature-length films that examine middle-class American culture during the first years of the new millennium. From 2010 to 2014 he directed Swerve, a ten-chapter, serialized science fiction epic that explores the nature of embodiment, virtuality, contamination and/of the natural, nanotechnology, and posthuman identity. The film, which runs over three and a half hours, was a collaboration between professional filmmakers and actors, graduate students, undergraduate students, and faculty at UCSB. More information about his past film projects can be found on the Filmmaking page of this site.
In 2016 Zach launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to produce the world’s first fully open, universal camera system for still photography. The result, still under development, is the Mercury.
Zach is committed to conceiving and building a better world than the one we have inherited from European humanism, global capitalism, and American cultural hegemony. “Convergence” is his informal label for this project of heterogeneous, multi-scalar, creative intervention in the given.