Lima (Peru), 1941
She trained as a painter and sculptor, studying at artists’ studios and art schools in Lima and later on in London, where she continued her artistic activities while working as a film editor in the cinema industry, from 1964 to 1972.
Since 1972 Lowder has lived and worked in Avignon, where she began making films. She tends to shoot in locations near her home, and her films resemble the radical gardening she is so interested in: they involve the filming of natural processes, often glimpsed in rural areas in Provence, using an ecological film aesthetic, as Scott McDonald described it, in which the politics of her life and of her cinema are indistinguishable.
She shoots all her films with a 16mm Bolex, which enables her to film frame by frame but not sequentially, emulsifying some of the skipped frames and leaving others blank, and then using the same camera to rewind and film the frames she had previously not used. Using this method, she has created a new viewing experience, in which the two different situations are viewed simultaneously.
On the invitation of Jean Rouch and his department at the Université Paris X, she submitted part of her research in a thesis titled Le film expérimental en tant qu’instrument de recherche visuelle (Experimental film, a tool of visual research, 1987). Between 1994 and 2005 she worked as an associate professor at the Pantheon-Sorbonne University in Paris, where she gave classes in film practice, theory, history and aesthetics.
Another feature of her career is her work in programming films that are not often screened. She is the co-founder of Archives du film expérimental d’Avignon (AFEA, 1981), which was created with the aim of acquiring 16mm films and bibliographic documents, and has published several books (La part du visuel, films expérimentaux canadiens/The Visual Aspect, Canadian experimental films, AFEA, 1991), L’image en mouvement (AFEA, 2002), Images/discours (AFEA, 2006) all of which she published in order to bring these works into the public eye.