Archer"s first success was with his 2003 student produced short film, bobbycrush, about a young boy"s unrequited love for his best friend. After being work-shopped at the 2005 Sundance Screenwriter"s Laboratory, Archer"s first feature film, Wild Tigers I Have Known, premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and went on to be distributed theatrically in 2007 by International Finance Corporation Films. Gus Van Sant and Scott Rudin were executive producers on the project
Archer"s second feature film, Shit Year, premiered at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, as part of their Directors" Fortnight program
The black and white film follows actress Colleen West (Ellen Barkin), as she is forced to reexamine her career, her psychological well being and a recent, failed romantic relationship. The film was released theatrically in the fall of 2011 and on home video in the fall of 2012.
Between features, Archer has also directed numerous short films and music videos, including collaborations with Current 93, Emily Jane White, Imperial Teen, Joan Jett, Julianna Barwick, Lydia Lunch, Mick Turner, Peaking Lights, Sarabeth Tucek, Six Organs of Admittance, Xiu Xiu and Zero 7. Archer"s photographs have appeared in several publications, including Nylon, Tokion and Rolling Stone, among others
In 2012, Archer was awarded a Creative Capital grant to develop a yet-to-be-released (as of 2016) feature-length documentary, tentatively entitled Practical Life.