- Juxtaposition, Intervention and Co-creation
In contemporary media culture, fragments of filmed history are constantly being reassembled into new films and videos to create new audio-visual constructions of historical memory. Building on traditions of found footage and compilation films, digital media has made this practice proliferate. As the status of the archive has been transformed from the closed institution to open access, so too have its aesthetics and politics. Archiveology is a critical method derived from Walter Benjamin’s cultural theory, which, I will argue, provides valuable tools for grasping the implications of the practice of re-mixing, recycling, and reconfiguring the image bank. At the same time, contemporary archival film prac-tices arguably make Benjamin’s legacy more legible.
In this conference we investigate the potential of visual media to convey and respond to existing as well as emerging social realities. We aim to contribute to an interdisciplinary field of research and practice that includes anthropology, philosophy and visual art. The visual media we wish to discuss range from photography and film to digital media, audio-visual installations and exhibitions.
Building on a tradition of critique in cultural anthropology, we pursue styles of knowing that reach beyond conventional text-based academic knowledge, using practice-led methods that develop their own forms of representation and criteria of validity and open new affinities to the world of art. We claim that concepts of critique are essential in this endeavour, providing the reflective grounding for our experiments and interventions in contexts and questions beyond their immediate sphere of impact and relevance.
We organize the workshop under three sub-headings that suggest key elements in these alternative styles of knowing: