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This introductory studio course engages the genre of video essay. Situated at the intersection of video art and documentary film practices, video essay explores the interval between politics and aesthetics, fiction and non-fiction, in an attempt to create a personal language with which to describe the tension between social, political, and personal realities. Students gain hands-on video production experience with editing, cinematography, and sound design grounded in the editorial and rhetorical strategies of video essay which articulate a language of relationships: between sound and image, artist and subject, fact and feeling, memory and language. Self-referential and reflexive, video essay operates in a space of inquiry between poetry, philosophy, autobiography, politics, and cultural studies. The course examines how video essay moves across disciplines, reflecting ethical and aesthetic strategies developed within documentary film, journalism, auto-ethnography, auto-fiction, media theory, performance, and the history of video art itself, in pursuit of a renewed relationship to processes of observation, memory, and recognition. Assignments emphasize the creation and presentation of an original body of video work for critique, alongside research, writing, and discussion of theoretical texts and artworks, including the work of Chris Marker, Hito Steyerl, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Harun Farocki, Agnès Varda, among others.
Format: studio; hybrid format: a mix of in person and remote meetings with additional asynchronous lectures, technical lessons, and screenings to supplement our course work. We will aim to keep class meetings small, and depending on the class size we may break into smaller independent lab groups / discussion groups.
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
Quality of work produced, depth and quality of investigative process, participation in critique and discussion, class citizenship, attendance
$150 lab fee charged to term bill