‘Yanqui Walker and the Optical Revolution’ dir. Kathryn Ramey, USA 2009, 33’
  • Friday 30th and Saturday 31st March 2012
  • 9:30 am - 7:00 pm
  • Cinema Room 

International symposium organised by Caterina Pasqualino (CNRS), Arnd Schneider (University of Oslo) in collaboration with the musée du quai Branly and the Centre de Coopération Franco-Norvegienne en sciences humaines et sociales, Paris.

How can we broaden the fields of observation of reality? Contemporary
art and experimental film are possible ways in that they disturb our assumptions and allow the observer to distance themselves from the things they observe. Tools or processes used by visual artists and filmmakers - pen camera, looping, fast or slow movements, multiple screens, networking surveillance cameras - question our understanding of the world. These news visions encourage anthropologists to modify the forms that their stories take.

During the 1940s and 1950s, the artist and ethnographer, Maya Deren, researched  the practical and theoretical implications of the filmed image.
She suggested that it is not enough to record the world's appearances through film. The filmmakers must restore their double vision through multiple sensory experiences. Similarly, other artists and anthropologists argue that the optical perception of the world is not sufficient, as one has to consider how its formal qualities mingle with acoustic, haptic, olfactory, and gustatory sensations.

The representation of lived time constitutes another field of investigation.
Anthropologists try to find new ways of representing the complexity of the time spent doing fieldwork, whilst experimental artists, who struggle against the compression of narrative time, seek to establish new foundations that are even more sensitive to reality.

Anthropology, Art and experimental film question our perception. To see
is also to understand. This conference attempts to renew visual testing
protocols in order to amplify our understanding of the world.

download the symposium programme