Death to the real!
A workshop on documentary practice and radical thought
Amsterdam University of the Arts, Netherlands Film Academy, Master in Artistic Research In and Through Cinema, 7-9 November 2022
A workshop by Pablo Martínez-Zárate
The documentary mode is one the most potent platforms for the creation of discourses and perceptions at a global scale. In its multiple manifestations, from the use of social networks to document our everyday lives, passing through documentary series in streaming platforms, to manifestations of expanded cinema, journalism and contemporary art, documentary practice has opened its path as a necessary territory for the confirmation, questioning and renovation of our societal coexistence. This workshop shares theoretical insights, artistic methodologies and research strategies for the creation of narrative pieces that turn to documentary research and experimentation in various forms, with outcomes as diverse as fiction or non-fiction film, expanded cinema and video art, photography and contemporary art, as well as transmedia projects that inhabit different media.
Death to the real!, in its edition for the NFA – MA, is a three day workshop (4 hours per session, 12 hours total) that aims to reflect on artistic experimentation as a critical dispositive to investigate and intervene reality. The workshop is organized on the discussion of central themes and methodological insights that intertwine with more or less intensity depending on the group’s engagement and research interests. Parallel to the thematic discussions, an effort to connect with the participant’s projects and main research challenges will guide the discussions.
The participants will work on a freestyle research narrative map that will be done throughout the three days of the workshop. This critical cartography is conceived as a reflexive take on their own artistic research processes, their main themes, methodologies, challenges, references, among other elements. The final shape of this deliverable is entirely free in form, it could be a panel in the style of Waburg’s Atlas panels, a mind map, a collage, a word cloud, a sound diary of the three days, or any shape that the participants can imagine and manage with the resources available (especially considering the short time of the workshop).
- Introduction: The Case Against Reality
- Gaze, Media and Memory
- Radicality as Method
- Introduction to the Practical Critique of Communication as a theoretical and methodological framework: Poetics of Information, Documentary Art and Eccentric Pedagogy
- Workers Leaving the Factory, Harun Farocki.
- On a New Kind of Cinematic Thesaurus, Harun Farocki.
- Micro-inventory of radical methodologies:
- Montage as an intervention of reality
- The archive as a critical event
- Forensic Imagination and Critical Media Archaeology
- The camera-body and the body-camera
- Forensic Landscapes (webdoc), Anne Huffschmid and Pablo MZ.
- The Monopoly of Memory (film), Pablo MZ.
- The Body is an Archive. A Game for Ten Cameras. (Installation-360 Film), Pablo MZ. (after the intro, there is no text nor audio, so no subtitles are needed).
- Notes on the camera-body and the body-camera, Pablo MZ.
- Additional works by Pablo MZ:
- The Artist Studio as a Political Territory
- Ethics, Aesthetics and Research Narratives
- Peripheral Thinking, William Kentridge.
- Notes towards a Model Opera, More Sweetly Play the Dance, William Kentridge.
- In Free Fall: A Thought Experiment on Vertical Perspective, Hito Steyerl.
- On the documentary, Harun Farocki.
- The totalizing quest for meaning, Trinh Minh-ha
- Aesthetics of Hunger, Glauber Rocha.
- The Aesthetics of Hunger and The Aesthetics of Dreaming, Glauber Rocha.
- Texts , Colectivo Los Ingrávidos
- The cruel radiance of what is, Verena Paravel, Lucien Caisting-Taylor, Ben Rivers.
- Chroma. A Book of Colour, Derek Jarman.
- In defense of the amateur, Stan Brakhage.
- Creative Cutting, Maya Deren.
- Kino-eye Manifestos, Dziga Vertov.
- For a Social Narrative & Creative Agitation, Travis Wilkerson
- Notes on the camera-body and the body-camera, Pablo MZ
- Radical Interventions: Archaeology, Forensics and Montage, Pablo MZ (please do not share, this article is in Press for the Palgrave Handbook of Media Misinformation, to be Published November 2022).
- Emergent Narratives for Times of Crises – Ideas on Documentary Art and Critical Pedagogy, Pablo MZ (please do not publish beyond this academic space because of the publisher’s contract conditions).
- How We See, Harun Farocki.
- How not to be seen: A fucking didactic educational .MOV file, Hito Steyerl, 2013.
- Blue, Derek Jarman.
- Magueyes, Rubén Gámez.
- LBJ y NOW, Santiago Álvarez.
- The Dreamed Ones, Ruth Beckermann.
- The Origin of Species (2008), Slow Action (2011), House (2003), Ben Rivers.
- Did you wonder who fired the gun? (2017), Travis Wilkerson.