Consider the expansive potential of the archive for moving between the gray space of fact-based and imagined worlds in this intensive workshop. Over the course of the three days, we will look in depth at filmmaking that applies archival materials to inventive ends, and consider multiple practices of truth-making, engaging with both institutional archives and appropriated content, widening the parameters of what may constitute an archive. Students will have the opportunity to learn from a range of seasoned guests, including archivists, archival researchers, non-fiction and experimental filmmakers, and visual artists who have taken inventive approaches to archives; even created new ones, as we consider the role of fiction in historical speculation.
The workshop will explore common practices of working with institutional archives, while also challenging the idea of what may serve as an audio/visual index. Topics will include: creative strategies for unfolding the potential of archival content; parafiction and invented archives unorthodox collecting and the acquisition of unusual source material, approaches to adapting and re-purposing found material, and working with estates, libraries, and the data stream as sources. We will consider a variety of contemporary documentary practices, such as live documentary, in widening the margins of presentation. The goal of the workshop is to encourage participants to envision new forms of empathic intervention in traditional records, imagine creative means of non-fiction “adaptation,” and broaden their view of potential source materials to identify untapped mines of possibility.
By germinating new approaches to archival material, this intensive seminar offers practical advice and creative inspiration to filmmakers, artists and storytellers. The workshop format will include a dynamic mix of readings, discussion, screenings, visitor presentations, and New York Film Festival attendance.
Led by filmmaker and programmer Courtney Stephens and co-organized with Mathilde Walker- Billaud, the workshop integrates with the New York Film Festival’s experimental Projections program, with two Projections artists participating in the workshop. We will attend a program at Lincoln Center as a group.