Spring semester 2014 • NYU Dept. of Cinema Studies •
Curating, Programming, Exhibiting, and Repurposing/Recontextualizing Moving Image Material aka
Curating Moving Images
Meetings: Wednesdays, 12:30 to 4:30PM; in room 670 (721 B’way)
Professor: Dan Streible
Office hours: Tuesdays, 10-12, and by appointment; room 626
Description: This course embraces a broad conception of curating as the treatment of materials from their discovery, acquisition, archiving, preservation, restoration, and reformatting, through their screening, programming, use, re-use, distribution, exploitation, translation, and interpretation. This course focuses on the practices of film and video exhibition in museums, archives, cinematheques, festivals, and other venues. It examines the goals of public programming, its constituencies, and the curatorial and archival challenges of presenting film, video, and digital media. We study how archives and sister institutions present their work through exhibitions, events, publications, and media productions. We also examine how these presentations provoke uses of moving image collections. Specific curatorial practices of festivals, seminars, symposia, and projects will be examined in detail.
Much of the Spring 2014 version of the course considers the planning and conception of the 9th Orphan Film Symposium (www.nyu.edu/orphanfilm), a biennial international event devoted to screening, studying, and saving neglected moving images. NYU Cinema Studies is co-organizing the 2014 edition of the symposium with the host site, EYE (Film Institute Netherlands). Devoted to the theme The Future of Obsolescence, “Orphans 9” takes place in Amsterdam, March 30 - April 2, 2014. Students are not required to attend the symposium (of course), but are welcome to do so (of course).
Each student will research and complete a curatorial project, with the option to have that project be a contribution to the Orphan Film Project. Active participation in class discussion is essential to the success of this seminar, and therefore mandatory.
Objectives: After successfully completing the course you should be able to:
• understand professional practices of film and video curators and content programmers;
• demonstrate knowledge of the history of film exhibition and programming;
• discover the location of historical footage, copyrighted works in distribution, and other media;
• discuss how scholars, archivists, artists, collectors, students, and others collaborate to save, screen, and study moving images;
• define key concepts in audiovisual preservation, restoration, reformatting, and access;
• participate in debates about the appraisal of moving image works;
• discuss how curatorial practices affect the writing of history and the production of media;
• understand the materiality of audiovisual media carriers (film, tape, disk, file);
• assess the curatorial needs organizations and institutions that work with film and video;
• demonstrate knowledge of institutions relevant to presenting moving image content to publics, including festivals, museums, archives, cinematheques, art houses, broadcasters, and Web content providers.
• Paolo Cherchi Usai, David Francis, Alexander Horwath, and Michael Loebenstein, Film Curatorship: Archives, Museums, and the Digital Marketplace (Vienna: Österreichisches Filmmuseum, 2008); distrib.Wallflower Press/ Columbia U Press. http://tinyurl.com/crtrship.
• Exhibition issue, Incite no. 4 (Fall 2013): ISSN 2163-9701. PDF download at http://we.tl/jRCZTsmfwg.
• Scott MacDonald, Cinema 16: Documents towards a History of the Film Society (Temple University Press, 2002). Also in ebook editions.
• Essays, website readings, online screenings, and other documents. Some are posted on the course’s “NYU Classes” site. Others will be distributed via e-mail or paper.
Attendance: Attend all meetings of the course. If you miss 2 classes, your course grade will be lowered by a half letter. Miss 3 classes and your course grade will be lowered by a full letter (B+ becomes C+, and so on).
COURSE SCHEDULE (subject to revision as we progress)
Jan 29 What is curating? what do curators do? what is an orphan film symposium?
Feb 5 Presentation and Restoration: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema (MSpresents.com)
Kamil Rutkowski (DI Factory, Warsaw) & Dennis Doros (Milestone Films)
Feb 12 Film Festivals: Toby Lee (Union Docs / Columbia U)
Feb 19 Film Societies: Cinema 16 and others
Feb 26 Alternative Exhibition: Walter Forsberg (Incite #4) (meet at Anthology Film Archives)
Mar 5 the Museum of Modern Art: curator Dave Kehr (meet at MoMA)
Mar 12 Access, Presentation, and Projection
Mar 26 the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar
Apr 2 No NYC class meeting. (9th Orphan Film Symposium in Amsterdam)
Apr 9 Cinephilia
Apr 16 Asian cinemas: La Frances Hui (Asia Society, New York)
Apr 23 Publicity and indie programming: Livia Bloom (Icarus Films / indie curator)
Apr 30 TBA+ in-class presentations etc.
May 7 in-class presentations