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The Operative Image Syllabus

The City College of New York

MFA in Digital & Interdisciplinary Art Practice

Workshop: The Operative Image: approaches to the political in contemporary moving image practices

Instructor:     Aily Nash    


Course Description

What can an image do? How does the image represent? How does the image convey a historical narrative or event? This course will focus on viewing and discussing various contemporary moving image works that reflect on the political. We will investigate the complexity of media and consider the production and employment of images to reveal both its power and its highly malleable nature. Formal experimentation and innovation will be central to this course. The works presented in class will provide a broad view on political moving image-making considering experimental approaches to production, the performance and retelling of history, the personal perspective, witnessing, the forensic, postcolonialism, post-ethnography, representation, the Anthropocene, accelerated aesthetics among other topics. Artists and filmmakers covered include: Harun Farocki, William Greaves, Lucy Raven, Neil Beloufa, Akram Zaatari, Eric Baudelaire, Kevin Jerome Everson, Naeem Mohaiemen, Walid Raad, Deborah Stratman, Martine Syms, Arthur Jafa, Sky Hopinka, James N. Kienitz Wilkins, Steve Reinke, Ana Vaz, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Filipa Cesar, Basma Alsharif, Eyal Weizman and Forensic Architecture. The theoretical foundation of the course draws from feminist, anti-racist, postcolonial discourses including texts by: Elizabeth Povinelli, Rosi Braidotti, Hito Steyerl, bell hooks, Thomas Keenan, Susan Sontag, Rebecca Solnit, Nicole Fleetwood, Donna Haraway, Irmgard Emmelhainz, Steven Shaviro, Eyal Weizman.

The full syllabus and reflection paper can be viewed by clicking on the PDF.


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