Alternativa Research Forum, Virtual Anthropology, 13 December 2019
organised by Meghanne Barker and Greg de Cuir Jr
Call for submissions:
‘Virtual’ promises to bring us closer to an experience, but acknowledges that it cannot take us all the way there. Researchers and artists have long experimented with the moving image and its potential to bring viewers closer to other places and peoples, at once working to diminish geographic and cultural differences, and yet often reinscribing a distinction between viewers and the exotic subjects appearing on screen. How might film and video artists take cues from anthropology in treating virtual reality as a voyage to unfamiliar territory? How can immersive documentary offer new potentials for communication, mutual understanding, or alienation? What can augmented reality offer in terms of creating interactive social and cultural encounters?
For Alternativa Research Forum 2019 we invite artists, curators, researchers, and writers concerned with these issues broadly, whether they are incorporating or following techniques of virtual reality or other media — new or old — to create installations or other projects that reconstruct past experience or recreate distant spaces or places. We invite interlocutors using the moving image to explore porous boundaries between visually-mediated ethnography and fiction, along with historical perspectives on early experiments with virtual (immersive, interactive) anthropological methods of research and representation. We also invite participants to consider the limits of such projects. How do constraints of time or technology demarcate the depth of such immersions? As artistic and academic researchers using new techniques of creating and representing, when and how should we be working to remind spectators/experiencers and ourselves that while we may seem to get closer to others or elsewhere we will never really arrive? What are our strategies of approximation and how might they be accompanied by moments of distanciation?
This one-day event running concurrently with the festival Alternative Film Video in Belgrade (11-15 December 2019) will assemble a group of curators, writers, artists, and researchers for an intimate encounter where presentations will be delivered and discussions held on the topic Virtual Anthropology. We are accepting abstracts of 300 words along with short biographies of 150 words for consideration. Selected participants will be given accommodation in Belgrade but are asked to cover travel expenses on their own. All festival programs are free and open to the public. Please forward inquiries and submissions to Greg de Cuir Jr, Selector for Alternative Film Video, and Meghanne Barker, Collegiate Assistant Professor of Social Sciences at University of Chicago, by 1 October 2019 at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Alternativa Research Forum was established in 2012. Participants have included artists such as Marina Gržinić, Ivan Ladislav Galeta, and Dirk de Bruyn, researchers such as Miriam de Rosa and Terri Francis, curators such as Shama Khanna and Bruce Posner, and others. The founding curator of Alternativa Research Forum is Greg de Cuir Jr.
Alternative Film Video (Belgrade, Serbia) is an international festival for new film and video work and one of the oldest manifestations of its kind in Europe. It was founded in 1982 as an antidote to commercial film and video-making and to support unconventional practices while celebrating moving image cultures. Alternative Film Video is organised by and hosted at AFC Belgrade, which was established in 1958 as Academic kino club and where many iconic filmmakers worked, including Tomislav Gotovac, Živojin Pavlović, Radoslav Vladić, and others. Visit the website at www.alternativefilmvideo.org/.