Experimental Landscapes

Sweetgrass

Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Ilisa Barbash
Tue, 02/08/2022 - 5:15pm

image from Emily Richardson's film RED SHIFT

image from Emily Richardson's film RED SHIFT

How does place shape our understanding of the world and of ourselves in it? How might audiovisual explorations of landscape—ones that move away from treating place as a mere backdrop to narrative and instead harness its potential as a dynamic, multilayered archive of histories, memories, and dreams—offer us new perspectives on the poetics of experience?

This series brings together a range of films, from ethnographic meditation to non-fiction documentary to fictional drama, that frame the phenomenological affinities between place and experience and foreground the connection between formal experimentation and the haptic, sensorial power of cinema.

Situated between rural and urban atmospheres, these works draw on sound, duration and textures to highlight underlying tensions between decay and overgrowth, ruin and resilience, overdevelopment and underexposure. The landscapes featured in these films are often quiet and subtle yet notably charged with a sense of something uncanny, something hidden in plain sight.
 
The series forms part of a new course called Ruined Landscapes & the Visual Archive (COML 3486 / SPAN 3940) taught by Patricia Keller, who will introduce several of the films.

Cosponsored with the Departments of Romance Studies and Comparative Literature, and the Summer Program in Madrid.