Sunday, April 21, 2019

Episode #114 - Katherine Groo (Archives de la Planète)

"I've been thinking about archives as sites of mediation, as sites that are doing things to artifacts and objects, and what we do to them as well."

In the search for reclaiming masterpieces, creating streaming services that put every film at our fingertips, and investigating narratives that simply continue variations of the canon, what have we missed? What happens when we put our foot on the breaks and reconsider not just the what's of cinema and media history but the hows? In her extraordinary body of research, Professor Katherine Groo has been looking toward the objects that film history often ignores, simply because it seems there is nothing to do with them. The result in her new book, Bad Film Histories, considers some methods and ideas of how to approach a particular set of objects: early ethnographic film. From there, Peter and Katherine look into her much discussed op-ed for the Washington Post on the role of streaming services like FilmStruck and end by examining not a film but an archive: a set of films and glass plates collected to create an archive of the world by Albert Kahn. Needless to say, it is the odds and ends there that remain more fascinating than considering the body of work itself.

0:00–4:37 Opening
5:23–58:48 Deep Focus — Katherine Groo
1:00:09–1:04:36 Sponsorship Section
1:05:46–1:25:08 Double Exposure — Archives de la Planète
1:25:13–1:26:52 Close

Notes and Links to the Conversation
—Learn more about Katherine Groo and her book, Bad Film Histories. Follow her on Twitter.
—See the photos from Albert Kahn's Archives de la Planète. 
—Read some of her other work, including “Cut, Paste, Glitch, Stutter: Remixing Film History," "The Maison and Its Minor: Lumière(s), Film History, the Archive," "Mixed Media: Ethno-zoography and the Archives de la Planète," and New Silent Cinema (co-edited with Paul Flaig).
—Two key texts in recent ethnographic cinema history and theory: Catherine Russell's Experimental Ethnography: The Work of Film in the Age of Video and Fatimah Tobing Rony's The Third Eye: Race, Cinema, and Ethnographic Spectacle.
—An entire catalogue of the Lumiere films can be found here.
—The infamous Repas d'Indiens (1896) also see a Japanese version of Repas d'bebe (1897)
—More about Lyotard's discussion of the lines and letters consideration.
—SCMS's Archival News Archive
—The EYE Institute's Scene Machine
—The Washington Post Article
—D.N. Rodowick's Virtual Life of Film
—Kino Lorber's Women Pioneers and African American Pioneers Box Sets
—Our previous interview with Terri Francis
—Paula Amad's Counter-Archive
Namo Village (1900) (previous discussed with Gabe Klinger)
—See In The Land of the Head Hunters
—Here is the "ghost image" Katherine received.

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