Workshops: Collective pedagogical experiments

09.18 ‘Geokino’, Strelka Institute, Omsk Siberia.

03.19 ‘Clouds follow the dragon, while wind follows the tiger’, NYU Shanghai.

‘Geocinema’ considers planetary-scale sensory networks— roving satellites, surveillance cameras, geosensing arrays, billions of cell phones — as a vastly distributed camera. Sensing fragments of the earth, each signal and transfer runs through their own sets of scales and tempos while producing terabytes of raw data. Here, the representation of the earth is the sum of a decentralized editing process with its image anything but whole.For the first part of this workshop, we turn to the feedback loops between science and technology, and their relationship to film and filmmaking practices. Drawing on the works of Dziga Vertov of the Soviet avant-garde to the surrealist nature documentaries of Jean Painleve, the relationship between sensing and seeing the world, is intertwined with the tools created to do so.

The workshop would be tailored to the local that it is situated within-- whether the context is set in a specific geological condition or a previously planned Soviet economy-- with the aim to encourage participants to see their urban contexts embedded within these histories of sensing.  

The second part of the workshop would be practical. Filmmaking, in this ‘geocinematic’ sense, is happening constantly and all around us. Whether it’s the traffic CCTV cameras triggered by unusual behaviours of cars, or satellites scanning the earth’s surface every 16 days, we would encourage the participants to take queues from these techniques of sensing, tracing the ‘hows’ of their stitching processes which are used for imperial observation, surveillance, verification, tracking. With this in mind, and other tools that we have at hand such as cellphones, we want to ask participants to frame movements within a site and assemble a film under the genre of ‘Geocinema’.