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Media Archaeology of Boston
Thursday, April 23
Lecture Hall • Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts • 24 Quincy Street
Co-Presented with Film Study Center at Harvard University
Reception to follow in Sert Gallery
Curated by Jesse Shapins and Olga Touloumi, with Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Julie Mallozzi, Ernst Karel
This is a one-night sound, film and video exhibition that uses the Boston metropolitan region as a laboratory for exploring different modes of urban representation across history and various media. The city has a rich legacy and vibrant scene today of media artists engaging architecture and the city, from actuality films of early cinema to the work of György Kepes and Kevin Lynch at MIT following WWII to short films documenting the work of modern icons such as Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier and Josep Lluís Sert to the city’s remarkable legacy of cinema verité to contemporary works in new media. A Media Archaeology of Boston presents an initial excavation of this city’s spaces through a montage of short films, photographs, diagrams and experimental soundscapes recorded on-location in the larger metropolitan area.
Some of the highlights of the program include: an early cinema travelogue filmed from a moving streetcar in 1905; an experimental documentary on urban renewal in the South End; historic postcards; government-filmed footage of the old Charlestown Navy Yard; images from the Kepes-Lynch archive, “The Perceptual form of the City”; 1970s television ads for local businesses; a MoMA-funded filmic interpretation of Le Corbusier’s Carpenter Center in the 1960s; and field recordings of contemporary Boston soundscapes. Much of the material has been dug up from the holdings of the Harvard Film Archive and the special collections of other local libraries. The program will be moderated by co-curators Jesse Shapins and Olga Touloumi, and will feature brief presentations by select faculty and guest speakers.
A Media Archaeology of Boston is supported by the Provostial Funds for Arts and the Humanities.