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Documentary Across Disciplines
Documentary Across Disciplines
Edited by Erika Balsom and Hila Peleg
Haus der Kulturen der Welt / The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA and London, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-262-52906-8

Documentary Across Disciplines brings together interventions at the vanguard of conceptualizing what documentary is, means, and can do today, while also engaging in the re-evaluation of historical works in light of the contemporary moment. Exploring the many lives of documentary images, texts, and sounds - from the imperialist management of human life to redemptive encounters with the fragility of our world, from professional and disciplinary contexts to personal confrontations with mortality and alterity - it seeks to provide a capacious account of the irrepressible heterogeneity of this vital field of practice. Across anthropology, photography, poetry, cinema, digital media, art, sound recording, and beyond, its contributors consider the fertile and contested intersections of reality and representation.

Documentary Across Disciplines emerges from the Berlin Documentary Forum, held biannually between 2010 and 2014 at HKW under the artistic direction of Hila Peleg. The Berlin Documentary Forum was conceived as a way of taking stock of the diversity and vibrancy of contemporary practices, while also providing historical contextualization for them. In three editions' contributions from a wide array of disciplines, strategies, and media were united in the shared aspiration of orchestrating urgent encounters with actuality and finding in this undertaking a generative and meaningful resource for cultural production.

The book builds upon the Berlin Documentary Forum’s innovative cross-disciplinary methodology and its rich set of participants and ideas. Its contributions discuss material spanning from the immediate post-war period to today, some situated very close to the artistic and cinematic contexts and others far outside it. They look to documentary not as a category or genre – not as a label that one might bestow on one particular practice and refuse another – but as a critical method.

Texts by Ariella Azoulay, Zach Blas, Christa Blümlinger, Stella Bruzzi, Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Kris Fallon, Evgenia Giannouri, Ben Lerner, Sylvère Lotringer, Antonia Majaca, Sohrab Mohebbi, Volker Pantenburg, Véréna Paravel, Christopher Pinney, Ben Rivers, Eyal Sivan.
Documentary Across Disciplines
328 pages, in English
Book design: John Morgan studio, London
ISBN: 978-0-262-52906-8
Price: 22 EUR
Image: Ed Park