Director Joshua Oppenheimer in Discussion

627-627x336Joshua Oppenheimer, Oscar nominated director of The Act of Killing (2012) and Look of Silence (2014), will be at the University of Texas, Austin for a public discussion on his practice as a documentary filmmaker.  This discussion will cover a wide range of themes led by faculty members from Anthropology and Radio Television and Film with time for the audience to ask questions of Oppenheimer.  Some of the themes we will explore include documentary aesthetics, ethics and collaboration in filmmaking, approaches to cultural difference, the promise of documentary in the aftermath of violence.

Joshua Oppenheimer is a multiple-award winning documentary filmmaker and recipient of MacArthur Genius Award.

Thursday, March 12th.

3:30-6:20 pm.  Screening of the Act of Killing (director’s cut)
7-9 pm.  Discussion with Joshua Oppenheimer

Location: Belo Center for New Media (BMC) 1.202

Free and open to the public

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Intermedia Fellows

The Intermedia Workshop is pleased to introduce two fellows for January 2015. Stephanie Spray (visiting from Harvard University) and Samuel Cepeda (visiting from Tecnológico de Monterrey).  Stephanie and Sam will be making use of the workshop, attending departmental activities, and sharing their work in screenings and workshops.

Stephanie Spray joins us with support from the Department of Anthropology and the South Asia Institute.

Samuel Cepeda joins us with support from the Department of Anthropology and the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies.


Screen Shot from Spray's Manakamana.

Screen Shot from Spray’s Manakamana.

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Intermedia fellow: Samuel Cepeda

01_Clods_h_NN_52x35cmsSamuel Cepeda [] was born in Nuevo León, México. He’s a media artist and has been doing research and teaching since 2000 in private and public universities in México. He is currently a full time artist and researcher working on his dissertation at Tecnológico de Monterrey in the PhD program of humanities studies in science and technology. He has also worked for media companies as Televisa, and (a NY Times company), creating old and new media content for massive distribution. His work is mainly engaged with the boundaries between science & technology, visual studies and anthropology; often questioning the social and scientific ways of building realities, trying to broaden the vision of any reality we could be used to.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 12.21.58 PMAt UT austin, trying to expand his research experience in Digital Visual Artist networks, Cepeda will participate in our academic community by attending workshops, public lectures and meeting informally with students and faculty at the Intermedia Workshop,
Anthropology Department, College of Communications and College of Fine


Feel free to contact him:
t – @elfusible
g+ samuelcepeda


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Multispecies Tailgate

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the Multispecies Tailgate party at Monkeywrench Books.

Images courtesy of Jimmy Beveridge.

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Multispecies Tailgate

A Discussion On Survival & Syncretic Biocultural Lifeways

Monkey Wrench Books 110 East North Loop. Austin, TX.
Sunday, October 5th 6:30-8:30 pm. 2014

Featuring readings and discussions of four just released books:

Aesop’s Anthropology: A Multispecies Approach, by John Hartigan
Agitating Images: Photography against History in Indigenous Siberia, by Craig Campbell
The Multispecies Salon, edited by Eben Kirksey
Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging False Promise of Genetic Science, by Kim Tallbear.


These authors are innovating new ways to work with images, to think about indigeneity, and to recognize the nonhumans that shape our daily lives. A lively discussion will ensue. We’ll be making of Acorn Mush with some words about survival and syncretic biocultural lifeways. Scott Webel (Museum of Natural and Artificial Ephemerata) will be presenting on local figs and the multispecies community of consumers that converge on the tree. Tamara Becerra Valdez (Folklorica) will share excerpts from her workshop on wildcrafting and Craig Campbell will report on pecans and the urban foraging scene.

Poster: 2014 Multispecies Tailgate


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New affiliate

The Intermedia Workshop is pleased to introduce a new affiliate visiting from Pakistan: Baroosh Ahsan.

Baroosh Ahsan born in Pakistan, has done her MFA in Photography and video production from Fatima Jinnah Women University. She is currently working at Fatima Jinnah Design department. She had also worked with different institutions for establishment of photography department and developed courses for them. She had done exhibited her work inside Pakistan. She had worked with different organizations for helping youth at different levels. Her work is focused on artistic side of nature. Her work related to old trees had helped people realize the damage it’s causing to natural beauty around Rawalpindi, Pakistan, due to deforestation and negligence.

Photo Credit: Baroosh Ahsan.

Photo Credit: Baroosh Ahsan.

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Slow Ethnography

Artist-ethnographer Zoe Bray will demonstrate her ethnographic-painting technique over three days while she creates a portrait of Anthropologist Kathleen Stewart at the Blanton Museum of Art. The demonstration will be followed by a round-table discussion of time and duration, as well as uncon- ventional ethnographic tools and texts in ethnography and humanities research. Featuring Zoe Bray (Center for Basque Studies, UNR), Craig Campbell (UT, Anthropology), Ward Keeler (UT, Anthropology), Fiona P. McDonald (Anthropologist/Researcher, New Knowledge Organization, NYC), Sonia Seeman (UT, Ethnomusicology) and Kathleen Stewart (UT, Anthropology).


Zoe Bray painting NYU professor Fred Myers. October 2013. American Museum of Natural History, NYC. Photo: Roderick Mikens

Ethnographic-painting demonstration

From 1-4pm in the main atrium of the Blanton Museum of Art, Zoe Bray will be creating a portrait of anthropologist, Katie Stewart.

September 5th – 7th, 2014 1:00-4:00pm
Blanton Museum of Art

Slow Ethnography Roundtable

Monday, Sept. 8th, 2014
5:30pm – 7:00pm
Glickman Center (CLA Building) 1.302B


Zoe Bray painting NYU professor Fred Myers. October 2013. American Museum of Natural History, NYC. Photo: Roderick Mikens

compactUT-02Presented by the Intermedia Workshop with support from the Blanton Museum of Art. This event is co-sponsored by the Humanities Institute through the Viola S. Hoffman and George W. Hoffman Lectureship in Liberal Arts and Fine Arts. Also thanks to the department of Anthropology, and the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at Austin. We are also grateful to the Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada Reno for their support.

We recognize the curatorial collective, Ethnographic Terminalia, for their original collaboration with Zoe Bray in September, 2013.


Zoe Bray painting NYU professor Fred Myers. October 2013. American Museum of Natural History, NYC. Photo: Fiona P. McDonald

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Ex-Situ Symposium at UT Austin.

April 9, 2014, 1-5pm
CLA Building 1-302e
Julius Glickman Conference Center

More information: www.metafactory/exsitu

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Home Ground

A sensuous and intellectually compelling project.

‘Home Ground’ is a short anthropological film exploring how two very different, but geographically close, cultures relate to one another within a striking and vast natural landscape. Featuring Siggi the Icelandic sailor and Dines the Greenlandic hunter.

An independent film by James Aiken

Home Ground from James Aiken on Vimeo.

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Borderline Ethnography

tijuanaThe Intermedia Workshop (co-sponsored by Mexic-Arte Museum and Experimental Response Cinema and with support from the Department of Anthropology, the Center for Mexican American Studies, and the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies) presents:

Artist and Anthropologist Fiamma Montezemolo.  Fiamma will discuss her work as an ethnographer and as an artist working on the US-Mexico border.  On Sunday, February 16th, she will present her award winning experimental video Traces (along with two other works by Sergio de la Torre). On Monday, February 17th, Fiamma will deliver a lecture in the Department of Anthropology at UT Austin.

All events are free and open to the public.


Photo by Rene Peralta


Sunday, February 16th
Screening: Traces

mam-logoLocation: Mexic-Arte Museum (419 Congress Ave.)
Time: 6:30 pm.
Admission is free

Fiamma Montezemolo in person.
Screening Traces as well as two works by Sergio de la Torre.
Full details below


Monday, February 17th
Lecture: “Borderline Ethnography”

Location: UT Austin SAC Building. Room. 5.118
Time: noon – 1pm

In her presentation, Fiamma Montezemolo will attempt to reflect on the trans-disciplinary and trans-methodological aspects of her work on the US-Mexico border.  She will discuss how her work straddles various registers of the ‘border’ concept and the multiple forms this work has taken over the years.  Montezemolo frames the border in geopolitical terms: with a particular emphasis on her fieldwork experience between Tijuana and San Diego; in cultural and metaphorical terms: with a specific focus on the different modes of representation in, alongside, and beyond the geopolitical border; in assemblage and montage terms, as an interplay of visual and discursive strategies in order to make sense of Tijuana, a city that has been hailed as the laboratory of post-modernity; in aesthetic and formal terms: through her academic writing, experimental ethnographies, and video-installations at the threshold between Art and Anthropology; and finally, in affective terms that explore the potentialities and the limits of the border as a complex structure of feeling.


Full Sunday Program

Traces by Fiamma Montezemolo
20 min / digital / sound / 2013

In this experimental video-essay ethnographic research and art forms combined with and an enigmatic electronic musical motif merge to create a meditation on the border life between the United State & Mexico. Based on both years of ethnographic work in Tijuana and an ascetic shooting schedule of 24hrs, the artist and anthropologist refracts her experience in the region by attempting to sculpt a textured living portrait, a sort of biography, of the Wall that separates Tijuana and San Diego. Images of a rusty wall, unruly topography, decaying surveillance structures, furtive moments of undocumented migrant crossings, and dystopian landscapes are interwoven with a mournful voice-over enunciated from a different time and place.  The fate of the Wall is sealed: its remains are to be collected like forensic evidence by a visitor, perhaps another anthropologist and artist, perhaps another undocumented migrant, from the future.

In addition to Montezemolo’s Traces we will be showing two experimental shorts by by San Diego and Tijuana-based artist Sergio de la Torre.

We The Dust, The Wind by Sergio de la Torre
8 min / digital / sound / 2013
Based on Julio Cortazar’s short story “La Casa Tomada”, the film tells the story of a group of young Chinese immigrants who, for some years, lived in an abandoned building in a defunct public housing block in downtown Tijuana, Mexico.

Nuevo Dragon City by Sergio de la Torre
14 min / digital / sound / 2008
A group of Chinese Mexican teenagers barricade themselves inside an abandoned building in Tijuana, Mexico. As the outside world is closed off and they sit entrapped, their surroundings and actions become a powerful commentary on their own social existence. Nuevo Dragon City has shown in multiple international film festivals such as the 27th San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival and the Festival Internacional de Cine de Morelia. Nuevo Dragon City has also been well received in art venues, such as the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Belgium and the Centro Cultural Tijuana, Mexico.


Born in Rome, Fiamma Montezemolo is both a Cultural Anthropologist (PhD University Orientale of Naples) and an artist (MFA San Francisco Art Institute). She is currently teaching at California College of the Arts. As an established scholar in border and urban studies, she has patiently designed rigorous and long-term ethnographic-artistic interventions at the Tijuana-San Diego border where she has also resided and taught for many years. As an artist she situates her work as a critical extension and overcoming of the ethnographic turn in contemporary art during the 1990s. In addition to ethnography, a research method she also considers an emerging medium for art practices, she works with various media, including installation, cartography, video, digital photography, industrial materials, performance, archival documents. Her art practice straddles various disciplines, sensibilities and methodologies, including social art, anthropology, cultural geography, visual studies.

Among other works, Fiamma Montezemolo is co-editor with Josh Kun of Tijuana Dreaming: Life and Art at the Global Border(2012) and co-author of Here is Tijuana (2006).

As an artist and educator, Sergio De La Torre has worked with and documented the manifold ways by which citizens reinvent themselves in the city they inhabit, as well as site-specific strategies they deploy to move ‘in and out modernity’.
De La Torre’s work often invokes collaborations with the subjects and invites both intimate and critical reflections on topics related to housing, immigration and labor, to mention only a few. De La Torre purposely work with individuals from marginalized sectors of the cities he works in, including factory workers (Tijuana), shoeshine boys (Mexico City), undocumented immigrants (Los Angeles and San Francisco), and evicted families (Oakland). In his work De La Torre has tried to approach the lives of these individuals, not as victim-subjects, but have attempted rather to reexamine the meaning of their actions in the context of shifting global conditions.


Still from Nuevo Dragon City by Sergio de la Torre


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