October 26, 2017
8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
B04, Carpenter Center
24 Quincy Street, Cambridge

8:30-9:00 breakfast

9:00 – 10:15 opening remarks by
Robin Kelsey, Dean of Arts and Humanities, Harvard University
Edouard Husson, Vice President, PSL
Christopher Cripps, Director of International and European Affairs, PSL
Valérie Pihet, Executive Manager and Member of SACRe laboratory, PSL
Peter Galison, Pelligrino University Professor and Co-Director of Critical Media Practice (CMP), Harvard University
Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Professor of Visual Arts and Anthropology and Co-Director of CMP, Harvard University
10:15 to 12:30 four student presentations, 20 minutes each, plus 10 minutes of discussion.

10:15 – 10:45 Peter McMurray, CMP

10:45 – 11:15 Chloé Galibert-Laîné, SACRe

11:15 – 11:45 Clément Schneider, SACRe

11:45 – 12:15 Joana Pimenta, CMP

12:30-1:30 lunch

1:30-3:45 four student presentations, two CMP, two SACRe, 20 minutes each, plus 10 minutes of discussion.

1:30 – 2:00 Pierre Michelon, SACRe

2:00 – 2:30 Argyro Nicolaou, CMP

2:30 – 3:00 Elizaveta Konovalova, SACRe

3:00 – 3:30 Julia Yezbick, CMP

3:45-4:00 coffee break

4:00-5:30 panel discussion regarding the arts in graduate education

Valerie Pihet

              Peter Galison

              Lucien Castaing-Taylor

Ryan McKittrick, American Repertory Theater

Silvia Benedito, Graduate School of Design, Harvard

Robin Kelsey (moderator)


CMP & SACRe PhD – short presentations

Peter McMurray is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Music at the University of Cambridge and a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. His work focuses on the anthropology of sound, especially in the context of Islam in Turkey and the Turkish diaspora in Europe. He holds degrees in Ethnomusicology, Music Composition and Critical Media Practice. His CMP capstone project God Hears Those Who Praise Him is an audio exploration of the sonic diversity of Islamic life within communities in Turkish Berlin, composed from location recordings made from 2011 to 2014. (The original piece was a 16-channel, 48-minute composition. He’ll play an excerpt from the beginning of the piece.) He will also share a video excerpt from his current book and media project, Pathways to God: The Islamic Acoustics of Turkish Berlin.

Chloé Galibert-Laîné is a filmmaker and a researcher currently enrolled in the practice-based PhD program at SACRe (PSL, Paris). Her research interests are individual and collective memory, modes of spectatorship, the politics of appropriation and online terrorist media. In her talk she will present the way she articulates video production and academic research within her PhD thesis and she will show an online video essay in which she explores a specific film memory of the French critic Serge Daney.

Clément Schneider is a filmmaker and currently a doctoral candidate in the PhD program at SACRe (PSL, Paris). He is working on several short and feature films that are at different stages of development. His research field in the SACRe Program focuses on the relationships between cinema and utopia. In what ways is cinema a utopian medium? Could one write a history of utopia in cinema? All these questions should be asked in and by film. So that one should not make any difference between Clément’s academic research and artistic practice. He will share an excerpt from his documentary film Future of Clay that he shot during his stay in an Argentinian recovered factory, ruled by its workers, without a boss. Does that really change the way one works in such a place? What does the work look like? The film tries to answer these questions.

Joana Pimenta is a filmmaker and writer from Portugal who lives and works in Lisbon, the U.S. and Brazil. She  received a PhD in Film and Visual Studies and Critical Media Practice from the department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University and is currently a Lecturer – Harvard College Fellow in the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard. She will share her latest film and CMP capstone project, An Aviation Field, which premiered in the International Competiton at the 69th Locarno Film Festival.

“An aviation field in an unknown suburb. The lake underneath the city burns the streets. The mountains throw rock into the gardens. In the crater of a volcano in Fogo, a model Brazilian city is lifted and dissolves.
Two people find each other in this landscape, 50 years apart.”

As a participative observer, Pierre Michelon explores the terrains of a forgetful and aphasic society. His work is concentrated on writing, orality and the usage of history, in particular colonial history and is developed through a variety of propositions: translations, films, installations, performance-documentaries… Each of these productions is conceived of as a research process, which can take the form of investigations, interviews, spontaneous and derivative digressions, and multiple associations. He is currently a doctoral candidate in PhD program SACRe (PSL, Paris). He will present from the video project Hidden in plain sight about his encounter and relation with Fouad Mennana. From Colorado, where he has established residence, Fouad tries to follow the traces of his deceased grandfather—Amara Mennana—an Algerian farmer dispossessed of his land and deported to the penal colonies of French Guyana in 1925.

Argyro Nicolaou is a writer and filmmaker from Cyprus currently pursuing a PhD in Comparative Literature and Critical Media Practice at Harvard University. Her dissertation project, “Europe and the Cultural Politics of Mediterranean Migrations,” examines case studies of displacement in the Mediterranean region through literary texts, political memoirs, and film, looking at the ways in which such narratives of migration have shaped the geopolitical and cultural identity of Europe. Her CMP capstone project History Lesson is a multimedia lecture performance piece (in progress) that follows a Researcher working on an alternative history curriculum for Cyprus based on footage from foreign films shot on the island before 1974 and footage from the British colonial archive. History Lesson tackles the conflict-ridden past of Cyprus by focusing on the constructed nature of historical as well as artistic representations. It prioritizes fictional accounts of the island, as well as personal and family narratives, over a government-sanctioned historiography that is often reductive and chauvinistic.

Elizaveta Konovalova is a visual artist. Her project within the SACRe program is a multidisciplinary research focused on one particular territory – the Kaliningrad region in Russia. She will present two works in progress : The Land of subjective perceptions, an exhibition associating various kinds of documents found on site – private archives, amateur photographs and video, collections of objects and It’s beautiful over there, despite the ruins, a video play based on a ready-made dramaturgy, staging a public discussion found in a blog.

Julia Yezbick is a filmmaker, artist, and anthropologist based in Detroit. She received her PhD in Media Anthropology and Critical Media Practice from Harvard University and an MA in Visual Anthropology from the University of Manchester. She is the founding Editor of Sensate, an online journal for experiments in critical media practice, and co-directs Mothlight Microcinema in Detroit. She is currently a postdoctoral Humanities Fellow in Egalitarianism and the Metropolis at the Taubman College for Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. Her CMP capstone project, Into the Hinterlands plays at the boundaries of a radical participant observation. The Detroit-based performance ensemble, The Hinterlands, practice a form of physical theater which they see as a provocation towards the unknown. Training with them for nearly a year, Yezbick used her camera to explore with them the spaces of ecstatic play, the edge of one’s balance, and the limits of one’s body. Continually looking for new ways to “see” with the camera, Yezbick immerses the viewer in the collective ecstatic experience; merging the space of their ludic play with the liminal space of the cinema.

Art As Research: A Transatlantic Dialogue
Thursday October 26, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Carpenter Center B04 | 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA

Under the auspices of the Harvard University Committee on the Arts and the Division of Arts and Humanities, a delegation of students and faculty from PSL (Paris Sciences et Lettres) will be visiting Harvard for a day of conversations on the integration of graduate study in the arts with the scholarly pursuits of a research university. Much of the day will be devoted to presentations by students from the PSL SACRe doctorate program and from the Critical Media Practice secondary field at Harvard. The remainder of the program will be devoted to broad remarks and exchanges about how best to approach the development or refinement of innovative graduate programs in the arts. The hope is that these exchanges will help us envision and pursue new initiatives. This is an open event and any interested colleagues or students are welcome to attend all or portions of the day’s events.

Breakfast, lunch and refreshments will be available for attendees.

Email the Office of the FAS Dean of Arts and Humanities with any questions:

Hosted by the Harvard University Committee on the Arts, FAS Division of Arts and Humanities and Paris Sciences et Lettres SACRe doctorate program.

by Andrew Littlejohn
27-minute 5.1 audio composition

Shizugawa is a sound composition constructed from unprocessed 5.1 surround sound recordings made in and around Shizugawa, the central area of Minamisanriku Town (Miyagi Prefecture, Japan), between 2013 and 2015. On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.1 undersea megathrust earthquake sent a wall of water across Minamisanriku. The tsunami destroyed much of the town, including central Shizugawa.

For residents, there are two Shizugawas today. We can no longer hear the first one, which was lost in the tsunami. The second – the subject of this piece – is not yet a town, but a town-in-the-making, reconstructed day-by-day as part of the rebuilding of the coastline post-disaster. There is little human speech in these spaces, but we hear many other voices. Shizugawa, like any place, is a sonic gestalt formed by the overlapping of many fields and trajectories. This gestalt is punctuated regularly by daily tests of the town’s emergency broadcast system (or chimes), which rings at 6am, noon, 5pm and 9pm. More than 90% of municipalities in Japan have similar systems. Like village bells, the chimes structure daily life in the town, but their official purpose is to warn people of impending disaster. During 3.11, a municipal employee called Endō Miki used the system to warn residents of the incoming tsunami. She died sounding the alarm when the waves reached the town’s Disaster Prevention Center.

All recordings were made using a DPA 5100 Mobile Surround Microphone and a Sound Devices audio recorder.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 1:00 p.m.
Tozzer 203

by Joana Pimenta

2016, 13′,
Portuguese (English subtitles)

An aviation field in an unknown suburb. The lake underneath the city burns the streets. The mountains throw rock into the gardens. In the crater of a volcano in Fogo, a model Brazilian city is lifted and dissolves.

Two people find each other in this landscape, 50 years apart.

Monday, April 24, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.
Sever 416

CMP_Openhouse_smThere will be an informational meeting for students about the PhD Secondary Field degree in Critical Media Practice on Tuesday Oct. 25 at 5:30 p.m. in Sever 416. Critical Media Practice is open to all graduate students from around the university (not only FAS); it is designed to allow people to develop skills in the formulation of digital making projects that would complement their (written) thesis work. These complementary projects might include filmmaking or audio work, but also interactive web documentaries, virtual exhibits, and a raft of other mixed media. Co-CMP Director of Graduate Studies, Peter Galison (with Lucien Castaing-Taylor, currently on leave) will speak briefly about the program followed by short presentations by enrolled CMP students, alumni and CMP faculty advisors. Light refreshments will be served.

Tuesday Oct. 25 at 5:30 p.m.
Sever 416

For more information please contact CMP Program Coordinator,
Cozette Russell 

Applications for the Critical Media Practice Secondary Field degree are due on Nov. 1, 2016 for the fall semester.