Wed 14 Oct '20 - Film

AWL_040 FIELD RECORDINGS: Documenting Complexity

with works by Tran, T. Kim-Trang, Yen-Ling Tsai + Isabelle Carbonell + Joelle Chevrier + Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing and Lisa Gliederpuppe
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Field Recordings: Documenting Complexity

For this special event of Field Recordings, we bring together a collection of films that trace the intersection of experimental documentary practices, anthropology and activism. It’s the first time that T. Kim-Trang Tran’s The Blindness Series will be screened in the Netherlands. This experimental video series investigates the metaphors, ideologies and technologies related to visuality and blindness. The 2019 montage of Golden Snail Opera will also have its Dutch premiere. This evening includes a Q&A with T. Kim-Trang Tran and Yara Yuri Safadi!

By T. Kim-Trang Tran; 1992, 17 minutes, US, B&W and colour

As the introduction to T. Kim-Trang Tran’s The Blindness Series, Aletheia provides an index of topics on different aspects of physical blindness and its metaphors. Multiple modes of discourse are employed: journalistic, anecdotal, fictive and theoretical, to bring out various perspectives on the issues addressed. The inspiration for the series came from a 1990 exhibition Jacques Derrida curated for the Louvre Museum, titled Memoirs of the Blind.

By T. Kim-Trang Tran; 1997, 22 minutes, US, B&W and colour

Ocularis addresses issues of surveillance and technology, ones that allow us to see where we normally cannot. Through a 1-800 (toll free) phone number publicised nationally, recorded messages of fears and fantasies about video surveillance were collected from callers: If you were caught on videotape, what would be the worst thing you could be caught doing? If you could watch someone, what would you want to see?

By T. Kim-Trang Tran; 1998, 23 minutes, US, colour

Ekleipsis is an experimental documentary that traces two histories: the Cambodian Civil War and that of hysteria, to better speak about pathology and agency. To transcend what has been described as the ‘eye-searing’ horrors of war, these women cried themselves into blindness.

The Palpable Invisibility of Life
By T. Kim-Trang Tran; 2006, 14 minutes, US, B&W and colour

As the final tape of The Blindness Series, The Palpable Invisibility of Life explores the cycle of life and death – including the technologies that make our birth and mortality visible and palpable.

Golden Snail Opera
By Yen-Ling Tsai, Isabelle Carbonell, Joelle Chevrier, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing; 2019, 46 minutes, Taiwan, colour

Tracing the idea of more-than-human, Golden Snail Opera blends performance and filmmaking to construct a visual ethnography of life on a farm in Taiwan’s Langyang Plain. From micro spy cams and contact microphones approximating the lifeworlds of underwater snails to ruminations on ghosts and deities. Golden Snail Opera enacts the living relationships of the Langyang Plain.


Field Recordings is a platform for contemporary anthropological cinema, sound art and landscape film. On 6th, 7th and 8th of November, we present the third edition of our programme; with screenings, installations, workshops, seminars and more. Field Recordings is committed to collective learning and intersectional methodologies. We also promote and encourage debate on lesser spoken topics in cinema and anthropology. The programme is curated and organised by Tim Leyendekker and Sander Hölsgens as part of the AWL series.

This event is part of Documenting Complexity, a collaborative research project between the University of Groningen, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, VersPers, MU Hybrid Art House, Sound and Vision and WORM. Documenting Complexity is funded by NWO Smart Culture.


9:00 – 20:15 Film programme 1
T. Kim-Trang Tran (Blindness series)
Aletheia (1992), Ocularis (1997), Ekleipsis (1998), The Palpable
Invisibility of Life (2006)
20:15 – 20:45 Q&A T. Kim-Trang Tran and Yara Yuri Safadi
20:45 – 21:00 Break
21:00 – 21:50 Film programme 2 
Golden Snail Opera (2016, Yen-Ling Tsai, Isabelle Carbonell, Joelle 
Chevrier, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing)
21:50 – 22:15 Lisa Gliederpuppe – ASMR performance

WORM and Corona
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