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The Movement Movement Design
The Movement Movement, Design: Anne Krieger
The Movement Movement – Histories of Microanalysis at the Intersection of Film, Science and Art

International Conference
The Movement Movement: Histories of Microanalysis at the Intersection of Film, Science and Art

 Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany June 24–26, 2021, online (new date)

The desire to study the motion of humans and other animals is deeply embedded in the technological, social and aesthetic histories of film. For a long time, the focus was on individual behavior and individual actors. This changed in the 1950s and 1960s when anthropologists, psychologists, linguists, sociologists and ethologists increasingly turned to film to analyze movement as an element in systems of social interaction. Informed by cybernetics, systems theory and structural linguistics, researchers such as Ray L. Birdwhistell, Gregory Bateson, Nikolaas Tinbergen and Adam Kendon looked for patterns in what they regarded as the continuous, multi-sensorial stream of interaction/communication behavior. Film and later video became important tools to tap into this stream, to stabilize it and facilitate close attention to minute details through repeated viewings of brief stretches of interaction. Bringing to consciousness “visible, yet unseen” phenomena that sometimes lasted for only fractions of a second, film promised to open a window onto the microtemporalities and processuality of social systems. But such analysis also reflected back on the (micro-)temporalities of film itself. This point was not lost on experimental filmmakers like Hollis Frampton, who drew on studies of movement interaction in his theoretical and aesthetic reflections on film. The field of interaction studies also overlapped with developments in contemporary dance and performance art, drawing choreographers like Irmgard Bartenieff and Forrestine Paulay into the circles of communication research, while also influencing aesthetic approaches to dance and performance.

This conference aims at exploring these often overlooked intersections of social science, ethology, experimental film and the performing arts in the 1960s and 1970s across the disciplines of film and media studies, history of science, visual anthropology and art history. It addresses questions of science policy during the Cold War in the East and West, epistemologies of the moving image, scales of observation, and interrelations between analytical and aesthetic procedures. It also addresses the question of how film was integrated, in various ways, into wider media assemblages/environments, including notational systems, viewing equipment, diagrams, and artistic performances. Considering the entanglements of cinematic movement, movement interaction research and artistic practices, the conference seeks to open an historical perspective on recent debates on media change and the relocation of film.

The conference is part of the DFG research project “Transdisciplinary Networks of Media Knowledge” at Philipps-Universität Marburg.

Conference organizers: Henning Engelke and Sophia Gräfe, DFG-Heisenberg-Project “Transdisciplinary Networks of Media Knowledge”, Institute of Media Studies, Philipps-Universität Marburg
Conference Assistant: Nora Neuhaus
Technical Assistant: Paul Egerlandt

  • Program

    Thursday, June 24, 2021

    4:00pm–4:15 pm CET
    Welcome Note
    Malte Hagener (Philipps Universität Marburg)

    4:15pm–4:35pm CET
    Sophia Gräfe and Henning Engelke (Philipps-Universität Marburg)

    5:00pm–6:00pm CET
    Session 1: Policies, Practices, and Experiences of Studying Microrealities
    Keynote address
    Heather Love (University of Pennsylvania), “Meticulous student of the real”: Goffman’s Lessons for Queer Studies

    7:30pm–8:30pm CET
    Virtual Reception

    9:00 pm–10:00pm CET
    Film Screening
    Maring in Motion (Allison Jablonko, 1968, 18 min.) and footage from Allison Jablonko’s and Naomi Faik-Simet’s recent research in Papua New Guinea

    10:00pm–11:00pm CET
    Panel discussion: Movement and Dance Research in Papua New Guinea: Lived Experience, Politics and Pedagogy
    Allison Jablonko (Independent Researcher, Keene, NH) in conversation with Naomi Faik-Simet (Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies, Papua New Guinea)

    Moderator: Henning Engelke (Philipps-Universität Marburg)

    Friday, June 25, 2021

    1:00pm–3:30pm CET
    Session 2: Archiving Movement: the Göttingen Institute for Scientific Film (IWF)

    Igor Karim (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt), Camera Movement as Exploration of the Body – or How Gestures Construct Personhood During Documentary Filmmaking

    Vinzenz Hediger (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt), Series, Comparison, Nature: Biology of Human Behavior and Cinematic Method in Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt’s Human Ethology Film Archive

    Oliver Gaycken (University of Maryland), The Encyclopaedia Cinematographica as Microanalytic Archive
    Moderator: Malte Hagener (Philipps-Universität Marburg)

    4:30pm–7:00pm CET
    Session 3: Politics, Gender, and Therapy

    Katie Joice (Birkbeck, University of London), Mothering in the Frame: Cinematic Microanalysis and the Pathogenic Mother 1945–67

    Whitney Laemmli (Carnegie Mellon University), When Words Fail: Movement Notation, Trauma, and Therapeutic Practice in the Post-WWII United States

    Peter Sachs Collopy (California Institute of Technology), “Pass Through the Barrier of the Skin”: Video and Microanalysis at the Boundaries of the Self

    Moderator: Erhard Schüttpelz (Universität Siegen)

    8:00pm–9:00pm CET
    Artist Talk and Screening
    Hannes Rickli (Zürcher Hochschule der Künste), Videograms of Experimentation: Animal-Human-Media Constellations in Biological Research Films

    Moderator: Sophia Gräfe (Philipps-Universität Marburg)

    Saturday, June 26, 2021

    2:00pm–4:30pm CET
    Session 4: Movement, Art, and Cinematic Ecologies

    Stefanie Bräuer (Universität Basel), Electronics in Experimental Animation: Para-Cinematic Practices and Sites

    Ken Eisenstein (Bucknell University), Row Roe Micro Your Tod: Hollis Frampton and the Currents of Time

    Eszter Polonyi (University of Nova Gorica), Between Film and Graphic Arrangement: Thom Andersen’s flicker

    Moderator: Yvonne Zimmermann (Philipps-Universität Marburg)

    5:00pm–7:30pm CET
    Session 5: Media of Microanalysis

    Michael Lempert (University of Michigan), Small Talk: Media and the Microscopic Science of Conversation

    Seth Barry Watter (eikones, Basel), Minimal Units and Good Vibrations: The Work of Paul Byers

    Moderator: Lena Trüper (University of California, Los Angeles)

    7:45pm-8:30pm CET
    Closing Discussion

    Download the Conference Program (PDF) here.

  • Abstracts

    Please find the abstracts of the individual presentations in this PDF.

  • Registration

    The conference will take place online. Please register by June 21, 2021 by following this link. For questions, please contact .