Time: March 10, 17.00 – 18.00
Location: Piet Zwart Institute Master Fine Art, Karel Doormanhof 45, Rotterdam
Language: English 

We’re excited to co-host along with WET a conversation with filmmakers Ernst Karel and Veronika Kusumaryati about their augmented sound work Expedition Content (2020) sceening at WET’s space in Rotterdam South. Anthropologist and educator Sander Hölsgens will join Ernst and Veronika who are will join us via video call from the US, where they are currently working.

Expedition Content sifts through material from the infamous Harvard Peabody Expedition to Netherlands New Guinea, a trip financed by the Dutch government and conducted by a group of American researchers and filmmakers in 1961. The piece simultaneously uncovers, reveals and abstracts, raising questions about anthropological filmmaking, the broader objectification of indigenous people, and the role of Dutch and American colonialism in the region. In their nearly imageless film, Karel and Kusumaryati document the strange encounters between the expedition and the indigenous Hubula (also known as Dani) people. The work explores and upends the power dynamics between anthropologist and subject, between image and sound, and turns the whole ethnographic project on its head. 

Ernst Karel works with sound, including electroacoustic music, experimental nonfiction sound works, image-sound collaboration, and post-production sound for nonfiction film. Lately, he works around the practice of actuality/location recording and composing with those recordings, with recent projects also taking up archival audio. At the Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard University, he collaborated on sound for a number of films and developed and taught a practice-based course in ‘sonic ethnography.’

Veronika Kusumaryati is a political and media anthropologist working in West Papua, a self-identifying term referring to Papua and West Papua provinces of Indonesia. Her scholarship engages with the theories and historiography of colonialism, decolonization, and postcoloniality. She holds a doctoral degree from the department of anthropology at Harvard with a secondary field in Film and Visual Studies. She is an affiliate of the Sensory Ethnography Lab and currently a postdoctoral fellow at Georgetown University.

Sander Hölsgens is an anthropologist and educator, teaching practice-led courses in visual ethnography and audiovisual culture at Leiden University. He is also one of the programmers of Field Recordings, an annual programme on visual anthropology, sound art and landscape film, taking place at WORM, Rotterdam.

Entrance is free and open to all, no reservations necessary.  Accessibility:
The ground floor of the MFA building at Kareldoormanhoff 45  has step free access up a short ramp via the garden courtyard entrance. Gender neutral toilets are available but there are no wheelchair accessible toilets. Please get in touch if you have any questions about access.