DER Documentary

A Media Archaeology of Boston

A Media Archaeology of Boston launch preview watch a preview from the set

by Jesse Shapins and Olga Touloumi
b&w and color, 120 min, 2013

Non-profit, K-12, and Individual pricing also available
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Using the Boston region as a laboratory for exploring different modes of urban representation across both history and media, A Media Archaeology of Boston exhibits a carefully-selected excavation of the city's spaces through a montage of short films, photographs, postcards, and soundscapes of the larger metropolitan area. Far from a comprehensive survey, A Media Archaeology of Boston aims to provoke new experiences of the city and, simultaneously, to challenge everyday perceptions of it.

Unlike Los Angeles or New York, whose image has been meticulously produced and systematically canonized through mass and independent media, Boston is a place where media practice has taken place on the margins of central venues of production and distribution. From industrial films by the Ford Motor Company to discharged advertising reels of local businesses to state-sponsored documentaries by experimental filmmakers investigating the harbor's environmental health, Media Archaeology of Boston provides insight into a city that expands beyond its celebrated historical landscape to encompass a multiplicity of perspectives toward diverse parts of the metropolitan area.

Integrating content, form, time, place, and medium in our curatorial process, we aim to construct a more complex, subjective matrix of multiple perspectives on Boston, without any claims of objectivity or comprehensiveness. The DVD opens up this collection of documentations to the audience and invites participation in the construction of new stories, of new narratives. A Media Archaeology of Boston, above all, remains an open and incomplete collection that presents a map of possibilities.

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, Harvard University, 2009

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Supported By Massachusetts Cultural Council National Endowment for the Humanities National Endowment for the Arts