Oh, How I Love A Good Manifesto!

Sometimes you just get lucky. While scampering about the web searching for  residencies, I stumbled on this phrase: Relational Filmmaking, and thought….”Yeah!” A few clicks later, I’m the website of  filmmaker, JULIE PERINI.

Perini has begun articulating ideas that, I suspect might be in the zeitgiest right now. You’ll see what I’m talking about below, but as a brief pre-roll, I’d just suggest that the contemporary filmmaker may now recognize and embrace the ways in which our production practices have the ability – the potential – to create insights, interventions and responses to problems through the process – not just through the advocacy contained in the finished product. Perini is telling us how she does it. I’ll be writing more about this idea of “Relational Filmmaking” soon. But for now I jsut had to share the post that I found on her blog.

Relational Filmmaking Manifesto

Ideas and practices I’m encountering at the Social Forum this week remind me that I haven’t been all that public about this manifesto I wrote in the fall, to be published any day now in INCITE! Journal of Experimental Media & Radical Aesthetics. (Not to be confused with the awesome organization INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence based out of Redmond, WA.)  It has taken me several years to be able to articulate my creative process and beliefs about mediamaking the way I do below.  So enjoy it.

Relational Filmmaking:  A Manifesto

Relational filmmakers do not make films about people.
Relational filmmakers make films with people.

Relational filmmakers do not interview subjects.
Relational filmmakers have conversations with other people.

Relational filmmakers do not know what the final film will look like.
Relational filmmakers make formal decisions that address the aesthetic, ethical, technical, and personal problems encountered throughout the making of the film.

Relational filmmakers do not adhere to established modes or conventions.
Relational filmmakers make films that are abstract, factual, and fictional, all at once.

Relational filmmakers do not fuck around with these tools of representation and power.
Relational filmmakers use their tools to experiment with new ways of being and to emancipate new forms of subjectivity.

Relational filmmakers believe that reality is the consequence of what we do together.  Their films carry and conduct traces of this belief.  Relational films are co-created through careful and playful interrogations of the roles performed by the people and materials involved with the film’s production and reception:  artists, subjects, passers-by, audiences, environments, ideas, and things.

By Julie Perini
Edinboro, PA
September 2009


About cauleen

Cauleen Smith is a native Californian who has had the privilege of living in Austin, Texas, Boston, Massachusetts, Emeryville, and San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Los Angeles in California. She finds herself now happily settled in Chicago, IL where she makes stuff with an emphasis on the moving image, sound, and outer space.
This entry was posted in artists or film/videos, shout outs, thought bubbles. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Oh, How I Love A Good Manifesto!

  1. Pingback: Julie Perini: The Blog » Blog Archive » Relational Revolution

  2. Pingback: Recording Medium as the Site of Experimentation, not just the device for documentation…. « The Solar Flare Arkestral Marching Band

  3. casbah3d says:

    Fantastic read and sentiment. I will think about this as I go about my practice of art and life. Thanks so much.

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