MFA|EDA Class of 2016 Launches “Influences” Blog

Photo-blur painting by Gerhard Richter, an influential artist for MFA|EDA student Michaela O'Brien

Photo-blur painting by Gerhard Richter, an influential artist for MFA|EDA student Michaela O’Brien

In the first semester of the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts program at Duke, the Documentary Fieldwork seminar is taught as an opportunity for students to create a new body of documentary work, in a sense to define what they mean by documentary work through their own artistic practice. This new work—presented at the end of the semester—shows where students are going.

But students are asked to look back as well, to show us where they have come from. Once a semester each member of the seminar presents his or her influences:  the films, photographs, artists, books, music, and experiences that have most influenced their own work. This blog, Influences, is a record of those presentations by students in the Class of 2016. This is the fourth year we have posted these blogs, an online space that is becoming a cumulative and interactive syllabus for anyone interested in what has inspired this new generation of documentary artists. Click here to view the current Influences blog; click here to view the Influences archive.

—Alex Harris, Center for Documentary Studies cofounder, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy and Documentary Studies at Duke University

Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies, and Program in Arts of the Moving Image are the three founding units of the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts program.

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