In the first semester of the MFA/EDA 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 is a record of those presentations. This is the fourth year we have posted MFA influences 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.
– Alex Harris