Fields of Interest: film and media studies, media theory and historiography, installation and performance art
Kalani Michell is Assistant Professor of Germanic Languages at the University of California Los Angeles. Prior to this, she worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the research collective (Graduiertenkolleg) “Configurations of Film” and as an Assistant Professor (wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin) in Media Studies at the Goethe University Frankfurt. She has taught and written about a wide range of media, including photography, comics, installation and performance art, print culture, film and media theory, sound studies, and media historiography.
Currently, Professor Michell is preparing her monograph, “All in the Same Box: Unhinging Audiovisual Media in the 1960s and 1970s,” which explores the transnational expansion of art, film, and other medial objects outside of conventional exhibition contexts during this time period. This project emphasizes the potential of integrating media theoretical analyses into case studies previously approached from the perspective of a single medium. In order to rigorously engage with media clusters (Medienverbünde), as is the case for many multimedial projects of the 1960s/70s, one must first acknowledge that they don’t inherently correspond to disciplinary boundaries and ‘high’ and ‘low’ aesthetic categories. These theoretical analyses take relocation, or the unhinging from standard sites of exhibition, as their point of departure, forcing intermedial concerns about ownership, access, order, storage, and containment to the foreground.
In addition to working on this project, Professor Michell has published on a variety of art and media topics, such as on Marcel Broodthaers’s experiments with ink in 16mm film and the return to his work in the web-based practices of Haegue Yang (in Re-Animationen), on Timm Ulrichs and the circulation of the Mona Lisa in the set design of pornographic productions (in CineAction), and on a computer game that restages waiting for a performance by Marina Abramović (in kultuRRevolution). Her research on German cinema has examined concepts of surveillance, memory, and home movies in Thomas Heise’s Barluschke (in East, West and Centre), invisibility techniques in a sci-fi film from the Third Reich (in Continuity and Crisis), and experiments with moving image formats in the long sixties (in Celluloid Revolt). Her latest research projects focus on comics, sound studies, and bureaucracy: the comics storyboard and sketch aesthetic in Christian Petzold’s filmic shot composition, the emergence of academic podcasts that reposition the boundaries of German studies and film studies, and paperwork as a key, if overlooked, aspect of film labor and production.