40 Pages

An ethnographic gaze

Douglas Harper
WithScenes in the anthropological life of Timothy Asch

I met Tim Asch in 1970 at a seminar in ethnographic film held at his house in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Although not enrolled in Brandeis University, where Tim was teaching, I became a regular participant in the seminar and Tim never really asked who I was or what I was doing there. We were cutting out-takes from the Yanomamö films into short films to learn about sequencing images. The discussions were exactly what I yearned for: talk about how images got their meanings, mixed in with a lot of love for the practice of picture-making. We learned by doing and were guided as much as anything by Tim’s enthusiasm.