Society for Cultural Anthropology
Oral Presentation Session
Between 1964-1966 Andy Warhol made a series of short film portraits that he called Screen Tests. Each film depicted a subject, shot from the neck up, who was instructed to sit for around 3 minutes without moving. The result was a form of intimate moving portraiture of the various artists who moved through The Factory. Inspired by Warhol’s method, this presentation reflects on a series of 8 short “screen tests” filmed by the author during fieldwork in Nepal as a visual essay on intersubjectivity (Desjarlais and Throop 2011; Hollan and Throop 2008; Jackson 1998; Levinas 1998, 1985; Throop 2010). Specifically, I use the form of the “screen test” as an experimental inquiry into the experience of intersubjectivity, the opacity of subjective experience, and Emmanuel Levinas’ concept of ethics as optics, in which ethics is located in the relational act of “seeing the face” of the other.