Distant Present will investigate the contribution that Peter Watkins’s output from the 1970s through the present has made to contemporary media theory and collaborative critical practice. It will demonstrate that Watkins’s processes prefigure those of moving-image documentary works in contemporary art and gallery contexts. Finally, this book argues for Watkins’s crucial place within an aesthetically rigorous, broad, and international set of thinkers and artists working in diverse disciplines and backgrounds.

Rachael Rakes has worked as a curator, critic, and programmer for the past twelve years. She has organized exhibitions and events for such institutions as Film Society Lincoln Center, Museum of the Moving Image, ArteEast, Millennium Cinema, Anthology Film Archives, Artists Television Access, Monkeytown, UnionDocs, and Studio X, among others. She is currently a Programmer at Large and co-programmer of the series Art of the Real at Lincoln Center, and programming advisor for UnionDocs. With Leo Goldsmith, she edits the film section for the Brooklyn Rail. She also writes about art and film for outlets such as ArtforumArt PapersBOMB, and Hyperallergic. From 2012-2014, she was part of the collaborative running Heliopolis Project Space in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Leo Goldsmith is a writer and curator from Brooklyn, New York. He has been an active film and media critic for both print and online publications since 2002. His writing has appeared in ArtforumIndiewire, the Los Angeles Review of BooksMoving Image SourceReverse Shot, and the Village Voice, and he has been an editor at Not Coming to a Theater Near You since 2003, for which he also co-programmed a monthly screening series at 92Y Tribeca from 2009 to 2013. In 2013, he co-curated Computer Age, a program of early computer movies at the Museum of the Moving Image.