Nov. 9, Georgetown University: Post-Cinema, Artificial Creation, and the Concept of Animation

Denson Poster-2aOn Friday, November 9, I will be giving a talk titled “Post-Cinema, Artificial Creation, and the Concept of Animation: From Frankenstein to Ex Machina” at Georgetown University’s Film and Media Studies Program.

This is work stemming from my current book project, Discorrelated Images, which I am excited to present. Thanks to Caetlin Benson-Allott and Sky Sitney for inviting me to speak! For further information about the event, please contact Caetlin Benson-Allott.

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Extended till Nov. 2: Videographic Frankenstein

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The Videographic Frankenstein exhibition has been extended an additional week, until November 2, 2018! If you’re in the Bay Area and haven’t been able to check it out, you’ve still got (a little) time!

See here for more details, and stay tuned for a few related events/developments!

Images of Discorrelation at ASAP/10 in New Orleans

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Next week, Oct. 17-20, 2018, the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present (ASAP) will be holding its annual conference in New Orleans. There I will be on a panel, called “Images Otherwise,” with some excellent co-panelists: Andrew Johnston (NC State), Brooke Belisle (SUNY Stony Brook), and Jacob Gaboury (UC Berkeley). I will be presenting work related to my forthcoming book, Discorrelated Images.

Here is my abstract:

Images of Discorrelation

Shane Denson, Stanford University

This presentation deals with the ongoing transition from a cinematic to a post-cinematic media regime. Situated at the cusp between film studies and digital media studies, “images of discorrelation” names a variety of contemporary visual phenomena (glitches, artifacts, motion-smoothing, etc.) and seeks to articulate a theory of the perceptual, actional, and above all affective impacts of the thoroughgoing computationalization of moving-image media. The concept of “discorrelation” concerns the severing of phenomenological relations between viewing subjects and image-objects; it results from the failure, on the part of contemporary cameras and other imaging devices, to situate spectators in a coherently articulated viewing position. Furthermore, discorrelation is an effect of the microtemporal processing of computational images, which impacts viewers’ own embodied processing of time at a subperceptual level, prior to the articulation of subject-object relations. This generative dimension implicates computational imaging systems, including their use in mainstream movies and other media, in a fundamental transformation of human-technological relations.

It’s Alive! Videographic Frankenstein

 

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Videographic Frankenstein–the exhibition that I am curating at Stanford–opens today. The show runs from Sept. 26 through Oct. 26, 2018 in the Dr. Sidney and Iris Miller Discussion Space, McMurtry Building.

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Works featured:

Frankenstein (2018), 2018
Matthew Fishel
Silent Animation Loop

Spark of Being, 2010
Bill Morrison
Found Footage Film, 1:07:11

Frankenstein’s Television, 2018
Jason Mittell
Video, 10:02

Mad Science/Love and the Body in Pieces, 2018
Allison de Fren
Video, 17:18

The Meaning of “Animation” in Edison’s FRANKENSTEIN, 2017
Shane Denson
Video, 12:57

Red, Not Blood: Godard, Frankenstein, and Eastman Red, 2018
Carlos Valladares
Video, 6:46

Persona versus Frankenstein, 2015
David Verdeure, a.k.a. Filmscalpel
Video, 4:15

On Galvanism: Electricity, Frankenstein, and the Moving Image, 2018
Spencer Slovic
Video, 7:30

Sight and Sound Conspire: Monstrous Audio-Vision in James Whale’s FRANKENSTEIN (1931), 2015
Shane Denson
Video, 8:47

Questioning the Human Machine in EX MACHINA, 2016
Allison de Fren
Video, 10:26

Horror and Humor: Frankenstein’s Comic Offspring, 2018
Lester D. Friedman and Kristine Vann
Video, 17:38

The exhibition was made possible by a Frankenstein@200 Initiative grant from the Medicine and the Muse Program at Stanford.

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More information about the exhibition can be found here.

Stanford – Leuphana Summer Academy 2019

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Introducing the inaugural Stanford – Leuphana Summer Academy:

Stanford–Leuphana Summer Academy 2019

»Against presentism. Historicizing mediality«

Thinking about technological changes or revolutions is often marked by a presentist, ahistorical mode of thinking and debate.  Consider the contemporary discussion about »digital culture« and its technologies.  The tropes mobilized are usually technicist and innovation- or even disruption-oriented, in both their affirmative and critical guises.  Little attention is given to historical precursors of technologically driven social change.  Even less attention is given to concepts and theories from other historical periods that might help investigate and understand our current predicament.

The Stanford-Leuphana Summer Academy seeks to change perspectives by focusing on concepts and theories that break with the myopia of presentism.  In seeking to formulate a new research area in terms of other periods (e.g. premodern or early modern) and fields (e.g. anthropology, religious studies, art history, etc.), this 5-day seminar seeks to historicize mediality in productive and innovative ways.  If »digital cultures« are not only modernity’s final product, but also brought an end to modernity, then it might be inspiring to think about digital cultures beyond or apart from modern concepts.  What terms are historically specific for an age or culture, and what concepts apply broadly to various phenomena from the premodern to the present age?  In what ways do preliterate, oral, or ritualistic cultures intersect with digital modes of information?  How can these other perspectives change our thinking about the present?

Key terms:»ritual«, »authorship«, »sovereignty«, »arcane«, »orality«, »participation«, »public sphere«, »social construction of time«, »art«, »literature«, »history«, »philosophy«, »history of science«, »historiography«

 

Date: June 24 – 28, 2019

Location: Stanford Berlin, »Haus Cramer«, Pacelliallee 18, 14195 Berlin

 

Faculty

  1. Timon Beyes (Sociology of Organisation and Culture, Leuphana)
  2. Shane Denson (Film and Media Studies, Stanford)
  3. Elena Esposito (Sociology, Modena/Reggio Emilia)
  4. Marisa Galvez (French, Italian, and German Studies, Stanford)
  5. Hans-Ulrich Gumbrecht (Comparative Literature and German Studies, Stanford)
  6. Thomas Macho (Cultural History, IFK Vienna)
  7. Karla Oeler (Film and Media Studies, Stanford)
  8. Claus Pias (History and Epistemology of Media, Leuphana)
  9. Fred Turner (Communication, Stanford)
  10. Sigrid Weigel (Literature and Cultural Science, Berlin)

 

Application

All applications must be submitted electronically in PDF format.  Please submit your CV (1-2 pages) along with a 500-word abstract of your topic, and a short letter of intent explaining why you would like to attend this Summer Academy.

Please use the following naming convention for your application files:Lastname_CV.pdf, Lastname_Abstract.pdf, Lastname_Letter_of_Intent.pdf.

Please email your applications to Nelly Y. Pinkrah (nelly.pinkrah@leuphana.de).

The deadline for applications for the summer school is December 15, 2018.  All applicants will be informed about the selection of participants by end of January 2019.  The working language of the Summer Academy will be English.

The organizers will cover travel (economy) and accommodation costs for the time of the summer school.  No additional fees will be charged.

Contact

Claus Pias (pias@leuphana.de)

Please spread the word to graduate students who might benefit from an interdisciplinary effort to rethink mediality and its relation to history.

Theory into Practice: The Audiovisual Essay

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From September 29 – October 6, 2018, I will be in Olomouc, Czech Republic for the intensive course “Theory into Practice,” focusing this year on “The Audiovisual Essay.” This is a bilateral program between the Goethe Universität in Frankfurt am Main and Pálacky University in Olomouc, which Bernd Herzogenrath has been conducting for a decade or so. I am excited to be working with him and the students from Germany and Czech Republic this year, and to explore new possibilities in moving-image media at the intersection of theory and practice (or, as the GIF above suggests, a mix of blah-blah-blah and breaking stuff…).

Jason Mittell: “Videographic Deformations: How (and Why) to Break Your Favorite Films” — Oct. 10, 2018

 

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In conjunction with the exhibition Videographic Frankenstein (Sept. 26 – Oct. 26, 2018 in The Dr Sidney & Iris Miller Discussion Space, McMurtry Building, Stanford), television scholar and video essayist Jason Mittell (Middlebury College) will deliver a public lecture titled “Videographic Deformations: How (and Why) to Break Your Favorite Films.”

The lecture, which takes place at 5:30pm on October 10, 2018 in Oshman Hall (McMurtry Building), is in conversation with Frankenstein’s Television, Mittell’s contribution to the exhibition, and with a broader set of methodological concerns around the idea of “deformative” methods:

Deformative criticism has emerged as an innovative site of critical practice within media studies and digital humanities, revealing new insights into media texts by “breaking” them in controlled or chaotic ways. Media scholars are particularly well situated to such experimentation, as many of our objects of study exist in digital forms that lend themselves to wide-ranging manipulation. Building on Jason Mittell’s experiments with Singin’ in the Rain and his “Frankenstein’s Television” video (included in Stanford’s Videographic Frankenstein exhibit), this presentation discusses a range of deformations applied to film and television, considering what we can learn by breaking a media text in creative and unexpected ways.

Jason Mittell is Professor of Film & Media Culture and American Studies, and founder of the Digital Liberal Arts Initiative at Middlebury College. His books include Complex Television: The Poetics of Contemporary Television Storytelling (NYU Press, 2015), The Videographic Essay: Criticism in Sound and Image (with Christian Keathley; caboose books, 2016), and co-editor of How to Watch Television (with Ethan Thompson; NYU Press, 2013). He is project manager for [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film & Moving Image Studies, co-director of the NEH-supported workshop series Scholarship in Sound & Image, and a Fellow at the Peabody Media Center.

See here for more information.