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.

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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.

Chroma Glitch: Carolyn Kane at Digital Aesthetics Workshop

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The Digital Aesthetics Workshop at the Stanford Humanities Center is entering its second year, and we are pleased to announce the first event: Carolyn L. Kane will share some of her current research with us, under the title Chroma Glitch: Data as Style. The discussion will encompass Takeshi Murata, Ryan Trecartin, and datamoshing, all within Kane’s broader project, tentatively titled Precarious Beauty: Glitch, Noise, and Aesthetic Failure. There will be a paper pre-circulated ahead of the talk; we will pass it along a week ahead of the event. We are thrilled Dr. Kane can join us – when we first came up with this idea for a workshop, her name became a token for the sort of scholarship we would want to bring in. She will launch a year already filling up with exciting speakers and a new graduate colloquium (more on that to come).

Carolyn L. Kane is the author of the award-winning Chromatic Algorithms: Synthetic Color, Computer Art, and Aesthetics after Code (U Chicago, 2014). [You can learn more about this fascinating project through this interview in Theory, Culture & Society.] She earned her Ph.D. from New York University’s Dept. of Media, Culture, and Communication in 2011, and was awarded the Nancy L. Buc Postdoctoral Fellowship in “Aesthetics and the Question of Beauty” at Brown University in 2014. From 2011 to 2014 she taught at Hunter College; she is now Associate Professor of Communication and Design at Ryerson University in Toronto.

This event will be held from 5-7p on Tuesday, Oct 9, 2018 at the Roble Arts Gym Lounge (TAPS department). Drinks and snacks will be served. Please RSVP to Doug Eacho (email in image above) if you can, and share widely.

Criticism in Moving Images: The Video Essay in Theory and Practice (Sydney)

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“Criticism in Moving Images: The Video Essay in Theory and Practice” is the first of three events I’ll be involved in during a trip next month to Australia. On September 5 at the Power Institute (University of Sydney), Conor Bateman and I will present and discuss videographic work in conversation with Susan Potter:

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See here for more info, and register here.

Matthew Wilson Smith: The Nostalgia of VR

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On Tuesday, May 15th, we’ll have our fourth and final Digital Aesthetics Workshop of the Spring quarter, “The Nostalgia of Virtual Reality” with Matthew Wilson Smith, at 4 PM in the Stanford Humanities Center Board Room. In this workshop, we will discuss the degree to which emergent technologies of virtual reality are indebted to longstanding concepts of presence and disembodied consciousness.

Matthew Wilson Smith is an Associate Professor of German Studies and Theatre and Performance Studies at Stanford University. His  interests include modern theatre; modernism and media; and relations between technology, science, and the arts. His book The Nervous Stage: 19th-century Neuroscience and the Birth of Modern Theatre explores historical intersections between the performing arts and the neurological sciences and traces the construction of a “neural subject” over the course of the nineteenth century. It was published by Oxford University Press in 2017. His previous book, The Total Work of Art: From Bayreuth to Cyberspace (Routledge, 2007), presents a history and theory of modern artistic synthesis, placing such diverse figures as Wagner, Moholy-Nagy, Brecht, Riefenstahl, Disney, Warhol, and contemporary cyber-artists within a genealogy of totalizing performance.