For readers of German, the Leibniz School of Education in Hannover, Germany has a nice write-up of the talk I gave there on “Post-Cinematic Realism” back in July. The material I presented there will also appear in my forthcoming book, Discorrelated Images.
On October 8, I will be giving a keynote lecture at “Cinemática II: O pós-cinema e a experimentação para além da tela” (Post-Cinema and Experimentation Beyond the Screen) at the Universidade de São Paulo in Brazil. My talk, titled “Discorrelated Images, Algorithmic Affects, and the Hyperinformatic Environment,” draws on my forthcoming book Discorrelated Images.
I am very excited to visit Brazil for the first time, and very grateful for the invitation from Prof. Giselle Gubernikoff of the Escola de Comunicações e Artes!
Yesterday was the first event on my trip to Germany and Switzerland: the symposium Videographic Criticism: Aesthetics and Methods of the Video Essay, organized by Kathleen Loock, and with talks/screenings from her, Allison de Fren, Chloé Galibert-Laîné and Kevin B. Lee, Liz Greene, David Verdeure, and myself.
Above, you will find my video contribution, “The Algorithmic Nickelodeon,” which builds on work started at the Duke S-1: Speculative Sensation Lab during my time there as a postdoc. The video is offered as proof-of-concept for an experimental approach to videographic theory–using video not (only) as a vehicle for theoretical expression but as a more radically transductive medium of media-theoretical exploration and transformation.
On June 29, 2019, I will be presenting work from my forthcoming book, Discorrelated Images, at the media-philosophical workshop on “Reflexivity in Digital Media” at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste. Thanks to Katerina Krtilova for organizing, and thanks to Dieter Mersch for the invitation to be a part of this!
Next Friday, June 21, 2019, I am excited to present “The Algorithmic Nickelodeon,” a literally mind-bending EEG-powered videographic experiment, in the context of the symposium on “Videographic Criticism: Aesthetics and Methods of the Video Essay.”
The symposium, organized by Kathleen Loock, will take place at the ACUD-Kino in Berlin, and will bring together lots of leading practitioners of videographic scholarship to screen their work and discuss questions of aesthetics, methods, and theory.
The event is free and open to the public, so come by if you’re in the neighborhood!
Recently, I wondered whether it was time to leave social media and reboot the blog as a space of active thinking and sharing. The jury is still out on whether that is feasible and even desirable. But I would like to use this space to post more than just upcoming talks and publications. In that spirit, I’d like to point out Yvette Granata’s 360-degree video CLONE (2017), which you can see above (but which is better viewed on a smartphone through the YouTube app, and even better with Google Cardboard or similar contraption).
On her website, Granata describes the video thus:
CLONE (HD Video, 2017) is a 360 video essay and a para-sexual design fiction. It narrates a future time after global climate collapse and mass pollution have made sexual reproduction no longer viable. Both sexual reproduction and the networked technology of the 21st century have all melted from the humidity produced by runaway greenhouse gasses. In this speculative future, a Xenofeminist world government has re-purposed the data farms of former tech companies for Mono-auto-sexual cloning clinics — the artificial wombs for the hot asexuality of the future.
I have recently been writing about this remarkable video against the background of big-budget movies about artificial women, including Her (2013), Ex Machina (2014), and Blade Runner 2049 (2017). Those movies, all of which happen to be directed by white men, are interesting meditations on, or parables of, artificial creation in an age of computer-generated imagery. But Granata’s weird video, drawing inspiration from the Xenofeminist Manifesto, goes farther than any of those movies in raising questions about the interface between gender, capital, climate change, and moving-image media.
Here is a brief snippet of what I’ve been writing:
This week, thanks to a kind invitation from Julia Leyda, I have been in Trondheim, Norway, where I’ve led two workshops on videographic scholarship and pedagogy with Kathleen Loock and, today, gave a talk on “Screen Time.” Tomorrow, March 29, 2019, I will head down south, where I will be speaking on “The Horror of Discorrelation” at University of Agder in Kristiansand, Norway. Thanks to Ahmet Gürata for inviting me!
In the week of March 25 – 29, 2019, I will be giving several talks and workshops in Norway — first at the Deapartment of Art And Media Studies at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, and then at the Department of Nordic and Media Studies at the University of Agder in Kristiansand.
First, in Trondheim, on March 26 and 27, I will be participating on two workshops on videographic pedagogy and scholarship with Kathleen Loock.
Then, on March 28, also in Trondheim, I’ll be presenting work from my book project Discorrelated Images.
Finally, on March 29, in Kristiansand, I’ll be giving a talk on contemporary horror, also under the perspective of discorrelation.
Thanks to Julia Leyda for inviting me to Trondheim, and to Ahmet Gürata for the invitation to Kristiansand!
On 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.
I am excited to be participating in the Ends of Cinema conference at the Center for 21st Century Studies, taking place May 3-5, 2018 at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. There are some great keynote speakers, including my colleague Jean Ma and lots of other wonderful people. The C21, under the expert leadership of Richard Grusin (who is now back at the helm after a short hiatus), has put on some of my personal favorite conferences, and I expect this one to be no less exciting and thought-provoking.
My own contribution will be a paper titled “Post-Cinematic Realism” — work in progress for my current book project Discorrelated Images. Here is the abstract:
Shane Denson, Stanford University
In its classical formulation, cinematic realism is based in the photographic ontology of film, i.e. in the photograph’s indexical relation to the world, which grants to film its unique purchase on reality; upon this relation also hinged, for many realist filmmakers, the political promise of realism. Digital media, meanwhile, are widely credited with disrupting indexicality and instituting an alternative ontology of the image. David Rodowick, for example, argues that the interjection of digital code disrupts film’s “automatisms” and eradicates the index in favor of the symbolic. But while such arguments are in many respects compelling, I contend that the disruption of photographic indexicality might also be seen to open up spaces in which to explore new automatisms that communicate reality and/or realism with and through post-indexical technologies.
Whereas André Bazin privileged techniques like the long take and deep focus for their power to approximate our natural perception of time and space, theorists like Maurizio Lazzarato and Mark Hansen emphasize post-cinematic media’s ability to approximate the sub-perceptual processing of duration executed by our pre-personal bodies. The perceptual discorrelation of computational images gives way, in other words, to a more precise calibration of machinic and embodied temporalities; simultaneously, the perceptual richness of Bazin’s images becomes less important, while “poor images” (in Hito Steyerl’s term) communicate more directly the material and political realities of a post-cinematic environment. As I will demonstrate with reference to a variety of moving-image texts employing glitches, drones, and other computational objects, post-cinematic media might in fact be credited with a newly intensified political relevance through their institution of a new, post-cinematic realism.