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.

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Theory into Practice: The Audiovisual Essay

olomouc

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

 

Frankenstein's Television headshot copy

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.

FrankensteinsDeepDream

Creation scene and aftermath, as described in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (Chapter 5, 1831 edition) and interpreted by Cris Valenzuela’s text-to-image machine-learning demo (http://t2i.cvalenzuelab.com) utilizing AttnGAN (Attentional Generative Adversarial Networks).

Made for the upcoming Videographic Frankenstein exhibition at the Department of Art & Art History, Stanford University (Sept. 26 – Oct. 26, 2018). More info here: https://art.stanford.edu/exhibitions/videographic-frankenstein

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

Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 8.02.38 AM

“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.

Virtual and Augmented Reality Digital (and/or Deformative?) Humanities Institute at Duke

I am excited to be participating in the the NEH-funded Virtual and Augmented Reality Digital Humanities Institute — or V/AR-DHI — next month (July 23 – August 3, 2018) at Duke University. I am hoping to adapt “deformative” methods (as described by Mark Sample following a provocation from Lisa Samuels and Jerome McGann) as a means of transformatively interrogating audiovisual media such as film and digital video in the spaces opened up by virtual and augmented reality technologies. In preparation, I have been experimenting with photogrammetric methods to reconstruct the three-dimensional spaces depicted on two-dimensional screens. The results, so far, have been … modest — nothing yet in comparison to artist Claire Hentschker’s excellent Shining360 (2016) or Gregory Chatonsky’s The Kiss (2015). There is something interesting, though, about the dispersal of the character Neo’s body into an amorphous blob and the disappearance of bullet time’s eponymous bullet in this scene from The Matrix, and there’s something incredibly eerie about the hidden image behind the image in this famous scene from Frankenstein, where the monster’s face is first revealed and his head made virtually to protrude from the screen through a series of jump cuts. Certainly, these tests stand in an intriguing (if uncertain) deformative relation to these iconic moments. In any case, I look forward to seeing where (if anywhere) this leads, and to experimenting further at the Institute next month.