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.

Advertisements

#SCMS17 Deformative Criticism Workshop — Slides, Videos, Tutorials, Stuff

2017-03-24 01.40.14 pm

Click here or on the image above to view the slides from today’s workshop on “Deformative Criticism & Digital Experimentations in Film & Media Studies” at the 2107 SCMS conference.

Also, see here for a Google Doc with my contribution (“Glitch Augment Scan”) — including thoughts on AR, examples, and a super-simple AR tutorial — as well as links to videos, code, experiments, and deformations by my co-panelists Stephanie Boluk, Kevin Ferguson, Virginia Kuhn, Jason Mittell, and Mark Sample.

Videographic PechaKucha

Inspired by Jason Mittell’s latest blog post on “Videographic Deformations,” in which Jason discusses an exercise we did at last summer’s NEH digital humanities workshop on Scholarship in Sound & Image in the context of what Lisa Samuels and Jerome McGann call “deformative criticism,” I’ve finally gotten around to uploading a multiscreen compilation of “videographic PechaKuchas” that I made in Middlebury, based on the videos made by all the participants in the workshop. Be sure to check out Jason’s post for the essential context, and: Enjoy!

(For best image quality, check out the video on vimeo, where you can view it in 1080p HD.)

Out Now: [in]Transition 2.4

2016-01-04 01.02.49 pm

The latest issue of [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film & Moving Image Studies has just been published. This is a special issue featuring video essays that emerged out of the NEH workshop on videographic criticism that I attended last summer at Middlebury College, organized by Jason Mittell and Christian Keathley. In addition to my video essay “Sight and Sound Conspire: Monstrous Audio-Vision in James Whale’s Frankenstein (1931)” — with peer reviews by Steven Shaviro and Drew Morton — the special issue also contains great pieces by Allison de Fren, Patrick Keating, Jaap Kooijman, and Michael Talbott. Check it out!

Scholarship in Sound & Image

2015-02-05 02.45.18 pm

I have long been interested in “videographic criticism” — that is, scholarly (interpretive, argumentative, and sometimes more poetic) work done in the medium of sound and moving images. Such work is especially relevant for engagements with film and video, television, and video games — i.e. for the critical analysis of media that themselves operate with sound and moving images of various sorts. Until now, I have only dabbled in videographic criticism, but I regard it as an important means of gaining insight and materially grappling with moving-image media; the process of planning and executing a video essay can be literally eye-opening to students who are just coming to terms with concepts and practices of cinematographic framing and continuity editing, for example, but the experience is no less powerful for seasoned scholars who are used to engaging with moving images through the more conventional channel of written text.

Over the past few years, as a result, I have made a commitment to myself to work towards more fully integrating videographic modes and methods into my pedagogical and scholarly practice. I have encouraged students to produce video essays as seminar coursework (e.g. in my 21st-century film course) — and I have plans to expand my incorporation of such assignments in future courses. In the meantime, a great number of people have been busy developing the form, exploring best practices for conducting this type of work, and even setting up peer-reviewed journals for videographic criticism — if you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check out the awesome journal [in]TransitionIn other words, while this is still a relatively new field of scholarly publication (though it clearly draws on older forms of documentary and creative work), there is a growing community of people and a growing body of work and experimentation that can be drawn upon and learned from.

I am therefore very excited to be attending a workshop this summer, “Scholarship in Sound & Image” (June 14-27, 2015 at Middlebury College), where I look forward to meeting some of these people and learning from their experience. Co-directed by Christian Keathley and Jason Mittell, and with guest presentations by the incomparable Catherine Grant and Eric Faden, the workshop promises to be a once in a lifetime learning event.

In other words: Expect to see more moving-image experiments on this blog!

Popular Seriality: June 6 – 8, 2013

Popular_Seriality_Conference_Poster

Above, the wonderful poster for the upcoming “Popular Seriality” conference in Göttingen (June 6-8). Below, the final program.

More info about the conference can be found on the homepage of the DFG Research Unit “Popular Seriality: Aesthetics and Practice,” here.

International Conference: “Popular Seriality”


International Conference: “Popular Seriality”
June 6-8, 2013 // University of Göttingen

Above, the preliminary program for the upcoming conference of the seriality research group that several of my colleagues and I are involved with.

Most readers of this blog will already be familiar with the seriality group, but in case you’re not: The Research Unit “Popular Seriality—Aesthetics and Practice,” funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), brings together 15 researchers from the fields of American Studies, German Philology, Cultural Anthropology/European Ethnology, Empirical Cultural Studies, and Media Studies. Since 201o, six sub-projects have been investigating a narrative format that has become a defining feature of popular aesthetics: the series. The Research Unit addresses questions concerning the wide distribution and broad appeal of series since the 19th century and asks which new narrative formats have emerged through serialization. Further questions are: How do series influence the way we perceive and structure social reality? How are serial characters revised when they undergo one or more media shifts? How can we explain the progressively shrinking boundaries between producers and recipients in long running series? Which transformations in the field of cultural distinctions are produced by complex serial narratives, which are increasingly embedded in highbrow lifestyles and canonization practices?

From June 6 to 8, 2013, towards the end of the first funding period, the Research Unit will hold an International Conference in Göttingen. Talks will be given by members of the Research Unit and well-known researchers in the field of popular seriality. Among the scholars presenting at the conference are Sudeep Dasgupta, Jared Gardner, Julika Griem, Scott Higgins, Judith Keilbach, Lothar Mikos, Sean O’Sullivan, Patricia Okker, Irmela Schneider, Sabine Sielke, Ben Singer, William Uricchio, Constantine Verevis, Tanja Weber und Christian Junklewitz. Jason Mittell will give the keynote lecture.

For more information about the research unit, and to stay up to date on the conference and other activities, please refer to the group’s homepage: http://popularseriality.uni-goettingen.de/