Stanford Film & Media Studies 2018 Symposium: “Pieces”

Pieces-FMS-Symposium-sm

The inaugural Stanford Film and Media Studies Symposium takes place on Friday April 13, 2018 in Oshman Hall. The theme of the conference is “Pieces” and talks will address questions concerning how bits of film and media make us rethink the relation of part to whole and what methods artists use to make discrete pieces—temporal, spatial, material, performative—that may or may not fit into larger collaborative works.

The keynote speakers are Lotte Hoek (University of Edinburgh) on “Anthropology and the Cinematic Fragment in South Asia” and Steven Shaviro (Wayne State University) on “Speculative Time.” In addition, there will be two panels. The first will feature an artist’s talk by Srdan Keca (Documentary Film and Video); Daniel Cohen (Art & Art History) on “Chinese Comedy and the Postsocialist Art of Deflation”; Heather Rastovac Akbarzadeh (Dance Studies) on “Sensorial Performativity of the ‘Veil’ in Aisan Hoss’s Dance-Theater The Pleasant Pain”; and Dustin Condren (Slavic) on Sergei Eisenstein’s film scenario MMM. Terry Berlier (Art Practice) will deliver an artist’s talk on the second panel, followed by Tiffany Naiman (Thinking Matters) on “Memory, Meaning, and Fragmentation in David Bowie’s ‘Blackstar’; Henry Rownd (Art & Art History) on the marked disjuncture between widescreen and pan-and-scan in Otto Preminger’s late work Skidoo (1968); and Max Suechting (Modern Thought and Literature) on “Fragments and Wholes in J Dilla’s Donuts.”

9:30am – Welcome
9:50am – Opening Remarks
10:00am – Keynote Speaker
11:30am – Panel 1
2:30pm – Panel 2
4:30pm – Keynote Speaker
5:45 pm – Closing Remarks

Department of Art & Art History, Film & Media Studies, thanks their sponsors: Center for South Asia, Office of the Vice President for the Arts, CREEES Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies, Stanford Global Studies Division, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Iranian Studies, The Program in Modern Thought & Literature, Department of Communication, Thinking Matters.

See also the official announcement here: https://art.stanford.edu/events/stanford-film-and-media-studies-symposium-pieces

Out Now: [in]Transition 2.4

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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!

Complete Panel Video — Post-Cinema and/as Speculative Media Theory #SCMS15

On March 27, 2015, at the annual conference of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies in Montreal, Steven Shaviro, Patricia Pisters, Adrian Ivakhiv, and Mark B. N. Hansen participated in a panel I organized on “Post-Cinema and/as Speculative Media Theory.” It was standing room only, and many people were unable to squeeze into the room (some images are posted here). Thankfully, all of the presenters agreed to have their talks recorded on video and archived online.

(I have posted these videos here before, but for the sake of convenience I wanted to pull them together in a single post, so that the entire panel is available in one place.)

Above, you’ll find my brief general introduction to the panel, and below the four presentations:

Steven Shaviro’s proposal for a “Cinema 3.0”: the rhythm-image (following Deleuze’s movement-image and time-image)

Patricia Pisters, whose own proposal for a third image-type she calls the “neuro-image,” on the politics of post-cinema

Adrian Ivakhiv on the material, ecological dimensions of (post-)cinema in the Anthropocene and/or Capitalocene

Mark B. N. Hansen on the microtemporal and sub-perceptual dimensions of digital, post-cinematic images

Finally, you can look forward to hearing more from the panel participants, all of whom are contributing to an open-access collection titled Post-Cinema: Theorizing 21st-Century Film, co-edited by myself and Julia Leyda (forthcoming 2016 from REFRAME Books). More details soon, so stay tuned!

Video: Post-Cinema and/as Speculative Media Theory, Part 2: Steven Shaviro, “The Rhythm-Image” — #SCMS15

Above, Steven Shaviro’s talk “The Rhythm-Image” — the second of five videos documenting the “Post-Cinema and/as Speculative Media Theory” panel I chaired on March 27, 2015 at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies annual conference in Montreal.

See here for more information and a general introduction to the panel.

Up next: Patricia Pisters. Stay tuned!

Video: Post-Cinema and/as Speculative Media Theory, Part 1 — #SCMS15

Above, the first of five videos documenting the “Post-Cinema and/as Speculative Media Theory” panel I chaired on March 27, 2015 at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies annual conference in Montreal.

The room was jam-packed with people (as you can see in the images here), and the panel was equally jam-packed with dense theoretical discussions of post-cinema. These videos are meant to compensate for the limited space and the limited time (and cognitive capacity) to process these thinkers’ ideas on the spot, preserving and opening their presentations to a wider audience.

This, the shortest of the videos, contains my introductory remarks outlining my overall rationale for organizing the panel.

Stay tuned for videos of talks by Steven Shaviro, Patricia Pisters, Adrian Ivakhiv, and Mark B. N. Hansen, which will be appearing here in the coming weeks (if you like, you can subscribe to the blog to make sure you don’t miss them; see the link on the upper right-hand side of the screen). In the meantime, you can read their abstracts here:

Steven Shaviro, “Reversible Flesh”

Patricia Pisters, “The Filmmaker as Metallurgist: Post-Cinema’s Commitment to Radical Contingency”

Adrian Ivakhiv, “Speculative Ecologies of (Post-)Cinema”

Mark B. N. Hansen, “Speculative Protention, or, Are 21st Century Media Agents of Futurity?”

Finally, you can look forward to contributions by all four speakers (and many more as well) to the open-access collection Post-Cinema: Theorizing 21st-Century Film, which I am currently co-editing with Julia Leyda for REFRAME Books (and which will be coming out later this year).

A Few Post-Cinematic Images #SCMS15

Here are a few images, all taken from Twitter, from the “Post-Cinema and/as Speculative Media Theory” panel that I chaired this morning, bright and early at 9am.

Despite the early hour, people came out in droves to see Steven Shaviro, Patricia Pisters, Adrian Ivakhiv, and Mark Hansen.

Though I could not see it from my vantage point, people were even standing outside the room to hear these rich and energetic papers!

And a little meta-post-cinema…

Finally, if you couldn’t make it, couldn’t see the speakers, couldn’t hear them, or couldn’t follow all the intricacies of their very rich and theoretically dense papers this morning, you may be interested to know that the entire panel was videotaped and will be available here soon!

#SCMS15 — Post-Cinema, Digital Seriality, and a Book Giveaway!

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Only two weeks until the 2015 Society for Cinema and Media Studies annual conference (March 25-29 in Montreal)! In case you haven’t seen it already, the official program is now up here (warning: opens as a PDF).

As I have posted before, I will be participating in two panels this year:

First, I will be serving as chair on the “Post-Cinema and/as Speculative Media Theory” panel (Session K7: Friday, March 27, 9:00 – 10:45am), for which I feel extremely lucky to have secured an all-star lineup of panelists: Steven Shaviro, Patricia Pisters, Adrian Ivakhiv, and Mark B. N. Hansen (click on each name to read the panelists’ abstracts). I also feel very honored that the Media and the Environment Special Interest Group has chosen this panel for official sponsorship!

Second, I will be co-presenting a paper on “Hardware Seriality” with my colleague Andreas Jahn-Sudmann in the “Digital Seriality” panel (Session Q20: Saturday, March 28, 3:00 – 4:45pm). Other panelists include Scott Higgins and Dominik Maeder (click for their abstracts). (Unfortunately, Daniela Wentz will not be able to attend the conference.)

Finally, just for fun: A BOOK GIVEAWAY! The first person to ask me (in person, during the conference) about my book Postnaturalism: Frankenstein, Film, and the Anthropotechnical Interface (excerpt here) will get a free copy! So be on the lookout!

SCMS 2015 Preliminary Schedule Online — #SCMS15

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The preliminary schedule for the Society of Cinema and Media Studies 2015 conference in Montreal is now online (here). As I posted recently, I will be involved in two separate panels:

First, I will be chairing the panel on “Post-Cinema and/as Speculative Media Theory” (panel K7, Friday, March 27, 2015, 9:00-10:45am) — with presenters Steven Shaviro, Patricia Pisters, Adrian Ivakhiv, and Mark B. N. Hansen. You can find the complete panel description, as well as individual abstracts, here. Note also that all participants on this panel are contributors to the forthcoming Post-Cinema: Theorizing 21st-Century Film, which I am co-editing with Julia Leyda.

Second, I will be participating in a panel on “Digital Seriality” (panel Q20, Saturday, March 28, 2015, 3:00-4:45pm) — along with Andreas Jahn-Sudmann, Scott Higgins, Dominik Maeder, and Daniela Wentz. Panel description and abstracts can be found here. And, as with the other panel, this one too has a tie-in with a publication: all the participants on this panel were contributors to the special issue of Eludamos: Journal for Computer Game Culture that Andreas Jahn-Sudmann and I edited on the topic of “Digital Seriality.”

“Post-Cinema and/as Speculative Media Theory” — Panel at #SCMS15 in Montreal

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[UPDATE: Full video of the complete panel is now online: here.]

At the upcoming conference of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (March 25-29, 2015 in Montréal), I will be chairing a panel on “Post-Cinema and/as Speculative Media Theory,” which brings together four of the most significant voices in the ongoing attempt to theorize our current media situation: Steven Shaviro, Patricia Pisters, Adrian Ivakhiv, and Mark B. N. Hansen.

(Not quite incidentally, all four speakers are also contributors to the forthcoming volume Post-Cinema: Theorizing 21st-Century Film, which I am co-editing with Julia Leyda.)

Here is the panel description, along with links (below) to the abstracts for the various papers:

Post-Cinema and/as Speculative Media Theory

Following debates over “the end” of film and/or cinema in the wake of the massive digitalization of moving-image media, recent film theory has begun considering the emergence of a new, properly “post-cinematic” media regime (cf. Shaviro 2010; Denson and Leyda, forthcoming). The notion of post-cinema takes up the problematic prefix “post-,” which debates over postmodernism and postmodernity taught us to treat not as a marker of definitive beginnings and ends, but as indicative of a more subtle shift or transformation in the realm of culturally dominant aesthetic and experiential forms (cf. Jameson 1991). In the context of post-cinema, this suggests not so much a clear-cut break with traditional media forms but a transitional movement taking place along an uncertain timeline, following an indeterminate trajectory, and characterized by juxtapositions and overlaps between the techniques, technologies, and aesthetic conventions of “old” and “new” moving-image media.

The ambiguous temporality of the “post-,” which intimates a feeling both of being “after” something and of being “in the middle of” uncertain changes – hence speaking to the closure of a certain past as much as a radical opening of futurity – necessitates a speculative form of thinking that is tuned to experiences of contingency and limited knowledge. With respect to twenty-first century media, theories of post-cinema inherit this disposition, relating it to concrete media transformations while speculating more broadly about the effects they might have on us, our cognitive and aesthetic sensibilities, our agency, or our sense of history.

Bringing together several key figures in the theoretical discussions of post-cinema, this panel seeks to explore and expand this speculative dimension. Steven Shaviro looks at a recent FKA twigs music video as an encapsulation of the post-cinematic media regime at large, theorizing the speculative theoretical work done by the video itself. Patricia Pisters argues that post-cinematic appropriations of archival materials lead to a necessarily speculative revision of history. Adrian Ivakhiv brings the discussion into contact with pressing issues of ecological change. Finally, Mark B. N. Hansen offers a media-philosophical perspective on post-cinema as a future-oriented mode of experience. Together, these interventions articulate post-cinema’s media-technical, aesthetic, ecological, and philosophical vectors in order to develop an emphatically speculative media theory.

Bibliography:

Denson, Shane, and Julia Leyda. Post-Cinema: Theorizing 21st-Century Film. Sussex: REFRAME Books, forthcoming.

Jameson, Fredric. Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. Durham: Duke UP, 1991.

Shaviro, Steven. Post-Cinematic Affect. Winchester: Zero Books, 2010.

Chair Bio:

Shane Denson is a DAAD postdoctoral fellow at Duke University and a member of the research unit “Popular Seriality—Aesthetics and Practice.” He is the author of Postnaturalism: Frankenstein, Film, and the Anthropotechnical Interface (Transcript 2014) and co-editor of several collections: Transnational Perspectives on Graphic Narratives (Bloomsbury, 2013), Digital Seriality (special issue of Eludamos, forthcoming), and Post-Cinema: Theorizing 21st Century Film (REFRAME, forthcoming).

Finally, here are links to the individual abstracts:

Steven Shaviro, “Reversible Flesh”

Patricia Pisters, “The Filmmaker as Metallurgist: Post-Cinema’s Commitment to Radical Contingency”

Adrian Ivakhiv, “Speculative Ecologies of (Post-)Cinema”

Mark B. N. Hansen, “Speculative Protention, or, Are 21st Century Media Agents of Futurity?”

[UPDATE: Full video of the complete panel is now online: here.]

Steven Shaviro, “Reversible Flesh” #SCMS15

fka-twigs-datamosh

[UPDATE: Full video of the complete panel is now online: here.]

Here is the abstract for Steven Shaviro’s paper on the panel “Post-Cinema and/as Speculative Media Theory” at the 2015 SCMS conference in Montréal:

Reversible Flesh

Steven Shaviro (Wayne State University)

FKA twigs has made a series of mesmerizing music videos over the last three years. My talk will concentrate on one of these, “Papi Pacify” (directed by FKA twigs and Tom Beard). The video deals starkly, but also obliquely, with issues of intimacy, trust, sexuality, and violence. The video is shot in continually shifting black and white, with glitter and flash effects, and composed entirely of close-ups of the faces and upper bodies of the artist (often staring directly at the camera) and her partner. The video’s editing rhythms are complex and nonlinear, involving looping via animated GIF effects, together with quick inserts and apparent slow motion. The music combines trip hop and r&b; it is floating and ambient, sung in a breathless near-whisper, with periods of instrumental intensification but no tonal shift or climax. Overall, the video disconcertingly reorders human sexuality, by means of its novel articulation of spacetime relations, of the sensorium, and of the relation between viewer/listener and work. In this way, “Papi Pacify,” and FKA twigs’ audiovisual work more generally, itself functions as a speculative revision of media theory.

Bibliography:

Battin, Carrie (2013). “FKA twigs: Interview.” Pitchfork. http://pitchfork.com/features/rising/9183-rising-fka-twigs/.

Friedlander, Emily (2013). “How FKA twigs is Pushing Female Sexuality Beyond Miley Cyrus and Sinead.” The Fader. http://www.thefader.com/2013/10/14/miley-cyrus-sinead-o-connor-female-se/.

Noakes, Tim (2014). “FKA twigs: Future Shock.” Dazed Digital. http://www.dazeddigital.com/music/article/20259/1/fka-twigs-future-shock.

Author Bio:

Steven Shaviro is the DeRoy Professor of English at Wayne State University. He is the author of The Cinematic Body, Post-Cinematic Affect, and Melancholia, Or, The Romantic Anti-Sublime.