[-empyre-] 3rd week - theme and guest - "extensions of the city"

Gabriel Menotti gabriel.menotti at gmail.com
Wed Sep 16 00:51:59 EST 2009

Dear empyreans:

Thanks again to Duncan and Spot for their contributions over this
week! Let’s see how the issues raised so far relate to our new theme,
since they are very closely connected.

In the last few days, the discussion was focused on the interior of
semi-public spaces for image consumption. However, the location of
projection venues within a larger structured territory  – such as the
urbis – is at least as important in determining the qualities of
mediatic experience as is their architecture. So, from now on, we are
going to look more carefully at the whole /extension of the city/, and
how cinematographic practices can be organized within it.

The borders between public and private spaces are essential for the
existence of cinema as such: the movie theatre in opposition to the
setting, the editing room, the projection booth etc. This division
reflects not only the organizational logic of the cinematographic
industry, but that of society as well.

Moreover, the practice of moviegoing depends on how movie theatres are
installed in the semi-private territory of the city, and its evolution
is closely tied to the evolution of urban space and technologies. We
cannot think about the appearance of the multiplex cinema and its
viewing regime without considering the previous existence of the
shopping mall and the automobile, for example.

In that sense, transporting cinematographic practices to open spaces
disturbs both its particular architecture and the urban logic,
allowing the dismantling of the apparatus and its renegotiation in
more fluid forms. We can see that in different levels both in a
contemporary, spectacular film society such as Secret Cinema, as well
as in more politically-engaged projects such as Graffiti Research

Our guests are:

John Hutnyk

John Hutnyk is Professor of Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths University
of London and author of several books, including "Bad Marxism:
Capitalism and Cultural Studies"; "Critique of Exotica: Music Politics
and the Culture Industry"; and "The Rumour of Calcutta". He writes
occasional prose at: http://hutnyk.wordpress.com

Graziela Kunsch

Graziela Kunsch, Sao Paulo, Brazil, is an artist currently developing
the Projeto Mutirao, a never-ending video project formed by "excerpts"
- one take videos - that show the collective production of a new city.
The project is presented to different audiences/contexts and each time
Graziela chooses different excerpts to show and start a conversation.
She also assumes curatorial and editorial roles as forms of her
artistic practice. Between 2001-2003 she opened her house as a ‘public
space’ (Casa da Grazi) and there she organized many residencies and
exhibitions, involving collaborations from all around Brazil. Since
then she has opened her personal library for public use, and brings
parts of the library to exhibitions. Co-organizer of the project Art
and the Public Sphere [http://arte-esferapublica.org]. Editor of the
magazine Urbania – its last issue focused on the right to the city,
understood not merely as a right of access to what already exists, but
as a right to re-imagine and change it.

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