[-empyre-] Screens and films

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Thu Jul 5 06:08:08 EST 2012

hello all

thanks for these careful and lucid opening postings, especially Kriss's response to the opening propositions by Simon.....(screens supposedly ubiquitious? and also disappearing at the same time?).

If you respond by drawing attention to film studies/film theory  (and aren't some schools now calling what used to be film studies, screen media studies?), as a form of medium study, are 
you then conflating "screen" (what Brian refers to as 'screen - as -such') with film and the projection of the moving image? Are they the same, or is screen a metaphor for film and all the issues surrounding
cinematic realism not non realism/formalism, etc.)? why so?  how can the material screen in a movie theatre, not the metaphor, be considered anything but a surface
on which that which is the event is becoming eventful and doing all the things you say the medium has been considered doing?  Well, i never studied these theories in great detail (I do remember coming across a
quaint article  a long time ago on video and the aesthetics of narcisism -- Rosalind Krauss has republished it now in her book "Perpetual Inventory"...)
thus it was never quite clear to me, why a screen in a movie theatre (and I am not referring to analyses of the apparatus now) is anything but a (flattened) stage, as it would be for a performance -- 
you need it, but you don't worry about it unless the performances are drawing attention to the stage being a problem and an issue. Eisenstein does not think the screen is a problem, or does he?

And why would film (the medium) be disappearing?  I think it's alive and well, even if distribution options have multiplied and changed....

Brian schreibt:
Maybe we would need to place the screen at the center of a larger
discourse on self-consciousness, the sensorium, representation,
communication, interaction, and programming. A discourse on contemporary
social relations, in short.  

You refered to Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's projection works, and it will be fascinating to hear about this, and how his "Body Moves" projection work, for example, addresses Brian's suggestion that we are talking here about "social relations"
(which might be a characterstic of all mediums, and thus not "projection"-specific). 

Yes, quite possibly, a work such a "Body Moves" opens out to such a larger discourse, but so would "Intouchables,"  the new film by Olivier Nakache und Éric Toledano, no? Or a video installation in a gallery or in a train station?  public viewing of the euro championship final in Madrid  (apparently, a friend in Barcelona told me, the final match was not broadcast in Spain on free television)?  But if we were to discuss the public viewing of the 'private' television transmission in Madrid on the public square, would we be addressing the 'screen', or the event that is mediated by the projection of the soccer match?

Lastly, I think the notion of the "ubiquitious" is a technolgical/digital culture term, part of the global rhetoric of corporate and other domains (art worlds included), or part of an increasing discourse perhaps on "algorithmic culture," that however is not necessarily to be taken at face value for every one and every region;  many people i can think of do not live their lives via/alongside screens.  


Johannes Birringer

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