On 12 October 2022 at 18.00 (CEST), NECS and the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis will host this year’s first lecture in the online series on ‘The Call for an Image-Object. On Gianikian & Ricci Lucchi and Armenity’. Borrowing from recent literature in material culture, the lecture offers a close look to the video Return to Khodorciur: Armenian […]
Author Archive for: Greg DeCuir
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NECSUS is now inviting abstract submissions for the Features section of our Spring 2023 issue. Articles in the Features section are full-length research articles on a variety of themes related to media studies but not necessarily connected to a special section topic. For articles published in the Spring 2023 issue, we accept abstracts until 15 […]
For the book review section in NECSUS, we are currently looking for contributions for the Spring and Autumn 2023 issues – focusing on either one publication or bringing two or more publications into a dialogue with each other. The book review section in NECSUS publishes critical writing on recent publications that fall within the broad […]
edited by Dr. Maria Vélez-Serna and Dr. Markus Stauff Connecting infrastructures and logistical mediation Ports – the harbours that allow and regulate circulation across land and sea and the interfaces that connect electric devices with peripherals – are places of especially intense mediation and thus of heightened socio-technological drama. The seaport is the condition for transport […]
The Spring 2022 issue of NECSUS has come together in the shadow of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, ongoing since 24 February 2022 and with no clear end in sight at the time of writing. Described by Western media as an armed conflict on European soil on a scale and impact not seen since World War […]
by Michelle Cho A June 21, 2020 Breitbart story ‘AOC Praises Teens and Korean Pop Fans for Allegedly Using Chinese App to Meddle with Trump Rally’ attempted to deflect attention from the humiliatingly low attendance at a Trump rally by feeding its readers a chain of terms with negative associations. In keeping with Breitbart’s right-wing […]
This essay positions Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests alongside a range of rumors about their production. Drawing on interviews, memoirs, and photographic documentation, I reconstruct the proliferation of gossip surrounding the 1966 shoot of Marcel Duchamp. The rumors that circulated about this event – namely, that Warhol persuaded a young woman to caress Duchamp flirtatiously just out of frame – eventually made it into the ‘official’ historical record, appearing in popular biography and museum exhibition texts. Rather than asserting what truly happened during the making of this film, my analysis instead focuses on the reasons this rumor seemed credible. The minimal form of the Screen Tests, along with the casual terms of production and exhibition in Warhol’s Factory studio, encouraged the proliferation of unverifiable discourse about them. Using the Duchamp film as an example, I argue that we can view the Screen Tests as a body of work that generates and sustains gossip.
What makes a story designed for (and experienced via) real or imaginary VR systems so different from other stories and storyworlds? Through an enactivist perspective on media archaeology, I will address the issue by discussing the notion of virtual reality storytelling (VRS) as the art of crafting ‘inhabited stories’ and a discursive frame where VR narrativity has been articulated. In fact, narratives of and for VR identify a recurring discourse, or ‘topos’, that circulated from medium to medium during Western media history. After discussing theoretical notions such as that of ‘virtual reality’, ‘storyworld’, and ‘presence’, I will address the historical and cognitive relationship between VR space design and narrative of environmental storytelling by exploring different examples from peep media tradition, gaming, and VR cinema. Second, I will propose a media archaeology of ‘human enhancement’, a recursive topos in real and imaginary VR and haptic technologies. In doing so, I will highlight some recurring narrative strategies at the basis of VRS: the illusion of non-narration, i.e. the ability to direct the story-making activity of the virtual user without his/her awareness; the craftsmanship of paths of ‘attentional matching’ made of haptic responses and spatialised stories; and the design of new senses which can disclose enhanced processes of world- and story-making.
We examine uses of sound in German director Christian Petzold’s Undine (2020), based on the story of a water sprite who marries a human and acquires a soul. We employ the concepts of ‘acousmatic sound’ and ‘the acousmêtre’ to suggest that the film’s uncanny soundscape invites a mode of listening that challenges and transforms habitual perception. While Undine largely adheres to cinematic realism, its sound design evokes intrusion by the preternatural and fantastical. By auditory allusions to the mysterious and uncanny, Undine asserts the significance of fairy tales and storytelling for perceiving and understanding reality and for imagining alternatives.
Hollywood gossip circulates through both formal publications and informal interpersonal networks. In this article, I argue that both types of gossip and rumor are essential for understanding Hollywood’s business inefficiencies. Focusing primarily on the role of informal gossip, I explore its importance for aspirant networking and, as #MeToo reporting revealed, as a warning mechanism for women who must navigate the predatory men of Hollywood. Tracing the history of casting couch lore as a particular genre of gossip, I show how informal gossip can empower women working in Hollywood yet also retrench gendered hierarchies.
AKS International Minorities Festival is a film festival that seeks to showcase films and art projects, as well as to create a dialog around the representation of minorities, particularly immigrants, sexual minorities, trans people, and people of colour. Since 2014, the festival has been held annually both in Pakistan and Denmark, establishing itself as an […]
This article interrogates how Q: Into the Storm (HBO, 2021) pursues the conspiratorial thinking of QAnon adherents in two ways: first, as an investigative docuseries into the world of rumors, mapping the phenomenon for a wider audience, and second, as filmmaker Cullen Hoback’s entrance into QAnon as an alternative reality game (ARG), interacting with the sociotechnical network underpinning it. Both modes train viewers to anticipate truths-to-come, key to enjoying both media forms. Taking rumor-tellers seriously, Hoback intervenes in QAnon’s effects while indulging viewers’ prurient interest in the conspiratorial logic the series characterises as socially harmful. Considered in light of Bernard Stiegler’s concerns about the contemporary industrialisation of consciousness, the series fails as a consciousness-raising endeavor. We view Storm ambivalently as both an effective usurpation of such thinking and a reinstantiation of it.
Queerness has always had a particularly vexed relationship to evidence. Because the latter has historically served to discipline the former, José Esteban Muñoz suggests that anecdotes can become queer acts of resistance against the ‘potential tyranny of the fact’. Drawing on this argument, this article examines the ways in which American artist, filmmaker, and AIDS activist Gregg Bordowitz uses autofabulation to destabilise evidential discourses in his performance practice. Specifically, it looks at ‘Some Styles of Masculinity’ (2017-ongoing), a series of anecdotal monologues in which Bordowitz reflects on the formation of his identity as a queer Jewish man living with HIV.
by Nicholas Baer and Maggie Hennefeld There have been many who have accused me to you for many years now, and none of their accusations are true. –Plato, Apology All the rumors are true, yeah / What ya’ heard, that’s true, yeah –Lizzo featuring Cardi B, ‘Rumors’ Rumor had it that Socrates was impious […]
This article revisits the debates around the notion of ‘classical Hollywood cinema’ in order to call attention to how various traits of neoclassical aesthetics characterised discourses on film acting in American cinema of the silent era. Drawing on a host of film acting manuals, how-to guidebooks, magazine advice columns, and interviews with actors from the 1910s and 1920s, the article demonstrates that besides film’s indebtedness to melodrama, pantomime, and other contemporary theatrical practices, variants of neoclassical aesthetic ideas came to play an important role in informing how silent-era Hollywood reflected on ideal forms of screen acting. By placing the early discussions on silent film acting in the context of the American renewed interest in the classics during the early twentieth century, the article makes a case for the importance of classical ideas in Hollywood cinema, alongside – and indeed often in conflict with – the prominent demand for realism.