MP3s, rebundled debt, and performative economics: Deferral, derivatives, and digital commodity fetishism in Lady Gaga’s spectacle of excess

by Anne Kustritz [1] Lady Gaga’s rise to fame in the wake of the global financial crisis highlights the contradictions of late late capitalism in both the financial sector and the music industry. Both Gaga and second level economic units like derivatives rely on deferral, parody, and an ever-widening gap between the material and the […]

‘Non Non Non’ – Visiting the exhibition with Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi

Non-political, non-aesthetic, non-educational, non-progressive, non-cooperative, non-ethical, non-coherent: contemporary. It is after this list of negations that Hangar Bicocca in Milan decided to name Non Non Non, the first Italian retrospective dedicated to Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi’s installations. Taken from a watercolour by the artists and placed at the entrance of the exhibition space, […]

‘The Abramović Method’, PAC Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan (March-June 2012)

The observer must become a participant, because that is the only way he can have the double experience of being the observer, and being the observed. – Marina Abramović[1] I made an advance booking in order to participate in Marina Abramović’s ‘performance’, to experience first-hand The Abramović Method: the special project the famous Serbian artist […]

Cinema and experience: Siegfried Kracauer, Walter Benjamin, and Theodor W. Adorno

I first encountered the work of Miriam Hansen as a graduate student in the mid-1990s when her book Babel and Babylon was the talk of the (at that time still fairly modest) film studies town – even though it was sitting somewhat uneasily on the fence. In fact, it was this position beyond the canonical […]

European nightmares: Horror cinema in Europe since 1945

Patricia Allmer, Emily Brick, and David Huxley’s edited collection European Nightmares: Horror Cinema in Europe Since 1945 (New York-Chichester: Columbia University Press/Wallflower Press, 2012) is a book with roots that go back to a conference organised by the editors at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2006.[1] As Allmer, Brick, and Huxley state in their introduction, horror […]

A multiplied medium: Reviewing recent publications on television’s transitions

In recent research on academic knowledge production there are intimations that a certain fuzziness of the investigated object, even a somewhat vague set of questions, are not the worst starting points for scholarship. These points often lead to exciting insights. This might explain why, for some time now, various academic engagements with television have provoked […]

The good, the beautiful and the sublime

No…don’t come to me! There is more allure / In waiting with sweet apprehension, fear. / Just while seeking out everything is pure; / It’s nicer when just foreboding is near.[1] – Desanka Maksimovic Since the books reviewed here discuss what citizens of Islamic lands might think or produce, or have thought or produced, would […]

Alternative Film/Video Belgrade 2011

Alternative Film/Video Belgrade began as a festival of Yugoslav alternative film and video production, with the aim to document and define trends in film theory as well as to identify the values and new creative possibilities in the field. The themes of the festival often set a mandate for exploring various aspects of the term […]

The 37th annual Toronto International Film Festival: Seeking the social in the virtual

There are 11 days in September when the world’s cinematic community turns to Canada for the glitz and glamour of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).[1] The streets are flooded with both lay and professional attendees taking in movies, meetings, and the charms of this North American metropolis. However, while there are thousands of people […]

‘The Angels’ Share’ at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival

Subverting the usual touristic signifiers of Scottishness – tartanry, whisky, and so on – The Angels’ Share (Loach, 2012) follows four young people from Glasgow’s impoverished East End as they embark on what might be considered a victimless crime in the north of Scotland. Predominantly comic in tone, the film was shot in 2011 and […]

‘The Last Ray of the Dying Sun’: Tacita Dean’s commitment to analogue media as demonstrated through FLOH and FILM

by Caylin Smith Regarding FILM, an installation that took place from 11 October 2011 to 11 March 2012 as part of Tate Modern’s Unilever Series, the artist Tacita Dean remarks that ‘it is a platform for me to say let’s protect film’.[1] Dean’s simple, bold statement will allow me to expand upon the importance of […]

From subject-effect to presence-effect: A deictic approach to the cinematic

by Pepita Hesselberth The late 1990s and first decade of the 21st century saw the release of a number of films that are decidedly self-referential about time and invoke a sophisticated media-literacy on the part of the viewer. In these films past, present, and future are often portrayed as highly mutable domains that can easily […]

The intangible ground: A neurophenomenology of the film experience

by Adriano D’Aloia The constitution of a spatial level is simply one means of constituting an integrated world: my body is geared onto the world when my perception presents me with a spectacle as varied and as clearly articulated as possible, and when my motor intentions, as they unfold, receive the responses they expect from […]

Questions of embodied difference: Film and queer phenomenology

by Katharina Lindner A phenomenological description of the cinematic situation considers the film as a lived body. Just as the human lived body forms the basis for intentionality, perception, expression and action in the world, the film’s body – its technological and instrumental dimension – forms the basis for the films perceptual and expressive engagement […]

Aporias of the touchscreen: On the promises and perils of a ubiquitous technology

by Timo Kaerlein We may debate whether our society is a society of spectacle or of simulation, but, undoubtedly, it is a society of the screen. – Lev Manovich[1] Screens attached to computers have always been tangible insofar as they feature a solid glass surface that lends itself to touch, while other parts like the […]