by Martine Beugnet, Greg de Cuir Jr, Judith Keilbach, Skadi Loist, Toni Pape, Belén Vidal and Andrea Virginás
The figure of the loop has become a staple technique of contemporary narrative art and a flexible tool for thinking about media in ways that challenge teleological histories. In the special section on #Cycles, we are bringing together research engaging with questions of circularity and recursivity. In the introduction to the special section, NECSUS editorial board member Toni Pape unpacks this notion in relation to cycles of matter, history and technology before introducing the section’s contributions. For the first time in the history of NECSUS, this thematic focus also extends to the audiovisual essay section, which features audiovisual essays by Nicolás Medina & Miklós Kiss, the artist collective Tripot, Yevhen Vorozheikin, Daniel O’Brian and Veronika Hanáková, Martin Tremčinský & Jiří Anger.
Bridging the special section on #Cycles and the features section, Nadica Denić and Carolyn Birdsall discuss the ongoing artistic research project Non-Aligned Newsreels with award-winning documentary filmmaker Mila Turajlić. ‘Voices from the debris: An interview with Mila Turajlić on unearthing anti-colonial solidarities’ explores questions of the reactivation of the archive and cultural memory, the relationship between politics and cinema and the continuing importance of a ‘third’ way. The intersection between art and systems of power also resonates with the other articles in our features section: In ‘Surveillance, Resistance and the Politics of Love: On Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster’, Cristóbal Escobar maps the different relations in the surrealist comedy to draw a connection between the normalising powers of The Lobster’s society and individual resistance. Shifting from film to film production, ‘Creativity, Passion, and Community: The Rise of India’s Transnational Producers’ by Neha Bhatia focuses on the working world of emerging creative producers involved in making, facilitating and supporting Indian independent cinema through international film festival funding and co-production schemes.
The film festival review section continues with this attention to the affective dimensions of both organising and attending film festivals with ‘Accessing Film Culture and Community at the 2023 Melbourne International Film Festival’ by Anna Debinski, ‘On the habitus of festival-going: Digital anxiety and urban aspects of post-COVID Berlinale’ by Minerva Campos Rabadán and ‘Inside the archive of feelings: Experiencing Il Cinema Ritrovato’ by Belén Vidal. Rounding off the festival review section is a contribution by Dina Iordanova entitled ‘A Monumental Chronicle of ‘The Mother of All Film Festivals’, which takes up Gian Piero Brunetta’s extensive history of the Venice Biennale.
The book review section of this issue features contributions covering media as memory with Ana Sofia Almeida’s review ‘Everyday Life and Mnemonic Gestures’ of Filming History from Below: Microhistorical Documentaries and media as operational with Alba Gimenez’ review of Jussi Parikka’s Operational Images: From the Visual to the Invisual.
In the exhibition review section, ‘How to Prevent Hair Loss, Kiat Kiat Projects’ by Lisa Marie Sneijder draws on the curatorial initiative from Manila to point to the contradictions of curating in a new manner by adopting established digital structures. Questions of reflexivity are also at the forefront of Susanne Østby Sæther’s contribution ‘Scale, infrastructure, and extractivism: An interview with Lesia Vasylchenko and Istvan Virag on their works in New Visions. The Henie Onstad Triennial for Photography and New Media’. Katarzyna Ruchel-Stockmans discusses ‘Communities of Concern, Dora Garcia at M HKA Antwerp’ as a way of thinking which is simultaneously material and abstract.
The second iteration of our data papers section – launched in the Spring 2023 and edited by Alexandra Schneider and Malte Hagener – represents the diversity of datasets drawn on in this emerging research and publication format with ‘Public lantern lectures in the Netherlands 1880-1940: A dataset based on historical newspaper advertisements’ by Dulce da Rocha Gonçalves and ‘Screening the Financial Crisis: A case study for ontology-based film analytical video annotations’ by Jan-Hendrik Bakels, Matthias Grotkopp, Thomas J.J. Scherer and Jasper Stratil.