Augmented consciousness: Artificial gazes fifty years after Gene Youngblood’s Expanded Cinema
The article aims to question the concept of ‘expanded cinema’ proposed by Youngblood in 1970, by taking into account three ‘artificial gazes’, corresponding to three exemplar technologies of the contemporary media scenario, commonly conceived as tools for the augmentation of both the visual perception and the cognition of the human being. Likewise, the experimental cinema, the technologies of augmented reality, machine learning, and search engine algorithms bring out the consciousness of the individuals in order to personalise the user experience in a computational way. Simultaneously, they are commonly intended as ludic and irrational experiences offered by the entertainment industry. The article’s purpose is therefore to tackle the ambiguity among the exact knowledge assured and produced by these technologies and the subjectivity of the gaze set by them. By recovering Youngblood’s inheritance, expanded cinema is not just a path to free the spectator’s gaze from the fictional representation of the world produced by the entertainment industry, but also a new media condition in which the users are requested to interpret and communicate the real world in a truthful way.