Introduction: The ring of the true in contemporary media

by Ilona Hongisto, Toni Pape, and Alanna Thain The editorial process for this special section began before the term ‘post-truth’ was picked up and circulated widely in the summer and autumn of 2016 to address the increasing irrelevance of fact-based politics in the wake of new populisms. Since post-truth is the proverbial elephant in the […]

Cinema’s Turing test: Consciousness, digitality, and operability in ‘Hardcore Henry’

by Chang-Min Yu Will images created from this optical system, this kind of robot-brain that is the cinematographic apparatus, have as great an influence upon the evolution of culture and civilization? – Jean Epstein, The Intelligence of a Machine In HBO’s new hit series Westworld (2016), one character claims that ‘our hosts began to pass […]

Acts of laughter, acts of tears: The production of ‘truth-effects’ in Oriana Fox’s ‘The O Show’ and Gillian Wearing’s ‘Self Made’

by Maria Walsh There was a time in the not too distant past when, in theory at least, claiming the truth of one’s identity was viewed with suspicion. In poststructuralist theories, particularly of the psychoanalytic persuasion, the subject is split from knowing itself and thereby from proffering a unified identity. Truth here is at best […]

Editorial Necsus

A decade ago, American political satirist Stephen Colbert coined the term ‘truthiness’ in his program ‘The Wørd’, to call attention to a striking pathology in American politics, broadcasting, and business: to purposefully create poisonous information environments not based on logic, examination, or facts, but rather depending on affects, intuitions, and perceptions. Colbert’s main case in […]

False color/real life: Chromo-politics and François Laruelle’s photo-fiction

by Yvette Granata Introduction  Responding to a journalist’s demand to justify the amount of violence in Pierrot le fou (1965), Godard insisted that there was no blood in his films, just the color red.[1] His remark draws the line for approaching color not only through questions of its representational properties, but through the realism of […]

Sweeping changes in Eastern Europe: The documentary frame in Gerd Kroske’s ‘Kehraus’ trilogy (1990-2006)

by Ilona Hongisto This essay is motivated by a desire to enliven established notions of documentary cinema. In part a response to the genre’s ever-expanding field of operations, the aspiration stems above all from the observation that the indexical and the representational are not enough to account for the work of documentary cinema in the […]

Training the eye for war: A politics of spatial fictions

by Emanuel Licha Medina Wasl is the name of a small Iraqi town in the middle of the Mojave Desert in California. It is a mock village that forms part of the United States Army Fort Irwin National Training Center, through which troops transit before departing for theatres of operation such as Iraq or Afghanistan. […]

The case of the speculative detective: Aesthetic truths and the television ‘crime board’

by Rob Coley Preliminary proceedings The critical project of media studies, in its conventional form, sets out to decipher, demystify, and disentangle. Its established practices of analysis endeavour to solve the mystery of media objects and institutions. The study of media is then, like the philosophical traditions that underpin it, ‘a work of forensics’, a […]

NECSUS Spring 2017_‘True’ — call for submissions

In contemporary media environments, it is hard to tell what is true and what is not. A considerable amount of the ‘news’ that social media feeds us on a daily basis is either straightforward hoaxes or satirical takes on the deplorable state of current media journalism. With regards to the latter, Stephen Colbert has famously […]