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Quote taken from Hjorth, L. 2007 ed., Waiting for Immediacy Catalogue, Yonsei University: Seoul.

“It is as if the storing, just like the whimsical nature of digital media that can so easily be deleted, is not necessarily for the actual return and reviewing. It is not about leaving a trace in the world like analogue photography, but instead it is about the process of affect that marks the moment by a series of gestures. Click, view and store – that is the experience of everyday life to a theatre of spectres that haunt the hangover of visuality. In the 21st century, the visual is overruled by haptic as an experience and sense of place. This is the dance of waiting … for immediacy.”

Immediacy is about capturing and celebrating the moment. It is ritualistic. It is not meant to be stored as historical artefact or proof of life – or perhaps in some ways as proof of identity on social media. It is about focussing all phenomenological possibilities into one distilled click and capture. A phenomenological focus. A focus on things-as-idealised there and then. These moments therefore must necessarily be connected to our desires and forward projections of how we see ourselves in the world. They are world-affirming.

In my recent mobile video practice I have for various vague reasons decided to work on things out-of-focus. Perhaps I could pitch my video practice as anti-immediate?

In reference to Douglas Gomery’s ‘The Hollywood Studio System: 1930 – 1949’ and questions such as: ‘does mass culture give the people what they want, or convince them to want what they get?’ I have drawn on Post-Modern analysis and history to collate some thoughts:

From Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy –

“The later nineteenth century is the age of modernity as an achieved reality, where science and technology, including networks of mass communication and transportation, reshape human perceptions. There is no clear distinction, then, between the natural and the artificial in experience {…} A consequence of modernism is what postmodernists might refer to as de-realisation.  De-realisation affects both the subjects and the objects of experience, such that their sense of identity, constancy, and substance is upset or dissolved {…} Kierkegaard, for example, describes modern society as a network of relations in which individuals are levelled into an abstract phantom known as ‘the public’. The modern public, in contrast to ancient and medieval communities, is a creation of the press, which is the only instrument capable of holding together the mass of unreal individuals ‘who never are and never can be united in an actual situation or organisation’. In this sense, society has become a realisation of abstract thought, held together by an artificial and all – pervasive medium speaking for everyone and for no one.”

Quotes taken from Kierkegaard, Soren; 1846, The Present Age, Alexander Dru (trans.), New York: Harper & Row, 1962.

Notes from

Globalization; or the logic of cultural hybridization: the case of the Korean wave. (Woongjae Ryoo 2009)

The article states: ‘… that local cultures are now thoroughly interfused with the global’. (p138) – this is a good starting assumption to premise the need for change in Australian film aesthetic and production. The argument will also need to refine the idea that globalisation – global culture – somehow homogenizes local values. There is a pervasive fear in the discourse – as i’ve encountered it thus far – that minority voices and values somehow get lost under the weight of (or be transcended by) a ‘mainstream’ grand narrative. This is post-colonial/postmodern theory.

Article is otherwise narrow and provides not much insight into structures of cultural/economic development in Korea. It has an anti-capitalist tone and doesn’t fully engage the positive aspects of competition and a creative economic drive.

Korean State Cultural Policy

“The government, for example, brought in a registration system for film producers between the early 1960s and the early 1980s. Only registered film producers could produce motion pictures and import foreign films” (Dal Yong Jin citing Korean Film Commission Research Report, 2002) This created a monopoly which stifled growth.

Q: to extent does Australia’s funding processes replicate such a control over the means of production and in turn to extent is there a monopoly, government or otherwise, over the film industry.

The impact of direct distribution from Hollywood – distribution and trade practices.

transnationalization of the Korean film industry – active foreign investment in the domestic market – i.e. Hollywood distributing directly into the Korean market without a domestic go-between.

What was the structure of the relationship between foreign forces and domestic forces in the growth of the national film industry?

” … the government enacted the Motion Picture Promotion Law in 1995 … ” to provide incentives for cooperate capital to enter the film industry.

“The government reclassified the movie business from a service industry to a manufacturing industry in 1994. As a result, for the first time in decades, Korean film producers could easily finance their films by borrowing from banks.”

The question of cultural identity in film

Rather than a policy of cultural identity, a screen quota system is essential to maintaining cultural sovereignty:

‘ … the government did not want to change the screen quota system on the grounds that films should be excluded from free trade principles because protecting the Korean film industry is tantamount to maintaining Korea’s cultural identity.’

The issue needs to be framed not as an ideological and cultural issue but as an economic issue.

“The Wall Street Journal observed that the Korean government acknowledged that cultural industries, including films, could boost the economy in the late 1990s”

…..

August 28, 2014 — Leave a comment

“Light is meaningful only in relation to darkness, and truth presupposes error. It is these mingled opposites which people our life, which make it pungent, intoxicating. We only exist in terms of this conflict, in the zone where black and white clash…”

Louis Aragon, Paris Peasant

Pockets in the Screen-scrape; movies on the move

Paper presented at MIT 6,

Stone and Papyrus, Storage and Transmission

MIT April 24 -26, 2009

Jan Simmons

University of Amsterdam

This is all about moving images produced for and by the mobile phone. A couple of genre names: the micromovie, portable film, cell phone movie, mobile movie, cine pocket. The key theme that emerges out of this analysis of the then fresh concept of the mobile movie in my mind is the idea that the small screen demands a small attention span and ‘quick fix’ nature at the level of audience reception. This is an interesting paradox in that the question becomes what type of communication can take place at lightning speed? The article argues that in the contemporary, networked world of screen culture communication has taken precedence over representation (something found in classic Hollywood for instance). If this is communication (at the level of the media made for mobile dissemination) then it is fragmentary, bite sized communication.

Representation – imagine the production of a Hollywood film. It is so resource heavy that the depiction of the world it creates is one imagined by the filmmakers – it is a representation – purely subjective to the filmmakers gaze. Everything is under control. 

Communication – so fast and un-doctored that it is a more pure slice of the world as it is. Still at a fundamental level subjective and lacking in objective clarity (an impossibility anyway) yet more an impression of the everyday experience of the world. 

Here I return to another key theme that constantly turns up when I encounter fragmentary and non-linear texts – memory and memory’s interaction with consciousness. The article quite rightly cites Eisenstein as the grandfather of this style of practice. Eisenstein’s theories of montage focus on collision, juxtaposition and the micro and the micro’s relationship with the macro – all the considerations necessary for the mobile platform.

“The practitioners of the pocket cinema seem to be more aware of the gap that separates the cinema-as-we-knew-it from contemporary digital visual culture […]”

This is a pertinent comment – one thing does not necessarily replace another but sets up a new barracks. Cinema-as-we-knew-it still exists (thank god) but we also now have the montage/collage/real/amateur/observational/ridiculous/fragmented and non-linear. Now comes the creative question – what to do with it? Like any art form, a good start is to identify its uniqueness, its potential, its affordance. For me, it is the closeness of the networked media landscape to the epistemological – the knowledge structures of the modern mind. Just as the bicycle or the car is an extension of our need to walk or run, or the hammer an extension of an arm or a will-to-power the network and the phone is an extension of knowledge structures and the communication of them.

See Willard Quine, Daniel Dennett, William Burroughs.

Phenomenology is typically said to be:

a return to things in themselves
a descriptive method (not explanatory)
centered on the use of intuition
the study of appearances or ways of appearing
the study of the structures of consciousness
based on a method of reduction
opposed to naturalism (viewing everything in scientific terms)

Existentialism is typically said to be:

concerned with concrete/individual subjects
deny that there is a fixed human nature (‘existence prior to essence’)
emphasize personal freedom and responsibility
consider the meaningfulness of human life
be concerned with individuality and self-fulfillment (as opposed to mass identity)
highlight the transformative power of certain kinds of subjective experiences/emotions (anxiety/nausea) or extreme situations
be ‘anticartesian’

These terms are not particularly illuminating and it seems evident that no two philosophers would discuss any of these labels in the same way. Never-the-less, a starting point for building a map needs to come together. Something to attempt as I go on to read the various Phenomenologists (Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty) is to map out the similarities and differences between them; searching for connections. What’s the connection between Phenomenology and Existentialism??

In his Introduction to the Second Volume of the First Edition of his Logische Untersuchungen (Logical Investigations 1900 – 1901) Husserl speaks of “the phenomenology of the experiences of thinking and knowing”. He is discussing the need for a wide-ranging theory of knowledge. Husserl is treating ‘experience’ in a complex and new way:

“This phenomenology, like the more inclusive pure phenomenology of experiences in general, has, as its exclusive concern, experiences intuitively seizable and analysable in the pure generality of their essence, not experiences empirically perceived and treated as real facts, as experiences of human or animal experients in the phenomenal world that we posit as an empirical fact. This phenomenology must bring to pure expression, must describe in terms of their essential concepts and their governing formulae of essence, the essences which directly make themselves known in intuition, and the connections which have their roots purely in such essences. Each such statement of essence is an a priori statement in the highest sense of the word.”

Dermot Moran describes this project as an ‘a priori transcendental science of pure consciousness”. (p2) Husserl argues for a ‘reduction’ wherein the subject suspends or brackets the everyday natural attitude and all intentional acts which assume the existence of the world. The practitioner is led back into the domain of pure transcendental subjectivity. Importantly, this has to be more than a psychology of consciousness which suggests consciousness as a ‘tag end’ of the world. The philosophical practice has to stem from consciousness unassuming of the real world. Dermot Moran frames phenomenology as a thoroughly modernist outlook as it has its origins in the newly emerged science of psychology (Franz Brentano).

So to study experiences in such a pure form with regards to the experiencer, phenomenology’s first step is to avoid in advance all misconstructions and impostions (relgious, cultural traditions – language as with Gadamer, time as with Heidegger). Phenomenology aims at gaining perspective over the history of philosophical questions. Husserl and Heidegger believed that the real philosophical issue in the traditional skeptical worry about the existence of the external world was not the need to find rational grounds to justify our natural belief in this world, but rather to explain how this kind of worry could have arisen in the first place. (p4)

“But experience is not an opening through which a world, existing prior to all experience, shines into a room of consciousness; it is not a mere taking of something alien to consciousness into consciousness… Experience is the performance in which for me, the experiencer, experienced being “is there”, and is there as what it is, with the whole content and the mode of being that experience itself, by the performance going on in its intentionality, attributes to it.” (Husserl, Formal and Transcendental Logic)

This quotation comes close to painting a picture of what Husserl seeks to posit as experience and consciousness and the relationship between the two terms, but still manages to be elusive. He suggests that there is a directional element to conceptualizing phenomena: that is, we do not consider experience as information from the pre-existing world entering into a pre-existing consciousness. This much is OK. More clarity is needed on experience as ‘being there’ and what performance actually means.

(Introduction to Phenomenology: Dermot Moran Routledge pp 1 – 6)