Disfigurations of Cinema: Film Technology as Disruption

Hochschule Luzern Design+Kunst, 17.11.2017 ///

As philosophers of science and technology have shown, technological inventions – contrary to common belief – never simply serve one predetermined purpose, nor are the invented devices just tools in the hands of their users. Rather, technology needs to be considered as an autonomous inter-actor, actively participating in any process of production and bestowed with, what Gilbert Simondon calls „a margin of indetermination, which is what allows for the machine’s sensitivity to outside information.“ While never fully working as planned, technology necessarily produces something else then what was intended. Picking up on this idea of technical devices not just as means of production, but at the same time disruptive forces, my talk aims to show how film technique and the devices of both past and contemporary cinema not only serve representation and display, but are at the same time troubling, irritating and disfiguring, but eventually also re-inventing cinema. We will have to encounter in the very technology of film the unconscious of cinema.

Lecture is part of the international symposium DISPLAY | DISRUPTION | DISORDER