Media Anachronism / Lecture at ICI Berlin

Media landscapes are far from being homogeneous. Media diverge not only because they perform diverse functions and elicit different practices, but also because they recall distinct stages in the media history. We deal with a number of “obsolete” media that nevertheless we still find useful and friendly—and whose ultimate destiny will be either to be discharged in a dump, or to be located in a museum. But how does the past speak to the present? The talk will challenge the idea of memory and illustrate its role in our cultural practices. It will do that through a radical re-reading of few “primeval scenes” that are often recalled by film theory when it focuses on the origins of screens and screened images: the myth of Perseus and the Gorgon, the legend of Boutades’ daughter and the origin of portraiture, the chronicle of Brunelleschi’s invention of perspective. This re-reading of a number of well-known episodes will hopefully help to retrace the main operations that we perform when we “adapt” old media to new assemblages. Casetti will draw some final and critical considerations about the concepts of “propensity” and “disposition” often used to explain media evolution.

The lecture is part of the current ICI Lecture Series ERRANS, in Time. Ideas of physical, social, revolutionary time, internal time consciousness, or historical experience are far from settled in their respective discourses and practices. Yet attempts to harmonize or correlate the understanding of time and temporal phenomena generated in different disciplines all-too quickly resort to normative, if not teleological ideas of progress, efficiency, or experiential plenitude. Can the heterogenous relations between discordant conceptions of time and temporality be understood as being ‘erratically’ structured, that is, as marked by inherent misapprehensions, a dissonance that defies regulation, and an unexpected variability?

More videos and pictures on the ICI website.

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Dottorato honoris causa all’Università della Calabria

Schermata 2016-03-16 alle 10.49.27Conferimento Dottorato Honoris Causa a Francesco Casetti
16 marzo 2016 Teatro Auditorium – Campus di Arcavacata (CS)

Il Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici dell’Università della Calabria conferisce il Dottorato internazionale di studi umanistici honoris causa a Francesco Casetti (Yale University), studioso di cinema e di media audiovisivi, dei quali ha indagato principalmente le teorie, le strategie di comunicazione e l’impatto sociale.

Casetti, dopo l’esperienza in diversi atenei italiani (Università di Genova, di Trieste) è stato per molti anni professore ordinario di cinema  alla Cattolica di Milano (dove è stato anche Prorettore e ha diretto il Dipartimento di Scienze della Comunicazione e dello Spettacolo), prima di approdare (dopo esperienze a Berkeley, Paris III, University of Iowa) come professore ordinario all’Università di Yale. Di recente ha insegnato anche ad Harvard. È stato anche per diversi anni Presidente della Consulta Universitaria del Cinema. Tra le sue ultime pubblicazioni ricordiamo: “La Galassia Lumière. Sette parole chiave per il cinema che viene” (2015), “L’occhio del Novecento. Cinema, esperienza, modernità” (2005), “Teorie del cinema. 1945-1990” (1993). Nei suoi testi sul cinema ha studiato, in particolare, i problemi riguardanti la teoria, i prodotti di genere, e i rapporti tra produzione e discorso critico. Più di recente, ha indirizzato la sua ricerca sulle modalità in cui il cinema ha elaborato uno sguardo capace di porsi quale emblema dell’esperienza moderna, e insieme sulle modalità in cui questo sguardo sta mutando con l’avanzare della cosiddetta post-modernità. Le sue analisi collegano strettamente processi comunicativi e processi sociali, con una costante attenzione a questioni quali le nuove forme di cittadinanza, fiducia, soggettività.

L’omaggio a Francesco Casetti prevede un ricco programma, che partirà alle ore 10:30 di mercoledì 16 marzo, con il conferimento del Dottorato e proseguirà, nel pomeriggio, con una giornata di studi che vedrà coinvolti, oltre ai docenti di cinema e teatro dell’Unical, anche alcuni dei principali studiosi di cinema provenienti da diverse università italiane.

Diretta web streaming: https://www.youtube.com/user/impressionimeridiane/live

Allegati
 Locandina  Comunicato stampa

Columbia Seminars: The Persistence of Cinema in a Post-cinematographic Age

In connection with his new book, The Lumière Galaxy. Seven Key Words for the Cinema to Come, Francesco Casetti (Yale University) will discuss new modes of existence in cinema through the convergence of media.”Relocated cinema” fulfills the galaxy of possibilities embedded in the medium from its inception. This talk is part of “Sites of Cinema.

“Sites of Cinema” takes a new approach to the question of cinema at the moment when cinema is said to be in decline, even in some accounts said to be facing its “death.” At this moment, when are focused on a convergence of moving image forms into a single delivery system we take up divergence over convergence, a divergence. Alternative to André Bazin’s question “What is Cinema?” “Sites of Cinema” will ask “Where is Cinema?” Where has it been seen to be and where will it be spaced in the future—as theoretical construct, national culture, material object, artistic work, social practice and space of exhibition. Cinema has moved and is still moving—from theatrical stages to museum walls, in and on buildings as well as within historical nations and regions of the world. “Sites of Cinema” signals our interest in site-specific cinemas plural but also cinema as a total apparatus—the “cinema of the mind” for the mass audience.

February 19, 2015, 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Columbia University Faculty House
Columbia University’s East Campus
64 Morningside Drive
New York, NY 10027
United States

Free event

Hypertopia

Afterall is pleased to present Hypertopia – a lecture by Francesco Casetti and the first public event of The City and its Moving Images, a new collaboration between Afterall, based at CSM, and the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image.

Friday 3 May 2013, 6-7:30pm, Central Saint Martins, London

Following an introduction by Mark Lewis, Francesco Casetti will explore the ways in which the experience of cinema is always the experience of a place and discuss the contemporary condition of the moving image, its re-emergence architecturally and topographically, and its changing viewing conditions in the cinema and elsewhere.

The City and its Moving Images is a collaborative research project and series of talks exploring the impact of the moving image on the cultural life of the modern city.

Francesco Casetti is Professor of Film Studies at Yale University, and has written extensively on the semiotics of film and film theory (Theories of Cinema: 1945–1995, Texas, 1999). He is currently studying the reconfiguration of cinema in a post-medium epoch, comparing this shift with the rise of cinema at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Mark Lewis is an artist, an editor of Afterall and Professor of Fine Art at Central Saint Martins.

The City and its Moving Images: Hypertopia by Francesco Casetti
Friday 3 May 2013, 6-7:30pm

Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design
University of the Arts London
Granary Building
1 Granary Square
London
N1C 4AA

Admission free but booking essential. To reserve a seat email events@afterall.org. You will be sent a confirmation email with access details.

This event is a collaboration between Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image and Afterall with the support of the Research Office of Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, the University of the Arts London, and Yale University.

Philosophical Issues in Early Film Theory

On Thursday 13th September I will deliver a lecture on Philosophical Issues in Early Film Theory as a keynote speaker of the Film-Philosophy Conference at King’s College London. 

In early film theories, there is no lack of references to philosophy and philosophers. We may find on the one side the claim for a “philosophical” account of cinema as a modern form of experience (Papini), on the other the claim for a “philosophy of the art of film” modelled on the German “Kunstwissenschaften” (Bálazs). These two approaches – whose goal is to find a legitimisation for the movies – cross each other when at stake come topics like the very nature of the objects on the screen, or the role of the camera as an eye. In critics and scholars like Canudo, Epstein, Cendrars, cinema challenges the traditional categories of thought – and it establishes itself a true philosophical discourse.

Cinematographic Objects

Cinematographic Objects

International Conference of the Junior Fellow Program
»Theory and History of Cinematographic Objects«

July 11-13, 2012, IKKM, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

In recent years, studies in the history of science, social sciences, and ethnology have prompted cultural theorists to return to the realm of things. However, the potential contributions of film and the study of film to our understanding of what constitutes a thing or object, and how they operate for and within film, remains an open question. One may ask, for instance: “What do things do in or to film?” And conversely: “How do film and media theory affect objects and existing concepts of objecthood?”

Films are assemblages of things: suitcases, revolvers, cars, shower curtains, bones that turn into spaceships within a split second. Insofar as these »things« make their peculiar appearance on film, they can be called cinematographic objects. The complexity of cinematographic objects resides in the fact that their very definition is always implicated in an ever-evolving network of associations with: 1) things on film, 2) the materiality of filmic images, and 3) the mechanical and operational relationships between the apparatuses necessary for their production (i.e. cameras, editing equipment, projectors, microphones, etc.)

»Cinematographic objects« are characterized by a specific relationship between thing and operation. The screen is full of props, artifacts, material objects either made explicitly for the cinematographic apparatus or merely picked up and recorded by it. Yet these things and objects only acquire certain cinematic qualities once the lights in the theater dim and their visual and temporal configurations unfold. It is only here that they begin to move, change shape, emerge, then vanish through zooms, tracking shots, pans, cuts, and editing. It is only here that they are enlarged and isolated in close-ups, arranged and gathered in ensemble-staging medium shots, and rendered landscapes and scenery with the long-shot. Likewise, things find a particular form of expression in filmic diegesis and narration when they align the various looks and gazes, motivate the development of the plot, distinguish characters, and circulate between protagonists. And not least of all, the film seems to chart the extra-filmic routes along which a cinematographic object as an artifact will migrate—as a piece of cinephilic memorabilia or in an exhibition in a film museum, or as iconic gestures associated with six-shooters, sunglasses, and cars—as visual motifs in art, as archival objects, or as fetishized images.

Following the »Cinematographic Objects« workshop in 2011, the conference »Cinematographic Objects II: Things and Operations« is organized around precisely these relations between artifact and operation. On the one hand, it seeks to closely interrogate the specificities of film and cinema according to film and media theoretical concerns with the cinematographic operations of object construction, as well as the peculiar nature and properties of things objects, and artifacts in film. And on the other hand, it also welcomes discourses on the transformations and migrations of things between film and other disciplines and areas of study such as art history, natural sciences, politics, and the everyday.

Conference Program