Like kids searching for a father we never knew?
Steven Shaviro has posted his response to my and three other “curators’ notes” on his Post-Cinematic Affect.
The twists and turns of the discussions that have followed each of the daily commentaries have been fascinating. Somehow we’ve gone from a discussion of recent cinema to theorizing about affect and the limitations of recent affect theory (under the sign of Spinoza, Deleuze, and Silvan Tomkins), metabolism and panpsychism, magic (homeopathic and other kinds), fashion, “cinesensuality” and allure, Lady Gaga, YouTube and its “free labor,” and back again to capital and the possibilities for resistance, liberation, and alternative logics.
Henry Fox Talbot famously described photography as the “pencil of nature.” Although this metaphor refers to photography’s special relationship to the real, to the indexicality that makes it suited for naturalist representation, Talbot’s evocative phrase also raises important questions about photography’s relationship to nature. Beyond naturalism and nature appreciation, however, how has photography approached nature?
Cave of Forgotten Dreams is probably not an essential Werner Herzog film, and I sympathize with those (like Bill Benzon) who’d much rather just see the pictures and do without Herzog’s prattling on or the “banshee muzak,” as Bill calls it. In both the prattling and especially the banshee muzak (which is pretty good, for banshees, and for muzak) it’s very much of a piece with Herzog’s sci-fi-ish and underwater scenes like those in Wild Blue Yonder and Encounters at the End of the World. In its stylized interviews with quirky scientists it’s also consistent with Encounters, though perhaps more sober.
… by the record water levels in Lake Champlain following this winter’s snows and this spring’s seemingly endless (and sometimes torrential) rains.
There is usually about 40 feet of beach at the spot pictured above, just down the hill from us, all of it now under water. Average water levels in the lake are around 95 feet above sea level. Flood stage is 100 feet. This year they hit 103.3 ft here in Burlington.
An in-law sent me a PDF of this rudely hilarious little picture book that would warm the cruel heart (or maybe cruel the warm heart) of every new parent. Turns out the artist, Ricardo Cortes, does great little books like Sketches of the Drug Wars and the celebration of power blackouts pictured above (both links here are PDFs).
Here’s a version of something that comes late in Chapter One of my Ecologies of the Moving Image manuscript. This follows a description of Andrei Tarkovsky’s film Stalker (USSR, 1979), which I take as a kind of paradigmatic model for the process-relational framework the book develops. Here I discuss the film in its relationship to its social and material contexts, including that of the Chernobyl accident, which occurred seven years after the film was released, but which the film might just have anticipated.