While this doesn’t have much to do with the usual themes of this blog, it is an interesting case study of media culture and political protest (and one that my Ukrainian studies background qualifies me to comment on).
It’s the case of Pussy Riot supporter Inna Shevchenko, an activist with the Ukrainian feminist protest group Femen. Let’s figure it out:
A (western-style) feminist activist-performance group best known for (literally) exposing themselves to gain media exposure (with the help of happily obliging male photographers) chainsaws down a cross commemorating Stalin’s Ukrainian victims as an act of solidarity with anti-authoritarian punk-feminists Pussy Riot. (Those are the three musicians recently sentenced to two years in jail for their “sacrilegious” anti-government performance in a Russian church. More on them later.)
Here’s the abstract for the keynote I will be giving at Nature and the Popular Imagination in Malibu this August. It builds on my recent talk at Bucks College, but without the nod to pop-cultural interest in Avatar.
THE AGE OF THE WORLD MOTION PICTURE
starring the Cinematic Earth, with cameo appearances by Charles Darwin, Rachel Carson, Martin Heidegger, C. S. Peirce, Gilles Deleuze, Lynn Margulis, James Cameron, Stanley Kubrick, Donna Haraway, and Koko the Gorilla
Bogost’s talk not being streamed (by his request).
Ian Bogost, “The Aesthetics of Philosophical Carpentry”
A talk about philosophy and the objects of which it’s made, in 12 parts (first 11 are pretend)
I. Enjoying This Presentation
II. The Things We Do: Airport tarmac. Philosophers in a lecture hall not unlike an aircraft approaching the runway. Multiple dancer airport performances. Air traffic controllers and graduate students. We do the things we do. Questions, comments. Thank you for flying.
Mark Hansen, “Against Clairvoyance: The Future of 21st Century Media”
Both the future of and the future according to… The status of the future in relation to media. 21st century media.
Book on Whitehead’s philosophy as resource for thinking about 21st century media. Offering a different entry into Whitehead than most of the work that’s been done. Less interested in Deleuze-Whitehead than in W’s interest in quantification, data (datum), speculation (speculative account). Drawing on Jorge Nobo (extensive continuum), Judith Jones (intensity). In the service of a bringing of Whitehead together with phenomenology and theme of ‘sensibility.’
I will read quickly and show you more than I read. (Warning to readers: so this trans/re/scription will not be adequate.)
Threat that internet will be turned to a series of gated communities. Spam is another way to say I love you. This danger can be attenuated not through more security but through a wary embrace of the vulnerability that is networking.
The CFP for this conference elicited lively comments and concerns on Facebook walls (Ken Wark’s and Alex Galloway’s): expression of “turn fatigue” (:-) [ai: my first proposal was about just that], and a concern that this would ipso facto be a conference of speculative realism or OOO.The CFP reactivated debates from third New York OOO symposium.
My paper for this year’s Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference, coming up next month in Boston, will focus on the two films that got a lot of side-by-side attention at last year’s Cannes festival, Lars von Trier’s Melancholia and Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life. Since a few of my favorite bloggers have also discussed them side by side, I thought I’d share my preliminary thoughts about them here.
The two films play a key role in the final chapter of my (forthcoming) Ecologies of the Moving Image, but as I’m still thinking these themes through, I will be interested in responses I get at the SCMS (or here).
The metaphor of “occupation” strikes me as a provocative one not only for what the activists in Manhattan and elsewhere are doing, but for what they are struggling against.
Some, and perhaps many, of these are people without traditional “occupations,” so they are occupying themselves by re-occupying the public spaces that have been occupied for too long by the values, habits, and appeals of the Occupation Force — the whole industry of slogans, gestures, come-hither looks, sales pitches, jingles, hooks, nods and winks (backed up by policies, and ultimately by laws and policing) that keep us steered into the spectacle of Politics-as-Usual-and-Consumption-Above-All.