Cut! : Innovative Structures
5 p.m., Saturday, April 14, room 407
Faculty respondent: Sam Ishii-Gonzales (bio)
White on White & the Personalization of Media ExperiencePresenter: Josef Luciano (CUNY CSI: Cinema and Media Studies)
One of the principle tenets of artist identities is the development of critical interpretations of their work over multiple projects. While the critical reception of Eve Sussman and Rufus Corporation’s video/film installation piece whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir has just begun, the importance of the theatrical experience of the piece itself has yet to gain the kind of introspection it so rightly deserves. Throughout Sussman’s career the use of painterly aesthetic, improvisation, themes relating to domesticity and dailiness, and a cinéma vérité and voyeuristic style have characterized much of the moving image art she and the Rufus Corporation have produced As per most artists, Sussman’s style has evolved and changed over time, incorporating various new techniques while excluding or expanding upon others. However, one such new technique that Sussman employs functions as a meditation on not only the nature of editor in film, but also the future of authorship in film and other content. Sussman once self-identified herself as someone who enjoys “subverting the genre of film.” With the use of an algorithmic assembly process, similar to how websites like Pandora and Amazon use algorithms to “guesstimate” possible user interests, to edit whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir one chilling question pervades after enduring the piece’s viewing experience: in what way do technological innovations reflect startling changes to come.
Tim and Eric on Television: Uncomfortable Comedy as Rhetorical DeconstructionPresenter: Seth Vietti (University of Arizona)
The way audiences find and watch television content has become increasingly fragmented, with viewer “screen time” often divided between on-demand streaming sources and traditional television. In this new media landscape, the role and value of advertising is changing, as television networks try to target smaller, but more engaged, niche audiences.
Using the traditional television medium in a critical and subversive way, the absurd, surreal and often uncomfortable television “comedy” Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job functions as an example of the way television and television audiences are becoming fragmented, and of the monetization of authenticity in niche advertising. Aesthetically and rhetorically, this paper explores the structure of television and of Tim and Eric using the critical theory of a “physical” place; a shared, simultaneous moment between the show and its audience. How does Tim and Eric manipulate the structure of television? What effect does this structural manipulation have on how the show is perceived by the audience? Why do so much of Tim and Eric’s comedy make audiences uncomfortable? And why is this important? This paper is presented alongside clips from the show and recent television and internet advertizing campaigns for products such as “Axe Body Spray” and “Stride Gum,” to illustrate that Tim and Eric uses the television medium in innovative and creative ways: intelligently deconstructing the way television and advertising make and control meaning, and undermining their persuasive power by exposing their artifice.
On the Necessity for PostproductionPresenter: Christopher Trice (The New School)
My research concerns the history of the term ‘postproduction’ in the artistic process. By closely studying the developments in early film theory, specifically soviet montage theory, it will be argued that the concept of postproduction is created at the moment that the editing of a film takes on the greatest importance in the filmmaking process.
Sergei Eisenstein would adopt the Hegelian/Marxist dialectic model to explain the mechanics of montage. Further, dialectic was the way all art was to be framed. For Eisenstein, art was the conflict between nature and the creative tendency of man. The creation of art occurs only on the editing table when the creative tendency conflicts with natural raw footage and yields a construction from this collision. The creation of art, montage, then for Eisenstein is actually located beyond production. And if art is created after production, does it not make sense that there should be a stage in the process to account for such an important event? This, it is argued, is the birth of the notion of postproduction.
Although it is posited that this is how the concept of postproduction is formed we will also argue that the logic is faulty. The failure here is not the notion that montage occurs after production, the failure is the sense that montage occurs only after production. Drawing on Dziga Vertov’s conception of montage as existing in every moment in the film process we will offer a process based notion of montage that is never not occurring in the production process. Inspired by the process ontology of Henri Bergson these montage-moments will be posited as merely a difference in degree, not in kind.
And if every aspect of the filmmaking process is just a different degree of montage-moments, is the notion of postproduction, or preproduction for that matter, even necessary?