A Chance for Cinema-Writing in Electronic Literature
Computational cinema, the digital manipulation of pixels, frames, shots and sequences, is a catch-all term for the many ways digital technology can affect cinema as a system of expression. If a movie scene calls for a snowstorm, CGI can be employed to create an idealized snowstorm. Computation in this sense is used to efficiently control contingencies (weather) and direct the intentions of “the writing” or preconceived idea. But computation can also create new contingencies that add to the camera’s already complex presentation of the world. Multimedia hypertext and interactive cinema, generative and recombinant video, datamoshing and databending all introduce forms of indeterminacy into digital cinema. As digital writing becomes even more cinematic and immersive, it is important to revisit the roots of cinema art and seek its relation both to writing and the world. The ideal of “cinema-writing,” or cinécriture in the French cinema context, is one that takes the machine seriously as a tool to bring the world into thought and thought out onto the world. Cinema and writing together, as imagined by the art’s earliest practitioners and theorists, is a way to harness the camera’s unique indexicality; to extend its spatio-temporal reach and direct its signification towards narrative, but also to benefit from its dispersed realism, its opacity and its potential to escape thought and narrative closure altogether. In this paper, I explore affiliations between cinema art and electronic literature, with a particular focus on computation as an extension of cinema-writing. Through examples of cinematic electronic literature, as well as film and video art, I will present strategies for a computational cinema that welcomes chance operations into the process of signification; that seeks an “outside” within (and beside) narrative composition and authorial intent.
electronic literature, digital writing, digital cinema, computation, machine-writing
- Abstract viewed = 17 times
- PDF viewed = 38 times
- HTML viewed = 42 times
BAZIN, André, and Hugh Gray (2005). What Is Cinema? Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
BÉNEZÉT, Delphine (2014). The Cinema of Agnes Varda. London: Wallflower P.
BOUCHARDON, Serge (2017). “Towards a Tension-Based Definition of Digital Literature.” Journal of Creative Writing Studies 2.1, Article 6: 1-13.
CONLEY, Tom (1991). Film Hieroglyphs: Ruptures in Classical Cinema. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
DEBORD, Guy (1956). “Theory of the Dérive.” 28 June 2017. http://www.cddc.vt.edu/sionline/si/theory.html.
DELEUZE, Gilles (1995). Cinema. Mineapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
DOANE, Mary Ann (2002). The Emergence of Cinematic Time: Modernity, Contingency, the Archive. Cam-bridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.
DUARTE, German A (2014). Fractal Narrative about the Relationship between Geometries and Technology and Its Impact on Narrative Spaces. Bielefeld: Transcript.
EPSTEIN, Jean, and Christophe Wall-Romana (2015). The Intelligence of a Machine. Minneapolis: Universi-ty of Minnesota Press.
GODARD, Jean-Luc (2011). Histoire(s) Du Cinema. Olive Films.
GORMAN, Samantha, and Danny Cannizzaro (2017). PRY on the App Store. 30 June 2017. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pry/id846195114?mt=8.
HEATH, Stephen (1981). Questions of Cinema. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
KIM, Jihoon (2016). Between Film, Video, and the Digital: Hybrid Moving Images in the Post-media Age. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.
LIALINA, Olia (1996). “War.” 28 June 2017. http://www.teleportacia.org/war/.
MANOVICH, Lev (2001). The Language of New Media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
MEANEY, Evan (2015). “The_Ceibas_Cycle.” 28 June 2017. http://www.evanmeaney.com/cycle/.
MICHELSON, Annette, and Kevin O’Brien (1985). Kino-eye: The Writings of Dziga Vertov. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
MILES, Adrian (2008). “Softvideography: Digital Video as Postliterate Practice.” Small Tech: The Culture of Digital Tools. Eds. Byron Hawk, David M. Rieder, and Ollie Oviedo. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. 10-22.
MORIN, Edgar (2005). The Cinema, Or, The Imaginary Man. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
RANCIÈRE, Jacques (2016). Film Fables. London, UK: Bloomsbury Academic.
RENSEIW, Sam (2017). “Spacetwo : Patalab.” 28 June 2017. https://patalab02.blogspot.com/
RODOWICK, David Norman (2001). Reading the Figural, Or, Philosophy after the New Media. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
RODOWICK, David Norman (2007). The Virtual Life of Film. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
RODOWICK, David Norman (2010). Afterimages of Gilles Deleuze’s Film Philosophy. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
WALL-ROMANA, Christophe (2012). Cinepoetry: Imaginary Cinemas in French Poetry. Fordham University Press.
WALL-ROMANA, Christophe (2013). Jean Epstein. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
WITT, Michael (2013). Jean-Luc Godard, Cinema Historian. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
MATLIT embraces online publishing and open access to back issues. Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal. The article can be quoted but not changed and presented differently.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).
- A CC licensing information in a machine-readable format is embedded in all articles published by MATLIT.
NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
NoDerivatives — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material.
No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measuresthat legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.
- You do not have to comply with the license for elements of the material in the public domain or where your use is permitted by an applicable exception or limitation.
- No warranties are given. The license may not give you all of the permissions necessary for your intended use. For example, other rights such as publicity, privacy, or moral rights may limit how you use the material.