zombie cinema

pick up the imaginary shotgun and let’s hunt some symbolic zombies, click, click, ———->zombie

“delusion is the life raft keeping me afloat in a sea of despair.” – graffiti

sin e me
we watch sin e ma on the screen.  we tailor a certain etymology of screen to include this projection medium. and now we take this modicum of defense into our laps, our pockets, our desks. che knee ma is knot made for such devices; instead for airy auditoriums, darkened, chambres. it is from this black-space where we find a fitting room for film. film is a cut. montage marks the medium. we are confused when we take these cuts, this cutting, into our palms, embedding them in skin and other things not so easily nested as the black space, the blank space supporting the difference and distinction inbetween filmic frames. we step into the picture, breaking and broken. and the picture breaks us and our surroundings.

cinema is also a magic lantern. the inception of cinema is the magic lantern, ostensibly a contraption that sought to control how light-and-mirrors project objets onto screens. the magic lantern is a wonderful figuration of the way that the operation of seeing works without any technological apparatus replicating, honing it. that is, the way our eyes are also magic lanterns. o how we are likewise tricked by the machinations of some light and mirrors onto the screens of our consciousness. this is not to suggest that the images we see are not real; we are codeterminate with our world of objects and subjects. but subterfuge, real as it is, is too a trick. the cinema is perverse, we do buy the cinema (tickets), but we are codetermining entities. i will address below how audience is a dead objet/imaginary to the film. how the transformative nature of the dialectic is hijacked as cinematic-consciousnesses so often transfigure nothingness into postivity. the conversation ends when the lights signaling cinema dim.

undialectically, film essence appears

the limelight promulgates more persuasive image tricks, as a wholeness of moments becomes a montage of moments. now what when this magical projection not only proffers a collapse (may be i too hastily consider fragmentation a collapse), but also instantiates one: in digital film, where is the negative? do we suppose it not to exist? the negative is positive–as in a string of natural numbers. this is an example of how nothingness is coopted as a somethingness in the age of digito.

the performance of the magic lantern is not the focal point for an audience, but instead the projection. the projectionist is an artmaker, but the ones and zeroes now in charge have no love for the art they traffick…they lead us as audience instead to a violence of mirroring to death the life that we lose while our backs are turned and faces rapt by the screen.

in the cinematic age, we are silent, melancholic and ultimately turn into zombies, who want nothing but to eat brains.

cinema screens
cinema ushers in a era of the zombie. may be like a //shawn of the dead// instantiation, culture-dead, video-game-playing, tv-ticker taping, couchpotatoes. an illusion of a life, measured in manufactured products. scores, plots, and bills. cinema, etymologically is from kinema, kinetic, movement. the misnomage is deceitfully so. we witness not movement in cinema but its illusion. we are muted by the illusion of movement. the photograph–of which cinema is a multiplicity of millions of frames–the photograph imposes silence while it speaks.

recently seeing a live performance of stravinsky’s “rite of spring,” i could not purge my thoughts during the performance of the cinematic scenes–usually of distress–that used this song as a backdrop. the moving image is a pervasive store of memory; it is a convenient complex of various senses, and the predominance of naturalistic sound in film assures our watching to be more sensibly indistinguishable from when we watch our world unfolding outside of the screen. a backdrop unassumingly melds into the production of memory and moment, our screens become part of our mediation in/with the world. the size and mobility of the screen is indirectly related to the endemic nature of our interaction with it to mediate experience and expression. soon the screens will implant easily into my cellular tissue (giving new meaning to “cell phone”), and the skin sutured to them will bond with it seamlessly. what is the significance of our increasingly proliferate screen-world?

the word screen hails from the mid 14th century, as an “upright piece of furniture providing protection from heat of a fire, drafts, etc.”    a screen is a wall, a protection, from the heat. the screen-age, of which cinema is a part, formally shields us from the light of discovery and invention. a wall to ward off the flame. some times heat might be a good thing? intensity, exuberance, life…amidst the endemic loss of heat–we are living in a zombie age.

the photograph imposes silence while it speaks

the cabinet where kept my somnambulist

cinema brings us into silence. dont talk during the movie, we seek instead what kolozova calls “immanent detachment” and “autogenerated subjection.” but this is not to suggest a type of simple subtraction is possible, i.e., i will and so i am. such claims lead us back to a mythical cartesian subject found best in isolation. we are not so separable as all that. the ego is titillated by the speech of the image. its simplicity is appealing; its staticity pacific to an otherwise easily threatened–but i mean to say, mutable–entity, the ego. but invariably the lights come on in the auditorium and the film-goers empty out into the world. until we can forever suspend our disbelief and forget from each beginning how the end will leave us to reveille, this silent ego is not satisfied neither is she content to be unsatisfied simply watching. how does one articulate an outside of ego-imaginary-imago in silence? through material, in our bodies we speak still, in silence. but with no dialectical engagement, we are instead in a match of one-player pong, a game with the wall (a screen), we feel quite confined.

cine-ful confinement
the cinematic age confines us while deceptively proffering a freedom in expression. this is the fascism of W. Benjamin’s warning in “the work of art in an age of mech. reproduction,” that the masses are placated of their tangible grievances with realite–that is, property relations remain the same–as long as they are given a chance to express them selves.

the cinematic age confines us as //age//. as regulated regimatic mode of expression and interpretation, a guideline, a rulebook; and always with distinction between object and subject, performance and audience.

it confines us as captive audience to a convincing quasi-life that unfolds without our engagement. now, we engage to comment, to interpret, sure, but again, not to speak. and though the body in real can speak in silence, the subject as audience is not real but imaginary to the film frame, to the director, to the actor. the audience only exists–to these in a sense objets/that is, impregnable subjects–as dead, a part of themselves (film frame, director, actor) and not living.

in the cinematic age we watchers become dead. we embrace our cinematic age as a transfiguration of our death drive.

remember, my body is not the amalgam of frames collected with me in it. i live, in between the instances you (other) can collect. but in film, the space inbtween is UTTER darkness. that is, not void–which I am–but BLACK. and black, like melancholy, is always self-mirroring.  lacan helps us explore how mirrors are our recipe for disaster and a prescription for melancholy.

cinema brings us into melancholia. mourning

we mourn the presence we dont see, we lose sight of, that goes on behind-the-scenes/screens (which is both physically in back of and on the screen–in the gaps between each frame).

imago-me, manic depressed

this loss is staged in the mirror. lacan tells us how. we are never to cohere with the imago/the mirror image that our others take us for. the gulf must need not…i suppose…cause one to despair, if we can embrace a wholly unmoored civilization of false and mis-identifications, such that i am never forced to answer to my names so-called. but in our cinematic dystopia, unwilling to relent on calling me by sight and by name, over against my call to act, i am to be eternally frustrated by my being–which is movement, that is, as all images, in fact, blur. this condition is cinematic in the way that real movement is lost to the fixation of the illusion of movement in the static frame (image, title, name, permanent addy). and i am forlorn that you lose me so easily.

what might offer modes of resistance? the anti-philosophy, of laurelle and kolozova, attempt to think in relation to the real while breaking with the binary of reform-revolt. by surpassing dualism, we sur-pass the self-mirroring of lacan’s impossible real, where thinking the real is always beyond human thought. the real of non-philosophy tries to think in relation to Real without mirrors. but to avoid the mirror you must take them down! is this blindness? not-looking? not-finding? how do we avoid looking in the mirror as long as we are asked to id our self as imago? oedipus blinds him self…

i wonder if non-philosophy is a re-investment in theology. in faith. as the “attempt to relate to the real” seems to condition an earnestness, a personal particular relationship with the unknown–the divine. if reproduction is our only similarity, than there is there no hope for a blessed constancy. i worry about nihilism, the descent in to will (through my effort and choice, i reproduce). if i must reproduce all similarity, than any revolt is an act of resistance in the name of survival, a will to power. will does not exist with out power, which is the purported instance/harness of force. can we not revolt in homage to force–the tides–in stead of power–the waves? i mean to suggest our revolution as a ritual rededication to a faith in that we can not prove and that all senses persuade us from believing exists. a faith in the unclosure of all. a faith that i revolt for my life and my life is death.

true relationality might be poiesis, transformational poetics, where there is no idea of Real, and the only idea of the real is paradoxical. poetry is a language of nouns. learning a foreign language–hearing it, living it–is through nouns. time–that is, tense–dissolves, like ancient hebrew, with no linguistic separation between past, present, and future. in poiesis, there is no division temporally. orally, we are all strangers; learn to speak with me. kolozova suggests that we reach toward in relation to the real hypothetically. but i am not so interested in the what ifs; how can thinking hypothetically break-out a key to non philosophically thinking in relation to the real? dont we simply turn the future into the past? well, may be we can be free to develop poetic resonances–rather than evidential files and triplicates–of our memories.

kolozova notes grief as a “solitary labour of survival of the Ego” and thus a form of revolt (which is continuity). but not all continuities are radical good! must we get bad to get better? it seems that our reach toward otherness is key, which can be done apart from grief.

we may reach virally, one way to think at the real…but to choose grief is not to choose death…


zombie, defined

zombisim occurs without actors to do the acting. is all feeling acting, do the zombies act? neat how acting and performing become etymologically intertwined. instead of any desire to live healthfully, we desire masochism, to desire our own destruction–c.f. benjamin. be sides, it is inconvenient to live a fulfilled life. according to one source, “Zombies remain under the control of the bokor since they have no will of their own.” and to an other, they are”death-like suspended animation, followed by re-awakening typically after being buried in a psychotic state.” in the 20th century film-fable, //night of living dead//, ben is the sole survivor of a horrific night of zombie attacks  only to be mistaken for one and shot. “that’s another one for the fire,” his assassins claim and ben’s body is then placed onto a burning pyre along with other dead bodies. in the zombie apocalypse, we become indistinguishable from them. romero says of his film, “There’s this global change and there’s one guy holding out saying, wait a minute, I’m still a human. He’s wrong.”

cinematic age gives us zombie-ism

in silence and melancholy we are primed to eat brains. not for the magic breath “contained” therein, but for/as their tissue-emptiness.

can the body offer resistance? by not eating brains, but using them! as kolozova notes, “the other disturbs the other.” in time and space, we fight the zombie-urge. we can embrace to be as atemporal, when the last instance is in at each instance. foucault folds to power only in subversion it is the protest that can but continually keep in tact the sense of the regime.  but i think body can break all sense

love-relations help us remember our excess and remainder. zombies can desire…but what is zombie love? in love, we lose ourselves; the zombie has already lost and has returned. is it love if it pushes us toward a precipice we do not wish to over look? what when i find that the objet of my love is not the objet i thought. this means that love is a thought. better go to the cinema….


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