vertigo videos

misbookings on the line of flight
project in collaboration, rebecca weisman | megan flocken

film is experiencing a crisis

risk in film is too abstract, a departure from the fundamental aspects of Real that appear ready-made for us on the screen, the reel of Real: film presents us with a unique space and time, whereby we watch and feel through eyes and modal speeds of otherness. As otherness does not mirror us, but instead offers an open window to move beyond, we realize our phenomenological revolution. The mo of this regime is to incorporate all modes of resistance, to sandwich our network between teleologies of moral, order, economies, to construct flows in the service of capital. and so the self-enclosure of hollywood film-language disbars risk as a valid cinematic demand. anxiety of boredom is rejected and the sedating satisfaction of pleasure-entertainment is paramount. can the mastery of this domination of representation-in/as-thought be diffused as we cannibalize our images?

In the spirit of Deleuze, Guattari, and intensities, I wish to propose an alternative viewing, which might best be called participation.

We seek a language that engenders a concept of freedom beyond alienation and towards a celebration of the contingency of unknown evental openings. which do not suggest stability, (in stable relationships we seek total recall)–but instead an ontology predicated on rhizomaic relation. there are better languages than others, better maps to help us orient with out harming and impeding our humanity, which, although most maps might note other wise, is a race of souls who learn to fly.

Political call toward coimplicated intersubjective art praxis

They must decide what thoughts each part of it must think,

-”The Examination,” Snodgrass, W.D.

kin e ma. the medium is etymologically predicated on movement, but it is a strange trick of movement that comprises the scene. The movement of cinema is of repetition of static sets of frames. projection (the reeling of the real) allows our illusion to function. How might this illusion help illuminate our Deleuzian political project: illuminating our universal by pointing beyond–not to reify our similitude but to give wings to the virtual possibility in differing.

world of words

Deleuze is critical of dialectic but often writes of cinema as the stage for aufhebung–the point beyond dialectic achieved in/through the interplay of dialectical negations. plato suggests that adequate use (pardon this terminology) of dialectic must set aside its presuppositions at some point, for with hypotheses/postulates, one will simply find what one seeks (cf Plato, Republic, 510d., have only arrived at “a conclusion in agreement with that from which they set their inquiry in motion”). but how to move beyond…

the propensity for dialectic to fulfill its own prophecy is precisely what impels our truth procedure to constantly abdicate itself in its language, toward anew. plato emblazons the significance of such departure in his symbol of the divided line through which we attain knowledge “by the power of dialectic, using the hypotheses not as first principles, but only as hypotheses — that is to say, as steps and points of departure into a world which is above hypotheses, in order that she may soar beyond them to the first principle of the whole” (//republic: // 511b). thus, we find plato’s diagrammic programme to thinking truth. In language.

penser autrement

The Deleuzian cinematics open what new subjectivities are solicited by interpretation. We bear an ontological tension between segmentation and flight, in our selves, which are expressive frames, i.e. lines. lines are our projections in time/space…

Segmentary lines connect us explicitly, intelligibly, sensibly. They are based on prior sense. duty. as we invoke “have to,” even the constraints (we conceive) unto choice are segmentary. they provide us with guarantee, insurance of some possibility of understanding. logos, ratio, justification, narrative, passion. We work to loosen the pressure of segmentation, to do, to feel, to say, to relate in staid old frames.

The line of flight is the introduction of impossibility to each segmented now that is the opening/dawning of our unknown future. when as in flying all manner of motion is possible with no spatial/temporal limitation confronting you, impeding your next move. to move is not allways easy, but it is possible. to fly off the ground, where the ground is not there to debar your sense of uncertainty. Our flight is risk. Flight is radically intense. in flight, we don’t know boundary that asserts itself unto us from beyond my will, my intensity, to reach it.

To think in relation to Other allows, in Deleuzian parlance, a transversal becoming ungrounded in what is actual but what is as-yet Real. In her deft analysis of Deleuze’s Cinema books, Colebrook notes, that in film, “This [transversal becoming] can only be so if we encounter the camera of cinema, not as something we already know, but as something that challenges us.” (Colebrook, 37)

film is no objet in itself. We must challenge subjects as captives of the binary divide: film vs. audience. let us resist the tendency to passively consume our images. when we confuse consumptive possession of a dead object for a free-movement of intersubjectivity, i call this a misbooking in the lines of flight.

Deleuze argues thought/concept as production, not representation; how might cinema too moves us beyond representation to production. The logic of the cinema is symbol, which doesn’t just appear to us; we participate in it. But the problem of cinema, the crisis of film, is an inertia in symbolism. This crisis traces lineage from the reign of naturalistic cinema. One knows this adage: looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, …but in cinema, “it” is not a duck. the inaccuracy of our illusions does not have to be so troubling. our film is a language like any other–a play of lies, a code of shortcuts and dubious equations–and this is not a tract against speaking. indeed, we might all find our selves on very similar pages if all our books were empty; there is quite possibly allways less miscommunication in silence. The problem of naturalistic cinema is not the foul play of a quite impressive miming of our world outside the cinema. It is instead how naturalism in cinema induces an audience to watch as a quilt of corpses is packaged as flight; more specifically, as say a love story unfolds to the same narrative design, the gaze is didactically the same throughout, cinema-life replicates what cinema-life looks like. The line of flight in hollywood cinema is a packaged commodity, e.g., the laugh-track–sold back to us, and we feel stuck to participate in it, in order to be validate. this is the flight of the scapegoat…

a beef with hollywood

hollywood and global cinema.

The hollywood predilection for naturalistic image to sound mapping dominates and effectively prevents avant garde distribution (it is conceivable only as a niche market). when a group has power and they define the terms, it is near to impossible to strike out to rupture. we must have the courage to not simply reroute, but leap into unknown with out a map. The logic of hollywood is unremonstrated pleasure-experience. the privilege of pleasure over pain, at the expense of truth itself. likewise, in more overt political campaigns, should humankind follow a barometer of pleasure over truth, we sell our selves to an ominous servitude. we are experiencing the triumph of the couch-potato brand of pleasure.

In her work on Deleuze, Colebrook remarks, “If cinema were trying to rewrite 19th century novels or become the faithful medium of science and documentary then it would be striving to overcome what marks it out as cinema.” (Colebrook 31). She reads Deleuze to find the hollywood project of cinema to be working against its very ontological difference as a medium of expression. We find in it instead representation, a life-sized map.

in Borges’ “of exactitude in science” cartographers phase out the scalar translation of our maps and instead create ones that correspond with our spatial experience point for point. borges’ fable asks what is the use of a life-sized map? might we not let these productions waste away in favor in stead for the inclemencies of sun and rain? Hollywood representationism belies our drives toward maps, segmentarity, organisation. our territories move through inaction, axiomatics, to conserve themselves. Deleuze and Guattari write, “It is not enough to say that axiomatics does not take invention and creation into account: it possesses a deliberate will to halt or to stabilize the diagram [thought], to take its place by lodging itself on a level of coagulated abstraction too large for the concrete but too small for the real.” (//mp// 144). but we don’t yet seem to as a mainstream, find these life-sized maps are unwieldy.

cartographers know what’s up. in hysterical admission of their own failings, the regime’s mapmakers place the line of flight under a curse: whenas you fly, you will be lost, jeers society at its scapegoat, banished precisely as it challenges the signifying regime. (cf //mp// 116, 121). the regime co-opts resistance by defining it, making it intelligible, forcing revolt to halt volution by continuing to persuade it of the importance of its relevance to regime-language. For e.g., who is the flight attendant who speaks to you, convincing you that individualism means expressing your self through the market in commodity preferences? what is rupture, real and true? we are trained to think less of these modes of resistance and escape. Deleuze and Guattari note “this regime develops a kind of “wall” on which signs are inscribed, in relation to one another and in relation to the signifier. In the post signifying regime, on the other hand, the redundancy is one of subjective resonance….” (ibid, 133). Does this suggest we find escape in the subject? well..more so a resonance to reclaim the politik of the trace, the politik of echo.

the specious occupation

to engender a love politik that abides our rhizome, allows it to thrive and be as it is in all aspects of its movement, we must move from a signifying regime to a subjective resonance, and this means “the absolute deterritorialization of the cogito.” //mp//133. but how to depart from our most implicit frame–our ego-consciousness?

if the line of flight may suggest a direction, we go diagrammic through experimentation. and true experimentation is in excess of control–this is how frankenstein bows to his monster creation. may we have purer hearts than victor. Deleuze and Guattari calls us to, “Stammer language, be a foreigner in one’s own tongue” (//mp// 134).

while noting that even abstract machines (we are not yet so abstract) and the diagrams we use necessarily contain a drive to organize, thus create continuity, they also “have the power…potentiality to extract and accelerate destratified particles-signs (the passage to the absolute).” they note this ability to rupture as itself constituting presence, aka the deleuzian absolute. this echoes the concept that we are born unto all and then develop a differentiation; to note, know, experience presence is a disjunction. thus both movements are part of our plane, our assemblage: continuity as organization, and its rupture as presence.

rupture/disrupt routine

the cinema itself induces a strange architectural similarity to most church worship spaces. we find an us v. them binary of congregators all facing one direction, toward the altar. indeed, it is difficult to turn around in a cinema, but try it and you are overcome by the intense focus of many eyes. As audience, we turn our backs to the activity of projection, instead our faces rapt by the lantern’s glow upon the screen. The logic of the film is steeped in this ritual: our symbolic orders arise out of an illusion that we forget this is what it is. in presentation of dis junction, dis belief, we wager continuity, belief. but then in/as organized religion (cinemas follow church-design) routinizes/ritualizes this risk. with out reverence for our process of symbolizing, we lose connection to any thing but the imaginary idol that is symbolized on/by the screen (I).

This is a call for iconoclasm, so that the activity of symbolizing breaks free from the concreteness and collapse of the idol–the “not symbol” as a symbol is fluid and always pointing beyond itself. engagement is symbolic liberation. Reading is praxis. stop the avalanche of what we’ve called naturalism. Work to create alternative viewing spaces and times. non-hierarchical viewing experiences highlighting the coimplicative ontologies of viewer-viewed-viewing. this is how the media does not control us, but entails us…as does our possibility for response and its expression entail media. in //what is philosophy//, deleuze and guattari note how philosophy is a practice that generates concepts and asks questions. (2)

where is the movement, what is the time? these are significant questions we ask to determine our specific and ontological locations. but these questions nearly cease to occur to us in the hollywood film. let us reintroduce these questions.

uncertain movement and speed

we must restore belief

intensify connections of difference, the images are dead with out their readers. We need to reinvest human element of watching toward an intersubjective truth, as our witness is a retelling.

film as flight

“Time is a becoming without ground, without foundation” Colebrook, 50.

deleuze’s specific interventions on the unique offering of film delineate its play with movement and time, signaling significant difference between film and graphic arts. in his works on cinema (foot) he considers both the movement-image and time-image of film. both images work to call into question the transcendent ordered presentation of movement & time, thereby revealing the nature of the formation of these axes of existence themselves. Here we find aufhebung, the overcoming, in the theoretical dialectics of film: we find film to create illusion of movement and time. In simple negation and film criticism, we analyze and lay bare the illusion of movement and time (“this doesn’t look real” is a strange but tellingly oft-uttered remark by the cinema-goer). further, film provides stage to negate/s this negation as the movement-image and time-image produces the production of movement and time themselves. Flight, this Deleuzian concept, is a movement and time that departs from segmentary ground. as cinema becomes as a medium of expression with unique capabilities for the production of movement and time itself, we find film as flight.

Onto Deleuze’s vocabulary of the cinematic virtual: movement-image and time-image. These images signal to us movement and time as they exist universally, that is, in their extra-human processes.

Movement-image, laying bare the move

Colebrook defines movement as “from which single points of view are composed.” (Colebrook, 33). Via movement-image, the disrupt of transcendental unity of eye, we see seeing. Colebrook explains that the “camera itself moves while the moving body also moves.” (Colebrook 32). the subject is embodied in abstentia, thus in-itself we perceive embodiment. THIS IS WHAT EMBODIMENT LOOKS LIKE, a fromless from, through a jumble of unordered percepts, where seeing is not located in me as I, the camera eye doesnot = I. But from where do we see? The machine eye affords us the seeing of many, the multiple through montage. Montage disrupts everydayness* (but only if we let it, as “everyday” is as such in my framing) (*Colebrook 31). cinema images the virtual-actual split of movement itself by contrapuntal montage which highlights the “internal unity” of each shot, capitalizing on an “internal power” against convergence…but beware dichotomies (to juxtapose continues to instantiate difference). the internal power of the clip, the shot, the frame undergoes a magical overcoming as these uber differentiated aspects/percepts melt in our attention of them. We read through gestalt, understanding is greater than a sum of constituent parts.

time-image, which lays bare time itself. What is time?

Colebrook offers “time is newness itself, the eternal production of transformation.” (Colebrook 63). Colebrook further defines time as “a virtual whole of divergent durations.” (Colebrook 42). our attachment to meaning is our moment of subjectivity. Time, is in duration as consciousness, but this is not to suggest that time is rooted in our consciousness. Colebrook continues, “We forget that time is a temporal flow from which we have abstracted our point of perception.” (Colebrook 43). Via time-image, we feel the impersonality of time. though i wish to encourage a cinematic praxis that relishes the socalled human and inhuman durations of time, let us remember that the cinema is always proffering inhuman durations, there are just some that we more readily take as our own.

we find newness and invention the more we confront what Colebrook dubs “microperceptions,” “not just perception of the eye that sees and judges, but the disorganized perceptions of the life that pulses through our bodies.” Colebrook, 40. let this be a call to a demise of the master-meta-narrative forms in favor of a minor cinema! in the space and time of minor , we open to multiplicity(ities) of processes and durations and resist the overt seductive trance of objects. Displacing the omniscience of human-time, displacing the space of I works against the inertia that marches us straight unto fascism and apocalyptic apathy.

vertigo as dis-ease

montage and ontology of film

A film strip is a set of photographs separated by black space. It is a function of the speed of projection of these photographs, their montage that induces the illusion of movement.

Film is a medium of montage, it is the juxtaposition of fragmented frames that cohere to form a strange unity in interposition. Montage is “any combination of disparate elements that forms or is felt to form a unified whole,” (dictionary.com) and taking this definition in mind, I wish to demonstrate how a proliferation of montage cultural expression directly leads to a culture aware of and equipped to function within multiculturalism and pluralism. within montage, we resist inertia and reclaim awe of otherness.

In “A Statement,” filmmakers Eisenstein, Pudovkin, and Alexandrov articulate the radical potential of montage to impact the viewer and generate interesting thought. It is precisely by viewing the conjunction of seemingly incongruous images and sounds that a cinema viewer can open otherwise closed lines of thinking and acting. Even further, they argue for the use contrapuntal sound in film, as “every adhesion of sound to a visual montage piece increases its inertia”; they offer, instead of this inert naturalism, a method of developing an “orchestral counterpoint of visual and aural images.” Montage highlights the singularity, the point, of a shot. Indeed, Deleuze notes, “Only when the world, teeming with anonymous and nomadic, impersonal and preindividual singularities, opens up, do we tread at last on the field of the transcendental.” 1990, 103).} Pudovkin’s //The End of St. Petersburg// and Eisenstein’s //Battleship Potemkin// are illustrative examples of the Soviet embrace and even emphasis of montage in cinema. No shot is continuous for more than a couple of seconds. In the spirit of Kuleshov, (an early soviet film experimented on the affect of montage) view the same scene to different musical pieces (with very different tonalities) to discern the impact that sound has with our readings of film and the inertia-effect of naturalistic sound with image.

veneereal dis-ease

At what point does the fractured nature of our existence irrupt our ontological veneers of conformity? Do we, like the early cinema-Soviets, seek to highlight our gaps in order to allow our space as interpreters to flourish and develop; do we instead, like Hollywood, seek to routinize our montage-viewing into regimented readings? And Hollywood proffers an even worse situation as it co-opts radicality in favor of regime-language, a stratagem characteristic of all vestiges of monopoly capitalism: the mainstream becomes savvy enough to undermine the politics of experimental film, aping it as an aesthetic difference in signifiers that are still despotic. The problem in our confusion is that the political is aestheticized. Recall Benjmain who in “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” warns that this aesthetization of politics is the recipe for fascism.

montage is the flight simulator. and our simulations which point beyond themselves to virtuality provide a condition for possibility in revolutionary thinking. replace the transcendental reference point (I) with infinite irreverence points. kuleshov and eisenstein have us think about how so much of meaning is context of which we are the architects. our propensity for laziness in interpretation intersects our illimitable capacity for wonder…and we are avalanched under the inertia of routinized symbolism. Eisenstein demands from filmic expression a use of contrapuntal sound that highlights disjuncture, celebrates and develops its contingency and interpretation. to resist a snowballed lockstep of filmic interpretation–and encourage the resistance to hegemony, a demise of the world cinema. to break the spell of our filmic projections as mere repetitions of the same. he foretells the contemporary u.s. american film, which we watch indoctrinated and dulled as we are trained to send ourselves into capitalistic fervor and metaphysical slaughter.

liberty risk and engagement

political action is a risk. the liberty of patrick henry has been packaged instead as free beer–some thing we passively wait to receive. There is no risk involved in the hypermodern liberty. freedom is fundamentally significant to the mythos of u.s.america, yet the widely-accepted check on its enjoyment is when in a crowded theatre–where there is to be no shouting! (foot: Schenck v. United States, no fire in a crowded cinema). let film-work call into question our structure of evidence and its precedent.

“tune in turn on drop out” once a battle hymn for the revolt, the regime delights in this mantra as it wants us to sedate ourselves. this is not to suggest that film must be allways inciting excitement. in fact, boredom in film-language is often the challenge to our time-images we need. boredom in film, slows our satisfaction of desire, our self-enclosure.

Contemporaneously, avant garde film is widely dis regarded by mainstream outlets of distribution and spectation. dr. bannon suggests a form of detournement: that “photography can propose the future if it is composed in a way we don’t under stand.” (foot: In a conversation with poet laureate Billy Collins and National Geographic photographer Ed Kashi, 03/21/12 ) But situations that defy our understanding pose an obstacle, a pause, to the speed and convenience culture of cinema.

SO, toward the invention of people

bull market (thx bp)

in his introduction to his compendium on Deleuze and film, //afterimages of gilles deleuze’s film philosophy//, Rodowick defines the most revolutionary feature of cinema, the time-image, as “appearing as a nonchronological force, what it expresses is an Event wherein each passing present yields to the unforseeable, the unpredictable, and the emergence of the new.” (xviii Rodowick). Questioning time-sense via this image, “the whole is in relation to an Outside expressing a possibility or virtuality” (xviii, rodowick). the freedom of humanity is not simply to think what is not–but more radically, our freedom is the persistent possibility of what we have yet to think; this is the virtual. Thus, it is with movement-image and time-image that film aids a free humanity.

vertigo vids

I dub this revolutionary film-practice a vertigo video. Vertigo is a reoccurring fall from the height of illusion. We engender this dizziness easily in film as we feel that we are moving while still. to what are we affixed? stars hang in space void, birds in atmospheric gas, words in “aggravated air” fishes in the sea. We are moored to movement and time qua eye/I, but as one floats/flies, one loses sense of boundary, that is, self. Let us herald a film-work so we might see flight patterns exist but not out of/as segmentary necessity. instead we seek a language that decolonizes. blurs boundaries. To challenge the dogmatism of singularity and plurality, of truth, of genre.

In conversation with Rebecca Weisman on the “Misbookings” film, we explore having to do things we don’t wish to…feeling need to participate nonetheless; acknowledging choice and will etc while also noting the apparent drive for order and similitude in our processing…

as compelling as driving as night

painfulness and relief of its passing

blink along with the bell tolling,

beeps juxtaposed to the silence of awe

Recall how extensionless points are nothing; figure eight omega as infinity, but we are not simply circling. touch ground to eat and digest, lift off from it.

Our experience of flying is relative to what our lines of segmentation allow. let’s flap our wings. and remember our loose ground.

we are born unto all and learn how to differ. this being is productive, as we found consciousness–an amalgam of segmentation and flight–through our languages.

i seek a language that abides our fracture in a process of interruption. not to worship struggle, but to abide it. i seek a language that preserves the tension of tripping, without entirely resolving the broken beat, but by sublating its negation in a productive current of movement. trip, then smile to move on. it is through our jarring break with tide-flow, where we lie truly. and even as “i” may be some fiction, and intention be a knot which we may tie and untie, our movement in our lines are generative and bear out in waves an energy of engendering. let us found production that is loving creation: an open and reconciling comportment toward otherness.

The cinema affords a sacred space:

let us all meet like this: in thick shallow chambers.

forget the cosmology of source; we are not adequate detectives

find source in resonance; it’s/its time and movement.

We find film in crisis, but we shan’t turn off our screens.

yes, be wary the inducements of global capital, big pharm, and industrial consciousness, but

we might all be screens, a play of on screens. can we puncture screens

and complement their projections with vessels that do not so much as attempt

to hide and displace our fire, but instead spread warmth and connectivity sans designated outlet…

more productive than mirroring.

our materials are real, so too our shadows.

let us share these stories in dark, but remember we are of the air

and unto dust.

bib

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