The computational and broadly post-cinematic media at the heart of contemporary moving images are involved in a massive transformation of human agents’ phenomenological relations to the world. Digital imagery has long been held accountable for effacing the indexicality of cinema’s photographic base, while post-cinematic images more generally might be thought in terms of their “discorrelation” from viewing subjects: audiovisual contents are severed from subjective perception and from the phenomenological frameworks according to which cinematic sounds and images were traditionally calibrated with human embodiment. Such discorrelation is pervasive in our networked computational media environment, where images are generated on the fly via microtemporal processes inaccessible to human perception, but it is nowhere more evident than in the digital glitches and “artifacts” that mark and disrupt the video streams we consume on our digital devices. Glitches thus announce to us the ruins of contemporary perception – but they also signal an expansion of the domain and the material efficacy of sub- or supra-personal affect. Looking particularly at the ways that digital glitches have been implemented in recent movies, video, and media art, this presentation argues that new forms of sensibility and collectivity may become thinkable in the spaces opened up by post-cinematic media – that new ways of being and relating to the world may arise from the ruins of perception.
Shane Denson is Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies and, by Courtesy, of German Studies at Stanford University. His research interests span a variety of media and historical periods, including phenomenological and media-philosophical approaches to film, digital media, and serialized popular forms. He is the author of Discorrelated Images (Duke University Press, 2020) and Postnaturalism: Frankenstein, Film, and the Anthropotechnical Interface (Transcript-Verlag, 2014) and co-editor of several collections: Transnational Perspectives on Graphic Narratives (Bloomsbury, 2013), Digital Seriality (special issue of Eludamos: Journal for Computer Game Culture, 2014), and Post-Cinema: Theorizing 21st-Century Film (REFRAME Books, 2016). See shanedenson.com for more information.