Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Otolith Group Lecture, - Oct 2010

- The otolith controls balance and orientation in the inner ear
- What happens when you leave this behind, and leave behind gravity?
- Chris Marker provides a methodology to bridge the poetic and the historical, by using a future anterior narrator
- Taking up a mode of exile within the future, because the present proved itself to be impotent and uninhabitable. One way in which it was uninhabitable was that it ignored critique and protest against unjust political policies such as the war
- Making films influenced by Marker was a way of creating shareable emotions - the depression, impotence and anger became shared
- Marker's methodology was non-illustrative
- The films became the meeting place of the postcolonial and the post-communist
- A question of how to make conceptual personae which are both theoretical and artistic at once, with affect, commonality, and the invitation of a shared melancholia

- Through the affective register, any viewer becomes part of a secret communism
- Otolith is strongly influenced by J.G. Ballard's science fiction of the present
- Dwelling within the 'bad new present' rather than the 'good old days'
- Futurity and futurism become a political question in the present. Evidence of this is Bush's politics of pre-emptive war, caught in its own dystopian futural projections

- The work of Karen Mirza and Brad Butler was also important

- The form of the essay-film cancels the distinction between creation and critique, theory and practice. Using image and sound, it registers a common affect of discontent
- The voiceover is the film thinking to itself - telling us nothing, representing nothing, failing productively, making audible the silent voice of reading and thinking
- This is one affect which a video can mobilize in a world with too much video

- Kodwo Eshun grew up in the 'Zone 5' suburbs of London, listening to psychedelic bands like Yes and Gong. He saw the suburbs as a place to plot aesthetic terrorism which is to be unleashed upon the city.
- Otolith is interested in the opacity of the filmic process - creation as a black box and 'essay' as the etymological root in the idea of the 'attempt'

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