Sunday 31 January 2010

Lecture Two: Machines

With the introduction of the camera, phonograph and the cinematograph into modern culture, the human senses were allowed to exist independently of each other as the mechanical reproduction of sounds, images and movements became a common parlance – we will examine the fallout of this disruption of the senses through contemporary accounts, ranging from inventor Thomas Alava Edison and psychologist Sigmund Freud, philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and poet Arthur Rimbaud, together with historical analyses from Friedrich Kittler and Walter Benjamin. Lecture to take place at 10.00 on Wednesday February 3 in the MACD main studio at CSM’s Back Hill site in Clerkenwell. Don’t be late.

Context themes to be covered: language, psychology, panoptics, narrative

For suggested reading, viewing and other ideas, see also:
History and Hardware
Towards a Social History of Machines

YouTube clips embedded above (in descending order):

La Sortie de l'Usine Lumière à Lyon, considered one of the first moving pictures of any duration to be screened in public, from a set of ten films exhibited by the Lumière Brothers in Paris in 1895.

American dancer Loie Fuller performs her ‘Serpentine Dance’ for the kinetograph. In Paris she was first known as ‘L’ouie’ – the French word for a sense of hearing. She was renamed ‘Loïe’: a corruption of the early French ‘L’oïe’, meaning ‘receptiveness’.

Maria’s Dance from Frizt Lang’s 1926 silent movie Metropolis: is this a woman we see dancing – or a machine?

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