Culture and Media@30:
Producing Media Worlds
Film, Brooklyn College
Cut-ups from Ev-ent-anglement.com
Is affect in Montreal different from
#affect in #Montreal?
5 cut-ups and media-world methods
• 1. Praxis-based
• 2. Place-based
• 3. Vernacular-expressed
• 4. Collaborative
• 5. Self-reflexive and affect-rich
Cut ups are for everyone. Anybody can make cut
ups. It is experimental in the sense of being
something to do. … The use of scissors renders the
process explicit and subject to extension and
variation. (William Burroughs)
I use the concept of “Egyptian feeling” as a named, circulated and sticky emotion,
where the cultural, political and biological aspects of emotions merge together.
Anu Laukkanen: “Hips Don’t Lie: Affective and Kinaesthetic Dance Ethnography,”
Working With Affect in Feminist Readings, eds. Liljestrom and Paasonen (Routledge:
What is the glue that inspires or captivates an audience to assemble linger, and act?
Feminist collectivity as the shadow archive of contemporary academic culture.
Tweeted by @Aging SuperModel
So we wait for our bodies to appear, we wait in the gaps, or cuts, or silhouettes of time;
we wait, we exist, and create. (Tweeted by @Komiksgrrrl)
5. Self-reflexive and affect-rich
I feel annoyed to be watching the clock to get my kid from daycare. I
was so happy when you said you loved “The Argonauts,” and then
squirmily delighted when you said smart generous things to me after
I presented. Very sweaty most of today. I’m curious about everyone’s
love lives, as always. (tweeted by Jenny Burman)
Since I got my PhD in 1991, I’ve been working for 25 years. My topics and approaches have varied, but the through-line of my work is consistent: I make and study committed media practices that contribute to political change and individual and community growth. My work looks at AIDS activist media, feminist media, queer media, black lesbian representation, documentary (fake and real), YouTube, and most recently, online feminist community and experience.
My topics have changed, as have the media platforms I work in and about, but my approach and commitments have stayed the same. I learned many of those here.
My most recent media world, a multi-site, multi-modal, collaborative, on/off line, experiment, staged in five locations (this is the sixth) is called ev-ent-anglement. It sits online and you can visit it later. (great part of working in/Building online media worlds!) The project is complicated: but it is concerned with marking the violence and functions of the willy-nilly usually corporate-owned movement of digital fragments of ourselves. Most recently, I’ve been making cut-ups of digital objects of themselves people have gifted to me, for the talk today, my cut-ups were all gifted to me from, in and about Montreal. To keep my eyes on today’s focus on producing media worlds and how I began to think about that here I will Show you 5 of 26 cut ups that evidence values, theories, practices I learned here, while I was getting my PhD in Cinema Studies, that have lingered, guided me, and to which I hope I have contributed.
My most recent project, ev-ent-anglement, across its many iterations, relies upon a through-line of linked feminist/activist methods/beliefs. Among many other concerns, it considers how or if affect flows within on/offline queer/feminist spaces because I am concerned that many of our current digital practices are not yet as grounded as we deserve. We experience entangled events with people, places, technologies and things that register affect. We try to save and pass some of this on for ourselves and others using more technologies. What sticks in the network? What chips? What registers in, across, and between the many media forms where we effortless cut/paste innumerable fragments of ourselves and others? Who uses us? What is lost? How do we account for what seeps out or bleeds between networked relays of affect? The project lives here and also at ev-ent-anglement.com and cells.ev-ent-anglement.com. Each effort begins with and is made from a tradition of feminist/queer groundwork: Honoring the unseen but sometimes felt violence of the cut/paste Relying upon methods to mark this violence, and its capacities to hurt and generate, what I call “the bleed” Using collaborative processes of doing and knowing as feminist methods of linking, ones that acknowledge difference and power Acknowledging one blended live and digital space that has its own bleed Understanding events as co-productions in time/space/knowledge/affect that entangle things, people, and ideas that might be recorded and shared Committing to knowledge that is rooted in bodies and practices, as well as ideas In doing. Different from but related to receiving or thinking, doing theory looks and feels different from reading it Seeking experiences outside the corporate through events open to complex and radical political, theoretical, and bodily critique Enjoying that everything cannot be saved. The event is gone and something remains.
In the summer of 2015, Alanna Thain brought some of us to Montreal for a seminar, Affective Encounters, the affect of which I am trying to collaboratively, thoughtfully, re-render here. In Montreal, as in Utrecht where a smaller number of us began these conversations, the participants were a closed, committed group of feminist scholars, artists and activists, brought together with an explicit purpose. During my “talk,” I requested that this learned group help me with one of the larger puzzles of my ev-ent-anglement: how or if participants’ personal affect and that alive in a room in a city (which always includes the Internet) could continue on through digital networks. Participants bravely took up my call, generating the photos and words that make up the essay proper. Most audience members are not expecting to act or make; most professionals do not want to produce quickly or publicly or outside their field of expertise. Yet, I believe you will find that something(s) magnificent was rendered even so.
I tweeted the Cahoun self-portrait and words using the alias @ev_ent_angle Cut ups are for everyone. Anybody can make cut ups. It is experimental in the sense of being something to do. … The use of scissors renders the process explicit and subject to extension and variation. (William Burroughs)
I use the concept of “Egyptian feeling” as a named, circulated and sticky emotion, where the cultural, political and biological aspects of emotions merge together.
Feminist collectivity as the shadow archive of contemporary academic culture. So we wait for our bodies to appear, we wait in the gaps, or cuts, or silhouettes of time; we wait, we exist, and create.
Still from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, David Lynch, 1992. Photo tweeted with text by me, @mediapraxisme
I feel annoyed to be watching the clock to get my kid from daycare. I was so happy when you said you loved “The Argonauts,” and then squirmily delighted when you said smart generous things to me after I presented. Very sweaty most of today. I’m curious about everyone’s love lives, as always.
Jenny writes about delight and love. A couple is moved. In both images, or through their artificial pairing, I doubly know the residual pull of bodies: to and against each other. An excess zig-zag stressing buzzy attraction; a gravitational pull towards connection. With stasis. Movement without touch. Squirmy, sweaty hope for more.
Conclusion: It seems that we can stich together powerful, empowering fragments of ourselves, outside the logic of capital, when we are linked-by-choice within coherent communities that share an explicit, flexible, intellectual, bodily, social, spatial practice.