A docente do Departamento de Ciências da Comunicação da NOVA FCSH e investigadora do ICNOVA, Margarida Medeiros, é Keynote speaker do Spring Seminar 2021 · Spectrology, Haunting and Ghosts. A especialista em cinema e fotografia proferirá a comunicação Animism, haunted images and the return of the repressed in photography and cinema.João Pereira de Matos, doutorando do ICNOVA, participará com a comunicação Acheron in cyberspace: clinamen and spectrality. O evento decorrerá a 6 e 7 de maio na Universidade Católica Portuguesa do Porto.
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Animism, haunted images and the return of the repressed in photography and cinema
Photography and cinema were crossed by two different ontologies since their beginnings: on one side, they to bring reality into the senses, producing ‘documents’ and, as so, had an apodictical status; on the other side photography, but also cinema in a different way, appeared as haunted images (Gunning 1995). Photography produced ‘doubles’ and cinema was seen through projection, recalling a sort of hallucinated experience, as Epstein and Barthes had underlined.I would like to state that both, photography and cinema, seem to have been, all along thexx century, the privileged place for the denying of the rationality and civilized progress that modernism so intensely fought for. Recalling Bruno Latour thesis that ‘we were never been modern’, I will point out through images and critical texts from the beginning of xx century (Epstein, Morin, Barthes), the ways in which photography and cinema remained the place for the return of repressed, the open door to the unconscious to come to surface.In this context, animism will be a crucial concept to work out the process of ‘savage thinking’ and the haunting presence of the two media.
João Pereira Matos · Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Acheron in cyberspace: clinamen and spectrality
In an era described through concepts such as excarnation(Kearney, 2015) and technological information(Borgmann, 1999), the problem of mediation between the inscription in reality and the virtual experience of cyberspace is pressing. The symptoms of the totalization of the informational technique to the material substratum of the body and the Earth itself multiply. Be it in the entry into a digital subjectivity(Gil, 2020), or in the reconfiguration of human space in code-space(Dodge & Kitchin, 2000) –weare witnessing a simultaneous process where information loses its body and the body becomes informationlized (Hayles, 1999). In this context, this communication will attempt, through the idea of a cybernetic clinamen, to characterize the spectrality of cyberspace.Cyberspace threatens to control, through its material effluvia (simulacra), all the processes that define and sustain our materiality –this new phase of sensible realityhaunts us with the hypothesis that the computational slave starts to command its organic master. Nevertheless, in addition to this undeniable ghost, what this communication wants to discuss is the spectral specificity of cyberspace. It is here that the Acheron River appears as an allegory of cyberspace by virtue of, to paraphrase Lucretius, being the place where neither our souls nor our bodies go, but rather a kind of simulacra. Acheron’s affection is well described in the episode in which the poet Ennius, visited by Homer’s spectrum, describes the melancholy of a being that ismore image than body. This ancient episode becomes tremendously contemporary in the light of the virtual experience. The online world increasingly resembles a cemetery, a space that archives profiles, avatars and domains that are more dead than alive. These zombie existences, which have lost their substratum in our world, remain as a ghostly remnant in cyberspace. A rest that defines the virtual experience through a certain melancholic affection .However, this communication will also focus on the resurrection of lost realities inscribed in cyberspace. A kind of virtual exorcism can update the human material substratum, envisioning new types of action in which quasi-subjectsor quasi-objects(Serres, 1980) share realities -exploring new (i)material boundaries between the spaces of Acheron and Gaia.