Creating Connections on the Global Film Festival Circuit
What role do individuals play in sustaining the so-called global film festival
network? This article considers this question through case studies of four specialist
Chinese-language film festivals in London. It argues that while the global circuit
shapes the institutional appearance of these smaller events, the kinds of strategic
collaborations that the organisers of the latter effect at the former – striking up
connections with directors and sales agents at film markets, for example – are key
ways in which global relationships and A-list events are built from the ground up.
These mutually related but unstable interactions allow us to rethink the network as
an assemblage of events and individuals, addressing the analytical problem of scale
in film festivals studies in the process.
8 Technical memes and
Drawing together the key ideas set forth in previous chapters, it is now possible to
spell out the agents of cognitive extension that create and sustain relations between
the human self and the complex environment in which it evolves. To that end, the
present chapter proffers the linked concepts of ‘technical memes and assemblages’
as embodied clusters of material, social, cultural and psychological phenomena, as
manifest in the reproduction of building types and other artifacts.
The chapter commences by examining the ambiguous
.7227/FS.14.0004 Individual, Network, Assemblage Creating Connections on the Global Film Festival Circuit
14 14 1 1 75 75 92 92 10.7227/FS.14.0005 Elevating the Film Review Critics and Critical Practice at the Monthly Film Bulletin
14 14 1 1 93 93 111 111 10.7227/FS.14.0006 Book Reviews Book Reviews
Becoming-Fungus in Arthur Machen‘s The Hill of Dreams
This paper examines the role fungi play in Arthur Machen‘s Decadent classic The Hill of Dreams (1907), a supernatural novel written in the 1890s. Ostensibly an idiosyncratic topic, the novels concern with these organisms devolves on an inquiry into the nature of life itself, of whether it is the result of a spiritual life-force or a haphazard assemblage of matter. In this way, Machen‘s novel participates in the fin de siècle debates between vitalism and materialism. Rather than attempting to resolve this debate, the novel seizes on tensions inherent in fungal life in order to dissolve the concept of life altogether, to suggest its horrifying unreality.
Self-driving cars have long been depicted in cinematic narratives, across genres from science fiction films to fantasy films. In some cases, a self-driving car is personified as one of the main characters. This article examines cinematic representations and imaginaries in order to understand the development of the self-driving technology and its integration in contemporary societies, drawing on examples such as The Love Bug, Knight Rider, Minority Report and I, Robot. Conceptually and methodologically, the article combines close readings of films with technological concerns and theoretical considerations, in an attempt to grasp the entanglement of cinematographic imaginaries, audiovisual technologies, artificial intelligence and human interactions that characterise the introduction of self-driving cars in contemporary societies. The human–AI machine interaction is considered both on technological and theoretical levels. Issues of automation, agency and disengagement are traced in cinematic representations and tackled, calling into question the concepts of socio-technical assemblage.
Beautyscapes explores the rapidly developing global phenomenon of
international medical travel, focusing specifically on patient-consumers seeking
cosmetic surgery outside their home country and on those who enable them to
access treatment abroad, including key figures such as surgeons and
facilitators. Documenting the complex and sometimes fraught journeys of those
who travel for treatment abroad, as well as the nature and power relations of
the transnational IMT industry, this is the first book to focus specifically on
cosmetic surgery tourism. A rich and theoretically sophisticated ethnography,
Beautyscapes draws on key themes in studies of globalisation and
mobility, such as gender and class, neoliberalism, social media, assemblage,
conviviality and care, to explain the nature and growing popularity of cosmetic
surgery tourism. The book challenges myths about vain and ill-informed
travellers seeking surgery from ‘cowboy’ foreign doctors, yet also demonstrates
the difficulties and dilemmas that medical tourists – especially cosmetic
surgery tourists – face. Vividly illustrated with ethnographic material and with
the voices of those directly involved in cosmetic surgery tourism,
Beautyscapes is based on a large research project exploring cosmetic
surgery journeys from Australia and China to East Asia and from the UK to Europe
and North Africa.
This book is a shadow cultural history of transplantation as mediated through medical writing, science fiction, life writing and visual arts in a Gothic mode, from the nineteenth century to the present. Works in these genres explore the experience of donors or suppliers, recipients and practitioners, and simultaneously express transfer-related suffering and are complicit in its erasure. Examining texts from Europe, North America and India, the book resists exoticising predatorial tissue economies and considers fantasies of harvest as both product and symbol of ‘slow violence’ (Rob Nixon), precarity and structural ruination under neoliberal capitalism. Gothic tropes, intertextualities and narrative conventions are used in life writing to express the affective and conceptual challenges of post-transplant being, and used in medical writing to manage the ambiguities of hybrid bodies, as a ‘clinical necropoetics’. In their efforts to articulate bioengineered hybridity, these works are not only anxious but speculative. Works discussed include nineteenth-century Gothic, early twentieth-century fiction and film, 1970s American hospital organ theft horror in literature and film, turn-of-the-millennium fiction and film of organ sale, postmillennial science fiction dystopias, life writing and scientific writing from the nineteenth century to the present. Throughout, Gothic representations engage contemporary debates around the management of chronic illness, the changing economics of healthcare and the biopolitics of organ procurement and transplantation – in sum, the strange times and weird spaces of tissue mobilities. The book will be of interest to academics and students researching Gothic studies, science fiction, critical medical humanities and cultural studies of transplantation.
This book proposes a new reading of contemporary art between 1958 and 2009 by sketching out a trajectory of ‘precarious’ art practices. Such practices risk being dismissed as ‘almost nothing’ because they look like trash about to be thrown out, because they present objects and events that are so commonplace as to be confused with our ordinary surroundings, or because they are fleeting gestures that vanish into the fabric of everyday life. What is the status of such fragile, nearly invisible, artworks? In what ways do they engage with the precarious modes of existence that have emerged and evolved in the socio-economic context of an increasingly globalised capitalism? Works discussed in this study range from Allan Kaprow’s assemblages and happenings, Fluxus event scores and Hélio Oiticica’s wearable Parangolé capes in the 1960s, to Thomas Hirschhorn’s sprawling environments and participatory projects, Francis Alÿs’s filmed performances and Gabriel Orozco’s objects and photographs in the 1990s. Significant similarities among these different practices will be drawn out, while crucial shifts will be outlined in the evolution of this trajectory from the early 1960s to the turn of the twenty-first century. This book will give students and amateurs of contemporary art and culture new insights into the radical specificities of these practices, by situating them within an original set of historical and critical issues. In particular, this study addresses essential questions such as the art object’s ‘dematerialisation’, relations between art and everyday life, including the three fields of work, labour and action first outlined by Hannah Arendt in 1958.
, Kansas) and Beatsville (Venice, California).2 That
same year, Edward Kienholz presented viewers with his image of Mailer’s
‘Square cell’ (figure 10). On a child’s perambulator, on which a mannequin
figure of John Doe is mounted, a riddle is displayed: ‘Why is John Doe like
a piano?’, followed by the answer: ‘because he is square, upright and grand’.
The square John Doe is so ‘upright’, so solid, in Kienholz’s assemblage, that he
can be split into two: his torso and head facing forward, and the lower half of
his body behind them on the perambulator, legs rigidly
-power and involved in vital material engagements
(see Bennett 2010), stamps reveal a great deal about the relational processes
between the materials they were made from, their makers, the finished
tools and the people who used them. They also tell us much about other
objects associated with them, the places in which they were used, the
images produced with them and the materials on which they reproduced
geometrical motifs. By examining these various emerging assemblages
of people, tools, materials, things, places, processes and practices (see
Bennett 2010; DeLanda 2016