Abstract: In this essay I position the Deleuzian circuit of the actual and the virtual in relation to a film installation, Sutapa Biswas’ Birdsong (2004), in order to open up a reading of the film in terms of affect. Biswas’ film, in which a boy confronts a horse in a period living room, can be read in terms of maternal anxiety and against a background of colonial and psychoanalytic discourse. There is nothing wrong with these readings per se except that they all but ignore the affective dimension of the film, which largely derives from the slight time delay between the doubled shots. This gap exposes the other side of the image, its virtual side, which opens the spectator up to differences that exceed objectification. Following a Deleuzian trajectory, I argue that this gap exposes the double nature of objects of fantasy. Biswas’ film stages repetition and passive reception, generating an occasion for a poetics of becoming other. Continue reading
Abstract: This article examines the intriguing treatment of expanded cinema in two seminal texts in film theory: Stephen Heath’s Questions of Cinema and Gilles Deleuze’s Cinema 2: The Time-Image. I argue that expanded forms of cinema such as the split screen and its related forms of spectatorship represent a technological double of classical Hollywood cinema that functioned as a ghostly presence until the late 1960s. Thereafter, the prospect of a “future cinema” opened the door to notions of expanded space and indeterminate forms of spectatorship that dovetailed uneasily with the 1970s theorization of the cinematic apparatus. Heath’s invocation of “other cinemas” and Deleuze’s recourse to “electronic images” indicate a concern for expanded cinema that would ultimately point to unresolved tensions pertaining to the future of moving image productions in terms of ideological determinations, narrative continuity, spectatorial agency, and social relevance. Continue reading
Edited by Angela Ndalianis and Wendy Haslem
Some of the essays in this special bumper issue were presented as papers at the Men in Tights! Superheroes Conference, which was held at Melbourne University, June 2005.
1. True Lies: Do We Really Want Our Icons to Come to Life – Louise Krasniewicz
2. The Comicbook Superhero: Myth For Our Times – Nigel Kaw
3. Toys and Grrls: Comparing Figures in the Merchandising of Television’s Action Heroine - Miranda J. Banks
5. Xena’s Double-Edged Sword: Sapphic Love & the Judaeo-Christian tradition – Ivar Kvistad
6. Romancing the vampire: the lives and loves of two vampire slayers: Anita and Buffy – Ingrid Hofman-Howley
10. All’s Well, the Twentieth Century Dies: David Bowie as Postmodern Art Detective Professor – Kellie A. Wacker
11. Side FX – the Aura of Electronics in the Information Age – Rock Chugg
12. More than Meets the Eye: the Suburban Cinema Megaplex as Sensory Heterotopia – Leanne Downing
Abstract: As a way of envisioning futuristically appropriate player experiences, this paper speculates on the emergence of participatory virtual environments as a metamaterial phenomena resulting from the confluence of aleatory, tribal playspaces and human-computer interaction (HCI). Using a set of revolutionary influences from 1960s, namely Thomas Kuhn, Marshall McLuhan, Victor Turner, and John Cage, the stage is set for virtual playspaces and postulations are made about the ability of these influences to affect theatre’s core axioms. Reflections are made on the resistance that might occur, notably in the form of audience reticence, and requisite conditions are laid out for the emergence of a new paradigm in the landscape of theatre.
Abstract: In this exploratory essay the author describes the shared context of Sculptor turned Games Designer Keita Takahashi, best known for his PS2 title Katamari Damacy, and superstar contemporary artist Takashi Murakami. The author argues that Takahashi’s videogame is an expression of the technical, aesthetic and cultural values Murakami describes as SuperFlat, and as such expresses continuity between the popular culture and contemporary art of two of Japan’s best-known international creative practitioners.
Abstract Felicity J. Colman opens up the variety of virtual positions and affective regimes with which we form space and play-place. Drawing on Deleuze and Guattari, the piece considers the orientation to action of gaming bodies through intensities of affect. The modality of such auto-affections allows response by other bodies in motion, and in this invitation to response constitutes the potential for community and political engagement within and beyond its own space.