Lectures open to the public. Starting this Monday, 7 January 2013.
11am-12noon. Ben Pimlott Lecture Theatre, Goldsmiths, University of London.
Films shown in conjunction with the course will be screened as part of the Monday film night. More details here.
To present something is always to re-present it, to repeat it, to reproduce it and ultimately to reimagine it. There is no originary gesture here. The World was never a tabula rasa or blank canvas. Meaning has always been inscribed, scratched out and recarved onto its surfaces. The World itself is presented to us (and, indeed, by us) via repetition, a repetition which produces difference via the temporal and spatial interstices emerging from each turn and return, each citation and recitation.
This year’s course will explore the relationship between visual and textual modes of representation via the notions of difference and repetition. The task at hand is three-fold. Not only will this involve consideration of the processes of doubling which occur between texts and images and the blurring of the differences between the two forms and practices but at the same time, we will be attentive to the ways in which theories of text and image replicate this doubling in the language used to describe and analyse different aesthetic and textual/literary practices. Finally, and most importantly, we will explore the political and ethical dimensions of textual and visual objects and practices and the implications of the repetition of difference and the difference of repetition. What is at stake in the proliferation of signs and sign systems, the commodification of art through the mass reproduction and distribution techniques which reach their apotheosis in late capitalism? How might we read banality, loss and impoverishment of meaning against the potential for transgression, profanity and parody which emerges here?
I. Taxonomies of Difference
7 January 2013
An Introduction to the profanity of difference and the tyranny of repetition
Reading: Jorge Luis Borges – ‘Pierre Ménard, Author of the Quixote’ in Labyrinths (Penguin, 1986), pp.62-71.
Gilles Deleuze – Preface to Difference and Repetition (Columbia University Press, 1994), pp.xix-xxii.
14 January 2013
Words and Things
Michel Foucault – ‘The Prose of the World’ in The Order of Things (Routledge, 2002), pp.19-50.
Giorgio Agamben – ‘Theory of Signatures’ in The Signature of All Things (Zone Books, 2009), pp.33-80.
Film: Helvetica (2007), Gary Hustwit (dir.)
II. Frames of Reference
21 January 2013
The Refracted Image
Walter Benjamin, ‘Art in the age of mechanical reproduction’ in One Way Street and Other Writings (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2009), pp.228-259.
Ariella Azoulay – ‘Civil Uses of Photography’ in Civil Imagination: A Political Ontology of Photography (Verso, 2012), pp.219-241.
28 January 2013
Jean Baudrillard, The Evil Demon of Images (Power Institute of Art, 1986).
bell hooks, ‘The Oppositional Gaze: Black Female Spectators’ in Reel to Real: Race, Sex and Class at the Movies (London and New York, NY: Routledge, 1996), pp.197-213.
Gilles Deleuze – ‘Frame and Shot, Framing and Cutting’ in Cinema 1: The Movement Image(London: Continuum, 2005), pp.13-29.
Film: The Player (1992), Robert Altman (dir.)
4 February 2013
Georges Didi-Huberman, ‘Legends of Photography’ in Invention of Hysteria: Charcot and the Photographic Iconography of the Salpêtrière (MIT Press, 2003), pp.29-66.
Steven Connor, ‘Disfiguring’ in Book of Skin (New York, NY: Cornell University Press, 2004), pp.73-94.
Film: The Pillow Book (1996), Peter Greenaway (dir.)
III. Mapping and Counter-Mapping
18 February 2013
The Surface of the Earth
Martin Heidegger, ‘The Age of the World Picture’ in Off the Beaten Track (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp.57-85.
Paul Virilio, ‘June 1991: Desert Screen’ in Desert Screen (Continuum, 2005), pp.76-94.
25 February 2013
Passports and Postcards
Jacques Derrida – ‘Envois’ (extracts) in The Post Card (University of Chicago Press, 1987), pp.3-256.
Amitava Kumar – Passport Photos (Berkeley, CA: California University Press, 2000).
Film: Erasing David (2010), David Bond and Melissa McDougall (dirs)
4 March 2013
Rem Koolhaus, Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto of Manhattan (New York, NY: Monacelli Press, 1994). (extracts)
Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities (Vintage, 1997).
11 March 2013
Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida (Vintage, 2009).
Ulrich Baer, ‘Revision, Animation, Rescue’ in Spectral Evidence: The Photography of Trauma (The MIT Press, 2005), pp.127-178.
18 March 2013
Back to the Future
Walter Benjamin, On the Concept of History including ‘The Paralipomena’ in Selected Writings: Volume Four(Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2003), pp.389-411.
Available (minus the Paralipomena): http://www.sfu.ca/~andrewf/CONCEPT2.html
Jean-François Lyotard, ‘Rewriting Modernity’ in The Inhuman: Reflections on Time (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1998), pp.24-35.
Film: La Jetée (1962), Chris Marker (dir.)