Future Cinema: The Cinematic Imaginary After Film

Future Cinema: The Cinematic Imaginary After Film600 Seiten Verlag The MIT Press


Herausgegeben von Peter Weibel und Jeffrey Shaw


Throughout the history of cinema, a radical avant-garde has existed on the fringes of the film industry. A great deal of research has focused on the pre- and early history of cinema, but there has been little speculation about a future cinema incorporating new electronic media. Electronic media have not only fundamentally transformed cinema but have altered its role as a witness to reality by rendering „realities“ not necessarily linked to documentation, by engineering environments that incorporate audiences as participants, and by creating event-worlds that mix realities and narratives in forms not possible in traditional cinema. This hybrid cinema melds montage, traditional cinema, experimental literature, television, video, and the net. The new cinematic forms suggest that traditional cinema no longer has the capacity to represent events that are themselves complex configurations of experience, interpretation, and interaction.

This book, which accompanies an exhibition organized by the ZKM Institute for Visual Media, explores the history and significance of pre-cinema and of early experimental cinema, as well as the development of the unique theaters in which „immersion“ evolved. Drawing on a broad range of scholarship, it examines the shift from monolithic Hollywood spectacles to works probing the possibilities of interactive, performative, and net-based cinemas. The post-cinematic condition, the book shows, has long roots in artistic practice and influences every channel of communication.

One aspect of our globalization is the development of a worldwide network of technological standards and production, distribution, and presentation norms necessary in order to recoup, via distribution to the mass global market, vastly increased film production costs. With its tendency to standardize, the image industry at the same time freezes the evaluation of the language of cinema. Hollywood has come to define cinema’s dominant forms of production and distribution, its technological apparatus and narrative forms. But the supremacy of this model is now being challenged by the new perspective of the digital media technologies. Not only are these new digital contexts seeding the explosion of the computer-game and location-based entertainment industries, they are also providing an appropriate platform for the future evolution of the independent, experimental, and expanded cinema, for the triumph return and rebirth of cinema as a personal, individual medium rather than purely collective industry. A new class of experts those individuals formerly called artists, have developed a technical competence enabling them to challenge a cinematic homogeneity supports by millions of dollars, and to rival and surpass Hollywood’s innovative, narrative, and expressive achievements. This book offers evidence of a surprising fact: Even the technological and ideological apparatus of huge industries can be inventively transformed by creative individuals.

»Future Cinema« is the first major international anthology of current video-, film- and computer-based work that embodies and anticipates these new cinematic techniques and modes of expression. Based on the exhibition of the same title, the book for the first time brings together a large number of highly significant installations, multimedia and Net-based works produced in the digital field by both young and established international artists exploring algorithmic procedures and immersive and technologically innovative environment, such as multi-screen, panoramic, and dome projections, and multi-location virtual environments. Another focus is on works exploring creative approaches to the design of interactive, non-linear, modular narrative content. The catalog also documents the historical trajectory of those many and variegated cinematic experiments that prefigure inform, and contextualize our current cinematic condition the cinematic imaginary beyond film.