Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mike Shapiro Day 2

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Mike Shapiro taught a course entitled GEOPOLITICS IN CINEMA. This class attempts a rethinking of the planetary impact of media such as cinema as a challenge to political thought.

NOTE: As with all my notes from the EGS, there will likely be mistakes because I did not record the lectures, I made notes as they spoke, so I am perhaps interpreting what they are saying as I am writing.

I really recommend looking to webdeleuze and especially in the section called sommaire where you can see Deleuze's class notes on Kant. I think these notes on Kant are better than the book he wrote on Kant.

Kant tries to patch up this fragility by returning to the 2nd critique; Lyotard, Deleuze, and Ranciere do not back away from this.

When talking about method: Ranciere tries to disfigure the hierarchy, not test hypotheses, a relationality that deforms power structures, this is the purpose of the aesthetic approach. It's a way that detours away from the normal modes of figure formation. When the arts reform cliche relationships we have to see this as a challenge to power distributions.

Compare Italian crime novels to Putnam's survey-based study of politics:
  • We get a different sense of the politics of the country - we get a clearer sense of justice and normatives in Italy than what Putnam's methodology provides.
  • In The Day of the Owl we have a significant dynamic at work. We see that there is an ideational fault line within the cities, an understanding that those in the north of the country are imposing laws on those in the south. He reveals a politics of disparity.
  • Rather than aggregating attitudes, the novel shows metapolitical perspective.
Empiricist social science assumes we begin with a clean slate and from this we are able to interpret. Literature assumes that we are embedded in this world and must understand from this filter. Good literature disables our continuous overcoding onto the world.

Onto the Hegel chapter of my new book

Almost every thinker must come to terms with Hegel, to digest his notions of time and space relations.
(As an aside: we should consider what mode of thinking we will do professionally by deciding which types of meetings we want to attend, like it was AA or something)

Temporality is not fixed, we live in a plurality of temporalities.

Why should we have beliefs and not fears (as the Inuit shaman explained)?
Fears maintain groups at a distance. They control how we think.
  • In the shaman's society, everyone is responsible for their own safety because when they are hunting they may be also being hunted by a polar bear.
  • It's not that they are anxious all the time, but that they must be alert and sensitive to the world.
  • This what critical literature does as well.
...redeeming Hegel. Identity is a process of becoming.

The End of Violence (1997) Wim Wenders

There is an invisible world that makes Brian's life possible and he's not noticed it until now. His body is rather irrelevant - it's mostly a tool of apprehension through technology prostheses. Every now and again we hear Brian talking but it's likely Wender thinking aloud. Here we have the city as surveillance. They never noticed because these were ahistorical beings. In his Violence and Metaphysics Derrida says that the worst violence is the dream that we can rid ourselves of violence. I'm also thinking of Deleuze's discussion of faciality.

We all have different modes of arrival, the question is, how do these modes of arrival become countenanced, how do we face that? Sure, this film was difficult to watch and accept [NOTE: I REALLY COULDN'T GET INTO THIS MOVIE AT ALL], but we can see that this film does present something: Mike Max does change.

Are Eisenstein's films propagandistic? He says no, because Eisenstein's films are opened-out in such a way that we're not sure what we're seeing any more. [NOTE: THIS FILM BY WENDER IS CLICHE IN MANY WAYS, BUT THERE IS SOMETHING OFF AS WELL - THE FILM SEEMS COMPROMISED]

See the book Zeroville - what editing does is take the false film out of the true film.
or Radical Software Group (RSG)'s edited version of Black Hawk Down, now made with no white actors, Black One

For the next class we will watch Falling Down.


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