Vertov, Snow, Farocki Machine Vision and the Posthuman

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-08-29
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

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Vertov, Snow, Farocki: Machine Vision and the Posthuman begins with a comprehensive and original anthropological analysis of Vertov's film The Man With a Movie Camera. Tomas then explores the film's various aspects and contributions to media history and practice through detailed discussions of selected case studies. The first concerns the way Snow's La Région Centrale and De La extend and/or develops important theoretical and technical aspects of Vertov's original film, in particular those aspects that have made the film so important in the history of cinema. The linkage between Vertov's film and the works discussed in the case studies will also serve to illustrate the historical and theoretical significance of a comparative approach of this kind, and illustrate the pertinence of adopting a 'relational approach' to the history of media and its contemporary practice, an approach that is no longer focused exclusively on the technical question of the new in contemporary media practices but, in contrast, situates a work and measures its originality in historical, intermedia, and ultimately political terms.

Author Biography

David Tomas is a Professor at the School of Visual Arts, University of Quebec, Montreal, Canada.

Table of Contents


Part I: Threshold: When a Ritual Process Speaks of Machine Vision and Cyborg Prototypes: A Film Document, Circa 1929

Chapter 1. Manufacturing Vision and the Posthuman Circa 1929: Kino-eye, The Man with a Movie Camera, and the Perceptual Reconstruction of Social Identity

Part II: Enigma of the Central Region: A Microhistory of Machine Vision and Posthuman Consciousness, Circa 1969-1972

Chapter 2. La Région Centrale: Basic Cultural, Technical and Formal Filiations.

Chapter 3. Toward a Cosmic Rite of Passage: External & Internal Locations and a Play of Authorship
Chapter 4. La Région Centrale: Liminality, Knowledge Production, Pedagogy.

Chapter 5. La Région Centrale: From Cosmic to Posthuman Rite of Passage

Chapter 6. De La (1969-71): Authorship, Automation and the Posthuman.

Chapter 7. A Comparative Schematic Analysis of the Automated Narrative and its Mechanical Logic in Vertov’s The Man with a Movie Camera (1929) and
Michael Snow’s De La (1969-1972).

Part III The Public Deployment of Machine Vision and the Programmed Materialization of the Posthuman in Collective Social Space, Two Early Twenty-First Century Video Documents

Chapter 8. A Posthuman Future in the Age of the Algorithm: Farock’s Documentation of the Operational Image and its Culture of Surveillance



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