SCREEN THOUGHT: DON'T PANIC Volume 1, Number 1, 2016






















David Beesley: Drone Panic! On Representations of the Personal Drone by Australian Mainstream Media

Keywords: Drone, Australian media, broadcast

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When considering personal drones as a new media tool with obvious digital media applications or as a next generation communication technology, there exists both definitional and conceptual ambiguity surrounding the identity and representation of personal drone use. When amplified by the mainstream media this leads to ‘panics’, both actual and perceived. This paper will explore the panics and concerns surrounding the representation of these revolutionary machines by the Australian mainstream media in order to see the entwined narratives within, and examine whether these concerns are founded or perceived; new concerns, or old concerns encountering new technologies.

Ben Byrne: Noise: Tone, Paramedia and Multiplicity

Keywords: Paramedia, tone, multiplicity

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'Noise: Tone, Paramedia and Multiplicity' explores the influence of Michel Serres’ writing around noise, along with Dick Higgins' concept of intermedia, on Fluxus artist Yasunao Tone’s work. Here I discuss Tone’s audiovisual performance at the UTS Music.Sound.Design Symposium in 2008, drawing on my own discussions with the artist as well as his writing and that of Higgins and Serres. I show not only that Tone’s use of noise in performance is based on Serres’ theory of the parasite but, further, that his work serves as an exemplar of Serres’ metaphysics of noise. In his book Genesis (1982), Serres proposes a metaphysics of noise that emphasises multiplicity. He argues that noise – a particular use of the term that he coins and I will explain – forms a backdrop to all that is meaningful. This is demonstrated in Tone's performance, which involves the artist copying Chinese characters at random using a WACOM tablet, his transcriptions projected before the audience and used to indeterminately influence a Max/MSP based software system producing audio through an eight channel surround system. Further, I argue that Tone's work can best be understood as a performed encounter with noise.

Alexander D'Aloia: On the Nature of Audience

Key words: Duration, cinema, time

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Taking influences from Gilles Deleuze’s Cinema 1: The Movement Image, this article explores the dynamic relationship between a film and its audience, with particular emphasis upon the latter. Currently there exists little to no framework upon which to examine the affects a film has on its audience, and the way in which an audience inter/acts with a film, beyond the Deleuzian notion of affect. The two are not mutually exclusive processes, however. This article demonstrates that they behave proportionately, and consequently, in response to the other.

Patrick Kelly: Creativity and Autoethnography: Representing the Self in Documentary Practice

Keywords: Autoethnography, documentary, filmmaking

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This paper seeks to examine the debate over documentary films that utilise evocative autoethnographic techniques, ultimately affirming that resulting outputs can realistically communicate experiences of the self. The problematic nature of portraying ‘reality’ through media is well established. Indeed, we are seeing the line between reality and fiction grow blurrier with every creative documentary that is released. Evocative autoethnography seeks to utilise creative processes in order to connect personal experiences with those of a larger culture. Documentary films often reflect upon specific personal moments and represent them using creative techniques, such as animation and re­enactment, to essentially communicate expressions of self and cultural phenomenon. Some critics maintain that autoethnography should not be clouded by the researcher’s subjective experience; that, too often, navel­gazing ensues. This paper presents a number of examples from the field, ultimately proposing that the use of evocative autoethnography can utilise creative techniques, such as animation, recreation, and even satire to connect research to significant and shared cultural experiences. In examining the debate over the viability of Evocative Autoethnography and drawing on documentary texts, this project highlights the benefits of harnessing of creativity in the representation of cultural truth.

Shaun Wilson: Alternative Characterisation Strategies in Contemporary Mainstream Zombie Cinema

Key words: Zombie, scriptwriting, contemporary cinema

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This paper explores the nature of alternative zombie characterisation through contemporary mainstream cinema. As Hegel laments that madness is ‘a derangement of a person’s individual world’ (Hegel, 408 Z), ‘an attempt at self empowerment where the power of the divine is experienced as either absent or irrational’ (Berthold-Bond, p.152) this kind of consideration is amongst a misguided if not misinterpreted reasoning nested within cinema that portrays zombies as blundering, blood-thirsty monsters instead of what Hegel further considers to be ‘a religious disillusionment’ (ibid.). This paper will challenge the archetypal limitations of screen zombie characterisation by presenting test cases of the films Shaun of the Dead (dir. Wright, 2004), Zombieland (dir. Fleischer, 2009), World War Z (dir. Forster, 2013), and 28 Weeks Later (dir. Fresnadillo, 2007) into the philosophical frameworks of Hegel’s notion of madness, Socrates notion of morality, and Nietzsche’s will to power. The intent of such is not to provide a critique of these three perspectives but rather in reverse, to establish a model by way of deconstructing the aforementioned films through a means that plays out a deeper understanding through characterisation of the genre and the limitedness of determinism in recent zombie-based cinema.

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