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In: Time: Limits and Constraints
In: Time: Limits and Constraints
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Summary

In the following essay I will discuss a certain characteristic of human memory, namely its self-evidence, as it has been theorized at the turn of the 20th century. I will then relate this discussion to the cinema in order to trace a quality of filmic images which can be considered analogous to the self-evidence of memories so often experienced when we remember. When speaking of the self-evidence inherent in memory, I refer to the truth of memories as it is subjectively perceived, regardless of whether they can be proven or not. The concept of self-evidence describes an experience that itself belongs to and emerges from the non- or pre-conceptual realm because such a spontaneous insight does not need a reason for how it came about. A phenomenon considered self-evident may have good reasons, but it also does without them because what is commonly called “self-evident” are such matters that are immediately obvious and experiences whose truth appears to be beyond doubt. When speaking of the self-evidence of cinematic images, I do not want to imply that the content and intended meaning of films is in itself obvious. Rather, I would like to address an intensity of subjective film perception as it emerges from the direct relation between the spectator and what is seen on screen. This relation allows for the cognition of a ‘reality’ which cannot be logically deduced, but which nonetheless does not necessarily escape objectification. Whether or not this realization coincides with the communicative intentions of a film is as irrelevant as is the factuality of experience with regard to the self-evidence of memories.

The attempt to present, by means of language, a phenomenon that itself escapes logical conceptualization carries certain risks which are mirrored in the form of this essay. Argumentation and reasoning collide with a subject that attempts to escape these forms of mastery. The self-evidence of cinematic images as well as of memory images is based on liveliness and plasticity, and their powers of persuasion are always also a seduction. Without rationalizing it away, this moment of seduction shall be taken seriously in the following essay.

In: Time and Memory
Author:

Abstract

Housework and scholarly work have many aspects in common, however strong the differences may be. They are usually performed in an enclosed, more or less private space, and they share problems in their temporal structuring. One difficulty for the temporality is its oscillation between autonomy and heteronomy, another problem is fragmentation, and the near impossibility of scheduling the internal processes of the work. What are the consequences if we look at the scholar as houseworker? Like the housewife the scholar has to face doubts about the productivity of his/her work, and questions about how he/she is actually spending her time. This means a feminization of scholarly work from which criticism of the traditional attitudes towards this type of work can be developed. Instead of believing that a well written article or a book is a piece of work with a status of its own in the world we can take into consideration that it might just as well not last longer than the neatly made bed. Ideas, after all, are volatile and in constant movement, and therefore in a permanent contradiction to the organisation of the academy – like housework and reproductive work are at odds with temporal economy.

In: KronoScope
In: Medialisierungen des Unsichtbaren um 1900
In: Medialisierungen des Unsichtbaren um 1900
Medialisierungen des Unsichtbaren, wie sie im späten 19. Jahrhundert forciert praktiziert wurden, verweisen auf kulturelle Phantasmen, die um die Problematik der Sichtbarkeit kreisen. Denn das, was sich dem forschenden Blick entzieht und die Grundannahmen der empirischen Wissenschaften unterminiert, gibt Anlass zu Beunruhigungen und Provokationen. Diese Wirkungsmacht des Unsichtbaren kann sich als Effekt symbolischer Repräsentationen in materiellen Kontexten sowie im Spannungsfeld von wissenschaftlichen Praktiken und den entpragmatisierten Spielräumen der Kunst zeigen. Die Beiträge des vorliegenden Bandes untersuchen den epistemologischen, medialen, ästhetischen und diskurshistorischen Status des Unsichtbaren sowie die unterschiedlichen Strategien seiner Darstellung. Dabei geht es um die epistemische Unterscheidung von Sichtbarem und Unsichtbarem, ob Unsichtbares entdeckt oder erzeugt wird, welchen Apparaten und Dispositiven sich die Erfahrung, Rede und Imagination von Unsichtbarkeit um 1900 verdanken, und ob man gar von einem optischen Unbewussten der Kultur sprechen kann.