Numero tre di "Comunicazioni Sociali on-line", pubblicato nel 2010 dalla rivista "Comunicazioni Sociali" e curato dal Dottorato di ricerca in Culture della Comunicazione, Dipartimento di Scienze della Comunicazione e dello Spettacolo.
The presence of monstrosity and deformity remains a constant theme in the history of cinema1, from its origins up to contemporary times. Different genres, from horror to sci-fi, from fantasy to drama, have been involved with the most extreme declination of “otherness” and, even if the means of representation can vary, depending on time and artistic currents, the monster generally becomes a mirror of society's anxieties: through the encounter with its Other and dark side, the world reflects its mistakes, goes through a catharsis, more or less violent, and seeks for a firm point to control its unsteadiness. The purpose of this paper is to trace a partial history of the evolution of the figure of the monster through different cinematographic eras, with particular attention to those situations in which the relationship between normalcy and otherness is subverted. Since the width of the topic is more than considerable, the choice made here is to focus on lesser known operas, genres and authors, omitting those examples which have been already broadly investigated by film studies.
Paradoxically, over the last twenty-five years, as the actors’ physical body has gradually disappeared from the cinematic screen (with the advent of CGI simulacra), the bodily dimension of the film experience has increased. In a scenario in which cinema has spread to a myriad of monitors and displays (mobile phones, urban wallscreens, portable media players, digital and on-demand television, etc.) and the film experience seems to lose its integrity1, the spectator is still seeking a strong and involving experience, still demanding stories made up of images and sounds that can still arouse the senses. My hypothesis is that contemporary cinema is facing this mutation by developing a number of specific and recurrent experiential figures”. These figures are cases of strong and effective bodily tension, in which spectators’ motor, perceptual, emotional and mental activities are embodied into a “sensible substance”. Such a substance extends its features from the screen to the psychological space of the experience and transforms it into a unique “sensible environment”. The spectators are integrated into this environment, and empathetically act with the filmic objects and interact with the filmic subjects using their own senses.
Facing a context where the premonition of an expanded cinema is the rule by now, and where the aesthetic canon is essentially the result of remediation, convergence and relocation processes, it is allowed to ask ourselves if the centre of the speculation about cinema stays the same, or rather if the technological and stylistic transformations which invaded the field have an influence in linguistic and – above all – in defining terms. In fact, in a context where – namely – a wide spreading of multiple pattern of filmic fruition takes place, it is easy to get lost and fall under the spell of different charming and inspired works of art, which are undoubtedly interesting from many points of view, but which are on the border between cinema and noncinema.
The installation Col tempo. The W. Project, presented at the last Venice Biennale (2009) by the video-artist Péter Forgács is so complex that it can be studied from many different perspectives. The first is certainly a political-sociological one (the treatment of the other according to the ways of reclusion/exclusion as a prisoner of war or individual of a discriminated race; presence of control mechanisms of the dominating political structure, here the Third Reich). We can adopt the point of view of the used techniques – the found footage or the use of video-testimony, video and morphing – or the perspective of art history – the links with the portraiture tradition, especially with Rembrandt and Giorgione.
The following paper is a case study and starts from Ryoji Ikeda’s creation of Datamatics 2.0. It was first presented to the public on 29 October 2007, at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. I believe that the subject studied lays itself open to some short remarks on the wide core of themes which, directly or not, revolve around the production of the Japanese artist. I will tackle here those that seem to the most significant, namely: 1 – The centrality of Datamatics 2.0 within the corpus of the artist’s work. 2 – The close correlation, at the basis of the performance, of images and sounds, as well as the opportunities of significance offered by a reasoned use and refined research of the dimension of synchronism. 3 – The possible metaphorical use of music and at the same time of data, as a world code. 4 – The effect that such a case can have within the study of the continuous building of identity, that the film medium needs. Datamatics is an artistic project, with many outcomes, which aims at exploring the perception possibilities of the invisible multi-substance of data, which are part of the world around us.
In order to start a discussion about the connections between urban space and space of the image, it is necessary to refer the reflection to a same semantic system, so that we need, first of all, to define an equivalence between concepts and words. According to this I will adopt the term of architecture by shifting its meaning toward a definition that allows me to use it everywhere the gaze of a moving spectator meets an organized, dimensioned and ordered space. In this way I will be able to talk about urban architecture as well as image architecture, by considering both these expressions as architectures of the visible, where the gaze of a moving spectator drags narrative threads by following traced routes. My proposal deals with an analysis that respects all the traditional categories of film analysis, but at the same time tries to find out new analytic perspectives, by observing the spatial organization of the image, of its own architecture.
LittleBigPlanet is a video game based on audience content production that transforms players into authors. At first sight it seems nothing more than a classic platform. But when the player completes the story mode, the game is far from being completed. Any LittleBigPlanet gamer can download from PlayStation Network levels made by other users. He can play or modify them or create his own level with a huge editor that makes bottom- production the core of the game. Despite not very good sales figures at the beginning, the game developed by Media Molecule sold more than three million copies in two years. In winter 2010, Sony Computer Entertainment will publish LittleBigPlanet2, in which the powers of the players will be extended from the simple level creation to the game genre itself. In this sequel the spatial, temporal and procedural qualities of the user generated levels will be totally controlled by the player.