Fluid Screens, Expanded Cinema
December 15, 2010
Among my favorite books is Gene Youngblood’s Expanded Cinema, in spite of originally being published in 1970, it still offers a fresh perspective on the possibilities of new media art. Imagine a collection of essays that takes Youngblood’s book as a starting point. Well, here you have it! Fluid Screens, Expanded Cinema, edited by Janine Marchessault and Susan Lord, is a collection of articles that takes Youngblood’s Expanded Cinema as a jumping off point and offers a variety of perspectives illuminating the shift from traditional “filmic” cinema to new “post-film” forms that include performative, interactive, and net-based media, which is part of a larger trend in which digital technology is transforming our visual culture. The articles present provocative questions of interest to both academics and practitioners: What’s new about new media? What’s different about digital aesthetics? How does the role of the viewer change? How does storytelling change? What are the political implications of these new forms? How does community production change the media? I read the essays with great interest, offering an opportunity to reflect critically on my own media making practice.