Society for Cinema and Media Studies
By Henrik Gustafsson on 17.04.2011 (09:00).
The annual "Society for Cinema and Media Studies"-conference concluded last Sunday in New Orleans. The theme this year was "Media Citizenship," though, as usual, the numerous sessions charted a wide range of topics. Of special interest a propos the upcoming nomadikon conference in November was a panel titled "The Secret Life of Gestures." The performative aspect of gestures was highlighted in Eivind Røssaak's analysis of Hito Steyerl's Lovely Andrea and Christian Refsum's reading of Lars von Trier's Antichrist. Trond Lundemo, finally, presented a survey of attempts to classify and archive the gesture - from Muybridge's chronophotography to present-day motion capture techniques - pointing to the inherent paradox of this endeavor; since the gesture always is attached to a particular body, it remains ultimately unattainable. In all, the panel offered an enticing sample of Giorgio Agamben's proposition of a "gestural cinema." My own presentation focused on Jean-Luc Nancy's essay ‘Uncanny Landscape' in relation to the films of Claire Denis.