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In Lag of Knowledge. The Video Essay as Parapraxis


Binotto, Johannes (2020). In Lag of Knowledge. The Video Essay as Parapraxis. In: Herzogenrath, Bernd. Practical Aesthetics. London, New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 83-93.

Abstract

The video essay as a form of film studies which does not only think about cinema but which is working with film excerpts as tools of their own analysis has seen widespread success and proliferation in recent years. Instead of providing a survey on the long and rapidly evolving history of the video essay, this chapter focuses on one specific aspect of the form which is all the easier overlooked as video essays and their practioners become more professional. Namely, this chapter is interested in how digital technology not only facilitates the engagement with cinema but also produces new forms of interference. Furthermore, it wants to outline how accidents like data corruption and digital lag can serve an analytical function. I argue that disruptions of digital media can be recognized as critical encounters instead of accidents that need to be circumvented. I thus propose a video essayistic practice which not only thinks with film but also thinks with the new viewing and formatting technologies of film and, more specifically, with the uncontrolled and contingent side effects of those technologies. The term I propose for these productive contingencies of technology as well as for our critical engagement with these contingencies is „parapraxis“. Understanding the video essay as parapraxis is not only revelatory in regard to its engagement with film and film history, but also allows for a radical re-reading of psychoanalytic and media theory and sheds new light onto (para-)practical aesthetics and its epistemological implications in general.

Abstract

The video essay as a form of film studies which does not only think about cinema but which is working with film excerpts as tools of their own analysis has seen widespread success and proliferation in recent years. Instead of providing a survey on the long and rapidly evolving history of the video essay, this chapter focuses on one specific aspect of the form which is all the easier overlooked as video essays and their practioners become more professional. Namely, this chapter is interested in how digital technology not only facilitates the engagement with cinema but also produces new forms of interference. Furthermore, it wants to outline how accidents like data corruption and digital lag can serve an analytical function. I argue that disruptions of digital media can be recognized as critical encounters instead of accidents that need to be circumvented. I thus propose a video essayistic practice which not only thinks with film but also thinks with the new viewing and formatting technologies of film and, more specifically, with the uncontrolled and contingent side effects of those technologies. The term I propose for these productive contingencies of technology as well as for our critical engagement with these contingencies is „parapraxis“. Understanding the video essay as parapraxis is not only revelatory in regard to its engagement with film and film history, but also allows for a radical re-reading of psychoanalytic and media theory and sheds new light onto (para-)practical aesthetics and its epistemological implications in general.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > English Department
Dewey Decimal Classification:820 English & Old English literatures
Language:English
Date:1 January 2020
Deposited On:18 Feb 2021 12:02
Last Modified:18 Feb 2021 12:04
Publisher:Bloomsbury Academic
ISBN:9781350116108
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.5040/9781350116139.0011
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID100013_197727
  • : Project TitleVideo Essay. Futures of Audiovisual Research and Teaching
  • : Project Websitehttps://videoessayresearch.org

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