Fearmonger: Fear, film, digital embodiment, and cinematic futures

Preprints and early-stage research may not have been peer reviewed yet.
To read the file of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.


Forthcoming in Parol - Quaderni d’Arte e di Epistemologia In “Cinema del Limite,” Antonio Bisaccia, R. Bruce Elder, Peggy Gale, and Giuliano Lombardo make a controversial claim. “The cinema as we have known it,” they argue, “is dead”. As the argument progresses it becomes clear that “‘the movies’ are very much alive.” What has been killed off is “a specific narrative form developed over the first forty years of the cinema’s existence, which was dependent on a specific ensemble of apparti” and particular viewing practices. In what follows we make a modest contribution to this ongoing debate about the contemporary technological moment and potential cinematic futures. We do so by presenting Fearmonger, a new media arts project that probes moving image culture through an embodied digital experience that, in one sense, victimizes a film viewer in figurative terms, but paradoxically might offer an alternative site for spectatorship. Fearmonger’s aesthetic design conceptualization invigorates the cinematic experience with wearable technology that jars viewers’ sensibility rather than attempting seamlessness with the digital, which is so often the motive for our current personal devices. In the sections that follow, we explore the concept of media as prosthesis and contextualize it through previous scholarship but also artistic forms. Second, we explain the Fearmonger project and explore the various ways that it interrogates the realities of a radically embodied cinema.

No file available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the file of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Full-text available
Origin stories for wearable computers stress motives, beliefs, assumptions transgressions, and goals amid the technological and economic conditions that alter them. One facet of this book is to challenge rhetorical motives embedded in technical terms, like augmented reality, and make salient their social and political assumptions as well as the kinds of rhetoric that lingers in their evocations. “Reality shifting” – deliberately a gerund rather than a noun – is a catch-all term to describe immersive computing phenomenon; but, it is also a term that suggests ongoing scrutiny of the meanings it instigates. Affective computing, brain-computer interaction, and emotion augmentation drive toward convergence with everyday computing practices. This book focuses on the communicative aspects of wearable devices and reality-shifting interfaces in their conceptual, social, cultural, political and, most importantly, rhetorical contexts. It analyzes the cultural artifacts that drive us to embrace them as well as design-based writing by inventors and governments. Put simply, the intent of Ready to Wear is that it focuses squarely on motive.
In previous actions the body has performed with technology attached (the Third Hand- actuated with EMG signals), technology inserted (the Stomach Sculpture- a self-illuminating, sound-emitting, opening/closing, extending and retracting mechanism operating in the stomach cavity) and Net-connected (the body becoming accessed and remotely activated by people in other places). The body has been augmented, invaded and now becomes a host- not only for technology, but also for remote agents. Just as the Internet provides extensive and interactive ways of displaying, linking and retrieving information and images it may now allow unexpected ways of accessing, interfacing and uploading the body itself. And instead of seeing the Internet as a means of fulfilling out-moded metaphysical desires of disembodiment, it offers on the contrary, powerful individual and collective strategies for projecting body presence and extruding body awareness. The Internet does not hasten the disappearance of the body and the dissolution of the self- rather it generates new collective physical couplings and a telematic scaling of subjectivity. Such a body's authenticity will not be due to the coherence of its individuality but rather to its multiplicity of collaborating agents. What becomes important is not merely the body's identity, but its connectivity- not its mobility or location, but its interface....
This paper examines the complex relationship between Surrealism and architectural theory and practice. While architecture did not apparently play an extensive role in Surrealist concerns, this paper argues that it could offer, nevertheless, a crucial arena for a Surrealist articulation of space as psychically charged. In the writings of Carrington, Matta, Tzara and Dalí, the irrational possibilities of architectural spaces are explored, particularly in relation to discussions of homes and dwellings. If Surrealism pitted itself explicitly against the modernism of Le Corbusier, this paper considers the points of overlap between them, using Benjamin's concept of fetishism to explore confusions of identity between the mental and the physical, the organic and the inorganic. This paper is based on a keynote speech given at the conference Fantasy Space: Surrealism and Architecture, Manchester, Whitworth Art Gallery, September 12, 2003.
This essay considers Rainer Maria Rilke's use of classicism as a response to the uncanny and fragmenting industrial city. While the twentieth-century revival of classicism has typically been seen as part of the reactionary “call to order,” I argue that Rilke's work represents a radically different modernist classicism – one that celebrates the fluidity and contingency of urban life. While his early work evinces a flight from the chaos of the modern city to a lost antique wholeness, after his engagement with Rodin's disarticulated sculpture, Rilke radically reimagines classicism as the ideal form for a Baudelairean modernity defined by “the ephemeral, the fugitive, the contingent.”
  • G E Steam
  • M Mcluhan
Steam G. E., McLuhan M., Hot and Cool, Interview, 1967; Media Research: Technology, Art, Communications (Critical Voices), M. Moos ed., G and B Arts International, Amsterdam 1997.
Deep Time of the Media: Toward an Archaeology of Hearing and Seeing by Technical Means
  • S Zielinski
Zielinski S., Deep Time of the Media: Toward an Archaeology of Hearing and Seeing by Technical Means, The MIT Press, Cambridge 2008.
After picking up a traumatized young hitchhiker, five friends find themselves stalked and hunted by a deformed chainsaw-wielding killer and his family of equally psychopathic killers
  • Clips Fearmonger Film
Fearmonger Film Clips, Curated by David Hollands Scale 1-2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) "Humanity finds a mysterious, obviously artificial object buried beneath the Lunar surface and, with the intelligent computer H.A.L. 9000, sets off on a quest." Scale 9-The Dead Zone (1983) "A man awakens from a coma to discover he has a psychic detective ability." Scale 10 and Scale 13-The Descent (2005) "A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators." Scale 11-The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) "Two siblings visit their grandfather's grave in Texas along with three of their friends and are attacked by a family of cannibalistic psychopaths." Scale 12-The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) "After picking up a traumatized young hitchhiker, five friends find themselves stalked and hunted by a deformed chainsaw-wielding killer and his family of equally psychopathic killers." Scale 14-Grave Encounters (2011) "For their ghost hunting reality show, a production crew locks themselves inside an abandoned mental hospital that's supposedly haunted -and it might prove to be all too true." Scale 15-Green Room (2015) "A punk rock band is forced to fight for survival after witnessing a murder at a neo-Nazi skinhead bar." Bibliography
  • A Bisaccia
  • R B Elder
  • P Gale
  • G Lombardo
Bisaccia A., Elder R. B., Gale P., Lombardo G., Cinema del Limite, in "Parol" 2015, pp. 15-19.
Civilization and its
  • S Freud
Freud S., Civilization and its Discontents, Peter Gay ed., W.W. Norton & Company, New York 1989.