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

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Abstract

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.

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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
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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
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Bisaccia A., Elder R. B., Gale P., Lombardo G., Cinema del Limite, in "Parol" 2015, pp. 15-19.
Civilization and its
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Freud S., Civilization and its Discontents, Peter Gay ed., W.W. Norton & Company, New York 1989.