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.