The Smooth and The Striated

Deleuze Studies Vol. 6.1 (2012)

A Thousand Plateaus’ ‘1440: The Smooth and the Striated’ introduces smoothness and striation as a conceptual pair to rethink space as a complex mixture between nomadic forces and sedentary captures. Among the models Deleuze and Guattari describe for explicating where we encounter smooth and striated spaces, the maritime model presents the special problem of the sea. The sea is a smooth space par excellence: open water always moved by the wind, the sun and the stars, nomadically traversable by noise, colour and celestial bearings. Increased navigation of the open water resulted in demands for its striation. Although Deleuze and Guattari note that this took hold progressively, the year 1440, when Portuguese discoverers introduced the first nautical charts, marked a turning point in the striation of the sea. Maps with meridians, parallels, longitudes, latitudes and territories gridded the oceans, making distances calculable and measurable. It meant the beginning of the great explorations –and of the transatlantic slave trade and the expansion of the European State apparatus. The smooth and the striated concern the political and politics. The authors in this volume think with art to shed new and interdisciplinary light upon the concepts of smoothness and striation, and, conversely, upon the way the smooth and the striated can give important insights into artistic practices. Contributions by Eric Alliez, Jay Hetrick, Colin Gardner, Tod Satter, Guy Keulemans, Charlotte Knox-Williams, Asli Özgen Tuncer, Zach Horton and Jean Hillier.

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Edinburgh University Press for complete issue online  

The Neuro-Image

Patricia Pisters, The Neuro-Image: A Deleuzian Filmphilosophy of Digital Screen Culture (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2012) 370 pp.

This book approaches 21st-century globalized cinema through the new concept of the “neuro-image.” Pisters begins with the premise that today’s viewers no longer look through a character's eyes; instead, they move through his or her brain or mental landscape. Her book elaborates the threefold nature of the neuro-image by drawing on research from three domains—Deleuzian (schizoanalytic) philosophy, digital networked screen culture, and neuroscientific research—and is accordingly divided into three parts. The first reads the brain as screen, or “neuroscreen,” thereby grounding contemporary cinema in our bodily materiality. It investigates clinical and critical aspects of schizophrenia alongside contemporary films that deal with the same disease, elaborates connections between film theory and cognitive neuroscience, and reflects on the omnipresence of surveillance. Next, the book explores neuro-images from a philosophical point of view, paying less attention to science and more to their ontological, epistemological, and aesthetic dimensions. Individual chapters deal with Bergson, Deleuze and questions of time, Hume’s skeptical epistemology and the increasing blurring of the false and the real, and the affective powers of what has come to be called the neo- or digital baroque. The final section of the book is dedicated to the political and ethical aspects of the neuro-image, including the production of historical memory, the ways in which the neuro-image can impact politics, and the multiplication of screens in the context of war and war films. Pisters leaves us with an understanding of why it is that the neuro-image has emerged in our present moment.

Link to Stanford University Press

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David Sterritt's review of the book in New Review of Film and Television

Claire Colebrook's review of the book in Deleuze Studies 

Maria Walsh's review of the book in Film-Philosophy

Mind the Screen

Jaap Kooijman, Patricia Pisters and Wanda Strauven (eds), Mind the screen: Media concepts according to Thomas Elsaesser (Amsterdam University Press, 2008) 376 pages

Mind the Screen pays tribute to Thomas Elsaesser, a pioneering and leading scholar in the field of film and media studies. The contributions present a close-up of media concepts developed by Elsaesser, providing a mirror for all types of audiovisual screens, from archaeological pre-cinematic screens to the silver screen, from the TV set to the video installation and the digital e-screen, and from the city screen to the mobile phone display. The book is divided into three 'Acts': Melodrama, Memory, Mind Game; Europe-Hollywood-Europe; and Archaeology, Avant-Garde, Archive.

This title is available in the OAPEN Library.

Lessen van Hitchcock (herziene editie)

Patricia Pisters, Lessen van Hitchcock: een inleiding in mediatheorie (Derde herziene editie. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2007) 384 paginas

Het werk van de beroemde film- en televisiemaker Alfred Hitchcock heeft een enorme invloed gehad en bestrijkt een lange periode in de film- en televisiegeschiedenis. Zijn werk vormt de rode draad in deze verhelderende inleiding op de theorievorming over film, televisie en nieuwe media, waarbij de moderne filmtheorie het vertrekpunt vormt voor uiteenlopende methodes van analyse en interpretatie. Aan de hand van de vele studies die er in de loop der jaren over Hitchcock zijn verschenen, worden verschillende theoretische benaderingenuitgelegd en met elkaar vergeleken. Aan bod komen onder meer de auteurstheorie, de semiologie, de theorievorming over gender en postmodernisme, alle uiteengezet, geillustreerd en getoetst aan de hand van Hitchcock's 'lessen' en gerelateerd aan de hedendaagse ontwikkelingen in het medialandschap. In deze herziene editie zijn de hoofdstukken over de invloed van Derrida en Deleuze met betrekking tot de beeldcultuur uitgebereid en worden in het nawoord nieuwe theoretische tendenzen in het  digitale tijdperk aangegeven. Download boek in PDF.

Interview in NRC Handelsblad 14 maart 2013. Download PDF


Opereren in de werkelijkheid

Patricia Pisters, Opereren in de werkelijkheid: Politieke cinema en de vrije indirecte rede (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2005) 32 paginas

Vanwege de directe band met de massa (‘het volk’) is film een politieke kunstvorm. Waar de klassieke film een volk kan representeren, is dat in de moderne politieke film niet meer mogelijk. Politieke wantoestanden en massale migratiestromen hebben het geloof in een volk ondermijnd. Films kunnen niet langer worden gezien als directe representaties van het volk. De relaties tussen filmmaker en zijn personages, en tussen fictie en werkelijkheid zijn vrij en indirect. Niettemin opereren moderne politieke films als speech acts in de werkelijkheid die ze hierdoor mede vorm geven. Door middel van een analyse van verschillende vormen van cinema (first, second en third cinema) is het mogelijk te zien op welke manieren de vrije indirecte relaties tussen filmmaker en zijn personages en tussen fictie en werkelijkheid worden ingekleurd en is het mogelijk te bepalen wat de politieke dimensie van de hedendaagse cinema is.

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Shooting the Family

Patricia Pisters and Wim Staat (eds), Shooting the Family: Transnational Media and Intercultural Values (Amsterdam University Press, 2005) 224 pages

Shooting the Family, a collection of essays on the contemporary media landscape, explores ever-changing representations of family life on a global scale. The contributors argue that new recording technologies allows families an unusual kind of freedom—until now unknown—to define and respond to their own lives and memories. Recently released videos made by young émigrés as they discover new homelands and resolve conflicts with their parents, for example, reverberate alongside the dark portrayals of family life in the formal filmmaking of Ang Lee. This book will be a boon to scholars of film theory and media studies, as well as to anyone interested in the construction of the family in a postmodern world.