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From Light to Byte

Toward an Ethics of Digital Cinema

2012
Author:

Markos Hadjioannou

From Light to Byte

Explores the question of technological change in cinema

Concerned with the debate surrounding digital cinema’s ontology and the interrelationship between cinema cultures, Markos Hadjioannou investigates the idea of change as it is expressed in the current technological transition. Hadjioannou asks what is different in the way digital movies depict the world and engage with the individual and how we might best address the technological shift within media archaeologies.

From Light to Byte is brilliant in its theoretical rigor. Markos Hadjioannou’s ability to both summarize and carry forward the entire history of scholarship in the field of visual studies toward a systematic thesis will certainly contribute to an advance in our understanding of the digital image. Essential reading.

Gregg Lambert, author of Who’s Afraid of Deleuze and Guattari?

Cinema has been undergoing a profound technological shift: celluloid film is being replaced by digital media in the production, distribution, and reception of moving images. Concerned with the debate surrounding digital cinema’s ontology and the interrelationship between cinema cultures, From Light to Byte investigates the very idea of change as it is expressed in the current technological transition. Markos Hadjioannou asks what is different in the way digital movies depict the world and engage with the individual and how we might best address the technological shift within media archaeologies.

Hadjioannou turns to the technical basis of the image as his first point of departure, considering the creative and perceptual activities of moviemakers and viewers. Grounded in film history, film theory, and philosophy, he explores how the digital configures its engagement with reality and the individual while simultaneously replaying and destabilizing celluloid’s own structures. He observes that, where film’s photographic foundation encourages an existential association between individual and reality, digital representations are graphic renditions of mathematical codes whose causal relations are more difficult to trace.

Throughout this work Hadjioannou examines how the two technologies set themselves up with reference to reality, physicality, spatiality, and temporality, and he concludes that the question concerning digital cinema is ultimately one of ethical implications—a question, that is, of the individual’s ability to respond to the image of the world.

From Light to Byte


Markos Hadjioannou is assistant professor of literature and arts of the moving image at Duke University.

Markos Hadjioannou is assistant professor of literature and arts of the moving image at Duke University.

From Light to Byte

From Light to Byte is brilliant in its theoretical rigor. Markos Hadjioannou’s ability to both summarize and carry forward the entire history of scholarship in the field of visual studies toward a systematic thesis will certainly contribute to an advance in our understanding of the digital image. Essential reading.

Gregg Lambert, author of Who’s Afraid of Deleuze and Guattari?

From Light to Byte

Contents

Preface
Introduction. Going Digital: Cinema’s New Age

1. The Reality of the Index, or Where Does the Truth Lie
2. Physical Presences: Reality, Materiality, Corporeality
3. Spatial Coordinates: In-between Celluloid Strips and Codified Pixels
4. Rediscovering Cinematic Time
5. Tracing an Ethics of the Movie Image
Conclusion. Change: A Point of Constant Departure

Acknowledgments
Notes
Bibliography
Filmography
Index