Deep Mediations

Thinking Space in Cinema and Digital Cultures

2021

Karen Redrobe and Jeff Scheible, Editors

winner of the best edited collection award from the society for cinema and media studies


The preoccupation with “depth” and its relevance to cinema and media studies

For decades the concept of depth has been central to critical thinking in numerous humanities-based disciplines, legitimizing certain modes of inquiry over others. Deep Mediations examines why and how this is, as scholars today navigate the legacy of depth models of thought and vision, particularly in light of the “surface turn” and as these models impinge on the realms of cinema and media studies.

For decades the concept of depth has been central to critical thinking in numerous humanities-based disciplines, legitimizing certain modes of inquiry over others. Deep Mediations examines why and how this is, as scholars today navigate the legacy of depth models of thought and vision, particularly in light of the “surface turn” and as these models impinge on the realms of cinema and media studies.

The collection’s eighteen essays seek to understand the decisive but evolving fixation on depth by considering the term’s use across a range of conversations as well as its status in relation to critical methodologies and the current mediascape. Engaging contemporary debates about new computing technologies, the environment, history, identity, affect, audio/visual culture, and the limits and politics of human perception, Deep Mediations is a timely interrogation of depth’s ongoing importance within the humanities.

Contributors: Laurel Ahnert; Taylor Arnold, U of Richmond; Erika Balsom, King’s College London; Brooke Belisle, Stony Brook University; Jinhee Choi, King’s College London; Jennifer Fay, Vanderbilt U; Lisa Han, UC Santa Barbara; Jean Ma, Stanford U; Shaka McGlotten, Purchase College-SUNY; Susanna Paasonen, U of Turku, Finland; Jussi Parikka, U of Southampton; Alessandra Raengo, Georgia State U; Pooja Rangan, Amherst College; Katherine Rochester, VIA Art Fund in Boston; Karl Schoonover, University of Warwick (UK); Jordan Schonig, Michigan State U; John Paul Stadler, North Carolina State U; Nicole Starosielski, New York U; Lauren Tilton, U of Richmond.

Awards

Best Edited Collection Award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies

Karen Redrobe is Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Professor of Cinema and Modern Media at University of Pennsylvania.

Jeff Scheible is lecturer of film studies at King’s College London. He is author of Digital Shift: The Cultural Logic of Punctuation (Minnesota, 2015).

Contents

Preface

Part I. Depths of the Moving Image: Perception, Spectatorship, and Film Theory

1. From the Flat Plane, an Architecture of Light: Filming Space in Interwar Animation

Katherine Rochester

2. Locomotive Views: Lateral Movement and the Flatness of the Moving Image

Jordan Schonig

3. Deep in the Cave

Jean Ma

4. On a Lonely Planet, Feeling-in-Depth: Wong Kar-wai’s 2046 and Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil

Jinhee Choi

Part II. Depth Hermeneutics and Surface Turns

5. Depth Effects: Citizen Kane, Citizenfour, and the Deep Time of Cinema

Jeff Scheible

6. Bankers Dream of Banking, or Against the Interpretation of Dreams

Jennifer Fay

7. Blackness at the Heart: Extruding Sovereignty in Nancy’s and Denis’s The Intruder

Alessandra Raengo and Laurel Ahnert

8. Inaudible Evidence: Counterforensic Listening in Contemporary Documentary Art

Pooja Rangan

9. To Narrate or Describe? Experimental Documentary beyond Docufiction

Erika Balsom

Part III. Deep Space, Deep Time

10. Sinkholes, GIFs, and Cinematic Eco-catastrophe

Karl Schoonover

11. Underground Film: Thinking Vertically across the and of Cinema and Media Studies

Karen Redrobe

12. Transparency at Depth: Dark Mediation of the Deep Seabed

Lisa Han

13. Depth Mediators: Undersea Cables, Network Infrastructure, and the Deep Ocean

Nicole Starosielski

14. From Planetary Depth to Surface Measure, or How to Read the Future from an Image

Jussi Parikka

Part IV. Deep Networks

15. Depth in Deep Learning: Knowledgeable, Layered, Impenetrable

Taylor Arnold and Lauren Tilton

16. From Stereoscopic Depth to Deep Learning

Brooke Belisle

17. The Deep Realness of Deepfake Pornography: A Conversation

Shaka McGlotten, Susanna Paasonen, and John Paul Stadler

Acknowledgments

Contributors

Index