This Thursday, October 14, the Chicago Film Seminar begins its regular season meetings with Christian Quendler of the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and currently a visitor to the Radio/TV/Film Department of Northwestern University. He will present his talk "Camera-Eye and Dispositif: René Descartes vs. Dziga Vertov." The response will be provided by Yuri Tsivian of the University of Chicago.
What follows is a brief abstract Quendler has submitted for this talk:
Metaphors of the camera eye are among the oldest and most powerful tropes to depict human vision and subjectivity. As a proto-cybernetic metaphor that lends itself both to anthropomorphic and mechanomorphic readings, the camera eye has become a double agent of subjectivity. It has served as midwife for a modern philosophy of the subject in René Descartes's discourse on Optics and as a gravedigger for classical notions of subjectivity in Dziga Vertov's radically constructivist aesthetics of the kino-eye. By looking at Descartes's early modern and Vertov's modernist notions of the camera eye as two paradigmatic case studies, this paper examines the intricate relation between subjectivity and mediality. It examines figures of the camera eye as conceptual metaphors that construct subjective relations to orders of discourse and media spaces. Drawing on Joachim Paech's reflections on the dispositif for a theory of the order(ing) of media, Quendler will review the concept of the dispositif as a strategic place in the alignment of medium, discourse and genre.
Location: Unlike our kickoff, this session will meet in our usual space, at the School of the Art Institute, 112 S. Michigan Ave, Room 1307, starting promptly at 6:30pm.