The Digital Image and Reality
The Digital Image and Reality
Affect, Metaphysics and Post-Cinema
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 1. CINEMA'S FOUNDATIONAL FRISSONS a. The Arrival of the Digital Image at the Station. b. A Futurist Cinema of Attractions c. What is Post about Post-Cinema? d. But is it Art? e. From Cine-thinking to Digi-thinking f. Technology and Reality 2. THE AFFECTIVE SYNTHESIS OF REALITY BY DIGITAL SCREEN IMAGES a. A Great Evolution b. A Question of Cause, and Responsibility c. Cinema and Affection d. Passive Synthesis and the Spiritual Automaton e. Do We Need a New Digital Image Type - A Cinema 3? f. The Digital Revealing of Reality g. Interstellar's Ontological Revealing h. The Digital Pharmakon i. Plasticity and Politics. 3. 'A DIGITAL FRONTIER TO RESHAPE THE HUMAN CONDITION': VIRTUAL BORDER SPACES AND AFFECTIVE EMBODIMENT IN TRON AND ENTER THE VOID. a. Overcoming Spatial Realism b. Digital Emergence. c. Tron: Legacy d. Enter the Void e. Troubling the Threshold f. Signs of Art at the Limits of Humanity g. Conclusion 4. DYNAMIC DIGITAL SPACES, BODIES AND FORCES a. 'Moving' Pictures: Scientific vs. Aesthetic Truths b. Formal Dynamics of the Digital Image c. Movement, Space and Kinaesthesis d. The Body in Movement: Digital Dance e. The Kinetic Dynamism of the Epic Digital Battle Scene f. The Digital Neo-Baroque g. Rethinking Cinema through Digital 3D h. Conclusion 5. REALITY SUTURES, SIMULATION AND DIGITAL NATURALISM a. The Malleable Mediated Mind b. Rethinking Suture c. Resemblance and the Mimetic Faculty d. Metaphor and Embodied Simulation e. Kinetic Synaesthesia and the Photographic Image f. Virtuality, Plasticity and Play g. Avatar and Digital Naturalism h. Source Code and the Quantum Mind 6. A DIGITAL NIHILISM: ETHICAL REFLECTIONS a. Autonomous Art and the Disappearance of Utopia b. 'A Business, a Pornography, a Hitlerism' c. The Everyday Art Object of Industrial Design d. Bernard Stiegler's Ethical Prognosis e. 'A Chaotic Scribble' f. The Active Subject in Digitality g. Digital Nihilism and Ontological Plasticity h. Conclusion 7. Bibliography 8. Index

Reviews and Features

"Digital technology in the hands of artists can engender new strategies of resistance to the systematizing effects of all technology by revealing the inherent plasticity of any worldview. [...] These same techniques will likely be available to any creator in the near future, and it is Stutt’s convincing optimism that sees in this powerful world-shaping tool an empowerment and a potential 'ethic of exploration in an unstable, virtual, and sublime world.'"
- Will Luers, Leonardo, Vol. 55, No. 5

Daniel Strutt

The Digital Image and Reality

Affect, Metaphysics and Post-Cinema

The media technologies that surround and suffuse our everyday life profoundly affect our relation to reality. Philosophers since Plato and Aristotle have sought to understand the complex influence of apparently simple tools of expression on our understanding and experience of the world, time, space, materiality and energy. The Digital Image and Reality takes up this crucial philosophical task for our digital era. This rich yet accessible work argues that when new visual technologies arrive to represent and simulate reality, they give rise to nothing less than a radically different sensual image of the world. Through engaging with post-cinematic content and the new digital formats in which it appears, Strutt uncovers and explores how digital image-making is integral to emergent modes of metaphysical reflection - to speculative futurism, optimistic nihilism, and ethical plasticity. Ultimately, he prompts the reader to ask whether the impact of digital image processes might go even beyond our subjective consciousness of reality, towards the synthesis of objective actuality itself.

Daniel Strutt

Dan Strutt is a lecturer in the department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he teaches film theory and analysis alongside social, cultural and economic theory. Having worked on research projects with Creativeworks London, CREATe and the AHRC Creative Economy Programme, he also engages in innovative performance production work with contemporary digital audio-visual artists.