Talk: The Eventfulness of Technology - Media Interface After the Cyborg

A talk by Professor Thomas LaMarre

"The Eventfulness of Technology — Media Interface After the Cyborg" 

Thursday, Feburary 14, 4pm
Innis 222

Thomas LaMarre, a professor in Communication and East Asian Studies at McGill University, is a scholar of anime and related media and the award-winning author of The Anime Machine: A Media Theory of Animation. He says of his talk:

"While the wave of fascination with cyborgs, both in cinema and cultural analysis, seems to have peaked and abated, the thorny question of the relation between humans and machines persists in popular culture.  On the one hand, I propose to look at how the ‘cyborg paradigm’ reached an impasse.  I will look at how it initially opened but ultimately blocked inquiry into the relation between humans and machines, due to an unwitting commitment to dualism and substantialism that proved unwieldy and unsuited to dealing with technical questions posed by new media.  On the other hand, I will track a similar trend within popular media, with reference to the animated television series, The Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.  Where the emphasis on the cyborg in the films directed by Oshii Mamoru has seemed to invite a more dualist reading of media technologies, the animated series directed by Kamiyama Kenji directs greater attention to screens, media networks, and technologies of the self.  Through an analysis of audio-visual logic of Kamiyama’s series, I intend to show how it opens new media technologies to questions about the social implications of the non-existence of the self as posed in the non-dualist lineage of William James, Gilbert Simondon, Nishida KitarĂ´, and Marx.





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