Goldsmiths - University of London

Abstract Image in Future Film and Video Art

Danino, Nina; Joseph-Lester, Jasper; Petresin, Vesna; Laurent, Robert; Crone, Bridget and Zoller, Maxa. 2012. Abstract Image in Future Film and Video Art. Moving Image Review & Art Journal (MIRAJ), 1(2), pp. 79-88. ISSN 2045-6298 [Article]

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The article documents a roundtable discussion, chaired by Maxa Zoller, on the subject of the affects of abstract image in film and video art, published in the launch issue of MIRAJ Moving Image, Review and Art Journal. The discussion covers the film Communion (2010) and the article is illustrated with a still from Communion (2010).

Maxa Zoller: Let me introduce the topic of this round table discussion: the abstract image in film and video art. I have invited you here today to think about abstraction, not as a genre, category or new trend, but as a speculative form and philosophical tool to unlock the rigid relationships between image and meaning. In our information-saturated world, capitalism is turning images into products; images have to be straightforward and readable like an informative text. Abstraction can be a helpful and effective method to resist this kind of object consumption and arguably ‘logocentrist’ image production. We all have an interest in abstraction as a subtle space of resistance, as a dynamic field between representational and non-representational form, and as a technique in our practices as artists and cultural workers to tackle the problems of commodification in new ways. Recent scientific research such as David Böhm’s research into the relationship between electrons and waves, as well as Brian Green’s string theory, and the study of ‘Calabi-Yau’ spaces in theoretical physics, can shed light on the notion of structure and abstraction through their concepts and visual images of underlying subatomic structures. Laura U. Marks relates these ideas to Gilles Deleuze’s concept of the Leibnizian fold. In her recent publication Enfolding Infinity: An Islamic Genealogy of New Media Art (Marks 2010) she defines new media art in relation to aniconic Islamic art: ‘Art is aniconic when the image shows us that what we do not see is more significant that what we do. In both Islamic art and new media art, the most important activity takes place at a level prior to the perceptible image.’ (Marks 2010:5) So, in terms of technology, we should ask, how do we deal with the invisible flow of information? In addition, how do we deal with the invisible flow of money in our digitalised global economy as theorized by Stephen Shaviro, Brian Massumi and by Zygmunt Bauman in his book Liquid Modernity (2003)? I am not saying we should all make numeric algorithmic art, but I would like to combine the abstract with the political, and consider abstraction in a dynamic dialogue with figuration. It would only be regressive to return to a universalism that leaves out of the equation the specifics of feminism, civil rights, queer theory and post-coloniality. This is why it is important for me to think about abstraction not as a negation or return to the past but as a positive extension of the past.

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February 2012Published

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30 Apr 2012 15:44

Last Modified:

13 Jun 2016 12:35

URI: http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/6777
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