Flicker Time and Fabulation

Crone, Bridget. 2017. Flicker Time and Fabulation. In: G Gunkel; A Hameed and S O'Sullivan, eds. Futures and Fictions. London, UK: Repeater Books, pp. 268-294. ISBN 9781910924631 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

This essay explores the flicker or flicker-image as a flash of light that has the potential to disrupt the mechanics of vision. The most elemental of images, the flicker is at the very basis of both vision and mechanical image production; it is the flash of light that makes an image possible, and it is the continuous flickering of light across the eye (or lens) that connects visual perception with time perception through the operation of critical flicker frequency: the speed at which the brain joins those flashes of light together and thus perceives the movement of time. Yet when isolated or disaggregated from continuous movement, the flicker-image disrupts the smooth space of both image production and time perception. The flicker-image therefore refers to a correlation between analogue cinema practice in which a frame of film runs flickering through the projector and the physiological mechanics of image production in which flickering light is perceived by the brain. To think of images in this way is to understand images as single elements, as flashes of light, frames of film, individual pixels – individual units that are joined together. Image. Followed by image. Followed by image. Yet to insist on the flicker-image as a single flash of light – a “cut” or “point cut” as Gilles Deleuze does in his few pages of writing on experimental artists’ film – is to isolate an image from the constant movement of images, and, in doing so, to break into the flow of time: interrupting, disrupting or re-routing time’s movement (Deleuze 2005: 207).

Item Type:

Book Section

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures


12 November 2017Published

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Date Deposited:

02 Jul 2018 10:00

Last Modified:

06 Aug 2018 14:34



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