Geological Filmmaking

Litvintseva, Alexandra (Sasha). 2020. Geological Filmmaking. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

Text (Geological Filmmaking)
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Abstract or Description

In recent years, media studies has developed theoretical models which consider the material aspects
of media technologies. In the context of the widespread ecological crisis, such studies have included
analyses of media as products of the extraction of geological materials. My doctoral project of
‘geological filmmaking’ contributes to this growing set of discourses by experimenting, on a
conceptual and artistic level, with the reciprocal relations between geology and film. Building on
existing theoretical studies of the geological materiality of the filmic medium, it explores formal and
temporal intersections between film and geology in order to engage with some of the representational
challenges posed by the ecological crisis. ‘The geological’ here acts as a perceptual and cognitive
extremity of the human (in)ability to grasp processes unfolding across vast spatio-temporal scales.
Through an integrated theory-practice methodology my project takes two specific geological
phenomena as prisms through which to explore the greater philosophical problems encountered at
the intersections of human and geological timescales. In the process of making two films – one
focused on sinkholes, the other on asbestos – the geological has revealed itself to be inextricably tied
to socio-economic processes. It has thus become an urgent demand, requiring a response here and
now. This study is an attempt to offer such a response. By reading film and geology through each
other, I have staged an encounter between the moments in which their reciprocity illuminates key
issues surrounding the anthropogenic ecological crisis, both in its vastness and proximity, its longevity
and immediacy. I have also taken some steps towards outlining an artistic methodology for engaging
with planetary ecological issues via the medium of film.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


Film, media, ecology, geology, Anthropocene, environment

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


31 January 2020

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

03 Jun 2020 14:22

Last Modified:

07 Sep 2022 17:16


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