2020/2 – #Method

Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 33
  • Article
    A conversation with Henry Jenkins
    Galili, Doron (2020)
    In this interview, Henry Jenkins (University of Southern California) discusses with Doron Galili the origins and the reception of his landmark book Convergence Culture, as well as the initial effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on media practices and Jenkins’s most recent work on comic books.
  • Article
    Adaptive images: Practices and aesthetics of situative digital imaging
    Friedrich, Kathrin; Queisner, Moritz; Bruhn, Matthias (2020)
    Digital images increasingly determine the way people interact with physical space. Combined imaging and sensing technologies register, process, and transmit information about the physical world in real time and make it possible to continuously adapt such images to specific spatio-temporal settings and in relation to motion and perspective. With the ability to integrate situative and customised information in media, like digital maps or virtual reality applications, images also gain in importance for perception and interpretation. Such integration of image, action, and space heralds a new type of visual media described as adaptive images. Based on cases from industrial production, medicine, and psychotherapy as well as from sports and entertainment, the paper addresses their aesthetic, spatial, and operational conditions, and provides a typological survey of adaptive images as a phenomenon, including their respective challenges and implications for image and media theory.
  • Review
    Beyond a shadow of a doubt: For the Elche International Independent Film Festival dying is not an option
    Jurado-Martin, Montserrat; Martínez-Cano, Francisco-Julián (2020)
  • Article
    Capturing film festival buzz: The methodological dilemma of measuring symbolic value
    Burgess, Diane (2020)
    Film festivals have long been associated with ephemeral value creation, from the dynamic energy associated with the festival experience to the more static traces of cultural capital that remain once the events are over. This article investigates film festival buzz as it has been conceptualised in film festival studies, and explores existing measurement frameworks drawn from industry stakeholders and federal agencies in the Canadian context. Even though film festival buzz appears to function as an institutional antecedent to consumer buzz in the film value chain, serious methodological dilemmas are raised by the intersecting stakeholder interests that shape knowledge production.
  • Article
    Disciplinary itineraries and digital methods: Examining the Kinomatics collaboration networks
    Verhoeven, Deb; Moore, Paul S.; Coles, Amanda; Coate, Bronwyn; Zemaityte, Vejune; Musial, Katarzyna; Prommer, Elizabeth; Mantsio, Michelle; Taylor, Sarah; Eltham, Ben; Loist, Skadi; Davidson, Alwyn (2020)
    The Kinomatics project () is an international, interdisciplinary project applying innovative digital practices to study creative industries, particularly the film industry. Kinomatics uses data-driven tools and methods to examine the social, cultural, and economic ‘relationality’ of film distribution as a complex, overlapping, co-constituting media infrastructure. What is unique to this project is the way we apply the same methods for the study of film circulation to evaluate our own collaboration networks and determine future research opportunities. We produce both research tools and analysis that is focused on intervening in, rather than just describing, the creative industries. Kinomatics derives this recursive approach to method from digital humanities. This article conceptualises our approach with a critical social network analysis of how our own collaborations are structured and open to being reshaped. Being mindful of our multi-disciplinary methods as dispersed ‘teams of teams’ emphasises the relational dimensions of our work. These connections represent a significant interpersonal investment that is not always evident in the formal measurement of academic success, such as co-authorship for example. In researching how cinema operates as a global cultural industry, Kinomatics team members aim to collaborate on a ‘global’ scale themselves, across geographic and disciplinary boundaries. This article will show how our migration across specialities in inter-team collaboration and co-authorship has contributed to new approaches and collaboration dynamics.
  • Article
    Documentary’s longue durée: Beginnings, formations, genealogies
    Musser, Charles (2020)
    We have tended to think of the documentary as emerging in the early 1920s within the framework of cinema. Yet the documentary tradition possesses a much longer historical trajectory, beginning with public lectures that were illustrated with models and scientific experiments. Appearing in the English-speaking colonies of North America as early as the 1730s, these were a crucial component of the American Enlightenment. The key term was ‘lecture’. Religious groups had used the church-based lecture to communicate the truth of God using the bible as the basis for understanding the world. Appearing in secular venues, these public presentations offered new kinds of truths determined through observation, science, reason and analysis. Creating a new dispositif, they used an increasingly diverse array of illustrative materials – models, charts, demonstrations, paintings, panoramas, reenactments, quotations from literary or musical sources, and even very occasional lantern slides. The term ‘illustrated lecture’ emerged gradually in the 1840s but went through a radical redefinition in the 1870s as the mode merged with the popular but distinct stereopticon exhibition that used photographic lantern slides. By the 1890s and 1900s these illustrated lectures gradually incorporated motion pictures, until many only showed films. When the lecture was replaced by intertitles in the late 1910s, the label ‘illustrated lecture’ became anachronistic and the term ‘documentary’ eventually filled the void.
  • Article
    Editorial NECSUS
    NECSUS Editorial Board (2020)
  • Article
    Encounters and affinities: Exchanges through the essay form
    Guha, Malini (2020)
    The term interdisciplinary has achieved ‘buzzword’ status across academic channels in recent years. Interdisciplinary methods of research are often carried out as a matter of import and export; terminology is borrowed from across disciplines by scholars and is then applied in an analytical fashion to whatever case study is at hand. In this article, I will present two case studies that position the essay form and especially the essay film, as privileged sites of interdisciplinarity as praxis. The first example centres on the relationship between illustrious cultural geographer Doreen Massey and filmmaker Patrick Keiller. The second case study focuses on the longstanding relationship between cultural studies luminary Stuart Hall and filmmaker John Akomfrah, before and after his tenure as co-founder of Black Audio Film Collective (1982-1998). These case studies illustrate the intellectual promise of interdiscipinary exchange as praxis, shaped by relations of affinity, reciprocity and duration.
  • Article
    Film studies and the experimental method
    Slugan, Mario (2020)
    Kuleshov’s montage experiments have arguably been a key impetus for inauguration of film theory. Yet, although cognitivists – and even some continental film philosophers – have long appreciated the importance of neurological and psychological studies for understanding film, they rarely undertake experiments themselves. Instead, the work is primarily done by psychologists with special interest in film. This paper advocates for a deeper engagement with the experimental method in film studies, through design and/or criticism of specific experiments. First, to dispel the longstanding disciplinary skepticism against the method, I propose that arguments against cognitivism as methodologically imperialistic conflate the methods of analytic philosophy and scientific experiment. I then retort to strong (D.N. Rodowick) and moderate skepticism (Malcolm Turvey) about the experimental method. Against the former I argue that 1) some questions in film studies demand experimental answers, and 2) these experiments do not transform film studies into a science of film, and 3) inferences drawn from experiments are not incommensurable with humanistic inquiry. In the latter case I point out that although there is a difference between humanistic and natural phenomena and the principles behind them, there are some principles behind humanistic phenomena which are discoverable through experimental method. Second, to illustrate the importance of the experimental method I draw attention to the fact that a key assumption in film studies – that fiction films change our beliefs about the actual world – is an empirical claim still awaiting experimental proof. I specify how one experiment (co-developed with Ed Tan) testing this assumption might look. I also pay special attention to problems of replicability and representativeness at the crux of the current crisis in psychology. In conclusion, I invite film scholars to a close reading of the proposed experimental design as a way of coming to grips with challenges, opportunities, and the potential blind spots of experimental work.
  • Review
  • Article
    Method unchained: To new adventures of ideas
    Pape, Toni (2020)
    This position piece defends an understanding of method as a process of creative invention. The opening section distinguishes between method and methodology in order to problematise the relation between the two. In light of this distinction, the piece then assesses the general value of method’s repetitive operational chains, for instance for purposes of learning and knowledge transmission. Ultimately, the argument affirms the need for a radical openness of creative practices, including research. This is first done through an engagement with Henri Bergson’s method of intuition and then, in the final section, through the notion of metamodeling.
  • Article
    Methods we live by: Proceduralism, process, and pedagogy
    Stevenson, Michael; Witschge, Tamara (2020)
    This article contributes to ongoing conversations about how we relate to methods and the implications of the ‘methods turn’ for the different epistemic communities that comprise media studies. We argue that methods are increasingly valued as scientific capital and educational capital, leading to further formalisation of methodologies (or theoretical perspectives) as ordered and sequenced research methods. Although intended to make research more transparent and accessible, such formalisation obfuscates the research process when it hinges on the notion of methods as ‘ordered procedure’. Against this way of imagining and talking about methods, we draw on process theory, which provides a language for understanding research as improvisational and creative, and reconsider what it means to do research skilfully. Understanding methods as process opens up new ways to talk about and teach methods that connect to our inherent capacity for curiosity and to embodied sense-making practices – in other words, it allows for a reframing of research methods as ‘methods we live by’.
  • Article
    Mistake as method: Towards an epistemology of errors in creative practice and research
    Korolkova, Maria; Bowes, Simon (2020)
    The article focuses on creative research as a practice, a form of making, attending to the making of mistakes – errors, deviations, detours – as the uncertain ground of an emerging methodological paradigm. Our specific focus here is upon media and performance practices. Guided by references to a range of theorists who place mistakes in the centre of their thinking – Russian formalists, Giuliana Bruno, Maurice Blanchot, Tim Erchells, and Tim Ingold – this article explores the potentials for error in method – and the potentials of error as method. We begin by observing a genealogy of mistakes as method in the theories of Russian Formalists, recognising a longstanding fascination with errors and mistakes – ‘mistake as a constructive principle’ for Yuri Tynianov and estrangement for Viktor Shklovsky, then move on to the notion of errare as ‘a map of theoretical and emotional itineraries’ for Bruno. We continue by proposing how these fascinations shape contemporary interdisciplinary methodologies in the humanities, from qualified success to absolute failure. Our preoccupation with error spans every level of creative processes, as mistakes become not only object of enquiry, but a methodological paradigm. The second part of the article focuses on practices that use error as method. In making, practising, performing – in creative research of all kinds – erring is linked to temporality. Practice itself may be recognised as a continuous journey, where method is only ever understood as provisional. In relating such temporalities to philosophical discourses on errors, the article moves towards erring as a contemporary research tool.
  • Article
    On #Method: A roundtable with the NECSUS editorial board
    NECSUS Editorial Board (2020)
    In October 2020 the editorial board of NECSUS held an online roundtable discussion to address the special section topic #Method. The initial prompt came from an editorial written by board member Toni Pape. What follows is an edited transcript of the recording of the online roundtable on this topic.