by Jim Ridley
Ubiquitous Streams: Seeing Moving Images in the Age of Digital Media
When: April 3-4
Where: Vanderbilt University
Fifteen minutes of media attention — that’s chump change. We’re living in De Palma Nation, baby — a surveillance state where screens and video feeds are as commonplace as air, life is a succession of selfies, and everybody is the star of his or her own Zapruder film at traffic lights, airports and public plazas. At least when celluloid was something other than raw material for guitar picks, film was regarded as a recording medium — but now that my 12-year-old can manipulate visual media with her iPhone, has that altered the primacy of the image? How do we process all the viewing we do without thinking, and what does it do to our perception of time, identity and the world around us?
This two-day Vanderbilt symposium of visiting filmmakers and scholars means to slap a pair of Rowdy Roddy Piper’s sunglasses on all us sleepwalking Keith Davids. Highlights include a visit today from Austin-based filmmakers Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler, capped by a 7 p.m. Buttrick Hall screening of their 2009 film Grand Paris Texas (a meditation on the vanishing past using the Wim Wenders drama as a starting point) and a panel discussion with Vanderbilt faculty Jennifer Fay, Paul Young and Mel Ziegler; and a Freedom Forum talk 9 a.m. Friday by Ambient Television author and NYU professor Anna McCarthy, who has hacked a path through AV kudzu such as right-wing propaganda, cobwebbed shitcoms and blaring public monitors.
See the full schedule below or visit vanderbilt.edu/filmstudies/events. The symposium is free and open to the public.