Media Aesthetics, Media Meteorology: Balázs’ Atmospheres, Benjamin’s Clouds, McLuhan’s Temperatures

Lecture by Antonio Somaini
Wednesday, February 5, 2014 - 7:00pm

Note location: 5811 S. Ellis Ave., Cobb 307

What do we mean exactly by the term medium? This question has become particularly difficult to answer in an era in which media at times seem to have lost their connections to the objects, the materials and the techniques that allowed us to distinguish them from one another. In an attempt to provide a new theoretical perspective to frame the question of what a medium is, Antonio Somaini will present and discuss the ideas of a series of authors who have conceived media in meteorological terms: as the atmospheres (Béla Balázs), the clouds (Benjamin), the temperatures (McLuhan) in which our aesthetic experience takes place.    

Antonio Somaini is professor of Film Theory, Media Theory and Visual Culture Studies at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3 in Paris. He has previously taught in Italy at the Universities of Venice, Milan and Genoa. His publications include a series of essays on the history of film and media theories and on various issues in contemporary visual culture theory, books released in 2010 and 2012, and the forthcoming Ejzenštejn. Il cinema, le arti, il montaggio [Eisenstein. Cinema, the Arts, Montage] and Sergei M. Eisenstein’s Notes for a General History of Cinema, ed. by N. Kleiman and A. Somaini.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Cinema and Media Studies.