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New Authors Discussion: Andrew Johnston and Gregory Zinman

Moderated by Thomas Lamarre
Friday, May 7, 2021 - 11:00am

The Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago presents the first in an ongoing series of conversations with film and media scholars who have recently published their first books. The inaugural guests are Gregory Zinman (Georgia Tech) and Andrew Johnston (North Carolina State University), both of whom are interested in the role of abstraction—and abstract images—in the history of experimental cinema. Zinman is the author of Making Images Move: Handmade Cinema and the Other Arts (University of California Press), a study of the way experimental artists and filmmakers manipulated the physical material of the medium itself. Johnston is the author of Pulses of Abstraction: Episodes from a History of Animation (University of Minnesota Press), which explores technologies and techniques that bring animation into new relations with a history of moving-image media. The conversation with be moderated by Thomas Lamarre from the University of Chicago. 

Andrew Johnston is an Associate Professor in the Film Studies Program at North Carolina State University where he is also the Associate Director of the Communication, Rhetoric, & Digital Media Program. His research interests include animation, media aesthetics, experimental arts, histories of digital technology, and game platforms. His book, Pulses of Abstraction: Episodes from a History of Animation (University of Minnesota Press, 2020), is a theoretical and historical investigation of abstract animation in cinema and computational media from the 1950s through the 1970s. His essays have been published in books and journals such as Animating Film Theory, Color and the Moving Image, and Discourse, and his current book project, Object Engines, examines the rise and use of rendering and game engines found in contemporary media. 

Gregory Zinman is an associate professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His writing on film and media has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and October, among other publications. Starting in September, he will be the curator of 725 Ponce, a public program of moving image art projected on the side of a ten-story building in Atlanta, and he has programmed film and media art at the Film-makers’ Co-op, the Museum of the Moving Image, Asia Society New York, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Ann Arbor Film Festival. He recently served as a technical consultant for Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019), and is currently consulting on a documentary about the future of computing for IBM. He is the author of Making Images Move: Handmade Cinema and the Other Arts (University of California Press, 2020) and co-editor, with John Hanhardt and Edith Decker-Phillips, of We Are in Open Circuits: Writings by Nam June Paik (The MIT Press, 2019).