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Title: Materiality and medium-specificity : digital aesthetics in the context of experimental film and video
Author: Payne, Simon
ISNI:       0000 0004 2671 5127
Awarding Body: Royal College of Art
Current Institution: Royal College of Art
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis proposes a concept of materiality and medium-specificity that is relevant to the theorisation of digital aesthetics in the context of experimental film and video. Drawing on the example of structural/materialist film, in particular, the thesis presents a critique of several theories associated with new technology, which describe digital media as immaterial and privilege practices that involve virtual reality, immersive environments and cinematic aesthetics. The discussion of a number of key experimental films and videos highlights differences between film, analogue and digital video, but the issue of materiality is not located in terms of technology alone. The comparison and analysis of individual works, in terms of the subjectivity they engender, shows materiality to be located in the relationship between the work and the viewer. In revisiting a range of significant historical films and videos from a digital age the thesis offers a new perspective on past works as well as offering an original account of the contemporary films and videos that are discussed. In considering aesthetics associated with intervals, framing, abstraction and the concept of medium-specificity more generally, the thesis points to aesthetic strategies and an approach to practice that might carry across media. The five videos that accompany the thesis pose questions that are analogous to those that are raised by some of the work discussed in the writing; and in tackling the materiality of the medium they contribute to the project's definition of a critical practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available