Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Anticipatory realism : constructions of futures and regimes of prediction in contemporary post-cinematic art
Author: Dernbach, Rafael Karl
ISNI:       0000 0004 7661 1430
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2019
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
This thesis examines strategies of anticipation in contemporary post-cinematic art. In the Introduction and the first chapter, I make the case for anticipation as a cultural technique for the construction of and adjustment to future scenarios. This framing allows analysis of constructions of futures as culturally and media-historically specific operations. Via anticipation, constructions of futures become addressable as embedded in specific performative and material economies: as regimes of prediction. The hypothesis is that cultural techniques of anticipation do not only serve to construct particular future scenarios, but also futurity, the very condition for the construction of futures. Drawing upon the philosophical works of, in particular, Vilem Flusser, Jacques Derrida and Elena Esposito, and the theory of cultural techniques, I conceptualize anticipation through the analysis of post-cinematic strategies. I argue that post-cinematic art is particularly apt for the conceptualization of anticipation. The self-reflexive multi-media interventions of post-cinematic art can expose the realisms that govern regimes of prediction. Three cultural techniques of anticipation and their use as artistic strategies in post-cinematic art are theorized: enactment, soft montage and rendering. Each of these techniques is examined in its construction of futures through performative and material operations in art gallery spaces. The second chapter examines strategies of enactment in post-cinematic installations by Neïl Beloufa. My readings of Kempinski (2007), The Analyst, the Researcher, the Screenwriter, the CGI tech and the Lawyer (2011), World Domination (2012) and Data for Desire (2014) propose that enactment allows for an engagement with futures beyond extrapolation. With Karen Barad's theory of agential realism, the construction of futures becomes graspable as a political process in opposition to a mere prolonging of the present into the future. The third chapter focuses on the strategy of soft montage in works by Harun Farocki. I interpret Farocki's application of soft montage in the exhibition Serious Games I-IV (2009-2010) as a critical engagement with anticipatory forms of organizing power and distributing precarity. His work series Parallel I-IV (2012-2014) is then analyzed as a speculation on the future of image production technologies and their role in constructing futures. The final chapter analyses the self-referential use of computer-generated renderings in works by Hito Steyerl. The installations How Not To Be Seen (2013), Liquidity Inc. (2014), The Tower (2015) and ExtraSpaceCraft (2016) are read as interventions in the performative economies of contemporary image production. I argue that these works allow us to grasp the reality-producing and futurity-producing effects of rendering as anticipatory cultural technique. My thesis aims to contribute to the discussions on a 'turn towards the future' in contemporary philosophy and cultural criticism. My research thus focuses on the following set of questions. What can we learn about the operations of future construction through encounters with post-cinematic art? How are futures and future construction framed in such art? What realisms do future constructions rely on? And how can anticipation as a cultural technique be politicized and democratized?
Supervisor: Webber, Andrew Sponsor: Gates Cambridge Scholarship ; AHRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: media studies ; philosophy ; post-cinema ; enactment ; film studies ; futures ; anticipation ; speculation ; Farocki ; Steyerl ; Beloufa ; Flusser ; Derrida ; extrapolation ; Barad ; cultural techniques ; future construction ; future scenarios ; foresight ; prediction ; regimes of prediction ; hypo-realism ; hyper-realism ; futurity ; soft montage ; rendering ; epiphany ; apophenia ; precarity ; documentary theory ; digitalization ; reality production ; image technologies ; testing ; realism ; critique