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Title: Exit through the crisis : essayistic futurisms and the expanded essay film
Authors: Coram, Jeremy David
Issue Date: 2023
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: My research contribution considers alternative artistic essayistic practices as a step towards widening the dominant research focus on the single channel essay film. I address this gap through a practice-led inquiry with two starting points: 1. Why expand the essay film and why now? Or what is the contemporary personal-social aesthetic-political significance of the expanded essay film form? And 2. To what extent do expanded essay forms operate critically on the inter-relation of the human condition with instances of crisis under Capitalist Realism? With these starting points in mind, this project is not an investigation to try to re-define the essay as a form, rather, how should we produce essays in our current personal-techno aesthetic-political climate, and where might creative criticality and radical essayistic praxis for alternative futures exist? I have structured my thesis in three ‘zones' with opening and closing discussions that support a body of creative practice produced over six years. My thesisfocuses on five works created during this period: The Golden Record, The De-realisation Effect, Lorraine, Capteur, and The Black Prince, and is an episodic critique, respecting the central inquiry of the research: the essay form. My theoretical framework is built on Nora Alter’s concept of crisis in relation to the essay film, Walter Benjamin’s theory of translation, Theodor Adorno’s theory on the essay form, and Ludwig Wittgenstein’s theory of family resemblance. Mark Fisher’s concept of capitalist realism is central to my discussion, and I draw on Jacques Derrida’s concept of hauntology. In Zone 1, Locating the Meta-morph, I use The Golden Record and The Derealisation effect as starting points to discuss the essay as a shape shifting form, a meta-morph, and consider the meta-essayistic praxis I developed for my practice-led research. In Zone 2, Essayistic Futurisms, I use Lorraine to think through the essay form as an open cinematic architecture and consider spatial temporal relations in the essay interstice and essayistic zone for essayistic futurisms. In Zone 3, Encountering Capitalist ‘sur’ Realism, I use Capteur to discuss the entanglement of hauntology, trauma, and memory as crisis in essayistic practices and consider how the essay form can encounter Capitalist Realism through play. My conclusion, Exit through the Crisis, uses The Black Prince, to discuss working with the expanded essay form as a post-hauntological structure to open essayistic futurisms.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Arts and Cultures

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