10th Oct

Research in Progress Presentations

Sally Bream – The Ethereal, the Metaphysical in Photographs of the Landscape

The occasions when a place seems to look “out of its body”, or feels strange and otherworldly is expressed in photographic works such as “Between Dog and Wolf” by Chrystel Lebas (2005).  The idea of a moment in time and place, when a space becomes charged with a sense of being more than itself, feels as if it is of another world, is identified as the idea of “optical flow” or the “theory of affordance” by J.J. Gibson (1950).  Can a photograph record a ‘spectral moment’ in the English landscape?

Russell Pearce – “Files created with third-party software may not work” – Derrida and his disruptive influence 

In this paper, I set out to explore how I look to the early work of Jacques Derrida, and his work on the nature of writing, as I attempt to make sense of the impact of the adoption of electronic documents for literary reading. Starting from “The End of the Book and the Beginning of Writing”, and reflecting on the nature of the sense of completion granted a text through the process of making it into a book, I discuss the differences present to the reader of a text, which due to the different cycle of production, might appear to be not-complete in any traditional sense. Further I reflect on the cycle of production provided by Amazon and the “Kindle Direct Publishing” service. Finally, I describe how the experiences shared by participants as part of the ethnographic research into the practices of people who have adopted the eReader, might be understood as a response to being in a era of cultural transition.

UPDATE 22nd Oct 2012:

Thanks to Russell and Sally for their presentations, and to everybody who came along and asked some great questions and gave some thoughtful feedback (and mysteriously only managed to get through one single bottle wine between you!).

RECORDING: A low battery in the dictaphone meant that we were only able to record Russell’s paper (sorry Sally!) which can be found on Study Direct in the section “MFM Research Event Recordings”

LIVE TWEETS:  Our own Holly Chard and Russell Pearce posted some live tweets during the seminar:

Tweets from Holly Chard @johnhughesphd

2nd @mfmphds seminar about to start – Up first @ruse #mfmphds

Reminders: #nitrateunderground screening next week &@sussexreshive event tomorrow – goodie bags & free drinks#mfmphds

Plug for World Picture Conference, University of Sussex, 2-3 November 2012. Free for #mfmphds See poster/website for details.Expand

Now for Russell. (@ruse) Hitting us with #derrida from the start.#mfmphds

Printing the book renders the book complete. #derrida discusses the “destruction of the book”. Book as concept and book as object.#mfmphds

Russell’s research looks at how the unbound text changes the nature of literature. #mfmphds

Books are the products of digital processes of production – Since the 1980s. Many of the master texts are the same #mfmphds

Issues of copyright & “literary piracy”. Not new problems – it was difficult in the past to control copyright. #mfmphds

Notice how I’m tweeting all history and no theory. Possibly a bit of a misrepresentation of Russell’s paper. @ruse #mfmphds

Purchasing ebooks. Removal of the object from the cycle of production may lead to a sense of loss. Replaced with service structure #mfmphds

Maybe losing ebooks to history is a good thing… #fiftyshadesofgrey#mfmphds

Readers buy multiple copies of favourite books – “real” as well as ebooks. #mfmphds

Discussions focusing on the book as object. Memories, care, possession #mfmphds

Point from Vicky re: libraries = access to book as object but not permanent possession (unless you stealnit) #mfmphds

Distinction between manuscripts and books. Boundaries increasingly blurred? #mfmphds


*five* minute break. Time for crisps. #mfmphds


First year PhDs are introducing themselves. Lots of keen newbies#mfmphds


Now for Sally Bream’s paper #mfmphds

Can a photograph record a spectral moment in the English landscape? #mfmphds

Light can make sites feel otherworldly, like a theatrical set. #mfmphds

Chrystel Lebas ‘Between Dog And Wolf’. Relationship between the photographer and the view. #mfmphds

Exposure time of a couple of hours. Can the camera see more than the eye? #walterbenjamin #mfmphds

What the photographer imagines influences the final image.#mfmphds

Display of photographs in galleries – similar to theatrical presentation#mfmphds

Capturing colour. The importance of light. #mfmphds

Does the landscape have a character or a spirit? Resonances with culture #mfmphds

Photographs as documentary evidence subdued fantasies. No more fairies. #mfmphds

“Optical flow” #mfmphds

Optical flow – the eyes in a painting follow the spectator. A bit like the paintings in Scooby Doo? #mfmphds

Scooby Doo my point, not Sally’s (just to be clear)… #lowculture#mfmphds

The tone in the room has remained appropriately intellectual. Twitter – not so much. #mfmphds

Michael Lawrence: Photography could be seen to support ideas of the supernatural and otherworldly. #mfmphds

Vicky’s just cracked out the modernism. #mfmphds

That’s it for tonight. Thanks to both presenters. Time to go to the bar.#mfmphds

Tweets from Russell Pearce @ruse

Chrystel Lebas work of Finland, evocative twilight images #mfmphds

Two hour exposures, slow curing of the film. #mfmphds

The stillness of the scandinavian evening. No trees are blurred by a breeze. #mfmphds

Can a photo replicate the feeling of being in a place? Moods in our imaginations? #mfmphds

Did the photograph subdue the Victorian Romantics? #mfmphds

Optical flow and offordances. Gestalt therapy interjects in reading of objects as well as reading of books.

Questions: phenomenology and embodied experience in Flow

Scooby Do tweet just made me swallow a snort #mfmphds

Live tweeting may become more sporadic in the bar… #mfmphds

Sally Bream is discussing images of Finland called Dog and Wolf #mfmphds

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