Reading ‘n Writing

I bought two new books this week – both of which should have already been on my bookshelf. Mind you, the list in my “to buy later” section of amazon is a little old and a little long. Nonetheless, I am looking forward to reading (in full) Andrew Darley’s Visual Digital Culture: Surface Play and Spectacle in New Media Genres and Anne Friedberg’s Window Shopping: Cinema and the Postmodern. I have read other works by Friedberg and quite enjoy her writing style, so I think it will be a fun book to go through.

In ‘writing’ news, I am working on piecing together something comprehensible for my advisor to see where I am at in terms of my thesis outline, research direction, and relevant reading notes. The trouble for me is that I am having a hard time knowing where to begin (towards comprehensibility). I have always been the type to flounder in chaos until the the moment the dam breaks and I become incredibly productive – but working towards breaking that dam is always the hardest challenge I seem to face. While I have always been one to take as many classes as I could, and load up my schedule, the course on the figure that I am taking is pre-occupying me (in a good way). There is alot of reading weekly (as any PhD course should be) and since alot of it is new to me (damn me for switching disciplines at this stage! lol) I am finding it alot of work to go from reading as new information (sponging up everything I reading) and being able to approach the readings with a critical mind. I do think in the end, come December, it will all come together. I see alot of material in this course (and area of study) that could be very useful for some parts of my thesis.

Last year, I had commented a few times about how my program often talked about the “death of cinema” at the merciless hands of the digital (sometimes directly, sometimes this was my impression of the paradigmic shfts we discussed…). Last week, I read an article that, while seeming painfully familiar, I really enjoyed. Thomas Elsaesser’s “The New Film History as Media Archeology” in the journal Cinémas. For me, it is refreshing to talk about change in technology from a non-linear perspective, and to approach the introduction of new technologies simply as movement – but not necessarily negative (or positive).. just .. different .. Thats not quite what Elsaesser says, but I walked away from reading that article feeling satisfied with the direction the article was headed.

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