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Computation, concept-formation, and the cinematic

Activity: Talk/lecture or presentationPresentation

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Public research presentation organized by the London School of Film, Media, and Design of the University of West London.

Contemporary culture is characterized by the widespread applications of methods, concepts, and theorems from mathematical research, for instance in the fields of bio-informatics, economics, and computer vision. This presentation investigates the possibilities that mathematical algorithms open up for cinema studies and experimental moving image art. It considers the cinematic phenomenon from a broad perspective that integrates scientific, aesthetic, and philosophical concepts and methods.

This approach demands wide interdiscplinarity, the radical reconfiguration of existing artistic production and research practices through the transfer of knowledge across diverse academic disciplines. More specifically, the introduction of algorithms into cinema studies, as well as experimental moving image art production, has the potential substantially to transform both of those practices.

This idea will be presented in the context of two ongoing art and research projects. The first project revolves around the concept of an “entropic envelope”, a mathematical description of the changing amount of relative visual information in cinematic sequences. This project integrates the philosophical idea of a temporal object, borrowed from the phenomenology of Husserl and Stiegler, with formal techniques derived from mathematical information theory.

The second project investigates artistic and theoretical applications of the mathematical theory of approximation. More specifically, it consists of a series of works that involve the decomposition and reconstruction of audiovisual material. The key idea in these projects is the formation, through the application of computational techniques, of visual dictionaries for the representation of image, sound, and motion in the cinema.

The common ground of these two projects consists in the following idea: that the eruption of computational technologies in cinema studies and experimental video has the potential to offer a new vehicle for the formation of new concepts and new frameworks of knowledge representation.

Research Unit / Event Journal/Book Series

External organisation (Academic)

NameThe London School of Film, Media and Design, University of West London
PlaceUnited Kingdom