The first year of my terminal degree involved regular graduate coursework. I wasn't thrilled by the requirement, but made the most of the experience by adamantly weaving personal philosophy into all of my submitted work. Due to the liberties that I took, I am considering all of this work to be prolegomenon for a larger project and all of this written work should be considered "drafts". As always, you can visit my profile on Academia.edu to read these papers, or stay here.
Abstract: Worth noting, is that Wall-Romana relies heavily on biographical explanatory arguments for constructing his historiographical model and that this seems genuinely at odds with his over-zealous advocacy of post-structuralist methods such as hermeneutics, post-structuralist ontology such as corporeality, as well as, post-structuralist theories such as, queer theory and affect theory. From a traditional biographical argument, Wall-Romana presents Abel Gance as planting a seed in Epstein for the latter’s later flourishes of philosophical poetry in the cinematic milieux, however Wall-Romana also claims that Epstein’s queerness was rigourously individualized articulating Epstein’s oeuvre in profoundly unique ways. Gance is an author inscribing Epstein, yet Epstein is paradoxically erasing those inscriptions to produce his work from a state of tabula rasa. We can provide Wall-Romana will a modest amount of leeway given that the crux of his thesis regards Epstein’s gravitational flux at a crossroads in the discourse of cinematic epistemology. A real problem arises when Wall-Romana is unable to properly theorize whether the crossroads constitutes a bundle of things or the frayed ends of a single thing, in a phenomenological sense for the understanding of cinematic epistemology. I will elaborate on these ideas later in this paper.
Abstract: Balazs was theorizing a phenomenological epistemology for cinema based in aesthetics that was heavily dependent on hermeneutics, affect, performance, corporeality and audience reception. In some ways this is very surprising given that post-structuralism’s most prominent forefather figures (Marshall McLuhan, Raymond Williams, Michel Foucault, Jean Baudrillard, and others) were not pushing at the frontier of these areas of discourse until several decades after Balazs. Balazs’s early work was produced during a period of accelerated technological development, where the mobile apparatus (or unhinged camera), stereoscopic film, colour film, widescreen format and synchronous sound emerged as more than just experiments in advancing the medium’s capacities to represent and present life, both realistically or abstractly. This may help in explaining Balazs’s many prognostications on film theory in the contemporary moment as well as revealing how Balazs accurately predicted the value of the medium as a popular cultural form.
Abstract: When an average consumer of media believes that they have a right to information, but that paying for such access is correct, then media industry is sustainable, however, rapid technological advancement in formats for media content can shift the equilibrium in balancing these competing cultural values. If the industry cannot compel the consumer in believing that a new technological format has significantly altered the economic value of the media text, then the consumer may resist - or reject - paying multiple times for access to the same creative content. I would suggest, and intend to show, that “technological amnesia” facilitates a “schizophrenic decoding” of meaning for media access, such that average consumers readily participate in a pirate market and that this form of decoding meaning has its roots in the history of legal development for copyright law.
Abstract: Actor-Network Theory attempts to set aside issues of internalism versus externalism. I would suggest that a subject and object articulate meaning in discourse very differently, such that it presents a problem for ANT. A thinking thing constructs meaning through F.A.C.E (formation, articulation, contemplation, and expression). An idea is formed through stimuli (perceptual, imagination, memory, or combinations of those categories). The idea is articulated within the mind through its faculties. The articulated idea is checked for coherence, such that mental glossolalia will not be expressed (those with dissociative mental conditions, withstanding). If the articulated idea is coherent then it is expressed as a notion or concept. The notion will have to go through the FACE process of meaning-production once more to become a concept. The notion implies some form of novelty whereby the mind articulating it must show how it fits into pre-existing discourse in order to become a concept. Meaning is produced by minds through a process such as FACE (this is the process I am offering). A process such as this constructs a spatiotemporal register dynamically and because of the checks on coherence, it could be argued that the process by which subjects articulate meaning is inherently based in dialectics (contemplation is a synthetic stage, converting notions to concepts is a synthetic process). Objects do not construct meaning through a process such as FACE, as the object need not prove to itself that it is rational prior to expression. As such, I have serious reservations on the viability of ANT as a methodology for explaining how meaning is produced in discourse.
This was notes for a short presentation on McLuhan and his Laws of Media
an attempt to synthesize Barthesian notions of myth with Williams's theories on hegemony and construct that product as a foundation for the perpetual development of Cultural Studies, envisioned by Stuart Hall.
The Virtual is Corked: Dynamic and Schizophrenic Modes of Meaning-Production in the Spatiotemporal Register of the Virtual as an Interstitial Semiotic Space
Abstract: The schizophrenic modes of meaning-production for the virtual arise from it being an interstitial space that mediates instead of inertly connecting that which it signifies. Virtuality is a discursive formation rife with active and plural signification – signification that is constantly in flux. Lessig’s virtual Social Contract – or, Lex Informatica – is the code that would produce referentiality between sender and receiver when a digital object signifies through the virtual. Without the Lex Informatica, the virtual is corked. In oenology (or the study and science of wine and wine-making), “corking” is a process whereby a wine is said to go bad. Corking does not refer to a situation where particles of cork float in the wine, but rather where a natural fungi that may reside in cork, comes in contact with certain chlorides present in sterilization products used in wine-making. A chemical compound called TCA is produced (Gorman-McAdams). This “cork taint” chemical becomes an interstitial element for the wine and cork while redefining and controlling the meaning of each. Virtuality as semiosis - or the virtual as a semiotic spatiotemporal register - becomes the digital taint for a digital object’s machine meaning and meaning in language (the engineering register and linguistic register, respectively). Virtuality is a virulent “chemical” that brings about Chun’s “visual culture” and the fetish of “transparency”, but this virulence need not necessitate neo-luddite reactions.