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Big Data goes to the movies: Reshaping cinema studies

Big DataEvery discipline has a metaphorical geography that delineates the shape and course of its intellectual itineraries. Cinema Studies is no exception. In reflecting on the ways in which our scholarly explorations might be experienced as expressions of, and interactions with, surfaces, spaces, situations and speeds we might ask, what are the particular perspectives and projections that delineate our paths to knowledge. And more importantly, how might they be reshaped.

How might our enquiries go beyond describing and analyzing, beyond “figuring things out”, and become instead a type of engagement that grapples with the urgent imperative for intervention. Specifically, how might our enquiries of film distribution respond directly to the broader political need for new strategies of re-distribution.

These questions are no more pressing and more possible than in the contemporary disciplinary entanglements and encounters afforded by working with Big Data. This presentation will examine the kinomatics project (, a study of big cinema data. With its monumental detail, the big data of the kinomatics project gives expression to “frictions of contingent articulation” (Anna Tsing) through iteration of the uneven actualization of capitalist-cultural and globalist forms. Rather than recommending a singular, universal version of global, the kinomatics project presents alternative narrative and visual propositions for how to refigure the social, cultural and economic landscapes that shape contemporary cinema practices and our relationship to them.

Professor Deb Verhoeven is Associate Dean of Engagement and Innovation at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). She is Director of the Kinomatics Project, an interdisciplinary study of cinema data.

Date Friday, 29 September 2017
Time 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Audience Public
Event Category Humanities
Event Type Seminar
DepartmentMedia, Film and Communication

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