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archives begin in 1996


"Beyond Spatial Montage" part 1 of 6

story © Michael Betancourt | published November 4, 2014 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

theory: working notes

This theory work will be published as a book-length monograph Beyond Spatial Montage: Windowing, or, the Cinematic Displacement of Time, Motion, and Space by Focal Press.

Part 1 of a 6 Part series proposing an expanded theorization of spatial montage, excerpted from a current book project.


Links Between Time, Motion, and Space

​The typical cinematic image (either in long take or montage form) appears in the absence of additional constraints: the pure form of Motion is the long take (undisplaced movement contained by the long take); montage/editing are each a pure form of Temporal displacement, apparent through the ruptures created by the cut; the pure form of Spatial displacement lies with the use of multiple projectiona use that forms a range lying between apparently discrete screens and the composite screen produced by aligning the edges of one projector with another as in cinemascope or Able Gances Napoleon. Distinguishing between time, motion, and space in a theoretically precise manner allows for a more robust theorization of windowing: the distinction between one dimension and another is instantly apparent in the affect resulting from watching the motion picture itself. Each of these dimensions can be readily distinguished from the others through our encounter with it on screen: the affect it has determines its location within this taxonomy.

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Signal Culture Cookbook is now Available

story © Michael Betancourt | published October 27, 2014 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print


The Signal Culture Cookbook is now available!

Initial information about the Cookbook can be found here and the e-book can be ordered here in exchange for a $25 contribution (of which $20 is tax deductible). Youll notice on the same page links for purchase of the Experimental Television Center Early Media Instruments 8 DVD set. People may also click a tab to make a donation without receiving anything in return.

I have a short article in this book, so I encourage everyone to buy many copies!

Digital Capitalism talk on YouTube

story © Michael Betancourt | published September 30, 2014 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print


Value and Use Value (a note)

story © Michael Betancourt | published September 22, 2014 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print


A transformation in the nature of currency reflects underlying shifts in the nature of value production: the dominance of semiotic production has produced a shift in the function of currency from its historical foundation in preserving past labor (value) to being a lien against future production (a debt that acts to set labor in motion). This change in the nature of productionthe rise of semiosis that is the primary technique of digital capitalismhas come to dominate value and the organization of labor, with the concomitant effect on the nature of currency. The shift this change entails is a rupture with both classically conceived value and Karl Marxs own set of basic assumptions about the organization of labor. In these historical views value resides with labor already performedpreserved in the commodities thus generated, and whose value is linked to the use value that the commodity has. This construction brings human wants, needs and desires into the framework of valorization both directly (through the functional role of the commodity) and indirectly (through the consumers desire for the commodity, quite apart from its uses).

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OtherZine Issue 27: FRAME LINES is Out!

story © Michael Betancourt | published September 14, 2014 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print


OtherZine 27 is now out!. I have an article in this issue, Motion Pictures- An Expanded Framework, that is a discussion of "formal" approaches to motion pictures.