SOCIETAL CHALLENGES Lectures 2023
Cloud Culture: Cinema, Digital Modernity and the Archive
27 April 2023, 14:00-15:30 CET
In the 21st century, the social horizon is mediated through the innovations of the computer age, and the field of culture is increasingly shifting to the digital realm. The emergent digital modernity is shaped by the concerns and monopolizing business practices of a few behemoth corporations while its technological foundations recast forms of cultural production, distribution and reception in various and often radical ways. Nowhere is this more evident than in contemporary cinema where the streaming of visual culture along new global pathways has transformed the filmic artifact into a cloud-based virtual entity, to be summoned at will into a domestic consumer environment.This talk will address these shifts in modern film culture in the context of the archive and ask how, moving forward, we can navigate cultural imperatives such as the preservation of film history and the continued and ensured accessibility of the filmic artifact in the face of planned (and unplanned) digital obsolescence, ephemerality and the corporate ownership of the digital cultural realm.
Björn Þór Vilhjálmsson received his doctorate in Critical Literary and Cinema Studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and holds a joint appointment in Comparative Literature and Film Studies at the University of Iceland, where he is an Associate Professor. Björn has published widely on film and literature, and his research areas include the formalist, cognitive and phenomenological reception of film, the history of film distribution, screenings and censorship, and theater studies. More recently, Björn‘s research interests have shifted towards new media, digital technologies and digital cultural industries in the 21st century.