Tracks of Light: The Heterogeneous Materiality of Cinema Image

By Andrea C. Scansani.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: January 15, 2016 $US5.00

The frontier between materiality and incorporeity is illusory. One depends upon the other. That is evident for some thinkers such as Espinoza, Goethe, Bergson, Merleau-Ponty, and Bateson among so many others. At the same time, researches on cinema image underestimate its very material basis carved by light inside an embodied camera. The purpose of this paper is to bring to attention the eminently material aspects of the photographic image in order to contribute to the study of cinema through a broader view. We believe that this field still requires approaches that go beyond the dichotomy between technique and theory and conceive their method from the inevitable imbrication of the two. Thus photography can act as a weighing instrument on this evidence, once constituted by the dual path of Science and Art, hybrid knowledge and a bridge between two disparate modes of thought. The recognition of materiality as a core part of the image, leads our paper to the works of Jean Epstein and Gilbert Simondon to think about the role of the organisms, which constitute the primal photographic image in cinema. Through the interlacing movements between practical and theoretical reflections we will draw some paths on the dynamic of this illusory polarity over eminently material aspects of film image. Centered in the role of the camera—as liaison from the bodies of the world and the constitution of the image physicality—we will investigate the dance between an embodied camera and its surroundings to demonstrate the potentials of photography beyond its common and widespread task to reproduce images.

Keywords: Cinema, Image, Materiality, Light, Photography

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 7, Issue 2, June, 2016, pp.1-8. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: January 15, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 465.690KB)).

Andrea C. Scansani

Teacher, Cinema Department/Audiovisual Department, UFSC, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil