We live in hallucinatory times. The distinction between imagination and perception, on which understandings of reality are based, seem to be collapsing everywhere in our hyper-mediated environment. What is the relationship between visual images, mental representations, and perception? Can the conjunction of hallucination and cinema help us explore these realms?
Hallucinations are considered to be illusions – dysfunctional, pathological – in a way that experiences of projected images are not. Yet for some time now, cultural theorists have forwarded concepts such as phantasmagoria, simulacra and the hyper-real that complicate the reality of illusions and the illusion of reality. Media theorists claim that cinema is an illusion-forming medium while others have explored the proximity of dreams, visions and cinema.
This conference will convene in the productive space of the overlaps between cinematic image-rendering and hallucinations. Aside from depictions of one in the other, how do hallucinations and cinema relate? What do we get when we cross one with the other? Or are they already crossed? The panel will explore the role of other kinds of illusion-forming media, such as plants and dreams, in the making, writing and production of films; the movie theater as a synaesthetic space; the possibility that images – hallucinatory or otherwise – affect the body in ways that might be considered curative or, the opposite, in ways that produce psychosis.
Please RSVP your attendance here.
Participants: Richard Doyle, Tarek Elhaik, Abou Farman, Yulan Grant, Ute Holl, Chrissie Iles, Nicolas Langlitz, Angelica Ortiz de Gortari, Anand Pandian, Jenny Perlin, Genevieve Yue
Sponsored by NSSR Dean’s Office, Department of Anthropology