Soft Cinema
November 17, 2005 2:53 AM   Subscribe

Soft Cinema is a software+video project by media-theorist Lev Manovich, which 'mines the creative possibilities at the intersection of software culture, cinema, and architecture.' While perhaps more intriguing in prospect than in practice, it seems at least a noteworthy attempt at making something new. A DVD version of the project was released earlier this year.
posted by misteraitch (8 comments total)
'mines the creative possibilities at the intersection of software culture, cinema, and architecture.'

*eyes glaze over*
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:29 AM on November 17, 2005

I may be out of line, but I think Lev manovich is kind of a hack. I thought the hype died when people started actually reading 'the language of new media.' And realized it was opaque, pseudo-scientific posturing.
posted by torregrassa at 7:34 AM on November 17, 2005

I've seen Lev Manovich speak on a panel, but was unfortunately in undergrad at the time(s), so I'm not sure if my BS detector was adequately calibrated. Actually, even though I used to be into this field, went to a few conferences, subscribed to ctheory and rhizome, I'm a little skeptical. A lot of the work seems exciting, but the rest of it seems like the academic equivalent of mid-90s Internet utopianism or postmodernism by people who've never played a video game before. What new media books would you recommend? Should I read my copy of _How we became Posthuman_ that I bought six or seven yrs ago?
posted by kensanway at 8:35 AM on November 17, 2005

Oh UCSD visual arts. What paradigms won't you shift.
posted by plexiwatt at 8:52 AM on November 17, 2005

The world needs pretentious theorists to fail so that others can take what doesn't work in their experiments and use it for better, more interesting things.
posted by david wester at 11:56 AM on November 17, 2005

I wouldn't read how we became posthuman. Katherine Hayles is equally as silly. I find her and manovich to be desiccating the subject material--they represent the academy's recuperation of what is really ripe field of study/art/etc. I think the CAE, deleuze, or even the Krokers provide a more accurate interpretation of what is happening to aesthetics, politics, biology, etc. following the inital waves of computerization.
posted by torregrassa at 12:13 PM on November 17, 2005

he might be posthuman, but his site still uses frames.
posted by johnny novak at 1:56 AM on November 18, 2005

Aye.. tend to agree with the sentiments from torregrassa .. Manovich had some useful points to deliver in his language of new media book i felt, but there were also many ways in which he seemed to drain new media of what was exciting about it.. and he seemed to mostly ignore sound, preferring to reference everything in terms of cinema... his writing and practice have dry merits, but there are much juicier practitioners and articulaters out there to connect with...

what merit his book had though, is missing from a recent article of his about 'remix culture', offering only a series of banal points long after they have been made elsewhere many times over... some of the commenters thankfully take him to task over it...

as for new media reading ? - the net-time mailing list is worth subscribing to and scanning for the one very interesting post / thread u get in every 30 or 40 messages....

oh and yes - it was my 'lukewarm review' mentioned above...;-)
posted by jeanpoole at 5:51 PM on November 20, 2005

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