[csaa-forum] Laura Marks lecture at UTS in October

Tara Forrest Tara.Forrest at uts.edu.au
Mon Sep 8 16:56:00 CST 2008

The Writing and Society Research Group, UWS
and Transforming Cultures, UTS present

Laura Marks (Simon Fraser University, Vancouver) on
"Baroque fascination in casino movies and Safavid carpets"

Monday 27 October
Drinks at 5.30pm in the foyer
Seminar to commence at 6.00pm

Room 2.4.11 (Building 2, Level 4, Theatre 411)
UTS city campus, Broadway
campus map: http://www.uts.edu.au/about/mapsdirections/bway.html

Nature is not the source of beauty in either Islamic art or digital  
media. Rather beauty consists in the delight of artifice.  
Conventionally, Islamic art should not invent but show connections  
among parts of God's creation. Similarly, digital media, particularly  
what Sean Cubitt calls the neo-Baroque cinema, creates an algorithmic  
world like the closed world of contemporary corporate capitalism.

As eleventh-century Iranian literary theorist and theologian Abd al- 
Qahir Al-Jurjani wrote, aesthetic pleasure results from the  
revelation of hitherto unseen relationships: "Human nature is so  
created, and human instinctive and innate qualities are such, that  
when something appears whence it is not usually expected to appear,  
and when it emerges from a source that is not its usual one, the soul  
feels deeper fondness of, and greater affection for it." The genre of  
casino films depicts a world of baffling complexity whose internal  
relationships are fascinating to comprehend but impossible to master.  
In the development of casino movies from the original "Ocean's  
Eleven" (1960) to "Croupier" (1998) to the genre's masterwork,  
Scorsese's "Casino" (1995), we observe a gradual shift in focus from  
human and moral issues to the complex network of relationships  
between the casino's financial system and the underworld and criminal  
systems interlaced with it. In the neo-Baroque film cycle "Ocean's  
Eleven" (2001) to "Ocean's Thirteen" (2007), moral questions and  
narrative openness drop out in favor of an amoral yet pleasing closed  

I compare these films to the development of carpet styles in  
fourteenth to sixteenth-century Safavid Iran. Fourteenth-century  
carpet weavers developed a method of layering up to four decorative  
schemes for a three-dimensional effect. This "stratigraphic" method  
culminates in late-sixteenth century Persian carpets. Organic  
relationships are foregone in favor of a baffling complexity. A  
beautiful Persian carpet appeals to both intellect, in the complexity  
of its pattern, and senses, in its textures and colors, and so does a  
good neo-Baroque film.

All welcome. RSVP/info a.rutherford at uws.edu.au

Dr. Laura U. Marks is a scholar, theorist, and curator of independent  
and experimental media arts. Always interested in intercultural art  
and experience, she is currently researching relationships between  
classical Islamic art and new media art for a book prospectively  
titled "Enfoldment and Infinity: An Islamic Genealogy of New Media  
Art." She is the author of "The Skin of the Film: Intercultural  
Cinema, Embodiment, and the Senses" (Duke UP, 2000), "Touch: Sensuous  
Theory and Multisensory  Media" (Minnesota UP, 2002), and many  
essays. She has curated programs of experimental media for festivals  
and art spaces worldwide. Dr. Marks is the Dena Wosk University  
Professor of Art and Culture Studies at Simon Fraser University,  
Vancouver. www.sfu.ca/~lmarks

Dr. Tara Forrest
Senior Lecturer, Cultural Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
University of Technology, Sydney
PO Box 123 Broadway NSW
Australia 2007
Phone: +61 2 95142182

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://bronzewing.cdu.edu.au/pipermail/csaa-forum/attachments/20080908/4b39d71c/attachment.html 

More information about the csaa-forum mailing list