Accepted paper:

Techno-materiality in Cinema: The Skin of the Televisual

Author:

Shaunak Sen (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper attempts to chase the techno-material culture primarily in its movement through the cinematic. For this it focuses exclusively on the object of the Television and a larger predicative idea of televisuality.

Paper long abstract:

The contemporary moment in India has seen growing aggregates of the country's population accommodate and get entwined into increasingly technologized models of experience. This proliferation has precipitated various material changes, and the technological is now a seamless and integral part of the 'material flesh' of the everyday through mundane technological objects like televisions, cell phones and other electronic devices. This paper attempts to chase this techno-material culture primarily in its movement through the cinematic. For this it focuses exclusively on the object of the Television and a larger predicative idea of televisuality. The preponderant TV screens that are fast becoming ubiquitous in urban spaces, give rise to a new kind of a sensorium. In this new electronic topology, the immaterial lapses into the material; distant events become immediate and tactile, architectural surfaces cease to be opaque as walls get increasingly inscribed by screens; and the city goes from being a geographical space to an etherized entity dispersed and accessed via a multitude of screens. This paper looks specifically at four films - 'Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost'(2003), 'Zinda' (2006), Peepli Live (2010) and 'Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani' (2000) to stage a discussion on different aspects of televisuality. The first two films provide complex instances of the development of a sensuous, corporeal-ized, haptic-visual engagement with the Television image. Peepli Live and 'Phir Bhi…'on the other hand are mobilized to think of cinema's negotiation with the enduring television event at the face of a new emergent urban media-sensorium.

panel P27
Cinema matters: the changing film object in a globalizing world