by Louis Armand
ISBN 978-80-7308-589-6 (paperback) 280pp (full colour)
Publication date: December 2015
Price: € 12.00 (not including postage)
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VIDEOLOGY is Louis Armand’s broad-ranging critique of realism in film, visual arts and literature. From Nam June Paik’s experimental TV to the subversive cinema of Alejandro Jodorowsky, Miike Takashi & Leos Carax; from Naked Lunch to the Cyberfeminist Manifesto; from film noir to the “murder of the Real.”
Videology is the first volume of a 3-part critique of the ideology of realism across the culture industry, from literature to film, cybernetics and the plastic arts. Its broadly “syncretic” approach follows the models of Marshall McLuhan, Buckminster Fuller, Karel Teige, and others, and is in keeping with the “interdiscisplinarity” of the historical avant-gardes and the project of modernity itself.
The term “videology” therefore covers a nexus of aesthetic/ideological forms – from Jeremy Bentham’s “Panopticon” and the widespread emergence of image technologies during the industrial revolution (photography, cinema), to “Big Bother,” “virtual reality,” and the discourse of post-humanism. Consequently, this study is broadly focused upon discourses of modernity/postmodernity and their contemporary ramifications in the work of experimental (anti-realist/avant-garde) writers, artists, architects, filmmakers, philosophers and theorists – including, for example, Stelarc’s robo-prosthetic performance art, Karel Teige’s ciné-poetics, Robert Smithson’s “future monuments,” Isidore Isou’s hypergraphy, the video art of Nam June Paik, the films of Jean-Luc Godard, and more.
In this context, “realism” is considered an instrument of cultural normalisation, co-evolving with the advent of mass literacy, global communications systems and simulacral technologies – designed to synthesise (by way of genre and “identity politics”) and (as an extension of humanism) to sentimentalise the broader abstractive processes of industrial modernity into an operative cultural framework: a framework, in other words, of commodification.
Includes essays on David Lynch, Marc Atkins, Christian Louboutin; Philippe Sollers, Anthony Braxton, Robert Smithson; Lettrism; Blade Runner; David Cronenberg, Terry Gilliam; John Waters, Derek Jarman, Peter Greenaway, Ken Russell; Billy Wilder, John Huston, Howard Hawks; Jean-Luc Godard; Dusan Makavejev; Robert Coover, Hunter S. Thompson; William Gibson, Stelarc, Nina Sellars, Shu Lea Cheang, Linda Dement, Megumi Igarashi.
Louis Armand is the author of eight novels, including The Combinations (2016), & author of critical volumes including The Organ-Grinder’s Monkey: Culture After the Avant-Garde (2013). His screenplay Clair Obscur received honourable mention at the 2009 Trieste International Film Festival. He directs the Centre for Critical & Cultural Theory at Charles University, Prague, & edits the international arts magazine VLAK.