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1.
Mobility media : an archaeology of the photographic ID document
Eszter Polónyi, 2023, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: Mobility, in the sense of freedom of persons choosing to move or reside in a state in which they have no prior citizenship, was one of the four original “freedoms” defined in the treaty that ratified European Union member states in 1957.1 In the past decade, this particular freedom, the freedom of movement, appears to have become significantly eroded. Mobility in the sense of migration, that is, mobility of persons for reasons of residency or employment, has become a point of contention among member states that it has divided more than unified, with measures affecting immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers featuring at the core of recent electoral agendas. Certain member states’ deterrence of the mobility of migrants from outside the EU has resulted in the return to protocols and practices of controlling movement into and out of sovereign territories, among the most conspicuous of which has been the re-establishment of a – by now largely defunct – network of nation-state borders. And while the reappearance of new walls, barricades and barbed wiring alongside certain nation-state borders since the mid-2010s have made headlines, there have been other measures with less press and physical visibility that have been set in place to manage and enforce mobility.2 The photographic identity document, meaning a document of state-issued identity certification, has become one such mobility management measure.
Keywords: cultural history, migration studies, history of art, history of visual culture, media archaeology, media studies
Published in RUNG: 12.02.2024; Views: 526; Downloads: 0
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2.
Between graphic arrangement and film: Thom Andersen’s Flicker
Polonyi Eszter, 2021, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Abstract: When the California-based filmmaker Thom Andersen made his documentary Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer in 1973-4, he recovered an aspect of Muybridge’s work that most viewers had not seen before. Projected on the screen at the top of the theater, these iconic nineteenth-century chronophotographs were allegedly first seen in movement. Viewers could watch as his half-clad and nude subjects lifted water buckets, walked up and down stairs, ran, stood, heaved, threw, jumped, crawled and kicked. Throughout the film, Andersen shows each action multiple times, so that an athlete, for instance, leaps his hurdle firstly slowly, then at increasing speeds. Almost none of the sequences appear in the tempo in which they might have taken place in front of the camera. And, despite this being omitted from reviews, many of the passages drop to frame rates below the minimum necessary to sustain the illusion of motion, dissolving Muybridge’s images in a pulsing, jagged flicker. If Andersen’s recovery of Muybridge’s image sequences continue to appear spectacular, this is because watching the motion studies suddenly lurch into moving images proves just how little their “movement” can be explained by a history of the “movies.” This paper examines Andersen’s film as a way into an alternate genealogy of the moving image provided through the phenomenon of the flicker. As has become increasingly clear with the publication of a recent anthology of his critical writings (Visible Press, 2017), Andersen was part of a generation of North American filmmaker whose practice and writing resonated with the academic critique of the film apparatus as it began to emerge from France in the 1960s and 1970s. The fixed temporal parameters of film consumption constituted a recurring consideration for Andersen, for whom “clocked” time literalized the destructiveness of capitalism’s “eternal present” (review of Christian Marclay’s The Clock, 2011). His recovery of Muybridge, for which a frame-by-frame projector allows Andersen to reconstruct what were this pre-cinematic recording systems’s famously arbitrary time intervals, is read within the context of such a critique but also of an emerging tradition of expanded cinema practice. To this effect, comparison is made between Andersen’s process and the efforts of Tony Conrad in the 1960s to research the frequencies at which human vision registers photocelluloid film’s flicker. Conrad’s ability to produce the flicker is ensured not by modification of the projector’s microtemporalities, which would have restricted the number of projectors on which he could show his flicker film, but through alterations at the level of the photocelluloid. Both Andersen and Conrad are shown to turn the basic apparatus into a rhythmic instrument by accessing its frame rates through what I argue is a graphic rather than filmic method.
Keywords: History of American cinema, avant-garde art, media archaeology, Eadweard Muybridge, Thom Andersen
Published in RUNG: 13.01.2023; Views: 1122; Downloads: 0
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3.
Agnes and Dora Bulwer's Photographs of Everyday Italians
Martina Caruso, 2022, independent scientific component part or a chapter in a monograph

Abstract: In the photographs of British sisters Agnes and Dora Bulwer taken at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, I argue for an early humanist vision of the peasants, children and workers that they photographed on their travels around Italy.
Keywords: History of photography, protohumanism, modernity, Italy, Roman Campagna, Abruzzo, archaeology, peasants, workers, Victorian, gender, women
Published in RUNG: 13.01.2023; Views: 1077; Downloads: 0
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4.
Women in Ruins: Agnes and Dora Bulwer's landscape photographs in Post-Risorgimento Italy
Martina Caruso, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: The British photographers Agnes Bulwer (1856– 1940) and her sister Dora Ellinor Bulwer (1864– 1948) left a legacy of circa 1300 photographs and 890 negatives, date from 1890 to 1913, to the British School at Rome. The photographs are principally of landscapes taken in Rome and the surrounding countryside (the Roman Campagna) but also further afield in Italy and abroad. Many include archaeological and natural sites as well as monuments, art works, and homes and gardens in urban or rural scenes. Their landscape photographs offer a perspective that challenged the existing masculine gaze as developed in landscape photography under the colonial project of the British Empire. Unfettered by the archaeologist’s need for ascetic facts, the Bulwers pioneered an unusual vision of landscape, inspired by the progressive international environment of post-Unification Italy. Agnes and Dora Bulwer often photographed women, whether Italian peasants or travelling companions, presenting a social and gendered gaze that helps to reconsider this period in the light of a dawning international humanitarianism. In spite of their photographic legacy, Agnes and Dora Bulwer remain relatively unknown in the growing field of rediscovered early female photographers connected to archaeology or travel photography. This article reveals their work within a cross-cultural, historical and phenomenological analysis, contributing a new chapter to women’s photographic history, to travel and landscape photography and to the history of British photographers working in Italy.
Keywords: history of photography, landscape photography, archive, gender, archaeology, cultural tourism, travel photography, Italy, Rome, Roman Campagna, Post-Unification, Post-Risorgimento, Britain, British Empire, United Kingdom, colonialism, Victorian, Edwardian, humanitarian socialism, nineteenth century, twentieth century
Published in RUNG: 11.01.2023; Views: 1568; Downloads: 0
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5.
Flicker: Thom Andersen Takes Muybridge to the Movies
Eszter Polonyi, 2021, independent scientific component part or a chapter in a monograph

Keywords: film history, media studies, Eadweard Muybridge, chronophotography, North American avant-garde, found footage film, media archaeology
Published in RUNG: 12.12.2020; Views: 2858; Downloads: 0
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6.
An unsung 16mm public film archive at Pratt Institute
Eszter Polonyi, unpublished conference contribution

Keywords: film studies, media archaeology, analog media, library and data science
Published in RUNG: 11.12.2020; Views: 2558; Downloads: 0
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7.
Könyvrecenzió: Film History as Media Archaeology: Tracking Digital Cinema (Thomas Elsaesser)
Eszter Polonyi, György Andorka, 2017, professional article

Keywords: film studies, media studies, media archaeology, digitization
Published in RUNG: 10.12.2020; Views: 2499; Downloads: 0
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8.
Book Review of Film History as Media Archaeology: Tracking Digital Cinema (Thomas Elsaesser, 2016)
Eszter Polonyi, 2018, review, book review, critique

Keywords: film studies, media studies, media archaeology, digitization
Published in RUNG: 10.12.2020; Views: 2499; Downloads: 0
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9.
Archaeology versus Convergence: Film Studies Today
Eszter Polonyi, 2018, other scientific articles

Keywords: film studies, media studies, media archaeology
Published in RUNG: 10.12.2020; Views: 2338; Downloads: 0
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10.
Béla Balázs and the Eye of the Microscope
Eszter Polonyi, 2012, original scientific article

Abstract: This study explores the significance of the cinematic close-up to one of the earliest theories of film, produced by Béla Balázs, on the basis of a widespread technique of microscopy in the life sciences, notably in the work of his brother Evin Bauer, a theorist of microbiology. Balázs imagines that silent film records life in its immanence and spontaneity by virtue of what he calls the “physiognomic” nature of its signs. Rather than generating signs that must be passed through an alphabetic cipher, as had been required under the regime of the written or literary, Balázs presents film as liberating our access to the flow of optical data. Interestingly, however, Balázs retains the need otherwise characteristic of scientific analysis for dividing up the image into semiotic units, what he describes as “atomization.” He insists on returning the real to a symbolic order and making film into a language.
Keywords: film history, media studies, science and technology studies, Weimar cinema, media archaeology
Published in RUNG: 10.12.2020; Views: 2733; Downloads: 0
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