Journal Article

‘Move as if Alive’: The Kinematograph as Unstable Technology of Movement and its Impact on the Spectator

Publication

Abstract

This article argues that the kinematograph, at the time of its introduction (1896-1897), was a technology of movement before it was a method of representation. Drawing on (or, in conversation with) Tom Gunning’s observations on the image of energy, I propose that the discourse around the early moving pictures signifies a mixture of two paradigms on movement: one mechanical-dynamic and one post-mechanical or energetic idea of movement. The multiple paradigms involved destabilized the understanding of the kinematograph. Therefore, in the conclusion, I offer possibility to rethink spectatorship in-between these paradigms on movement.

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Details

  • Type:
    Journal Article (peer reviewed)
  • Journal:
    Synoptique: An Online Journal of Film and Moving Image Studies, Vol 5, Issue 2.
  • Published:
    2017
  • Language:
    English
  • PDF:

About the Author

Gert Jan Harkema

I am a doctoral student at the Department of Media Studies (Cinema Studies). In my research I try to describe what the earliest cinema audiences (from 1895 to 1900) were experiencing. Cinema as a new medium in the late-nineteenth century. My proje... Read more

Reference

Jan Harkema, G. (2017). ‘Move as if Alive’: The Kinematograph as Unstable Technology of Movement and its Impact on the Spectator. Synoptique: An Online Journal of Film and Moving Image Studies, 5(2). Available at: http://synoptique.hybrid.concordia.ca/index.php/main/article/view/145 [Accessed 25 Nov. 2017].