“Cosmic Soul-Assemblages and Small-File Films,” a lecture by Laura Marks

“Cosmic Soul-Assemblages and Small-File Films,” a lecture by Laura Marks

“Cosmic Soul-Assemblages and Small-File Films,” a lecture by Laura Marks

Free admission

September 28, 2023, 7pm
172 Classon Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205

Join us at e-flux Screening Room on Thursday, September 28 at 7pm for “Cosmic Soul-Assemblages and Small-File Films,” a lecture by Laura Marks.

“This talk suggests ways to augment individual and collective capacities to align with cosmic powers. In simple, recognizable cosmology, human bodies and all earthly entities are connected to the Sun and the stars. Indeed, almost all things are microcosms of the larger cosmos, which renders them monads, or souls, according to a modified Leibnizian cosmology. I argue that since all souls coexist on a surface continuous in space and time, folding this surface creates new souls. Folding is thus a form of mediation.

While we humans are trapped in many toxic soul-assemblages not of our choosing, we also have some choice what assemblages we fold ourselves into, and how we unfold collectively from the dominant folds reinforced by governments and corporations. This talk proposes the idea of “cosmic soul-assemblages”—ones that enfold the cosmos in more harmonious ways, by co-modulating with it rather than seeking to dominate it. 

Films too enfold the cosmos. A harmonious cinematic soul-assemblage co-modulates with the cosmic forces of the Sun, electricity, slumbering fossils, human labor, electronic networks, and other elements. I’ll share some films from the Small File Media Festival, microcosms whose bitrate does not exceed 1.44 megabytes (the storage size of a floppy disk) per minute. Creatively deploying compression aesthetics, these works evade the usual patterns of recognition and immerse willing viewers into a haptic state that promotes cosmic receptiveness.”–Laura Marks

This talk is part of the ongoing lecture series Film Beyond Film: Art and the Moving Image at e-flux Screening Room by researchers whose work has formed the discourse at the intersection of modern/contemporary art and cinema, and that focus on the histories of artists’ films, situating them within broader aesthetic, political, and economic contexts.

For more information, contact program@e-flux.com.

–Two flights of stairs lead up to the building’s front entrance at 172 Classon Avenue.   
–For elevator access, please RSVP to program@e-flux.com. The building has a freight elevator which leads into the e-flux office space. Entrance to the elevator is nearest to 180 Classon Ave (a garage door). We have a ramp for the steps within the space.            
–e-flux has an ADA-compliant bathroom. There are no steps between the Screening Room and this bathroom.

Film, Data & Information, Nature & Ecology

Laura U. Marks works on media art and philosophy with an intercultural focus and an emphasis on appropriate technologies. Her fifth book, The Fold: From Your Body to the Cosmos, is forthcoming in March 2024 from Duke University Press. A co-founder of the Substantial Motion Research Network, Marks founded the Small File Media Festival and leads the research group Tackling the Carbon Footprint of Streaming Media. She programs experimental media art for venues around the world. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Marks teaches in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. www.sfu.ca/lmarks

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