Histcon.se Time, Memory and Representation Tid, Minne, Representation

A Multidisciplinary Program on Transformations in Historical Consciousness

Ett mångdisciplinärt forskningsprogram om historiemedvetandets förvandlingar

Trond Lundemo

Associate Professor, Cinema Studies, Stockholm University

Biography

B. 1963. Associate Professor at the Department of Cinema Studies at Stockholm University. PhD in 1996, with dissertation Bildets oppløsning; Filmens bevegelse i historisk og teoretisk perspektiv. Member of the steering committee of the Research School for Aesthetics at Stockholm University. Individual research project 2005-2008: “Image Intersections”, funded by Swedish Research Council. Visiting professor and visiting scholar at the Seijo University of Tokyo for in all three semesters, in 2002, 2004 and 2007.

Ongoing research

The project is concerned with the historiographical properties of modern technological modes of inscription, and especially how photography, film and digital media have set off shifts in historical consciousness. A key concept of the project is ‘montage’, understood in a broad sense of different forms of juxtapositions between images, sounds and texts, and how it has shaped different concepts of history and historiography. Departing from Siegfried Kracauer’s identification of the modern concept of history as dependent on the discourses surrounding the invention of photography in the middle of the 19th Century, I have developped how the emergence of cinema and film montage in the early 20th Century has produced new modes of historiography. A key moment in this development is the theory and practice of the Soviet schools of montage in the 1920s and 1930s, where I argue that different methods of montage also must be seen as different approaches to historiography (Sergei Eisenstein, Dziga Vertov). Another conendrum is formed by the role of the indexical trace of the past in forming a new realist film theory after the Second World War. With the Shoah and the atom bomb, a reconfiguration of the inscription of the visible and the invisible leads to a reinvention of realist film theory and to a restauration of the historiographical properties of cinema (Siegfried Kracauer, André Bazin). I have published an article on the techniques of visual inscription in the Soviet montage: ”Quoting Motion: The Frame, the Shot and Digital Video”, Film, Art, New Media: The Museum Without Walls? (ed. Angela Dalle Vacche),  London: Palgrave Macmillan 2012, and an article on the reconfiguration of visual inscription in post-war film theory is currently under review for the Canadian journal Recherche Sémiotique. The rupture in visual representation and historiography with the atom bomb, I have developped in: “Atomic Hindsight: Technology and Visibility as Factors in Historical Periodization”, Rethinking Time, (ed. Hans Ruin, Andrus Ers), Stockholm: Södertörn 2011. I have also developped how the techniques of digital inscription produce another rupture in historiography in: ”Technologies archéographiques”, Methods, Machines, Dispositives; Perspectives for a New Technological History of Cinema (ed. Benoit Turquety), Lausanne: L’age de l’homme 2014 (in print). I have also published a general introduction to the theoretical problems of seeing montage as historical articulation through a discussion of Jean-Luc Godard’s Histoire(s) du cinéma (1988-1998), probing especially the concepts of history and archaeology, in: ”Godard. Historiographer”, A Companion to Jean-Luc Godard (ed. T. Jefferson Kline, Tom Conley), New York: Wiley Blackwell 2013. For a review of the consequences of these shifts and ruptures in the theory of the archive, see: ”Archives and Technological Selection”, Cinémas (Montreal), Special issue “L’Attrait de l’archive”, ed. by Christa Blümlinger (in print), and for a discussion of technological inscription of the past as a testimony, see: ”Montage and the Dark Margin of the Archive”, Agamben and Cinema; Ethics, Biopolitics and the Moving Image (ed. Asbjørn Grønstad, Henrik Gustafsson), New York: Bloomsbury 2014.
I have presented and developped my research on these topics during a semester as a visiting professor at the Seijo University in Tokyo in 2011-2012, and as a senior research fellow at the IKKM (Internationalen Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie, within the Programme “Production of the Past”) at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar in 2013-14. I am currently preparing the findings of my research, as presented in articles and presentations, for publication as a monograph.

The project is concerned with the historiographical properties of modern technological modes of inscription, and especially how photography, film and digital media have set off shifts in historical consciousness.

A key concept of the project is ‘montage’, understood in a broad sense of different forms of juxtapositions between images, sounds and texts, and how it has shaped different concepts of history and historiography. Departing from Siegfried Kracauer’s identification of the modern concept of history as dependent on the discourses surrounding the invention of photography in the middle of the 19th Century, I have developped how the emergence of cinema and film montage in the early 20th Century has produced new modes of historiography.

A key moment in this development is the theory and practice of the Soviet schools of montage in the 1920s and 1930s, where I argue that different methods of montage also must be seen as different approaches to historiography (Sergei Eisenstein, Dziga Vertov). Another conundrum is formed by the role of the indexical trace of the past in forming a new realist film theory after the Second World War. With the Shoah and the atom bomb, a reconfiguration of the inscription of the visible and the invisible leads to a reinvention of realist film theory and to a restauration of the historiographical properties of cinema (Siegfried Kracauer, André Bazin).

I have published an article on the techniques of visual inscription in the Soviet montage: ”Quoting Motion: The Frame, the Shot and Digital Video”, Film, Art, New Media: The Museum Without Walls? (ed. Angela Dalle Vacche),  London: Palgrave Macmillan 2012, and an article on the reconfiguration of visual inscription in post-war film theory is currently under review for the Canadian journal Recherche Sémiotique. The rupture in visual representation and historiography with the atom bomb, I have developped in: “Atomic Hindsight: Technology and Visibility as Factors in Historical Periodization”, Rethinking Time (ed. Hans Ruin, Andrus Ers), Stockholm: Södertörn 2011. I have also developed how the techniques of digital inscription produce another rupture in historiography in: ”Technologies archéographiques”, Methods, Machines, Dispositives; Perspectives for a New Technological History of Cinema (ed. Benoit Turquety), Lausanne: L’age de l’homme 2014 (in print).

I have also published a general introduction to the theoretical problems of seeing montage as historical articulation through a discussion of Jean-Luc Godard’s Histoire(s) du cinéma (1988-1998), probing especially the concepts of history and archaeology, in: ”Godard. Historiographer”, A Companion to Jean-Luc Godard (ed. T. Jefferson Kline, Tom Conley), New York: Wiley Blackwell 2013.

For a review of the consequences of these shifts and ruptures in the theory of the archive, see: ”Archives and Technological Selection”, Cinémas (Montreal), Special issue “L’Attrait de l’archive”, ed. by Christa Blümlinger (in print), and for a discussion of technological inscription of the past as a testimony, see: ”Montage and the Dark Margin of the Archive”, Agamben and Cinema; Ethics, Biopolitics and the Moving Image (ed. Asbjørn Grønstad, Henrik Gustafsson), New York: Bloomsbury 2014.

I have presented and developed my research on these topics during a semester as a visiting professor at the Seijo University in Tokyo in 2011-2012, and as a senior research fellow at the IKKM (Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie, within the Programme “Production of the Past”) at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar in 2013-14. I am currently preparing the findings of my research, as presented in articles and presentations, for publication as a monograph.

Selected bibliography

– "Montage and the Dark Margin of the Archive”, Agamben and Cinema; Ethics, Biopolitics and the Moving Image (ed. Asbjørn Grønstad, Henrik Gustavsson), New York: Bloomsbury 2014.

”Technologies archéographiques”, Methods, Machines, Dispositives; Perspectives for a New Technological History of Cinema, Lausanne: L’age de l’homme 2014 (in print)

”Godard. Historiographer”, A Companion to Jean-Luc Godard (ed. T. Jefferson Kline, Tom Conley), New York: Wiley Blackwell 2013.

“A Temporal Perspective: Jean Epstein’s Writings on Technics and Subjectivity”, Jean Epstein. Critical Essays and New Translations (ed. Sarah Keller, Jason N. Paul), Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press 2012.

Bildets oppløsning; Filmens bevegelse i historisk og teoretisk perspektiv, academic Ph.D. dissertation (Oslo: Spartacus Forlag 1996).

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