Currently in preparation

Spatial Montage and Digital Cinephilia

Catherine Grant

In this volume, Catherine Grant explores the growing presence of multiple-frame aesthetics, especially in contemporary on-line cinephilia and critical audiovisual culture. As earlier scholarly accounts of “mosaic screens” have maintained, graphic juxtapositions of discrete moving image frames have become much more common thanks to the wider availability and greater ease of use of digital compositing software. Reflecting on these proliferating practices over the last decades (including her own multiple-screen video essays), Grant argues that digital forms of spatial montage are generating compelling frames for time-based exploration of what Gérard Genette has called “transtextuality” (all that which puts one text in relation, whether manifest or secret, with other texts), as well as for inventive comparative studies of specifically audiovisual forms of patterning and allusiveness.

Where Sergei Eisenstein understood montage as the “nerve of cinema,” Grant sees the emergent forms of spatial montage, collage and audiovisual interplay as having the capacity to perform, recreate or instantiate audiovisual forms of intertextuality, following the work of Mikhail Iampolski: déjà-viewings of sound and moving-image based chains of associations that help to produce the energy and force, and particular meanings, of individual works for their spectators. These new approaches to creating relational audiovisual material—ones that engage in pensive as well as possessive digital cinephilia (following the work of Laura Mulvey and Christian Keathley)—are highly valuable ones for research and pedagogy in audiovisual culture studies, especially as we seek ways to supplement purely written forms of research and knowledge exchange and to expand upon our conceptions of audiovisual interactivity and material thinking.

Spring 2019
Catherine Grant is Professor of Digital Media and Screen Studies at Birkbeck, University of London, where she teaches and researches on-line audiovisual cultures, audiovisual essay practices and digital forms of analysis and criticism. She also runs the Film Studies For Free blog and is a founding co-editor of [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies.