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Talisman-images Gather the Cosmos and Press it to Your Body

Thinking Cinema Series, Laura U. Marks, Simon Fraser University

November 29, 2018 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · 106 McCormick

Practiced in medieval Islamic and European cultures, talismans were like apps that appealed to the planets and other powers to intercede into precise earthly problems. I argue that talismans intervene in the order of the universe by re-folding it, a practice that relies on a conception of the universe as densely interconnected. In our seemingly disenchanted times, I suggest, it is still possible to re-fold the universe, grasping the points of disparate histories and places and drawing them together. We see this at work in movies, digital media works, and objects. I will focus on the affective results using such media to connect from the body to the cosmos.

Laura U. Marks works on media art and philosophy with an intercultural focus. Her most recent books are Hanan al-Cinema: Affections for the Moving Image (MIT, 2015) and Enfoldment and Infinity: An Islamic Genealogy of New Media Art (MIT, 2010). Marks programs experimental media art for venues around the world. With Dr. Azadeh Emadi she is a founding member of the Substantial Motion Research network. Dr. Marks is Grant Strate Professor in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. In fall 2018 she is a visiting professor in the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University.

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