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December 2021, Week 4


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Sun, 19 Dec 2021 21:18:32 -0800
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Carol Vernallis <[log in to unmask]>
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Carol Vernallis, Holly Rogers and Lisa Perrott are happy to announce the
fourth book in our Bloomsbury series, *New Approaches to Sound, Music and
. (

* Cybermedia: Explorations in Science, Sound, and Vision
by Carol Vernallis, Holly Rogers, Selmin Kara, and Jonathan Leal) traces
how contemporary media engage with new technologies like robotics,
psychometrics, big data, and AI. It pairs humanists’ close readings of
contemporary media (like *Westworld *and* Black Mirror*) with scientists’
discussions of the science and math that inform them. *Cybermedia* bridges
one of the gaps between science and the humanities.

This text includes contributions by scholars from many disciplines (music,
media, philosophy, computer science and neuroscience—as well as directors
and other industry practitioners) to consider a range of films and TV shows
including *Ex Machina, Mr. Robot, Under the Skin, Sorry to Bother You,
Black Mirror, and Westworld.* Through a variety of critical, theoretical,
and speculative approaches, the collection facilitates interdisciplinary
thinking and collaboration as well as provides readers with the means to
respond to these new technologies.


“The membrane between media and mind has been dissolving for a century.
*Cybermedia *turns the membrane into an irrigation system. A new kind of
practice as much as a book, *Cybermedia* brings makers, scientists and
scholars into dialogues that pass through old borders, subtly transformed
and transforming. From comic books to paranoia, neurotransmitters to
Radiohead, *Cybermedia *opens a new landscape of social-technical minds and
media as things to study and ways of studying them.”—*Sean Cubitt,
Professor of Screen Studies, University of Melbourne, Australia*

“*Cybermedia* testifies to the ways in which practitioners, scientists and
scholars are keeping track of, or, indeed, anticipate, the resulting,
emergent web of interrelations, and how the porosity between culture and
science affects our sensorium. Relying on a two-way approach, a look at
science through popular culture, and a science-informed exploration of
popular culture, *Cybermedia* is both a critical tool box and an invitation
to navigate the wondrous territories of media culture in the era of
accelerated technologization.”— *Martine Beugnet, Professor in Visual
Studies, Université de Paris, France*

“The advent of artificial intelligence and cyberspace has a dark and light
side, with many challenges and alluring opportunities. This collection
engages—literally—with the ‘light side,’ drilling down on how our
scientific understanding of sentience underwrites our experience of the
lived world—an experience that now rests so heavily on the media and its
accompanying technologies. The multilateral perspective offered by this
book is so timely, especially for the many of us who will have to transcend
the worlds of science and media in the future.” —*Karl J. Friston, FRS,
FMedSci, FRSB, Neurology, University College London, UK*

“A thrilling exploration of the resonances between circuits of creativity,
software, and the brain.” —*Steven Shaviro, DeRoy Professor of English,
Wayne State University, USA*



1. Introduction

Jonathan Leal and Carol Vernallis

*Part I: AI and Robotics*

2. “Who’s Better at Maximizing Objective Functions, Real or Fictional AIs?”

Jay McClelland (Stanford University)

3. “Director Alex Garland Converses with *Cybermedia*’s Scientists and
Media Scholars”

Jonathan Leal (USC) and Carol Vernallis (Stanford University)

4. “(S)*Ex Machina* and the Cartesian Theater of the Absurd”

Simon D. Levy and Charles W. Lowney (Washington and Lee University)

5. “Epiphany, Infinity and Transcendent AI”

Zachary Mason (Amplitude Analytics)

*Part II: Big Data, Sentience, and the Universe*

6. “A MASSIVE Swirl of Pixels”

Steen Ledet Christiansen (Aalborg University)

7. “Body-Knowing and Neural Nets: Is a Machine's Ability to Learn Human
Skills a Victory for Reductionism?”

Charles W. Lowney (Washington and Lee University)

8. “The Quantum Computer as Sci-Fi’s Favorite Character—*Devs*’*s* Approach
to Quantum Physics”

Leonardo De Assis (Stanford University)

9. “*Ex Machina* as a Movie about Consciousness”

Murray Shanahan (Imperial College London)

*Part III: The Neuroscience of Affect and Event Perception*

10. “‘A Solid Popularity Arc’: Affective Economies in *Black Mirror*’s

Dale Chapman (Bates University)

11. “Cognitive Boundaries, ‘Nosedive’ and *Under the Skin*: Interview with
Jeffrey Zacks”

Carol Vernallis (Stanford University) and Jonathan Leal (USC)

12. “Why Comics?: Toward An Affective Approach”

Frederick Aldama and Laura Wagner (OSU)

*Part IV: The Digital West*

13. “*Westworld*: Some Philosophical Puzzles about Android Experience”

Paul Skokowski (Stanford University)

14. “A.I., Self, and Other: *Westworld*’s New Visions of the Old West*”*

Christopher Minz (Georgia State University)

15. “Automata and Player Pianos: A Close-Reading of *Westworld*’s Score
(Then and Now)”

Annabel J. Cohen (University of Prince Edward Island)

16. “Color and Conservatism in Cybermedia”

Alex Byrne (MIT) & David Hilbert (University of Illinois at Chicago)

*Part V: Interface, Desire, Collectivity*

17. “Veiled Sonics: Interface and Black"

Liz Reich (Connecticut College)

18. “Technology, Chaos, and the Nimble Subversion of *Random Acts of

Eric Lyon (Virginia Tech)

19. “Expecting the Twist: How Media Navigate the Intersections Among
Different Sources of Prior Knowledge”

Noah Fram (Stanford)

*Part VI: Productive Neuropathologies*

20. “Digital Vitalism”

Marta Figlerowicz (Yale University)

21. “Neuroplasticity, Closure, and the Brain”

Sara Ferrando Colomer (Northwestern University)

22. “Where is My Mind? *Mr. Robot* and the Digital Neuropolis”

Patricia Pisters (University of Amsterdam)

23. “Dopamine Circuits: Wanting, Liking, Habits, and Goals” An Interview
about *Mr. Robot* with Neuroscientist Talia Lerner (Northwestern University)

Carol Vernallis (Stanford University) and Jonathan Leal (USC)

24. “Taste as Aesthetics and Biological Constraints” An Interview with
Neuroscientist Hojoon Lee (Northwestern University)

Julia Peres Guimaraes (Northwestern University), Selmin Kara (OCAD
University), and Carol Vernallis (Stanford University)

We’d like to share that Bloomsbury is offering 10-20% off book titles.
Please feel free to send Holly, Lisa, or me proposals for manuscripts and
collected volumes. Below are descriptions of the first three books in our
series. We hope you’ll check them out.

*Transmedia Directors: Artistry, Industry and New Audiovisual Aesthetics
edited by Carol, Holly and Lisa, focuses on artist-practitioners who work
across media, platforms and disciplines, including film, television, music
video, commercials and the internet. Working in the age of media
convergence, today's impresarios project a distinctive style that points
toward a new contemporary aesthetics. The media they engage with enrich
their practices – through film and television (with its potential for
world-building and sense of the past and future), music video (with its
audiovisual aesthetics and rhythm), commercials (with their ability to
project a message quickly) and the internet (with its refreshed concepts of
audience and participation), to larger forms like restaurants and amusement
parks (with their materiality alongside today's digital aesthetics). These
directors encourage us to reassess concepts of authorship, assemblage,
transmedia, audiovisual aesthetics and world-building.

*Transmedia Directors* weaves together insights about artist-practitioners'
collaborative processes as well as strategies for composition,
representation, subversion and resistance. Directors and practitioners
discussed include Wes Anderson, Michael Bay, Sofia Coppola, David Fincher,
Barry Jenkins, Bong Joon-ho, David Lynch and Lars von Trier; musicians and
music-video/film directors David Bowie, Jess Cope, Dave Meyers, Emil Nava,
Sigur Rós, and Floria Sigismondi; and Instagram impresario Jay Versace.

In *Resonant Matter*
*, *Lutz Koepnick considers contemporary sound and installation art as a
unique laboratory of hospitality amid inhospitable times. Inspired by
Ragnar Kjartansson's nine-channel video installation *The Visitors *(2012),
the book explores resonance-the ability of objects to be affected by the
vibrations of other objects-as a model of art's fleeting promise to make us
coexist with things strange and other. of the role of sound in art, of
sound art, but to attune our critical encounter with art to art's own
resonant thinking.

In *Dangerous Mediations: Pop Music in a Philippine Prison Video
Áine Mangaoang explores the 2007 event when an unlikely troupe of 1500
Filipino prisoners became Internet celebrities for their YouTube video of
Michael Jackson's ground-breaking hit 'Thriller.' Taking this spectacular
dance as a point of departure, Dangerous Mediations explores the
disquieting development of prisoners performing punishment to a global,
online audience. Combining analysis of this YouTube video with first-hand
experiences from fieldwork in the Philippine prison, Áine Mangaoang
investigates a wide range of interlocking contexts surrounding this
user-generated text to reveal how places of punishment can be transformed
into spaces of spectacular entertainment, leisure, and penal tourism.

Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite