Monday, 20 February 2017

Critical Perspectives - Dissertation Proposal OGR


  1. Your synopsis needs a bit more work to clearly express what you want to explore particularly where you discuss Star Wars- the recent critical reviews of the film discuss a deliberate strategy to make the aesthetic of the film less CGI heavy because of its association with the older and first films…I wonder whether on every occasion the theory of hyper reality fits with what you are trying to discuss.
    Avoid using the first person and informal language- work harder to express yourself clearly
    Chapter 1
    Look at Art and Illusion by Gombrich and Practices of Looking : an Introduction to Visual Culture by Marita Sturken so you understand how these discussions are relevant to the arts today.
    Illusionism has been present in the arts since the renaissance period and even before- particularly during the renaissance new understanding in maths and perspective helped designers and artists to create images which were a ‘window on the world’ and develop images using perspective and tonal variants to make scenes more natural/visually accurate-
    Look at
    Read John Berger Ways of Seeing also.
    Chapter 2 needs further clarity and your ideas and theoretical understanding are not expressed well.
    Bad CGI and the incapacity for CGI to suspend disbelief are often discussed in relation to the concept of the Uncanny Valley.
    Chapter Three simply reads as a sort of review/ overview of the films and lacks criticality
    I think you need to read further around Baudrillard’s concept of the hyper real in Simulations and put this into the context of reading from film history and theory- Generally this is a weak element at present.
    Similarly some further foundational reading on the uncanny and its relationship to genre would be useful- usually it’s associated with horror/cgi and the uncanny valley.
    Some of the research so far is relevant but does need further underpinning- and also you must look at the critical reviews and discussion in the media recently in the context of the use of stop motion animation as a more nostalgic form, replicating the first Star Wars film.
    You could therefore bring into play the theme of nostalgia- film with bad CGI may just be intentionally designed as such to enable the viewer to feel they are watching an older product more closely associate with their childhood for example.
    Read Fredric Jameson The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism which discussed Nostalgia as a feature of postmodernism

  2. In terms of 'hyperrealism' be sure to distinguish the term as an order of aesthetics/visual arts (as opposed to a philosophical idea re. Baudrillard).

    So hyperrealism as an 'appearance' seeks to be 'hyper - real' - i.e. an art work or appearance that is so detailed or 'realistic' that it confuses us/convinces us of its 'realness' - but it is also about drawing full attention to the 'illusion' of its 'realness' - so we look, we think it's 'there' only to realise that it is 'not' the thing we thought it was - and then we properly engage with it as a piece of art - (just like the trompe l'oeil).

    Cognitive dissonance = the moment when the brain perceives itself.

    The Uncanny Valley = cognitive dissonance = trompe l'oeil = hyper-real (as opposite of versimilitude).

    The Uncanny - Freud's essay / the paradox of hyperrealism is simply that the more realistic something that is fake becomes (which should mean the more recognisable/likeable/'homely') the more 'off-puttin' and alienating it becomes.).

    Really important for you is to understand and articulate the relationship between heimlich and unheimlich and how they sit inside each other.

    Uncanny as the return of the repressed.