To many, the technological aspects of projection often go unnoticed, only brought to attention during moments of crisis or malfunction. For example, when a movie theater projector falters, the audience suddenly looks toward the back of the theater to see a sign of mechanical failure. The history of cinema similarly shows that the attention to projection has been most focused when the whole medium is hanging in suspension. During Hollywood's economic consolidation in the '30s, projection defined the ways that sync-sound technologies could be deployed within the medium. Most recently, the digitization of cinema repeated this process as technology was reworked to facilitate mobility. These examples show how projection continually speaks to the rearrangement of media technology. Projection therefore needs to be examined as a pivotal element in the future of visual media's technological transition.
In Practices of Projection: Histories and Technologies, volume editors Gabriel Menotti and Virginia Crisp address the cultural and technological significance of projection. Throughout the volume, chapters reiterate that projection cannot, and must not, be reduced to its cinematic functions alone. Borrowing media theorist Siegfried Zielinksi's definition, Menotti and Crisp refer to projection as the "heterogeneous array of artefacts, technical systems, and particularly visual praxes of experimentation and of culture." From this, readers can understand the performative character of the moving image and the labor of the different actors involved in the utterance of the film text. Projection is not the same everywhere, nor equal all the time. Its systems are in permanent interaction with environmental circumstances, neighboring structures, local cultures, and social economies. Thus the idea of projection as a universal, fully autonomous operation cannot hold. Each occurrence of projection adds nuance to a wider understanding of film screening technologies.
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Virginia Crisp is Lecturer in Cultural and Creative Industries at King's College, London. She is the author of Pirates and Professionals: Film Distribution in the Digital Age (2015, Palgrave) and co-editor (with Gabriel Menotti Gonring) of Besides the Screen: Moving Images through Distribution, Promotion and Curation (2015, Palgrave).
Gabriel Menotti is Assistant Professor in Moving Images Curatorial Studies at Queen's University Film & Media Department. He works as a curator in the fields of cinema and digital/new media. Menotti holds a PhD in Media & Communications from Goldsmiths, University of London, and another from the Catholic University of SÃ£o Paulo. He has presented projects in events such as ISEA, the SÃ£o Paulo Art Biennial, Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin/Madrid and Transmediale, as well as written and organized a number of publications about image and technology. Menotti is the author of "Movie Circuits: Curatorial Approaches to Cinema Technology" (Amsterdam University Press, 2019). In 2017-18, he was a Fulbright Visiting Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee working on the topic of digital replicas and cultural heritage. Together with Virginia Crisp, he coordinates the Besides the Screen research network.
1. Situating Projection
Gabriel Menotti Gonring and Virginia Crisp
Part 1. PROJECTION HISTORIES & GEOGRAPHIES
2. A New 'Wild West' of Projection?
Michael Pigott and Richard Wallace
3. The craft of the rural cinema operator: improvised exhibition and the Highlands and Islands Film Guild, Scotland (1946-71)
4. Solar Powered Cinema and Sustainable Projections
5. Film Projection and the Sacred Geography of Site-Specific Cinema in Contemporary Thailand
Part 2. PROJECTION ELEMENTS & TECHNOLOGIES
6. Six (or seven) ways of looking at a magic lantern slide
7. Between Copyright and Creativity: Edison's Kinetoscope and Technological Innovations in Optical Printing
8. '...It's all just a little bit of History repeating': Slide-tape's key works in the UK since the 1970s
Mo White AKA Dr. Mary C White
9. Summoning the Ghosts of Early Cinema and Victorian Entertainment: Kate Moss and "Savage Beauty" at the V&A Museum
10. Researching virtual, augmented and mixed realities, or how the Elastic 3D Spaces project emerged from an outdoor projection event
Anthony Head and Leila Sujir
11. They'll take whatever you feed them - reflections on projection in live audiovisual performance
Part 3. PROJECTION AS KNOWLEDGE & INTERPRETATION
12. CASTING - investigation of projection mapping's spatiality in a continuum of projected moving-image art
13. Projection between exhibition and information: experimental and artists' film at Sonsbeek 71
14. Bark and Butterflies: Projection, Post-Memory and Phantasmagoria
15. Imagistic Projection as Relational Becoming
Andréia Machado Oliveira & Felix Rebolledo Palazuelos
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