rss_2.0Library and Information Science, Book Studies FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Library and Information Science, Book Studies and Information Science, Book Studies Feed,_Book_Studies.jpg700700Silence as a Metaphor in the Polish Radio Reportages during the COVID-19 Pandemic<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Silence became one of the important aspects of the lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. This article discusses how this social experience was presented in radio reportages, for which silence is not only a topic but also an element of the construction of the message. The reports of the Polish Radio, produced in lockdown conditions, document silence in a double perspective: the transformation of the broadcast sphere of large metropolises and the private sound space of the characters. Silence, as a phonic phenomenon, functions as a universal metaphor for fear, threat, “curse of isolation,” but also hope. Experiencing silence goes beyond the individual feeling thanks to a metaphoric line through which the recorded stories gain a universal context. The analysis of audible materials shows the mechanism of the constitution of these meanings, as well as selected media functions of silence as a tool for modelling content and managing the recipients’ attention.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-11-15T00:00:00.000+00:00A Tale of Sound and Fury Signifying Everything: Argentine Tango Dance Films as Complex Self-Reflexive Creation<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article equates the multidimensional artistic form of Argentine tango (dance, music and song) with the innately hybrid form of film. It compares Argentine tango culture to the height of French cinephilia in the 1950s Paris, France, arguing that they are both passionate, erotic and nostalgic ways of life. In Carlos Saura’s <italic>Tango</italic> (1998) and Sally Potter’s <italic>The Tango Lesson</italic> (1997), the intertwining of the related skills of tango practice and filmmaking are an audio-visual treat for the senses and a cognitive challenge for the mind. Their self-reflexivity promotes excess and the result is a highly expressive and complex form. They evince a cross-fertilization of reality and fiction, of art and life, typical of a perfect <italic>mise en abyme</italic> as described by Christian Metz. These films are also art musicals, although they depart from the Hollywood musical conventions. Yet, one cannot speak in their case of intermedia reflexivity, according to Petr Szczepanik’s definition, because both of them retain their qualities in a symbiotic relationship of likeness that highlights their mutual aura.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-11-15T00:00:00.000+00:00The Role of Experimenting with the Human Voice in Film Music in the Representation of the Human/Alien Divide: the Case of (2016)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article focuses on the musical dimension of experimentation in the creative space of science fiction film, concerning its uncanny, new and fantastic places, and otherworldly encounters within fictional, but possible worlds. The aim is to consider the function and potential of the audible – to examine how sound is used in the filmic exploration of the boundaries between the human and the alien (the unknown). More particularly, we are interested in the role that human voice-like and human vocal sounds can play in this divide, as we believe manipulations with such audible qualities contribute greatly to the emotional dimension of cinematic stories of otherworldly encounters. For that purpose, we concentrate on Denis Villeneuve’s <italic>Arrival</italic> (2016) and its soundtrack composed by Jóhann Jóhannsson, who resorts to different singing practices and vocal techniques to accompany a story charting the territories between the human and the alien.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-11-15T00:00:00.000+00:00Circular Causality of Emotions in Moving Pictures<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In the framework of predictive coding, as explained by Giovanni Pezzulo in his article <italic>Why do you fear the bogeyman? An embodied predictive coding model of perceptual inference</italic> (2014), humans construct instances of emotions by a double arrow of explanation of stimuli. Top-down cognitive models explain in a predictive fashion the emotional value of stimuli. At the same time, feelings and emotions depend on the perception of internal changes in the body. When confronted with uncertain auditory and visual information, a multimodal internal state assigns more weight to interoceptive information (rather than auditory and visual information) like visceral and autonomic states as hunger or thirst (motivational conditions). In short, an emotional mood can constrain the construction of a particular instance of emotion. This observation suggests that the dynamics of generative processes of Bayesian inference contain a mechanism of bidirectional link between perceptual and cognitive inference and feelings and emotions. In other words, “subjective feeling states and emotions influence perceptual and cognitive inference, which in turn produce new subjective feeling states and emotions” as a self-fulfilling prophecy (Pezzulo 2014, 908). This article focuses on the short introductory scene from Steven Spielberg’s <italic>Jaws</italic> (1975), claiming that the construction / emergence of the fear and sadness emotions are created out of the circular causal coupling instantiated between cinematic bottom-up mood cues and top-down cognitive explanations.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-11-15T00:00:00.000+00:00Body, Telephone, Voice: (1974) and Monstrous Cinema<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article investigates the role of the telephone as both an engine of suspense and a metaphorical double of cinema in <italic>Black Christmas</italic> directed by Bob Clark (1974). Employing Michel Chion’s concept of acousmatic voice, the article first explores the role of the telephone in creating both narrative suspense and diegetic cohesion. It then investigates how the film implicitly establishes a pattern of resemblance between the telephonic and cinematic mediums centred on their capacities for diffusion and disembodiment. Finally, the article explores the meta-cinematic implications of its preceding findings, arguing that the fears and anxieties associated with the telephone in <italic>Black Christmas</italic> ultimately concern cinema itself and its possible cultural impact. Although it attempts to enforce certain categories of knowledge and identity, <italic>Black Christmas</italic> ultimately engages with cinema’s capacity for subverting rather than enforcing ideology.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-11-15T00:00:00.000+00:00Considering Eye-tracking as a Validation Tool in Cinema Research<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The use of eye-tracking in data collection, when accompanied by the proper research questions and methodology, is a powerful tool that may provide invaluable insights into the way viewers perceive and experience movies. Film theory can use eye-tracking to test and verify research hypotheses not only with unprecedented accuracy, but also with the ability to address a significant variety of theoretical questions. Eye-tracking can help build contemporary film theory by supporting its various fields of research, and also even assist the production of films themselves by helping filmmakers make more informed creative decisions. The present article is an overview of eye-tracking and its gradual implementation in cinema research; in the context of discussing some recent examples of academic work based on eye-tracking, it considers the technology of eye-trackers and the way in which human vision handles visual information on screen. By testing the attentional behaviour of viewers, eye-tracking can produce more solid answers to questions regarding the way films are experienced; therefore, it may very well prove to be the spearhead of a more robust body of film theory in the near future.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-11-15T00:00:00.000+00:00Instrumentalization of the Border Zone. Environment and Ideology in the Educational Films Made between 1955 and 1989 by the Hungarian Ministry of Interior’s Film Studio<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Analysing the output of the Hungarian Ministry of Interior’s own film studio, which produced educational films between 1955 and 1989, this essay investigates the modes in which the border zone was represented during the decades of state socialism. Considering the vicinity of the border as an area, where ideological confrontations are battled out, the article argues that there is a significant difference between the films produced in the 1950-60s, and those from the mid-1960s onwards. The earlier pieces depict an emotionally charged border zone the defence of which is a social-political duty: father-type superiors teach rookie soldiers about this obligation in coming-of-age stories. However, from the mid-1960s onwards, the films seem to confine themselves to an instrumental mode of persuasion, which presents border protection as a merely technical question. The article briefly ties these shifts to the changing modes in official discourses during the decades of state socialist Hungary.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-11-15T00:00:00.000+00:00Non-Normative Gender Performances Fat Video Game Characters<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>While video games unquestionably became more diverse and inclusive in the past decade, there is still a striking underrepresentation of characters whose bodies do not conform to the heterosexist concept of normativity, including those perceived as fat. My article begins with the introduction of fat studies as the interdisciplinary field concerned with the ways media construct fat people as unattractive, undesirable, and asexual. Next, it discusses how these prejudices are reflected in a medium in which fat has been historically coded as villainous and monstrous. The last part includes two case studies of positive fat representation: Ellie from the mainstream game <italic>Borderlands 2</italic> (Gearbox Software 2012) and the eponymous character from the independent title <italic>Felix the Reaper</italic> (Kong Orange 2019). Their gender performances are coded equally as non-normative.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-11-15T00:00:00.000+00:00 as a Gothic Horror in Quality Television<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Quality television at its heart is designed to reward sustained viewing and involvement on the part of the audience. It has distinctive visual styles, serial characters and storylines and a filmic quality, all of which is evident in <italic>Game of Thrones</italic> (2011–2019). This article discusses how the scale and cinematic production values of quality television, adds value to the <italic>Game of Thrones</italic> series through the enhancement and articulation of the Gothic horror.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-11-15T00:00:00.000+00:00The Soundtrack of the Trailer<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In this article, I analyse the soundtrack of the green band trailer for <italic>Sinister</italic> (Scott Derrickson, 2012), combining quantitative methods to analyse the soundtrack with formal analysis. I show that, even though <italic>Sinister</italic> is a narrative about a demon who lives in images, the horror in the soundtrack of this trailer is articulated through the sound design. I describe the structure of the soundtrack and analyse the distribution and organisation of dialogue, the use of different types of sound effects to create a connection between the viewer and the characters onscreen, as well as the use of specific localised sound events to organise attention and to frighten the viewer. I identify two features not previously discussed in relation to quantitative analysis of film soundtracks: an affective event based on reactions to a stimulus and the presence of nonlinear features in the sound envelopes of localised affective events. The sound design of this trailer is consistent with the principles of contemporary sound design in horror cinema, but also demonstrates some variation in its use of sound as a paratext to its parent film.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-11-15T00:00:00.000+00:00The Culture as System, the System of Culture: Aleksandr Bogdanov on Proletarian Culture and Proletarian Art<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In my paper, I first focus on Aleksandr Bogdanov’s systems theoretical understanding of culture and highlight the tektological foundations of culture. In this part, I analyze his organizational account of culture and interpret his tektological approach as a theory of the social dimensions of culture and the cultural dimensions of society. Second, I discuss the term ‘proletarian culture’, its definition and its role in Bogdanov’s theory of socialism. I argue that Bogdanov’s vision of a future socialist society is connected with establishing a socialist culture. He considers the proletariat a bearer of socialist ideology and deduces its unique political role from its unique position in the system of social knowledge. With his idea of proletarian culture, Bogdanov drafts a programme of proletarian evolution which challenges Lenin’s programme for proletarian revolution. My last step concerns Bogdanov’s account of proletarian art. I argue that, in order to understand Bogdanov’s concept of art properly, we should differentiate between the terms ‘culture’ and ‘art’. The category of culture appears to be a form of organization of a social group, and the category of art is a form of aesthetic self-understanding and self-expression of a social group. My analysis focuses on proletarian art as a form of the self-consciousness (ideology) of the working class.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-22T00:00:00.000+00:00Seiwert’s ‘Open Letter’ to Bogdanov Eisenstein in the Proletkult<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article examines some of the theoretical issues that exercised Sergei Eisenstein during the years 1920–1924 when he worked in the Russian Proletarian Cultural-Educational Organization (Proletkult), of which Aleksandr Bogdanov was one of the founders. We ask how far Eisenstein was influenced by Marxism in general and by the ideas of Bogdanov in particular, and explain his exit from the Proletkult in terms of the unacceptability of his theory and practice of theatre and film to the Chairman of the Proletkult, Valeriyan Pletnëv. During these years the Agitprop Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, at Lenin’s behest, was taking steps to reduce the scope of activities of the Proletkult, discredit Bogdanov as a thinker, and exclude him from politics.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-22T00:00:00.000+00:00Sergei Eisenstein’s System Thinking: Influences and Inspirations<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In 1932, Sergei Eisenstein started work on his key theoretical book, <italic>Grundproblem</italic> (later <italic>Method</italic>), which would present his theoretical system. In the very first notes, he defines a goal that seems to be similar to Aleksandr Bogdanov’s tektology: to find a basic structure – an isomorph – for a work of art but also for the growth of plants and bones, for human society and the organization of bees and ants. Eisenstein’s system thinking was inspired and defined by his basic hypotheses: the structure of an artwork is perceived as a form that equates to multi-layered consciousness in the transition from the pre-logical, sensual to logical thought that the recipient experiences during the ecstatic perception of an artwork. Essential principles of modernist art – fragmentation, montage, visualization and rhythmic recurrence, the object of Eisenstein’s analysis, – determined the new form of Eisenstein’s writing and thinking and revolutionized the theory and the form of its rendition. Eisenstein rejected linear logic and sought forms for a hypertext that in his eyes were closer to associative, spherical and labyrinthine thought structures that to date have found expression only in modernist art experiments.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-22T00:00:00.000+00:00Biosemiotic Foundations of a Darwinian Approach to Cultural Evolution<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>The present paper reflects on the state of evolutionary approaches to culture, which are mostly seen as essential for defining ‘cultural science’. They manifest two flaws that still block a productive synthesis between the sciences and the humanities. First, they employ an inflationary generic concept of culture that covers all information that is stored and transmitted non-genetically; this differs from the narrower uses in the humanities that focus on the diversity of cultures and their interactions. Second, they approach culture as observable and measurable ‘traits’, hence do not develop a precise concept of cultural meaning, which must take account of the fundamental property of reflexivity in human cognition. I propose an alternative view that is grounded in biosemiotic analysis of the brain, and that I relate to Robert Aunger’s conception of ‘neuromemetics’. I already contributed this idea to the first-stage debates about cultural science after 2008. The current paper adds much analytical detail on the systemic nature of cultural semiosis operating in a selectionist logic of brain dynamics, as theorized early on by F. A. von Hayek. I suggest that the bridge between the sciences and the humanities must be built via new disciplines in the neurosciences, such as cultural neuroscience, which avoids both biological reductionism and a mere analogical deployment of evolutionary diffusion analysis in the new field of cultural science. Semiotics is the overarching paradigm of integration, in the distinct versions of both biosemiotics and physiosemiotics. I suggest combining Peircean biosemiotics with Lotman’s concept of the ‘semiosphere’. In this context, culture is defined by reflexive operations that occur over internal boundaries of the semiosphere that are constitutive of the identity of the agent as the physical locus of neuromeme evolution.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-22T00:00:00.000+00:00Interview as Archive: Moving in Disciplinary Space from Cultural Studies to Cultural Science. An Interview with John Hartley AM<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>On 19 July 2021 John and I met at Curtin University on the unceded lands of the Noongar people to discuss his passage from cultural studies to cultural science. For a short time I was the caretaker Editor-in-Chief and so it seemed appropriate that John and I have the conversation to mark the transition of the journal to a new home and team following the long editorship by John while <italic>Cultural Science</italic> resided in the Centre for Culture and Technology (CCAT) Curtin University. Appropriately, our conversation was bookended by morning coffee and then lunch with Lucy Montgomery, the <italic>Cultural Science</italic> Commissioning Editor, leader of the Innovation in Knowledge Communication research program at CCAT and co-lead of the Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative.</p> <p>I framed the discussion around John’s career so far in an attempt to capture his contributions to the fields of cultural studies, creative industries, cultural science and the Humanities generally, and also to identify the complex of academics, individuals and institutions that he worked with and built up throughout his career inside the academy. John publishes prolifically, and the volume of his publications is extraordinary, as is his impact. This is clear in the way John is intellectually generous and innovative: he follows and creates trends and in the shaping of disciplines he remains focused on how to create and sustain communities of practice. What came out of the interview is that John’s academic core, his driving force through his life of work remains unchanged: contributions to culture – high or low – should be taken seriously, whether that be banal everyday television, comics, Paul Smith, Welsh nationalism or the climate activism of Greta Thunberg.</p> <p><italic>Dr Samantha Owen, Faculty of Humanities, Curtin University</italic></p></abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-22T00:00:00.000+00:00Special Thematic Section “Eisenstein, Bogdanov, and the Organization of Culture”: Guest Editorial Introduction Science Meets Cultural Data Analytics<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>For developing Cultural Science as a research field and practice it is worthwhile reconsidering the ways to approach the study of large corpora of digital content and data. In this context, Digital Humanities (DH) has been a success story in the academic world. However, we argue that it is better to consider DH as a transitory phenomenon that needs to be developed into more specific research fields, while at the same time it could benefit from being extended towards an even more multidisciplinary science. To achieve this, it is vital to first transcend the artificial division of cultural inquiry into the qualitative analysis of idiographic phenomena and the quantification of nomothetic phenomena. It is furthermore important to surpass the dichotomy of specific versus general as research objects; for example replacing this with the notion of the semiosphere as a research object, defined as the ‘smallest’ functioning element of culture by Juri Lotman. In this perspective, the singular cultural unit is always conditioned by the whole of the semiosphere, while the whole can be always changed by the singular, both in line with classic hermeneutic inquiry and recent notions of complexity science. Further, the label of ‘humanities’ in DH is at the same time both too large and too restrictive. We instead argue for a study of meaning-making practices in human society, but without confining ourselves to traditional humanities scholarship, but rather, learning from new developments in systems biology, evolutionary economics, complexity science and many more. We think that this new transdisciplinary field of study can help define the scope of the <italic>Cultural Science Journal</italic>. Indeed, it has already found practical application in a variety of ‘post-DH’ collaborations in ‘Cultural Data Analytics’, often with the aim to explore the dynamics of meaning-making practices by computational means and by looking at a spectrum of materials (textual, sonic, visual, multimodal, etc.) both regarding the <italic>longue durée</italic> and in real-time applications, if not anticipating the future.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-22T00:00:00.000+00:00Aleksandr Bogdanov, ‘Science and the Working Class’ Bogdanov’s Sociology of the Arts<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Aleksandr Bogdanov’s theory of culture has been outlined in a number of key works on his life and work.<fn id="j_csj-2021-0018_fn_001" symbol="1"><p>See Sochor (1998); <xref ref-type="bibr" rid="j_csj-2021-0018_ref_040">Mally (1990)</xref>; <xref ref-type="bibr" rid="j_csj-2021-0018_ref_056">White (2019b)</xref>.</p></fn> The purpose of the present article is to situate his ideas on the social function of the arts within the framework of his theory of culture. I point out that, whereas in his general theory of social consciousness Bogdanov acknowledged his indebtedness to Marx, he considered that in respect of the arts he had improved on Marx, who had viewed the arts as a mere “embellishment of life”. I argue that for Bogdanov, “proletarian culture” was not the working class “mentalité” of his time, but a state of mind that with the assistance of his brainchild, the Proletarian Cultural-Educational Organization, would evolve in the direction of a collectivist, “all-human”, culture. I explain that the didacticism of this approach antagonized a number of writers of proletarian origin. This article is based on works by Bogdanov, few of which have been re-published in post-Soviet Russia and most of which are not available in other languages. It will enable culturologists and other scholars to include Bogdanov in the history of the sociology of the arts, an exercise that has hitherto been impeded by Soviet censorship of his works, under-tuition of the Russian language, and a scarcity of relevant translations.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-22T00:00:00.000+00:00en-us-1