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We are Ant-Man

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, November 5, 2019. 05:00 PM - 07:00 PM
Meeting Location: 
McMurty Building, Room 370
Workshop: 
Digital Aesthetics: Critical Approaches to Computational Culture
Meeting Description: 

The body of the twenty-first-century cinematic superhero is often a digital body, in whole or in part. It offers itself as a particularly visible digital effect (or effect of the digital). It somatizes the mutability afforded by digital technology. It speaks to the sense that bodies (and therefore selves) in the digital age are no more inviolate than any other form of coded information. But having said that they “speak to” such conditions, what do they say beyond the fact of our own hybridity? Do these bodies tell us anything useful about our digital lives? Comedies have long served to mediate new technologies for audiences, so to pursue this, Scott Bukatman concentrates on Ant-Man and the Wasp (Peyton Reed, 2018), the most classically comedic film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What do the film’s particular emphases — the nature of its gags, its depiction of technology, and the state of knowledge of both protagonists and audience — tell us about our digital condition?

**If possible, please view Ant-Man and the Wasp before the workshop meeting.**

Scott Bukatman is a cultural theorist and professor of film and media studies at Stanford University. His research explores how such popular media as film, comics, and animation mediate between new technologies and human perceptual and bodily experience. His books include Terminal Identity: The Virtual Subject in Postmodern Science Fiction, one of the earliest book-length studies of cyberculture; a monograph on the film Blade Runner commissioned by the British Film Institute; and a collection of essays, Matters of Gravity: Special Effects and Supermen in the 20th Century.

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