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At the Edges of Sleep - POSTPONED

Date and Time: 
Monday, March 9, 2020. 05:00 PM - 07:00 PM
Meeting Location: 
Humanities Center Boardroom
Workshop: 
Digital Aesthetics: Critical Approaches to Computational Culture 2019
Meeting Description: 

 

Please note: In accordance with Stanford's response to COVID-19, all Research Workshops planned through April 15 will be postponed, canceled or moved to an online format.

 

This talk introduces Professor Jean Ma's current research on sleep in film and moving image art, as both a subject matter to explore and a state to induce in the audience. An example of the recent turn to sleep is Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s SLEEPCINEMAHOTEL (2018), a work addressed to viewers presumed to be unconscious for the better part of its duration. The proposition made by SLEEPCINEMAHOTEL – that sleep can be more than a negative reflection on the work that arouses it – flies in the face of standard ideas about reception. Ma relates the provocation of sleepy spectatorship to a larger set of shifting conceptions of sleep, in disciplines of knowledge as well as popular discourse. As sleep emerges from the shadows into a newfound visibility, it undergoes a reevaluation. On the one hand, changing notions of the relationship between sleep and waking life reflect a new stage of the reign of instrumental reason, marked by nascent (bio)technological capacities to convert life processes into units of productivity. But on the other hand, as the boundaries between sleep and waking are displaced and reinscribed, we are also presented with an opportunity. What is the value of sleep? What can be preserved by carving out a space for sleep?

Jean Ma teaches in the Film and Media Studies Program in the Department of Art & Art History.

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