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Book

Compact Cinematics: The Moving Image in the Age of Bit-Sized Media

Compact Cinematics challenges the dominant understanding of cinema to focus on the various compact, short, miniature, pocket-sized forms of cinematics that have existed from even before its standardization in theatrical form, and in recent years have multiplied and proliferated, taking up an increasingly important part of our everyday multimedia environment.

Author
Pepita Hesselberth and Maria Poulaki
Date
17 January 2017
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Short films or micro-narratives, cinematic pieces or units re-assembled into image archives and looping themes, challenge the concepts that have traditionally been used to understand cinematic experience, like linear causality, sequentiality, and closure, and call attention to complex and modular forms of cinematic expression and perception. Such forms, in turn, seem to meet the requirements of digital convergence, which has pushed the development of more compact and mobile hardware for the display and use of audiovisual content on laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Meanwhile, contemporary economies of digital content acquisition, filing, and sharing equally require the shrinking of cinematic content for it to be recorded, played, projected, distributed, and installed with ease and speed. In this process, cinematic experience is shortened and condensed as well, so as to fit the late-capitalist attention economy.

The essays in this volume ask what this changed technical, socio-economic and political situation entails for the aesthetics and experience of contemporary cinematics, and call attention to different concepts, theories and tools at our disposal to analyze these changes.