Fields of interest
- Media | Arts | Politics
- Critical Theory
- Cultural Analysis
- Crossmedia Cultures
- Film, Television and Media Studies
- Digital Cultures
- Codes & Algorithms
- Film Philosophy
Pepita Hesselberth is University Lecturer Film and Literary Studies at Leiden University, and research fellow at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies at the University of Copenhagen. Her research interests revolve around questions concerning the production of subjectivity and the fabric of the social within our increasingly global, networked, and media-saturated society. She is the author of Cinematic Chonotopes (Bloomsbury 2014), and the editor of Compact Cinematics: The Moving Image in the Age of Bit-Sized Media (Bloomsbury 2016, together with Maria Poulaki). She is currently working on her project on Disconnectivity in the Digital Age, for which she received a two-year fellowship from the Danish Council for Independent Research.
Together with Yasco Horsman, she organizes a monthly series of NICA Lectures at Leiden University called Lectures in Media Art Politics. For more info, see here.
She is a two-time nominee of the Facultaire Onderwijsprijs. For more info, see here.
Disconnectivity in the Digital age (funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research). Digital detox holidays, phone stacking dinners, virtual suicide, a year without Internet. In a culture obsessed with social networking, participation and connectivity, to disconnect has come to mean going off-line: to reclaim presence in the physical world; to revitalize face to face communication; to salvage the actual over the virtual; to (temporarily) obliterate one’s online identity. To disconnect signals a desire to re_connect: with ones off-line identity, with friends, with the spiritual values of life, with ones natural environment, with the world at large. Disconnectivity thus bespeaks connectivity, and vice versa. For every form of connectivity, whether desired or feared, there is a correlative form of disconnectivity, dreaded or longed for. Each connection evokes the possibility of a disconnection that would instantly annul it, that precedes it, and that conditions it. The aim of this qualitative research project is to develop a conceptual framework for understanding the cultural and socio-political implications of the current tendency towards voluntary disconnectivity, where disconnectivity is understood as psychic, socio-economic, and/or political withdrawal from mediated forms of connectivity.
Key publications coming out of this project include
- 2017. Discourses on Disconnectivity and the Right to Disconnect. New Media & Society OA (Online First): 1-17.
- 2017. Creative Control: Digital Labour, Superimposition, Datafication, and the Image of Uncertainty. Digital Creativity 28(4): 332-347.
Compact Cinematics challenges the dominant understanding of cinema as feature length/ big screen, 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 increasingly important part of our everyday multimedia environment. With contributions of Jay Bolter & Maria Engberg, Francesco Casetti, Sean Cubitt, Ulrik Ekman, Anna McCarthy, Todd McGowan, Tom Gunning, Gillian Rose, Pasi Väliaho, Kim Louise Walden, and many others, the essays in this volume ask what the changed technical, socio-economic and political situation entails for the aesthetics and experience of contemporary cinematics, calling attention to new phenomena as well as to the concepts, theories and tools at our disposal to analyze them.
Cinematic Chronotopes: Here, Now, Me (Bloomsbury 2014).
The site of cinema is on the move. The extent to which technologically mediated sounds and images continue to be experienced as cinematic today is largely dependent on the intensified sense of being 'here,' 'now' and 'me' that they convey. This intensification is fundamentally rooted in the cinematic's potential to intensify our experience of time, to convey time's thickening, of which the sense of place, and a sense of self-presence are the correlatives. In this study, Pepita Hesselberth traces this thickening of time across four different spatio-temporal configurations of the cinematic: a multi-media exhibition featuring the work of Andy Warhol (1928-1987); the handheld aesthetics of European art-house films; a large-scale media installation by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer; and the usage of the trope of the flash-forward in mainstream Hollywood cinema. Only by juxtaposing these cases by looking at what they have in common, this study argues, can we grasp the complexity of the changes that the cinematic is currently undergoing.