KINO-EYE THE WRITINGS OF DZIGA VERTOV PDF

She received a bachelor's degree in from Brooklyn College. She pursued graduate studies in art history and philosophy at Columbia University and the University of Paris. While in France she wrote and edited for several publications and translated the essays of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. She returned to New York in

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Contemporary discussions about gender in cyberspace often rely on assumptions about the immanently liberatory potential of technology. But amid all the enthusiasm for a postgender cyberspace, it is important to remember that Haraway is not the first to imagine a world without gender in the coupling of humans and machines. The writers of the Futurist movement of the early twentieth century precede her vision, but to achieve it they called for the elimination of the feminine.

Particularly in the work of Dziga Vertov, filmmaker and theorist of the early Soviet era, the anti-feminist stance of the Italian Futurists is rejected in favor of a representational strategy that privileges women as filmic subjects without reinforcing patterns of visual pleasure that support bourgeois patriarchal ideology. By foregrounding its own process of production, and displaying both men and women involved in creating the film, Man With a Movie Camera radically departs from the bourgeois conventions which all Futurists despised; but it does so without scapegoating women.

As a historical representation of the cyborg that promotes strategies for minimizing the hierarchical stratification of gender, the film serves as a model for contemporary discussions of postgender cyberspace.

After being conquered by Futurist eyes our multiplied sensibilities will at last hear with Futurist ears. In this way the motors and machines of our industrial cities will one day be consciously attuned, so that every factory will be transformed into an intoxicating orchestra of noises.

In creating a postmodern cyborg subjectivity, Haraway acknowledges changes in our conception of the various binary structures which modernist notions of subjectivity were founded upon. The early Futurists would have found it difficult to engage in this particular border dispute. As modernists they were thoroughly entrenched in the kind of binary thinking that separated organic from inorganic and masculinity from femininity.

As a result their conception of the cyborg is only apparent through their pairings of men and machines in their art. This follows the oft-quoted statement in point number 4 which affirms that a roaring motorcar is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace. Woman and femininity belonged to the past, to the 19th century. The future belonged to men. The Russian Futurists were different, though, like the Italians, they disdained the past and the various institutions which preserved it.

Throw Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, etc. But Russian Futurism and Italian Futurism were never as closely aligned as their common name would suggest. And when Marinetti came to Russia in January , the Russian Futurists met him with complete animosity — The list contains points 1 through 4. It skips points 5 and 6, then includes points 7 and 8, but leaves out 9, 10 and 11 Burliuk The points Brik repudiates in this crucial essay reveal the stark differences between Russian and Italian Futurism.

Perhaps the most objectionable notions, though, are contained in point 9. In the work of Dziga Vertov, we can see how the Russian Futurists recuperated the essentially cyborg notion of combining technology and humanity from the misogynist trap into which the Italians fell. The Kino-Eye, then, is a cyborg construction that contains multiple positions for the production of film meaning. Those positions were obviously chosen so that equitable contrib utions could be made from representatives of each gender.

The apparently uneven number of males and females in the Council of Three will be explained later, in light of the importance of editing in Soviet filmmaking, relative to the other stages of pro duction. It is the first example of a theory of the cyborg that does not rely on a misogynistic eradication of the feminine in order to unite man and machine. Not only does it allude to the need for a filmic subject able to transcend the imprecision of the traditi onal psychologically motivated narrative, but this same subject must not be gendered in a way which implicates the viewer in the logic of the look so essential to maintaining power relationships in patriarchal culture.

Mulvey writes:. This is where Man With a Movie Camera presents the greatest challenge to mainstream filmmaking. While excluding man as subject of the film, Vertov also includes woman as maker of meaning. Man With a Movie Camera begins with a shot of a movie camera, facing the viewer, and from out of the top of the camera a miniature Mikhail Kaufman climbs with his camera and tripod, aims it at the offscreen space to the right, and begins to crank.

A cut reveals the top of a building, which, according to the conventions of mainstream narrative cinema, where the spectator identifies with the look of a character, is presumably the object the came raman is filming. But already this simple association begins to subvert those conventions it appears to follow, as Judith Mayne points out in her analysis of this segment:.

The following two shots repeat a similar pattern with slight differences. In shot three, the cameraman is seen at an increased distance; and the angle of shot four, a la mppost, is slightly different from the angle of shot two. A puzzling reversal occurs as well: the off-center but nonetheless continuous match between shots one and two is impossible between shots three and four, since in shot three the cameraman picks u p his equipment and moves off-screen.

Thus a sense of continuity is established and violated at the same time Mayne Following these four brief shots, we see the cameraman, now in scale with his surroundings, entering the movie theater through the curtains and heading to the projection booth. He then threads the projector with what the logic of continuity driven cinema would have us believe is the film he has just exposed.

This completely elides the processes in between shooting and screening a film. Again, a sense of continuity is established and violated. This is a crucial point, and will be returned to shortly, but I will first address a problem regarding the opening sequence. In fact it is possible to determine this even before the venetian blind scene as Mayne displays in stating:.

From the very beginning In other words, the cameraman cannot be equated with a central character, or even the central narrating i ntelligence of a narrative film, since visual perspective is not localized in a single figure, but dispersed through multiple perspectives. This notion of the visual subject dispersed through multiple perspectives is as fundamental to an understanding of the Kino-Eye as an essentially cyborg construction as the combining of human and machine, which is also seen throughout the film.

The Kino-Eye, then, can be understood as an ideological weapon, a cyborg combination of human and movie camera, which both creates and depends upon multiple perspectives for its interpretation and communication. Through a new form of visua lization it begins to destabilize the various hierarchies which patriarchal capitalism depends upon for maintaining hegemonic dominance. The most prevalent hierarchy destabilized is gender.

Several writers have commented on the complex way that gender is questioned in Man With a Movie Camera since most of the subjects of the camera are women. Kaufman is the human figure who appears most frequently in the film, but he never appears in close-up, thereby making character identification quite difficult, and he never appears without his camera, which suggests that he is not gendered male, but cyborg.

In other words he is not man as bearer of the look, but man, bearer of the camera. Svilova appears about 21 minutes, or one-third of the way into this minute film, seated at her editing table, with scissors in hand, cutting the film and cement-splicing it into new patterns. About one minute before she appears a series of freeze-frame stills, beginning with a horse pulling a carriage and ending with close-up faces of people, appears for the first time in the film.

In some of the images we even see the perforated sprocket holes at the edge of the frame, completely demystifying the illusion of cinematic continuity as well as mimesis. Further examples of the way that gender is destabilized by the Kino-Eye include the ambiguous nature of the eye itself when reflected in the lens of the camera. For Kirby, the Kino-Eye is a feminine machine set in motion, or awakened by the passing of a train over the body of the cameraman.

But I see a more gender-neutral identity for the Kino-Eye. In the sequence of shots Kirby cites approximately eight and a half minutes into the film , the cameraman does appear to be run over by the train at the very point when a woman wakes and begins to look around. But immediately following the shots comprising his being run over, which include close-ups of his feet and head on the tracks, quickly spliced between shots of the train rushing by, the cameraman gets up unscathed and walks back to a car waiting to drive him away.

The fact that the cameraman is completely unharmed by his encounter with the train rules out any possibility of perceiving this sequence as strictly violent. But the eroticism is always mitigated by the gender-neutrality of the Kino-Eye, which does not indulge in the kind of scopophilic fantasy narrative so common in mainstream Hollywood cinema. The erotic undercurrents in Man With a Movie Camera are impossible to explain using theories in which desire is either masculine or feminine, but theories of the cyborg explain the eroticism in this film quite adequately.

William R. Macauley and Angel J. But in Man With a Movie Camera, the merger that occurs is as much with the awakened woman as it is with technology. This is the real source of the erotic undercurrent in Man With a Movie Camera. The Kino-Eye is neither masculine nor feminine. No less bold was his decision to emphasize the contribution of women. Man With a Movie Camera presents these two separate agendas seamlessly in a direct reversal of the Classical Hollywood style which hides the process of production.

Classical Hollywood Cinema also presents woman as spectacle for masculine pleasure. The pleasure in Man With a Movie Camera begins with liberation from gender hierarchy. In contemporary discussions of gender in cyberspace the equitable representation of women is not a foregone conclusion.

The cyborg has done as much to reify existing stereotypes about gender as it has to eradicate them. Hyper-masculine cyborg creations potrayed by Arnold Schwarzenneger in the Terminator movies suggest that the dream of the Italian Futurists, a world devoid of women, leaving only men and machines, rules Hollywood today.

For this reason it is even more important to seek out historical representations of the cyborg that promote strategies for minimizing the hierarchical stratification of gender. In this paper I have tried to suggest that there is a wealth of relevant theory in the revolutionary work of the Russian Futurists. Google Scholar. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

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Introduction Contemporary discussions about gender in cyberspace often rely on assumptions about the immanently liberatory potential of technology.

The Futurist Roots of the Cyborg After being conquered by Futurist eyes our multiplied sensibilities will at last hear with Futurist ears. Click for larger view View full resolution. Works Cited Burliuk, D. Mayakovsky, Victor Khlebnikov. Anna Lawton. Ithaca: Cornell UP, Crofts, Stephen, and Olivia Rose. Haraway, Donna J. New York: Routledge,

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Kino Eye The Writings Of Dziga Vertov

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Introduction

It was also the name of the movement and group that was defined by this technique. Kino-Eye was Vertov's means of capturing what he believed to be "inaccessible to the human eye"; [1] that is, Kino-Eye films would not attempt to imitate how the human eye saw things. Rather, by assembling film fragments and editing them together in a form of montage , Kino-Eye hoped to activate a new type of perception by creating "a new filmic, i. In the early s, cinema emerged as a central medium of artistic expression in the Soviet Union. The relatively new form was celebrated as the tool of a new social order by revolutionary leaders like Lenin and Trotsky.

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