Thomas Elsaesser at Lang College/The New School, Feb 15

Lang College Culture and Media & The New School Graduate Media Studies present

“Tales of Epiphany and Entropy: Do-it-yourself Worlds on YouTube”

Thomas Elsaesser
Professor, Department of Media and Culture, University of Amsterdam
Visiting Professor, Film Studies, Yale University

The lecture presents the results of an ‘experiment’ with a set of search terms on
YouTube, to test what sort of ensembles (‘narratives’, ‘worlds’, ‘maps’, ‘journeys’,
‘derives’) the combination of YouTube tagging and human intentionality/net-serendipity
can produce. In this sense, the experiment is about matching different forms of agency
and contingency, moments of ecstasy and entropy. I shall refer to certain avant-garde
strategies – those of dada and surrealism, Baudelaire’s city walks and Guy Debord’s
derives – but the aim is to find out what sort of new knowledge can be generated from the
embedded data of Web 2.0 applications/sites.

6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Room 510
66 W 12th St, 5th Fl
Light refreshments will be served

(thanks to Dominic Pettman for the link)Thomas Elsaesser is Professor in the Department of Media and Culture at the University of
Amsterdam and currently Visiting Professor at Yale University. Most recent books as
author and editor include: Weimar Cinema and After (2000), Metropolis (2000), Studying
Contemporary American Film (2002, with Warren Buckland), Filmgeschichte und Frühes Kino
(2002), The Last Great American Picture Show (2004), Harun Farocki – Working on the
Sightlines (2004), European Cinema: Face to Face with Hollywood (2005), Terror and Trauma
(2007) and Filmtheory: An Introduction (2007, with Malte Hagener).

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