SCMS 2019- Network Aesthetics

deadline for submissions: 
August 15, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Aden Jordan
contact email: 

Our panel is focused upon networks, and the ways in which cinema and media have responded to the difficulty in representing complete models of contemporary networked existence. Our first speaker will be exploring how networks are represented geographically, specifically examining the second season of True Detective. In the series California is characterized as an infrastructural-economic network. This network poses significant problems for policing networks trying to mediate criminal activity that moves fluidly across borders and behind political obfuscation. In the series, effective policing is part and parcel with efforts to maintain a stable sense of identity complicated by the incongruity between personal and professional networks. Following Patrick Jagoda’s Network Aesthetics, this paper analyses what it means to flourish and fail within networked distribution. Our second speaker approaches networks as an epistemological problem complicating cinema’s vocation as a rehearsal space for worldly reciprocity. Following Lauren Berlant’s work in Cruel Optimism, the cinema is framed as a site in which reciprocity between subject and world is rehearsed. Vivian Sobchack’s seminal work in Film-phenomenology has proposed that encounters with the screen are always meaningful, not matter how abstract, however, recent developments in cinema aesthetics, namely post-continuity practices work to explicitly complicate the coherence of the screen-subject relationship. How can emergent aesthetics rooted in the fractured sense of non-reciprocity between subject and world lead us to develop practical epistemologies in a world that, as Jameson argued, can be known but is no longer representable.


Please e-mail a title, an abstract (200-300 words), and a short bio to Aden Jordan ( by 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday, August 15th.