Undergraduate and graduate programmes offered by the University iuav of Venice:



Technologies of Vision, Screen Mediated Realities… and Beyond



by Professor Angela Ndalianis (Swinburne University of Technology)


13 marzo > 8 maggio 2018

h. 15 > 17

Cotonificio, aula N1

Dorsoduro 2196 Venezia


referente prof. Agostino de Rosa


numero massimo di iscritti: 15 studenti



Il workshop è aperto a tutti gli studenti, sia delle triennali (DCP, DAAC) che delle magistrali Iuav (DCP, DAAC, DPPAC)



Il workshop eroga 4 crediti di tipologia D





come partecipare

Chi fosse interessato a partecipare, può inviare un mail al prof. Agostino De Rosa, all'indirizzo aderosa@iuav.it, specificando di voler partecipare al workshop Technologies of Vision, Screen Mediated Realities …and Beyond



We live in a world mediated by screen media and other emerging technologies of vision, and our lives are marked by radical transitions and advances in media that have altered our perception and experience of reality. This workshop analyses the diverse screen media, including film, painting, video, video games, television, handheld devices while also moving beyond the screen to examine virtual and mixed realities. In doing so, the workshop will also explore the histories and genealogies of these media – analysing what Zielinski calls the 'deep time' of technologies of vision. As such, while being grounded in the present, the analysis will often turn to visual technologies of past eras, including the Renaissance, the baroque and Victorian times.


Following an interdisciplinary approach, this workshop will study the history of various optical technologies and the representations they conjure. It will examine various theories that articulate their relationship with their audiences and their links with science on the one hand and art, entertainment and illusionism on the other. This subject will explore why humans have a long history of desiring to extend our senses and intensify the experience of reality through technological mediation. It will investigate the concepts of embodied technology and the technologized body within the context of public and private technologically mediated spaces.





Seminar/Workshop in English Language

The workshop/seminar meetings will be on Tuesday afternoon (14 – 16) on the following dates:



Week 1. 13 March

Screen media histories and archaeologies:

Transhistorical media relationships – the old and the new


• Introduction

• What is media archaeology and how is it useful as a critical tool for analysing media history and mediated experiences?

• What is Anderson’s argument regarding the evolving relationship between today’s visual image and data? Is there value in considering the dialogue that exists between the analogue and digital?


Thomas Elsaesser, "The New Film History as Media Archaeology", Cinémas: revue d'études cinématographiques / Cinémas: Journal of Film Studies, vol. 14, no 2-3, 2004, p. 75-117.

Erkki Huhtamo, “Elements of Screenology”, WRO Screens, 01, http://wro01.wrocenter.pl/erkki/html/erkki_en.html

Steve F Anderson “Introduction”, Technologies of Vision: The War Between Data and Images, MIT Press, Cambridge, 2017.



Week 2. 20 March

Early cinema, art, and the frenzy of modernity – mobility and vision


• What are the key phenomena regarding social/sensory/cognitive responses to the outcomes of modernity, and how does film figure in this scenario?

• How did film and other entertainment/art forms respond to competing technological innovations at the turn of the C19th?


Lynne Kirby, “Inventors and Hysterics: the Train and the Prehistory of Early History of the Cinema”, Parallel Tracks: the Railroad and Silent Cinema, Duke UP, Durham, 1997, pp. 19-74.

Jonathan Crary, “1888: Illuminations of Disenchantment” Suspensions of Perception: Attention, Spectacle, and Modern Culture, MIT Press, Massachusetts, 1999, pp. 237-81.

Gunning, Tom (1990) The cinema of attractions: early film, its spectator and the avant garde. In, T.Elsaesser & A. Barker (Eds.). Early cinema: space, frame, narrative pp. 56-62. BFI.

Nanna Verhoeff, “Self-reflection”, Mobile Screens: the Visual Regime of Navigation, Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, 2012, ch.2.



Week 3. 27 March

The architectonics of spectatorship: haptic vision, cartographic journeys

and the metaphor of the window


• Giuliana Bruno understands our engagement with film and art as akin to an architectural experience that is kinetic, embodied, and encompasses the environment in which a film is experienced.

• Anne Friedberg exposes the inaccuracy of traditional spectatorship models based on Alberti and Descartes that filtered into art historical and film studies theories of the ‘the frame’, ‘the window’ and one-point perspective.

• How do Bruno and Friedberg’s theories of spectator engagement disturb traditional spectatorship theories that rely on the Cartesian subject, and fixed position of one-point perspective?


Giuliana Bruno, “Motion and Emotion: Film and the Urban Fabric”, in Cities in Transition: the Moving Image and the Modern Metropolis, Wallflower Press, London, 2008, ch.1.

Anne Friedberg, “The Frame - Lens II: Heidegger’s Frame”, The Virtual Window: from Alberti to Microsoft, MIT Press, Massachusetts, 2006, ch.2.

Christian Hayes “Phantom carriages: Reconstructing Hale’s Tours and the virtual travel experience”, Early Popular Visual Culture, Vol. 7, No. 2, July 2009, 185–198



Pasqua – 30 March-2 April



Week 4. 3 April

Widescreen visions – from c18th panoramas to c21st imax and virtual reality


• Considering the varied positions outlined in this week’s readings in response to widescreen visions, what – if anything – is to be gained from analysing film and the film experience through the lens of media history?

• How do widescreen and immersive, virtual experiences move beyond audio-vision to engage the human sensorium more forcefully? Are these examples of what Verhoeff calls “panoramic complex” and “panoramic desire”?

• How viable is Crary’s argument that stereoscopic vision presented a shift in human perception through technological mediation? Is his argument applicable to analysing the stereoscopic vision of virtual reality?


Nanna Verhoeff, “Panoramic Complex”, Mobile Screens: the Visual Regime of Navigation, Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, 2012, ch. 1.

Jonathan Crary, “Techniques of the Observer”, Techniques of the Observer: On Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century, Cambridge: MA: MIT Press, 1990.

Frank Steinicke, “The Science and Fiction of the Ultimate Display”, Being Really Virtual: Immersive Natives and the Future, of Virtual Reality, Cham: Springer, 2016, ch. 2.



Week 5. 10 April

Baroque to neo-baroque: illusionism, magic and special/visual effects


• The baroque as a concept has a long and problematic history. What is baroque visuality, and how does it find new expression in the neo-baroque? Should we extend our understanding of the baroque to consider the senses more broadly?

• What is the bel composto, and how is it reimagined in contemporary audio-visual media experiences?

• Norman Klein understands the baroque as continuing beyond the ‘historical’ baroque of the C17th. It is continued presence is found in his account of history as special effect, as mediated spectacle and controlled illusion. Why has the baroque predominantly been understood in negative aesthetic and ideological terms? Does it have to be?

• Why is magic and the magician so prevalent in the re-emergence of the baroque from the C19th until the present day?


Angela Ndalianis, “Virtuosity, Special-Effects Spectacles, and Architectures of the Senses” & “Special Effects Magic and the Spiritual Presence of the Technological”, Neo-Baroque Aesthetics and Contemporary Entertainment Media, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2004, chs. 4&5.

Angela Ndalianis, “Baroque Facades, Jeff Bridges’ Face and Tron: Legacy”, in Special Effects, ed.s Bob Rehak and Dan North, Palgrave/BFI: London, 2015.

Angela Ndalianis, “From Neo-Baroque to Neo-baroques?”, Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos. Vol. 33, issue 1, Fall, 2009, pp.265-280.

Norman Klein, “Introduction: The Vatican to Vegas” and “Scripted Spaces and the Illusion of Power, 1550-1780” (excerpts), The Vatican to Vegas: A History of Special Effects, New Press, 2004.



Week 6. 17 April

Beyond the screen: theme parks, mediated environments and scripted spaces – from Disneyland to Las Vegas


• What is the contemporary theme park’s connection with past media spaces, and how has it extended (the primarily) filmic experience?

• What is the Experience Economy and how does it draw upon the strategy of the ‘scripted space’ to design urban spaces?

• How has urban planning adapted the theme park logic into its spaces?


Brian Lonsway, “Entertainment Capacity”, Making Leisure Work: Architecture and the Experience Economy, Routledge, 2009, ch. 6.

Angela Ndalianis, “Baroque Theatricality and Scripted Spaces: from Movie Palaces to Las Vegas Casinos”, Neo-baroques: From Latin America to the Hollywood Blockbuster, ed.s Angela Ndalianis, Walter Moser and Peter Krieger, Rodopi Press: Amsterdam, ch. 12.

Norman M. Klein, "The Electronic Baroque: Jerde Cities", in You Are Here: The Jerde Partnership International, (ed.s) Frances Anderton with Ray Bradbury, Margaret Crawford, Norman M. Klein & Craig Hodgetts, Phaidon Press Ltd, 1999, pp. 112-121.

Angela Ndalianis, “Disney’s Utopian-Techno-Futures: Tomorrow's World That We Shall Build Today”, Tourist Utopias: Offshore Islands, Enclave Spaces, and Mobile Imaginations, Ed. Tim Simpson, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2017.



Week 7. 24 April

Navigating multiple screens / City as screen


• With the advent of ocular rift, google glass, augmented reality, 3D projection and mobile media, the city itself has become a space filled with screens. What features characterise our networked and multi-screened cityscapes?

• Is the effect any different to the earlier media traditions described by Friedberg and Verhoeff?


Nanna Verhoeff, “Urban Screens”, Mobile Screens: the Visual Regime of Navigation, Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, 2012, ch. 4.

Daniela Krautsack, “3D Projection Mapping and its Impact on Media and Architecture in Contemporary and Future Urban Spaces”, Journal of New Media Caucus, vol.7, no. 1, 2011.

Anne Friedberg, “The Multiple” The Virtual Window: from Alberti to Microsoft, MIT Press, Massachusetts, 2006, ch. 5.

Milica Stojšić, “(New) Media Facades: Architecture and/as a Medium in Urban Context.” AM Journal of Art and Media Studies 12 (2017): 135-148

Gavin Sade “Aesthetics of Urban Media Façades”, MAB '14, November 19 – 22, 2014.



Festa del lavoro 1 May



Week 8. 8 May

Transmedia worlds, viral marketing and the collapse of the screen frame: reality meets fiction


• Through the active manipulation of the ‘original’ screen text (often before it exists), transmedia experiences (associated with films like A.I./Dark Knight/ Blair Witch Project/Cloverfield, television shows like Game of Thrones/ Lost/ Sherlock, and video games like Halo) have opened the text and spilt it across multiple media screens and into the urban landscape.

• How do transmedia events blur the relationship between reality and fiction?

• How do transmedia experiences unsettle concepts of authorship, spectatorship and screen culture?


Angela Ndalianis, “Viral Marketing from Blair Witch to True Blood: Reality meets Fiction”, The Horror Sensorium: Media and the Senses, McFarland, 2012, ch.7.

Henry Jenkins, “Transmedia Storytelling: Moving characters from books to films to video games can make them stronger and more compelling.” Technology Review. (January 15, 2003). http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/13052/

Stephen E. Dinehart, “Transmedial Play: Cognitive and Cross-platform Narrative.” The Narrative Design Exploratorium: a Publication Dedicated to Exploring Interactive Storytelling. (14 May 2008). http://exploratorium.interactivenarrativedesign.com/2008/05/transmedial-play-cognitive-and-cross-platform-narrative/





:: To link to pdf copies of the readings, videos, and additional material, go to the workshop website: http://technologies-of-vision.com/ ::