Dark Media – Georges Méliès

The fantastical element of Méliès’s films is to be able to see what media and mediation usually don’t make visible— this is why Méliès’s films are about film, and more broadly, about technological mediation. What is not mediated, only one can gain through the mediation.

Long Distance Wireless Photography (1908) Georges Méliès

The Mysterious Retort – Georges Méliès (1905)

The Black Imp – Georges Méliès (1905)

p85 The most perfect mediation comes in The Black Imp, in the form of demonic possession; but for us as viewers to realize this, it must be remediated as a special-effects film, and we must be shown the demon, so that we can go back to viewing the scene “as if” the demon isn’t there.
  • Socrates and Plato -> communication is the presence
  • Heidegger and hermeneutics turn -> communication is the interpretation
  • Habermas and discussions over the public sphere -> communication is discourse).
  • Frankfurt school and Adorno, Horkheimer -> culture industry as technologies of domination.
  • Walter Benjamin -> form of reproducibility. ( Through which media escape property and become the perceptual apparatus adequate to the revolutionary tasks of the working class.
  • Toronto school -> media-ecological approach, which oscillates between the categories of bias and synthesis.
  • British and French -> synthesise culture, language, and ideology. Raymond William(Roland Barthes+Louis Althusser => generalise the category of the text beyond the literary, cultural studies came to emphasise the oscillations between writing and reading, or between encoding decoding.
It is not a new link in the grand chain of critical theory, literary criticism, cultural studies, or visual culture. Rather, it exits the chain entirely, turning ninety degrees away from these disciplines. Media theory ~intersects art theory, screen theory, science studies, the history of technology~, and many other fields.