Film-Philosophy Conference, Film-Philosophy Conference 2013: Beyond Film

Visualising political philosophy through animation and film

Dean Kenning, John Russell


Dean Kenning will screen his animation Metallurgy of the Subject; John Russell will show a series of short films produced for Head Gallery together with newly created animated fonts.

Dean Kenning: Metallurgy of the Subject: Visualising the Inoperative Community

Metallurgy of the Subject is an animation which explores recent philosophical re-conceptions of community and communism, and in particular writings by Jean-Luc Nancy, Giorgio Agamben and Alain Badiou. It takes both a diagrammatic and allegorical approach, presenting the movement from privatized being to the collective (‘common being’ or ‘being-in-common’) as a process of alchemical sacrifice and transmutation. Verbalised passages from the above named philosophers, as well as others such as Nietzsche and Paulo Virno are accompanied by images alluding to the ideas and concepts of Bataille, Hobbes, Deleuze, Raymond Williams and others.


John Russell: Abysmmal Plan: accelerationism. Visualising political philosophy through animation and film (includes screening)

Focusing primarily on examples of horror and science fiction films, John Russell’s illustrated paper explores the potential of the cinematic ‘tableau-vivant’ to visualize or picture philosophical and political ideas. A distinction is drawn here between the idea of ‘illustration’ as a format of crude pictorialism (the term ‘illustrational’ often being used as a pejorative term in discourses of art) and the ‘utopian’ Deleuzian model of the diagram as ‘a map of relations between forces and intensities’ emphasizing ambiguity and excess.  The talk uses these two conventionally stylized positions to explore contrasting visions of capitalism and revolution in cinema. For instance, accelerationist visualisations of capital as an infinite apocalyptic flow and revolution as a performance of libidinal excess, or alternately the banal ‘capitalism of the worker’ where time is chopped up routinely as periods of employment and stolen labour time.

Only abstracts are available on this site

About the Presenter

Dean Kenning
Contemporary Art Research Centre, Kingston University
United Kingdom

Artist and writer.

Post-doc researcher at Contemporary Art Research Centre, Kingston University

John Russell
University of Reading<br />
United Kingdom