Virtual Book Club: Expanded Cinema with Gene Youngblood

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Date(s) - 04/05 - 05/24

Weekly Online Video Conversations
with Gene Youngblood

April 5 – May 24, 2020
Every Sunday, 11:00am – 12:00pm PST

Join Gene Youngblood and Gray Area in reading and discussing Expanded Cinema online together.

Gray Area Reads! takes a look at some of the original works around media theory, the confluence of art and technology, and the impact of technology on society and culture. Together we will work our way through discussions around how culture and technology can engage with society. For our first edition we will start with a book enormously influential to our thinking around immersive art, Gene Youngblood’s Expanded Cinema.

First published in 1970, Gene Youngblood’s influential Expanded Cinema was the first serious treatment of video, computers, and holography as cinematic technologies. Long considered the bible for media artists, Youngblood’s insider account of 1960s counterculture and the birth of cybernetics remains a mainstay reference in today’s hypermediated digital world.

To mark its fiftieth-anniversary re-release by Fordham University Press, join Gray Area in a virtual book club and weekly conversation about Expanded Cinema, with author Gene Youngblood. This edition includes a new Introduction by the author that offers conceptual tools for understanding the sociocultural and sociopolitical realities of our present world.

A unique eyewitness account of burgeoning experimental film and the birth of video art in the late 1960s, this far- ranging study traces the evolution of cinematic language to the end of fiction, drama, and realism. Vast in scope, its prescient formulations include “the paleocybernetic age,” “intermedia,” the “artist as design scientist,” the “artist as ecologist,” “synaesthetics and kinesthetics,” and “the technosphere: man/machine symbiosis.” Outstanding works are analyzed in detail.

Providing an unparalleled historical documentation, Expanded Cinema clarifies a chapter of countercultural history that is still not fully represented in the art historical record half a century later. The book will also inspire the current generation of artists working in ever-newer expansions of the cinematic environment and will prove invaluable to all who are concerned with the technologies that are reshaping the nature of human communication.


Week 1: Introduction
Week 2: Part One: The Audience and the Myth of Entertainment
Week 3: Part Two: Synaesthetic Cinema: The End of Drama”
Week 4: Part Three: Toward Cosmic Consciousness
Week 5: Part Four: Cybernetic Cinema and Computer Films
Week 6: Part Five: Television as a Creative Medium
Week 7: Part Six: Intermedia
Week 8: Part Seven: Holographic Cinema: A New World