Into Great Stillness, Again and Again: Gilles Deleuze’s Time and the Constructions of Digital Cinema
The direct inscription of reality’s illuminations so fundamental for the creation of celluloid images is missing from the digital, which by forcing a series of conversions into its constructions, makes temporal relations difficult to uphold. Of course, a perceptual realism allows for reality to be recognisable in the digital image according to a habitual reading of coordinates and structural relations of space and light. Nevertheless, the mathematical notations that lie at the basis of the image raise the question of an ontological grounding that finds its roots in the consequences of time. What seems to be at stake is not an iconic impression of reality, but a link to time as historical trace, as unpredictable progression, as expression of change. At the same time, though, it just might be that, while the digital clearly separates itself from celluloid technologies on the basis of its operative configurations, it nonetheless can invoke the ontological force of change on grounds other than indexicality. Guided by this premise, it will be the aim of this article to examine the relationship between celluloid and digital structures, in order to see where time can be found in new forms of cinematic production. As such, I will initially turn to the temporal relations of celluloid film to see how the digital disrupts the bond between image and time, and then see how the digital itself can become an image of time through the work of Gilles Deleuze.
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