Death to the Home: Part 2

1) Moving again tomorrow. I really just want to set a life up for myself that enables me to finish my thesis and stops me from going completely crazy. I am going to crash at a mates house for a few days while I find somewhere.

2) I still have not smoked since last Saturday (9/7), so it has almost been a week. Those who have spent anytime with me know that this is a radical shift in my behaviour. Over the last 3 years I have been a fulltime smoker, which means I always had cigarettes and always had to go have a smoke every now and then. Now I don’t have ciggies and I don’t go for smokes.

I am treating it as a test of my will power. I am going to finish my PhD in the three years. I suspect that quitting smoking is going to be chicken feed compared to the task I have set myself with my studies/research. War (the drums)! Fuck, I love it…

EDIT: Via Myke. I suggest a new title for this .gif:

“Doing a PhD”

3) I bought the Deleuze cinema books today (Cinema 1 and Cinema 2). I am preparing to write my chapter in my thesis on affect and modified-car culture by preparing to write the paper for the upcoming M/C Journal issue on affect to be edited by Mel Gregg. My paper (if accepted) shall basically pick apart a quote from Mr A in the interview I did with him in Sweden. He said, “The hardest thing about it all is capturing speed on film.” ‘Capturing speed on film’ is not only a problem for Swedish film makers making films about racing through the streets of Stockholm but it is also a problem for philosophers of cinema and affect, especially those who use Deleuze.

As most Deleuze nerds will know, his books on cinema are heavily influenced by Bergson. Basically, Bergson argued that there is a time-matter continuum which we experience as ‘duration’ and that the world is constituted totally by images. Deleuze picks up on this and argues in Cinema 1 that the movement-image captures and frames a duration. In Cinema 2, Deleuze argues that there was a shift to the capturing of time with the time-image. He has a taxonomy of 18 ‘images’ derived from these two distinctions and three basic images he gets from Bergson.

The definition of speed in theories of rectlinear motion is of a rate of distance over time. Acceleration is change in this rate (ie a rate of a rate).

To represent speed on film is very difficult. Either a movement can be tracked within a frame so a camera pans across a (normally) horizontal landscape (but may include vertical landscapes of rocket launches, for example). Or a camera can be locked on to a moving body to represent the world moving past the body. Or the camera can track a moving body while it moves itself and without being locked on to the moving body. Important in representations of speed is a relation of proximity. The farther away a camera is from a moving body the slower it looks.

The problem is that even though ‘speed’ may be quantifiable at any distance, there is a qualitative dimension to speed that is of a different relation than that of time and distance. There is not only the speed as an abstraction, but speed as a relation between the body and movement that makes particular movement feel fast when they may be slow and vice versa. Examples, sitting in a plane doing 1000 km/h or driving a go-kart doing maybe 30 km/h. It is the affective dimension (that may be overcoded as emotions like fear or excitement) that I shall focus on. The speed of affect is instantaneous; the affects of speed, let alone representations of the affects of speed, is a problem of a different order.

The tricky bit for me is to connect representations of speed with the representation of the affects of speed. Mr A raises the example of motorsport television coverage such as rally racing. The representation of speed in rally racing does not look particularly fast. The point of racing is to win the race, ie be the fastest. On the other hand, the makers of Getaway in Stockholm work at representing the affects of speed. The point in their films is not to be the fastest, but to represent speed in a particular context (the ‘getaway’, cars in relation to the Swedish police). What they market are films that capture the affects of speed.

Anyway, more on this later.