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The University of Southampton
Archaeologies of Media and Technology Research group

“Somnolence’s Labours”: Elena Gorfinkel’s guest talk Event

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16:00 - 18:00
30 October 2018
LTC, Avenue Campus, University of Southampton

For more information regarding this event, please email Professor Jussi Parikka at .

Event details

Dr Elena Gorfinkel (Kings College London) is giving a guest talk co-organised by Film Studies and the Archaeologies of Media and Technology group. Dr Gorfinkel’s talk addresses cinema, sleep and exhaustion outlining some alternate models of value from corporeal to sexual to political.

Somnolence’s Labours

What is reproduced in and through a body's exhaustion? Considering the state of sleep as an incubator, and drawing on theories of waning energetics, social reproduction, and unwilled labour, this talk examines the domain of sleep as a field for the materialisation of alternate models of value: corporeal, sexual, and political. It examines cinematic ‘sleepworks’ such as Lucien Castaing Taylor and Verena Paravel’s Somniloquies, Dane Komljen’s All the Cities of the North, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s hotel cinema installation Sleepcinemahotel  for their conjuring, out of legible and illegible sleep states, some non-agentic creativities and erotic supplementarities. The talk finds in these projects the production of queer transvaluations of sleep, rescued from the crevasses of ruined histories: the gentrification of the mind of the sleep talker whose loquacity paves a route to uneasy liberation; a triad of lovers summoned by the communal sleepers and workers existing at the margins of Eastern Europe’s lost utopias; and the movie theater turned hotel, repurposed as care-labouring real estate - spa or factory for cinephile dreaming? What sorts of energies are imagined, ferried, incubated in the oneirism of sleep space? If seen through the lens of social reproduction, sleep may open up to the natality of collective dreams of a world beyond instrumentality, or a revolution of non-sovereignty. 

Speaker information

Dr Elena Gorfinkel, Kings College London, earned her MA and PhD in Cinema Studies from New York University. Before arriving at King’s College London, she was Associate Professor of Art History and Film Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she worked from 2009 to 2016. She was a Visiting Assistant Professor in Film Studies at Bryn Mawr College from 2007-2009. She is the author of Lewd Looks: American Sexploitation Cinema in the 1960s. University of Minnesota Press, 2017.

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