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The University of Southampton
Winchester Centre for Global Futures in Art Design & Media

Global Futures Seminar: Pasi Väliaho Event

Pasi Valiaho
16:00 - 18:00
6 June 2012
Seminar Rooms 8-9, WSA Graphics Building, third floor

For more information regarding this event, please telephone Dr Stefanie Van de Peer on 02380596925 or email .

Event details

Goldsmiths College Lecturer in Film & Screen Studies Pasi Väliaho is visiting Winchester Centre for Global Futures in Art Design & Media on 6 June 2012 for a talk on 'Video Games, Neutral Selves and Biopolitical Visual Economies'.

Video Games, Neural Selves and Biopolitical Visual Economies

A generic description of a couple of seconds of playing a first-person shooter like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2011) on PlayStation®3 might go as follows: “I crouch down and hide myself behind the wall, lean to my left to get a better view of the situation; feeling a bullet hitting my shoulder unaware where it came from, I panic, jump up and start to fire.”

This talk addresses the ways television and computer screens have today become occupied by a multiplicity of pre-verbal visual-kinetic images that literally make us move by evoking fundamental feelings of arousal and kinaesthesia at the heart of self-experience. Focusing on the visuality of video games, and the politics thereof, the purpose of the talk is two-fold. 

First, drawing on contemporary neuroscience, it analyzes the evocative power of video game imagery to pattern motor actions and the proprioceptive organization of selfhood.

The talk argues that neuroscientific conceptualizations come across as indispensable in addressing the complex dynamics of embodiment involved in gameplay, in particular the ways in which the “sub-representational” visuality of video games taps into the brain’s simulational power to predict and adapt to new situations. 

Secondly, the talk discusses the mechanisms of repetition, reiteration and standardization of cognitive and perceptual capacities that video games implement in plotting agency in today’s neoliberal biopolitics. Video game imagery, the talk puts forward, should be understood as part of a larger visual economy shaping subjectivities today – a visual economy based on a future-oriented, preemptive logic that structures our lived realities, ranging from virtualized “wars on terror” to the (ir)rationalities of finance capitalism.

Speaker information

Pasi Valiaho,Lecturer at Goldsmiths, works across the areas of early and pre-cinema, film theory and philosophy, digital culture, and media and technology. In mapping the implications of the medium in new ways of seeing and saying as manifest in the arts, science and philosophy of the era, his attempt has been to refocus and redefine the cinema as one of the most important anthropological processes of modernity.

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