From exile to entropy: notes on protagonists
and the posthistorical
Book chapter as part of Migrations in New Cinema
ed. Ektoras Arkomanis, Cours de Poetique publishing, 2020
Drawing on two autobiographical episodes and two films inspired by them, this essay is a meditation on the entanglement of history and politics with energy and materials. It proposes the notion of the posthistorical not in a political and cultural sense, but rather in a geological and ecological sense, and as mediated through the moving image. Traversing physical and pictorial terrains of exile, tourism, cinema, Google Streetview, architectural simulacra, and nuclear disaster, it asks whether a single individual can be a protagonist, or even an extra, in the unfolding narrative of historical and cosmic events. Mobilising a variety of texts by Vilém Flusser, it speaks to where we are and where we are not, from the necessary absence of an exile in their country of origin, to the drive to contemplate the possibility of consciousness at the end of the world.
Previous iteration of this text was presented as:
Parallel Spaces, Parallel Times
Invited lecture, Cass School of Art, London Metropolitan University, 2017