Seminar: “What are Theory Films? On the Visual Afterlife of Textual Procedures”

In my current media-theoretical project I study the continuation of literary formats and theoretical problematizations with visual means in the film and text works of Harun Farocki, Laura Mulvey/Peter Wollen, Trinh Minh-ha, Hito Steyerl, Philipp Scheffner, and others. Up to now, these filmmakers have primarily been perceived as artists, which ignores their extensive textual work with and on literary and theoretical texts. The project attempts to identify systematically the text-based practices of reading and writing in their visual works, and their transposition into media specific procedures of inquiry, which have remained largely implicit in their globally received films. Through this approach, their film, video, and installation works will not only become readable as explicitly multimodal genres of narrative inquiry and visual forms of theory, but can also be analyzed as precedents for digital medium specificity and collective authorship, as older text-based practices are today increasingly being replaced by digital desktop narration, artistic research, or the visual public humanities.



Florian Fuchs is a Research-Track Postdoc at the “Temporal Communities”-Cluster of Excellence  at Freie Universität Berlin. He is the author of Civic Storytelling: The Rise of Short Forms and the Agency of Literature, forthcoming from Zone Books in 2023, and the co-editor and co-translator of History, Metaphors, Fables: A Hans Blumenberg Reader, published with Cornell University Press in 2020. From 20182021 he was a Postdoc and Lecturer in German and Comparative Literature at Princeton University. In 2017 he received his PhD with distinction from Yale University. Before joining the Yale German department as a graduate student, he also studied at the European-University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), at the École Normale Superiéure in Paris, and at Stanford.