Scenes of Projection

Scenes of Projection: Recasting the Enlightenment Subject

Jill H. Casid
Copyright Date: 2015
Pages: 328
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.ctt1287nmz
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  • Book Info
    Scenes of Projection
    Book Description:

    Theorizing vision and power at the intersections of the histories of psychoanalysis, media, scientific method, and colonization,Scenes of Projectionpoaches the prized instruments at the heart of the so-called scientific revolution: the projecting telescope, camera obscura, magic lantern, solar microscope, and prism. From the beginnings of what is retrospectively enshrined as the origins of the Enlightenment and in the wake of colonization, the scene of projection has functioned as a contraption for creating a fantasy subject of discarnate vision for the exercise of "reason."

    Jill H. Casid demonstrates across a range of sites that the scene of projection is neither a static diagram of power nor a fixed architecture but rather a pedagogical setup that operates as an influencing machine of persistent training. Thinking with queer and feminist art projects that take up old devices for casting an image to reorient this apparatus of power that produces its subject,Scenes of Projectionoffers a set of theses on the possibilities for felt embodiment out of the damaged and difficult pasts that haunt our present.

    eISBN: 978-1-4529-4249-0
    Subjects: Art & Art History, Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[vi])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [vii]-[viii])
  3. INTRODUCTION SHADOWS OF ENLIGHTENMENT
    (pp. 1-34)

    Let me open this book on the recasting of the subject in the shadows of enlightenment not by shedding light to banish the menace of what the subject will not admit but by setting the scene of projection with the device of a dream that might seem readily dismissed.¹ The dream begins: “In one dream, which I had in October 1958. . . .”² Recounted inMemories, Dreams, Reflections(1962), the biography of C.G. Jung published in English two years after the Swiss psychiatrist’s death, the dream is already articulated in the familiar but distancing “I” voice of the past...

  4. CHAPTER ONE PARANOID PROJECTION AND THE PHANTOM SUBJECT OF REASON
    (pp. 35-88)

    “Was the magic lantern ever magical?”¹ This is and is not a trick question. As a barbed trick, the question, whether answered in the negative or the affirmative, catches us in the tense terms of its mobilization of the “ever.” “Ever,” that is, “at any (other) time,” presupposes a present in which the “magic” of the philosophical instrument for the demonstration of and training in how vision is supposed to function has been dispelled along with the specter of the spectator’s troubling incarnation. As a “was it ever or was it at any time?” question, the magic of the magic...

  5. CHAPTER TWO EMPIRE THROUGH THE MAGIC LANTERN
    (pp. 89-124)

    Even as psychoanalysis developed its theories of projection and practices for casting out the demons of the psyche from the early modern demonstration lecture and its projective machinery for casting images in a darkened room, it also emerged in historical relation to European imperialism.¹ InImperial Leatherfeminist and postcolonial critic Anne McClintock uses the metaphor of the magic lantern to characterize the desiring dimensions of European imperialism in the early modern period, writing that, “long before the era of high Victorian imperialism, Africa and the Americas had become what can be called a pornotropics for the European imagination—a...

  6. CHAPTER THREE EMPIRE BITES BACK
    (pp. 125-158)

    The disciplinary pedagogical premise for the demonstration of image-casting devices—the camera obscura, the magic lantern, the solar microscope, and their variants—was to show and thereby train the spectator, in an idealized, ostensibly objectivizing, and instrumentalized version of how the eye works and, by extension, how the observer or witness of the experiment is supposed to see. As instrument imago of the spectator as subject of rational vision, however, projective apparatus did not actually resemble the witnessing body of the subject of rational vision.¹ This lack of corporeal resemblance is not incidental but rather the material form of a...

  7. CHAPTER FOUR ALONG ENLIGHTENMENT’S CAST SHADOWS
    (pp. 159-194)

    In the complex pedagogical scene of projection that endeavors to produce the subject as a disembodied witness who exercises rational vision, the action of shedding light to cast out or eliminate the shadows of superstition, false belief, the susceptibility of witness, and the spectator’s own bodily vulnerability is not only to illumine. Such shadow projecting is also to participate in a volatile but also potentially self-perpetuating motion machine, for to shed light upon is also to cast the very shadows the scene is to eliminate. Indeed, the scene of projection necessarily depends precariously on the fungible dynamics of the umbral...

  8. CHAPTER FIVE FOLLOWING THE RAINBOW
    (pp. 195-224)

    I open this chapter on the potentiality of the prism as an instrument of method with the figure of the prism deployed in Adorno’s and Dickinson’s techniques of negation as a tactic of production, a philosophical and poetic method for moving beyond oppositions (being and nonbeing, for instance, or, as in Dickinson’s opening query, “Which Is the best—the Moon or the Crescent?”) toward possibilities that extend between and also beyond such binaries, toward colors caught in and released by the possibilities of a refracting decomposition that also composes.¹ That method might be intrinsic to the instrument is not particular...

  9. CONCLUSION QUEER PROJECTION: THESES ON THE “FUTURE OF AN ILLUSION”
    (pp. 225-244)

    I opened this book with seven scenes of projection to endeavor to open and reeventilize a variety of projection devices: the fossilized fetish instruments of the history of the origins of scientific method; the machine metaphors for the unconscious that risk the danger of not just instrumentalizing the unconscious but converting the unconscious into a scientific object as a transparent and even knowable and predictable object (an empirical positivity for which there need be no analysis, only operations); and the predetermined machine boxes of familiar narratives about the camera obscura as the beginning of a now nostalgic history of photography...

  10. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. 245-250)
  11. NOTES
    (pp. 251-306)
  12. INDEX
    (pp. 307-324)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 325-325)