The theoretical framework of my research interests focuses on the polymorphism of cinema studies, as well as the potentiality of the “medium” as a process of intermediations. With this in mind, my first research project turned to the impact of digital cinema on contemporary film theory, looking at the relationship between celluloid and digital technologies. My main concern here was the existential implication of the viewer in the world screened, and what the particular structures of a technology may mean for the viewer-screen-world structure. While turning to the technical basis of the image, as well as the creative and perceptual activities of moviemakers and viewers alike, I discussed the digital not as a distinct rupture in the history of cinema but as a new form whose continuous contact with previous traditions creates a setting of technical and theoretical overlaps, exchanges, and developments. This project forms the basis of my first monograph From Light to Byte: Toward an Ethics of Digital Cinema (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012).
I am now in the early stages of a new research project, The Interactive Spectator, which is concerned more specifically with cinema spectatorship and medial interactivity. From digital cinema, to new media art and performance, and from computing, to gaming and social activism, digital technologies have had a vast impact on our spectatorial experiences of media, and our participation in culture and society. No longer in just a cinematic setting, the viewer has now become a multiply refracted interactive spectator. In order to account for the challenges this poses for a conventional understanding of individuality and agency, this project argues for a fundamental reconceptualization of spectatorship and medial interactivity, where interactivity is interpreted as a continuously variable, heterochronic, and synthetic act of individuation and socialization.