Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Ways of Being: The Spectator and the Spectacle

A seven month research project that operated alongside the orchestration of EYES and which culminated in my undergraduate theoretical dissertation: Ways of Being: The Spectator and the Spectacle.

The paper was praised for its originality, progressive thinking and received the highest mark that has ever been awarded to a Film and Screen Studies dissertation at Bath Spa University; as well as being awarded the Media Futures Research Award!

As my guiding tutor and primary marker, Dr Suman Ghosh, commented: "The mark of 85 is an exceptional mark, rarely awarded, and only to work of exceptional quality. I am pleased to say that both examiners agreed that this was the case with your work."Additionally, the Head of the Film and Media Department, Dr Terence Rodgers, commented that: "This is certainly one of the best FL dissertations I have read for many a year".

The paper is a consideration of the epistemological, ontological and metaphysical downfalls of film theory’s understandings of the spectator and the spectacle; with particular emphasis directed towards the neurobiological implications of the spectator’s body.

The thesis argues that these shortcomings are representative of wider ranging issues of complacency engulfing the film industry and film exhibition as a whole. Furthermore, the fundamental disruptions of the digital upgrade of cinema, and the expanding means through which film content can be experienced, are explored in relation to the pressing need for film theory to reassess itself.

Drawing on a plethora of empirical and non-empirical research, the dissertation is a highly progressive expression of how film experience has always been about transcendence and, as a result of its digital re-birth and diversifications, it is now becoming even more so. 

Other materials pertaining to the project can be viewed in this Google Drive folder.

On top of EYES and my other final year projects, getting Ways of Being up to the standard I wanted was a tall and exhausting order!
As a result of my enthusiasm for the project, I unearthed so much data that the first draft I wrote warranted a request for a larger word count submission. As such, the primary content I eventually submitted totalled just fewer than 15,000 words, with the Appendix and other supplementary material bringing the overall word count to 30,000 words! Furthermore, I still had additional ideas and data that would have allowed me to write more!

This research project had a huge influence on EYES and vice versa; in fact, I refer to EYES as being the practical expression of what I explored in Ways of Being. I believe the high marks both projects were awarded are testament to their mutually beneficial relationship to one another.

As of June 2013, the research started in this project is ongoing and I am building a website to host it: www.ways2interface.com. I have been very fortunate to stumble into an area that is not receiving much research interest and I am very keen to build up a network of interested parties to change this. Therefore, please contact me if this is an area of interest.