Amateur Cinematography as Technology of the Self. Modes of Self-presentation in Austrian Amateur Films from the 1920s to the 1980s


Di, 30/05/2017 – 16:00 bis 16:30


University of Gothenburg, Department of Cultural Sciences, Vera Sandbergs Allé 8, 41133 Göteborg, Sweden

Presentation by Michaela Scharf at the international workshop: “Situating Film Practices: Amateurism – Professionalism – Pragmatism”.

Based on the very first results of the dissertation project on “Practices of Subjectivation in Austrian Amateur Films from the 1920s to the 1980s” the presentation focuses on private moving images as sources of historical self-visualizations.

The talk concentrates on amateur films’ potential for research of cultural history in general, and practices of subjectivation in particular. Referring to Michel Foucault’s concept of “technologies of the self”, amateur film production can be understood as a self-reflexive practice. Both the filmmakers and the persons acting in front of the camera produce a specific understanding of themselves during the filming process. The amateur films show the filmmakers’ personal visions of life as well as the filmed persons’ performances following a cultural repertoire of images, gestures and facial expressions. The presentation discusses the methodological approach of a serial film analysis combined with a micro-historical view on specific case studies to examine different modes of self-presentation in Austrian amateur films.

Host: Mats Jönsson, Department of Cultural Sciences, University of Gothenburg