Ute Holl

Porträt Ute Holl

Ute Holl

Professor of Media Studies
University of Basel

In Residence

June 2013

February 2015 – June 2015

Research Project

Turbulences of the Digital. On the Aesthetics of Hybrid Filmic Surfaces

The surfaces of digital cinema develop their own logics, which have little to do with conventional forms of 3D. The relationship between figure and ground, body and space, shape and color, proximity and distance, imagination or ex machina are shifting. Jean-Luc Godard in his 3D Film Adieu au langage traces these relations back to the classical avant-garde: Duchamp and Monet, simultaneously diagnosing here an upcoming relationship to nature, to animals and towards a new language of images. What he evokes is the hors-champ in front of beyond the screen, the permeability of surfaces, cinema, finally, as haptic space. Godard is transforming this into a love story.
In my project will discuss this history of the image as a thing which approaches us physically as aistheton, tracing it back into the 19th century, into the logics of switching and circuitry, into stroboscopy and the laboratories of Faraday and Hertz, for example, into the passage of the digital, as Bernhard Siegert put it, that marks another prehistory of the cinema. In this way, I will follow Jonathan Sterne in his venture to construct a new genealogy for contemporary media culture, and I want to discuss this as an ecological project. Cinema, too, needs a theory of format, not just form, before figuration.

Research Interests

  • Histories of cinema and perception
  • History of knowledge in audio-visual media
  • Media histories of acoustics, electro-acoustics, and cinema sound
  • Experimental and ethnographic films


Trance Techniques, Cinema, and Cybernetics, in: Heike Behrend, Anja Dreschke and Martin Zillinger (eds.): Trance Mediums and New Media. Spirit Possession in the Age of Technical Reproduction, New York: Fordham University Press 2015, p. 264-282.

Der Moses-Komplex. Politik der Töne, Politik der Bilder, Zürich: Diaphanes 2014.

Rekursionen im Nebel. Erinnerung im post-digitalen Kino. Grandieux, Godard, Akerman, in: Ute Holl and Matthias Wittmann (eds.): Memoryscapes. Filmformen der Erinnerung, Zürich: Diaphanes 2014, p. 227–256.

“Le blanc souci de notre toile”. De l’esthétique d’un montage de la lumière entre le corps et la représentation, in: Andreas Beyer, Angela Mengoni and Antonia von Schöning (eds.): Interpositions. Montage d’images et production de sens, Paris: Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme, Passages, Centre Allemand d’histoire de l’art 2014, p. 167–188.

Album, Montage, carte postale. Aspekte medialer Historiografie. Zum Film No pasarán, album souvenir (F 2003) von Henri-Fançois Imbert, in: Album. Organisationsfrom narrativer Kohärenz, Anke Kramer and Annegret Pelz (eds.), Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2013, p. 89-106.

Cinema on the Web and Newer Psychology, in: Screen Dynamics. Mapping the Borders of Cinema, Gertrud Koch, Volker Pantenburg, and Simon Rothöhler (eds.), Vienna: SYNEMA, 2012, p. 150-168.

Medien der Bioakustik. Tiere wiederholt zur Sprache bringen, in: Der Film und das Tier. Klassifizierungen, Cinephilien, Philosophien, S. Nessel and W. Pauleit et al. (eds.), Berlin: Bertz + Fischer, 2012, p. 97-114.

Kino, Trance und Kybernetik. Berlin: Verlag Brinkmann und Bose, 2002.


Ute Holl

Center for Advanced Studies BildEvidenz

Arnimallee 10
14195 Berlin