The Affective Database: 'Symulation' and Enacting Worldhood in the Film-worlds of Scott Barley
This article offers an alternate evolution of Lev Manovich’s (1999) concept of the database film, explored through the work of Welsh experimental filmmaker Scott Barley. Suggesting the existence of an affective type of database, this codifies their production as a form of ecological activism which phenomenologically affects viewers and creates a worldhood that each film inhabits. Viewers emerge as agential participants, which this article argues is an entanglement that occurs and continues long after the film’s initial release. Barley’s works often eschew formulations of humans, and instead invoke abstracted images of the world and wild animals, engendering an altered process of thought that attempts to avoid, reject and/or refute anthropocentrism. As Barley’s work continues to catalyse considerations of darkness, time, space and Jean Baudrillard’s simulation (1994), I argue that such films allow moments of stasis and stillness that are akin to death, bringing forth further considerations in viewer-participants about the world(s) they inhabit.
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