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Trance Mediums and New MediaSpirit Possession in the Age of Technical Reproduction$
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Heike Behrend, Anja Dreschke, and Martin Zillinger

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823253807

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823253807.001.0001

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Trance Techniques, Cinema, and Cybernetics

Trance Techniques, Cinema, and Cybernetics

(p.264) Trance Techniques, Cinema, and Cybernetics
Trance Mediums and New Media

Ute Holl

Fordham University Press

This chapter examines the example of Bateson and Margaret Mead, who as anthropologists made use of photography and film to record Balinese characters and culture. They took pictures and shot films of dances and trances and, as Holl suggests, became exposed to a magic that was the consequence not so much of Balinese trance techniques as of cinematographic technologies that they themselves had brought to Bali. In fact, they ignored not only the cinematographic time structure that creates an imaginary effect through the conversion of discrete pictures into movement perception, but also the illusionary and trance-producing aspects of film. They experienced the difficulties (perhaps the impossibility) of achieving a balance between scientific self-mastery and abandoning selfcontrol.

Keywords:   Ute Holl, Cinema, Trance, Cybernetics, Ethnographic film, Film theory

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