Introduction: Stepping into the Play Frame—Cinema as Mammalian Communication

  • Daniel White


The critical perspective on film in the Anthropocene fashioned in the present book is both old and new. It is derived from Aristotle and Plato and from Gregory Bateson (Steps to an Ecology of Mind. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000a) and Norbert Wiener (1961), as well as a range of philosophical and literary perspectives in between. Its structural principles include the idea of “play” as a form of communicative exchange shared widely across Mammalia, combined with the idea of art as syllogistical mimēsis, derived from Aristotle, to provide “frames” through which to understand film as a multi-layered form of communication. The physical machineries of modernity meet with communicative ones of postmodernity in the digital camera: a hybrid of mechanism and information. The complex problems posed by the Anthropocene, from this perspective, might effectively be addressed in the medium of “film” as an artifact produced by this emerging “informatic” assemblage. The key films studied are summarized.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel White
    • 1
  1. 1.Honors CollegeFlorida Atlantic UniversityJupiterUSA

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