'On the mode of existence of Screen and Screenscapes'. Lecture by Francesco Casetti, 14 November 2019, Het Nieuwe Instituut.
Through a reconsideration of some historical and contemporary screenic dispositives—from the Phantasmagoria to the most recent installations— the lecture discusses what the screen is in its diverse instantiations. On the one hand, we can’t delineate a screen “as such,” as if it were a freestanding device existing independently of its context. A screen is a screen when is part of an assemblage of elements and operations that triggers its action and assigns its functions and tasks. On the other hand, a screen is also part of a physical milieu that it helps to delineate. Its presence transforms a territory into a dedicated space—into a screenscape. Finally, the very fact that the screen is a device which is “grounded” in a territory uncovers its most basic function: it is a tool for the distribution of sensible (Jacques Ranciére). Screens not only display images; they define the modes of access to these images. In this, they are inherently political.