Discorrelated Images

Duke University Press

In Discorrelated Images Shane Denson examines the ways in which computer-generated digital images displace and transform the traditional spatial and temporal relationships that viewers had with conventional analog forms of cinema. Denson analyzes works ranging from the Transformers series and Blade Runner 2049 to videogames and multimedia installations to show how what he calls discorrelated images—images that do not correlate with the abilities and limits of human perception—produce new subjectivities, affects, and potentials for perception and action. Denson's theorization suggests that new media theory and its focus on technological development must now be inseparable from film and cinema theory. But there's more at stake in understanding discorrelated images, Denson contends, than just a reshaping of cinema, the development of new technical imaging processes, and evolution of film and media studies: they herald a transformation of subjectivity itself and are essential to our ability to comprehend nonhuman agency.

“Addressing some of the most important issues faced by film and media scholars today, Shane Denson gives a surprising and highly cogent account of the changes that make for our current experience of ‘postcinematic’ audiovisual media. He powerfully shows how broad socio-technological forces work in the realm of visual media and suggests ways that such media can help us to grasp the scale and effects of those forces. An important book, Discorrelated Images offers major new contributions to film and media studies.” — Steven Shaviro, author of The Universe of Things: On Speculative Realism

“Theoretically brilliant in its phenomenological conceptualization of discorrelation, Shane Denson's book reveals the perceptual and aesthetic discontinuities and continuities between film-based and digitally rendered cinema. Most significantly, Denson argues that understanding the effects of discorrelation and its expansion of our ways of seeing and being may provoke greater awareness of our existential precarity. A groundbreaking work.” — Vivian Sobchack, author of The Address of the Eye: A Phenomenology of Film Experience


Shortlisted for the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present (ASAP) 2021 Book Prize