First person shot. New Forms of Subjectivity between Cinema and Intermedia Networks

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The paper analyzes the first person shot, a stylistic figure resulting from a radical transformation of the classical point of view or subjective shot within the contemporary media landscape. The first part of the paper focuses on two main features of the first person shot. On the one hand, it is an intermedia figure, arising from the reciprocal interactions of technological innovations which unfolded on different media platforms: the steadicam and its derivatives, digital cameras and their miniaturized versions, surveillance equipments, videogames playable from a first-person perspective. On the other hand, it is an experiential figure, as it directly expresses the dynamic grasp of the world, enacted by a hybrid agent (a body – sensor), and consequently its perceptual, practical, emotional, living and ongoing experience. The second part of the paper considers the first person shot as a figure expressing in sensorial terms a well defined idea of subject and subjectivity. This idea contrasts with the main conceptions adopted by film and media scholars: the paper analyzes the debate between J. L. Baudry and V. Sobchack and argues that both scholars – despite their different philosophical premises - consider the subject as an entity defined by its position in a specific location. Rather, in the case of the first person shot the subject is continuously redefined through a constant shifting; hence the subject should be conceived as dis-posed and dis-located. Finally, the paper argues that this conception of subject and subjectivity links film and media studies to current mind theories inspired by cognitive phenomenology, which elaborated a conception of subject as a dynamic agent involved in an ongoing narrative negotiation of selfhood through continuous flows of transformations.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)19-31
Numero di pagine13
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2012


  • media semiotics
  • semiotica dei media
  • soggettività
  • subjectivity


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