Panning Out: Anxiety, Visuality & Panorama (72772)

Session Information: Cultural Studies
Session Chair: Evelyn M. Malinowski

Saturday, 23 September 2023 12:15
Session: Session 2
Room: Room B (Live Stream)
Presentation Type:Live-Stream Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 2 (Europe/Madrid)

The definition of “panorama” typically yields to that of a medium or geophysical destination. It is a quaintly profound vista upon a mountaintop, an immersive representation of a past event, a warped, full-circle capture of a sought-after topic or innocuous moment in time. These compressed big pictures are made possible through actual or symbolic expansion of the given frame; by adjusting a frame line even slightly, a perceived abundance of content or landscape is produced, a perspectival hack which challenges neural intake processes and endeavors to grant visuality at any cost. Though they are culturally cherished, panoramas and overviews deliver a stormy succession of dysregulatory symptoms, from disorientation and fatigue, to cognitive overload and latent anxiety. The paradox of panorama – that is, the unexpected strain symptomatic of prolonged exposure to an overview – festers throughout the human population today. As it is widely understood that screen proliferation and communication continuities have contributed to such a condition, the presence of anxiety in panorama predates portable LED screens, making the inquiry into panorama a matter of expanding the boundary of its own definition. This paper explores the cultural history and metaphysical properties of panorama and interprets its indivisible interrelation to anxiety. In gaining an overview of an otherwise encapsulating way of seeing, it can be observed that unchecked panoramic practices exacerbate general feelings of anxiety and panic on both individual and collective levels, creating a planetary climate of unaddressed sickness, grief, and too-much-ness.

Evelyn Malinowski, European Graduate School, Switzerland

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00