Defining the Moving Image: A Response to Noël Carroll
|Abstract||In “Defining the Moving Image” Noël Carroll proposes the following necessary conditions for achieving his task: in his view, x is a moving image (1) only if x is a detached display, (2) only if x belongs to the class of things from which the impression of movement is technically possible, (3) only if performance tokens of x are generated by a template that is a token, and (4) only if performance tokens of x are not artworks in their own right.”1 Later he adds a fifth condition: (5) x is a moving image only if it is twodimensional.2 I will argue that the third condition is circular, while none of the remaining conditions are in fact necessary. The first condition. Something is a “moving image” only if it is a “detached display.” To use one of Carroll’s examples, if I’m watching a horse race (even through binoculars), “I can still orient myself spatially to the finish line.” But “Suppose that I am watching Casablanca and what I see on the screen is Rick’s bar. I cannot, on the basis of the image, orient my body to the bar – to the spatial coordinates of that structure as it existed some time in the early forties in California (nor could I orient my body by means of the image to the putative fictional locale [in North Africa] of the film).”|
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