Some events coming up! Monday May 30th I will be joining Dany Nobus at ABF Stockholm as the discussant for his presentation Group Pathology and the Analysis of the Ego: On the Dissolution of Psychoanalytic Organisations and the Question of Psychoanalytic Training
Our Psychoanalysis, Art & the Occult series at Morbid Anatomy Museum continues May 22nd!
“The Death Drive on Film” by Mary Wild and “The Revolution will go Viral… on Sexting, the Digital & Contagion” by Dr Clint Burnham
Date: Sunday, March 22
Time: 2-4 pm EST
This lecture will take place virtually, via Zoom. Ticket sales will end at 12:30pm EST the day of the lecture. This event will be recorded and ticketholders will receive a temporary streaming link after the live stream.
Ticketholders: a link to the conference is sent out at 1 pm EST on the day of the event to the email used at checkout. Please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your contacts to ensure that the event link will not go to spam.
PLEASE NOTE: This lecture will be recorded and available for free for our Patreon members at $5/above. Become a Member HERE.
The Death Drive on Film, by Mary Wild
In “Beyond the Pleasure Principle” (1920), Sigmund Freud defined the death drive as being in opposition to Eros (i.e., the affirmation of life through survival, propagation, productivity, and romance). This talk will focus the death drive on film, represented as self-sabotage, the unconscious wish to return to an inorganic state, and the urge to repeat painful past events. The proposition is that there is a cultural merit in coming to terms with the death drive, as it helps us to identify, comprehend and integrate harmful impulses in a functional way.
Films discussed: Damage (1992), Weekend At Bernie’s (1989), Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (2019)
“The Revolution will go Viral… on Sexting, the Digital & Contagion,” by Dr. Clint Burnham
We need psychoanalysis to understand our conflicted anxieties brought to the fore by Covid, we needed Covid-19 to come along to help us comprehend the dyad of connectivity and isolation at work in the internet, and we continue to need the internet to understand such psychoanalytic ideas as the unconscious and “desire is the desire of the Other.”
Drawing on the work of Freud, Lacan, Žižek, and Byung-Chul Han, and discussing sexting, anti-vaxxers, and “the subject supposed to LOL,” this talk will argue that our desires on the internet, our anxieties about vaccines and masks, and the way things go viral, can only be understood with the help of psychoanalysis, and, that these cultural phenomena can in turn help advance the theory and practice, the very relevance, of psychoanalysis today.
The next Psychoanalysis, Art and the Occult conference is in the preparation stages! Join us for:
VISIONARY MEDIUM: Psychoanalysis and the Magic of Cinema
October 14-16, 2022 | Husets Biograf, Copenhagen
The third Psychoanalysis, Art & the Occult conference focuses on cinema as a gateway into and out of the human mind, in all its complexity. No modern medium enchants quite as powerfully as that of the moving image. As film developed into an art form parallel to the emergence of both psychoanalysis and the late 19th century renaissance of the occult, its presence was rapidly imbued with a genuinely visionary power that continues to spellbind to this day. This event shines the light on a psychological screen filled with innovations, ideas, prisms and mirrors, revealing ever more to us about the intimate, intricate relationship between psychoanalysis, art and the occult.
In 1895, the same year Sigmund Freud published Studies on Hysteria with Josef Breuer, the Lumière brothers presented the first projected moving pictures to a paying audience and practicing occultist William Butler Yeats published his very first collection of poetry. As Freud continued developing his theories, the film industry established itself, with experimental film-making evolving alongside conventional cinema from the beginning. The early films of Georges Méliès, Hans Richter and Fritz Lang influenced generations of filmmakers, including Jonas Mekas, Luis Buñuel, Harry Smith, Ingmar Bergman, Robert Frank, Kenneth Anger, Antony Balch, Derek Jarman, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Peter Greenaway, John Waters, Darren Aronofsky, Anna Biller and Lars von Trier.
When a filmmaker is a true artist, their vision and own unconscious processes are projected and worked through via the medium of film. The magic lantern’s cinematic spells are timeless expressions of the human condition – existing outside trends, discourses and even the larger Zeitgeists of the times – yet resonating throughout. As Freudian cinephile Mary Wild relays in her work, films are projective surfaces engaging similar mechanisms as the classic projective tests of psychoanalysts, such as the Rorschach Inkblot Test. In the chamber of the cinema, films are projected onto screens while audience members project their own internal worlds onto the films, identifying with the characters and enacting the drama being played out. Nowadays screens are ubiquitous in our everyday lives, the interactive screens of computers and phones providing countless opportunities for individuals to project themselves into the digital realm in a multitude of ways never before imagined.
The Psychoanalysis, Art & the Occult series of events, curated by Dr. Vanessa Sinclair and Carl Abrahamsson, is dedicated to exploring the intersections and integration of psychoanalytic theory, the creative arts, occult practices and folk magic traditions. By inviting psychoanalysts, philosophers, artists, writers, filmmakers and magical practitioners from a variety of theoretical orientations and worldviews to discuss their work, personal experiences and areas of interest with one another, dialogue is opened up between practitioners in fields of study that traditionally rarely engage with one another, though often operate in similar and complementary ways.
Topics may range from themes of the double, mirroring, projection, programming, propaganda and poetry to psychoanalysis on film, the history of cinema, celluloid tangibility, home movies, horror, underground cinema, spirit photography, the scopic drive, the Uncanny, Cinema of Transgression, Film as a Subversive Art (a la Amos Vogel), social media, TikTok, artificial intelligence and the digital realm to deep dives into particular auteur filmmakers, photographers or artists, such as Diane Arbus, Joel-Peter Witkin, Francis Bacon, William Mortensen, Werner Herzog or Russ Meyer.
Please send inquiries and proposals for presentations to: sinclairvanessa [AT] gmail [DOT] com
I recently received the cover for the anthology I edited celebrating the films of Ingmar Bergman, due to be released by Routledge this autumn. Stay tuned for more details coming soon!
Recently on Rendering Unconscious Podcast:
RU197: MOISÉS LINO E SILVA ON MINORITARIAN LIBERALISM: A TRAVESTI LIFE IN A BRAZILIAN FAVELA
RU196: MOLLY MERSON & LARA SHEEHI ON COUNTERSPACE, SYSTEMIC VIOLENCE, WHITE SUPREMACY, RACISM, SEXISM, ABLEISM
RU195: MARK AMERIKA, DAVID GUNKEL, PAUL D. MILLER, EDUARDO NAVAS, ARAM SINNREICH ON REMIX & THE POST-RATIONAL FUTURE
RU194: ROBERT BESHARA ON TRANSLATING MOURAD WAHBA’S FUNDAMENTALISM & SECULARIZATION
RU193: VICTOR J. KREBS & RICHARD FRANKEL ON HUMAN VIRTUALITY & DIGITAL LIFE: PHILOSOPHICAL & PSYCHOANALYTIC INVESTIGATIONS
RU192: OUNGAN JOSEPH ROBICHEAUX ON THE SEVEN LAYERS OF THE VODOU SOUL
RU191: AUTHOR AMI SANDS BRODOFF ON HER NEW BOOK THE SLEEP OF APPLES
That's a wrap for now!
As always the best way to keep in touch is at Patreon!