Forms of Temporal Complexities

02Mar2018 15:00 - 18:00


Session #5 Forms of Complexity Seminar with Patricia Pisters. Contact: Tessa de Vet -

In this session we will look at forms of temporal complexities. The reading material is a chapter of my book The Neuro-Image (‘Signs of Time’) where I suggest a new dominant form of cinematographic temporality in what I call ‘the neuro-image’, cinema of the digital age (which has its precursors in what Deleuze calls the time-image and the movement-image). This chapter is inspired by Deleuze’s philosophy of the three syntheses of time that he develops in Chapter 2 of Difference and Repetition, ‘Repetition for Itself’), which is recommended as background reading, although it is not a chapter that one reads in a few hours… so I’ve added this just for reference if you want to dive into this material). Deleuze’s philosophy of time is a temporal ontology, not necessarily mediated by cinema or other technologies, as I propose to do in my reading of cinema in digital context. The second text for this week is of Niklas Luhmann who talks about the specific conception of time of our (techno-mediated) age, and the special place of the future. I’d like to discuss possible connections (or ‘differences and repetitions’ ) between Deleuze and Luhmann, open to further debate and investigation. The final optional text (‘Cutting and Folding the Borgesian Map’) begins to explore these connections and serves as optional background material as well.

Patricia Pisters is professor of film at the Department of Media Studies of the University of Amsterdam and director of the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis (ASCA). She is one of the founding editors of the Open Access journal Necsus: European Journal of Media Studies. Publications include The Matrix of Visual Culture: Working with Deleuze in Film Theory (Stanford University Press, 2003); and  The Neuro-Image: A Deleuzian Film-Philosophy of Digital Screen Culture (Stanford University Press, 2012).She writes about the role of film and media in respect to collective consciousness. Currently she is working on a book project about the psychopathologies of contemporary media culture; and on a multi-media project about the filmmaker as metallurgist and alchemist of our times. See for articles, her blog, audio-visual material and other information also .


  • Luhmann, Niklas (1976). ‘The Future Cannot Begin; Temporal Structures in Modern Society.’ Social Research (43/1), pp. 130-152.
  • Pisters, Patricia (2012). ‘Signs of Time: Metaphysics of the Brain-Screen.’ The Neuro-Image. A Deleuzian Film-Philosophy of Digital Screen Culture. Stanford University Press, pp. 127-155.
  • Optional and additional reading material for those interested
  • Deleuze, Gilles (1994 [1968]). ‘Repetition for Itself.’ Difference and Repetition. Transl. P. Patton. Columbia University Press, pp. 70-128.
  • Pisters, Patricia (2016). ‘Cutting and Folding the Borgesian Map: Film as Complex Temporal Object in the Industrialization of Memory.’ Ubiquitous Computing, Complexity, and Culture. Eds. Ekman et al. Routledge, pp. 324-336.

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