Dziga Vertov, the first shoemaker of Russian cinema

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We are told that the mechanization of production has dire effects on the functionality of language as well as human capacities for symbolic communication in general. This expropriation of language by the machine results in the deterioration of the traditional political public sphere, which once privileged language as the exclusive medium of intersubjectivity and agency. The essay argues that the work of the Soviet media artist Dziga Vertov, especially his 1931 "film-thing" Enthusiasm, sought to redress the antagonism between technology and politics faced by modern industrial societies. Vertov's public sphere was one that did not privilege language and abstract discourse, but that incorporated all manner of material objects as means of communication. As Vertov instructed, the public sphere must move beyond its linguistic bias to embrace industrial commodities as communicative social media.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-382
Number of pages20
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Philosophy
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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