SPRING SPRING! The 2nd Action of the Bird Collision Prevention Project

  • Film Screening: October: Ten Days That Shook the World (1927) dir. by Sergei Eisenstein and Grigori Aleksandrov

Time: 19:00 – 21:00 Thursday 29th 2021, Place: Water Pavilion

  • Guest Lecture: The Mise-en-Scene of Disenchantment: Eisenstein’s Glass House, and the Dream of Transparency by Elena Vogman

Time: 14:45 – 17:15 Friday 30th 2021, Place: Water Pavilion / Zoom: 770 275 7156

Plate 10: Eisenstein, “Girls pour le numéro de ‘Pierrot,” draft for the GlassHouse, diary from June 23, 1928, RGALI, 1923-2-1109, pp. 77-78. courtesy of Elena Vogman

Between 1926 and 1928, while working on his film October and the Capital project, Eisenstein conceived The Glass House—an unrealized film envisioned in a transparent skyscraper, a satire on bourgeois society, a “nightmare” and a “symphony” of glass. Basing on a series of visual materials from Eisenstein’s Moscow archive (RGALI), my talk proposes to examine the stakes in the unfulfilled Glass House project. The recently discovered notes and sketches for the film show how the ideological tension between transparency and opacity is translated in the most vertiginous formal experiment with the material of glass: the inclusion within the frame of several actions and perspectives, their multiplication and dissection, and finally the realization of montage within these qualities of the material. Eisenstein combines visions of mass ornaments of bodies—dancers of cabaret and “girls”—with dynamic fractions of vision which not only enact the new conditions of visibility under capitalism, radically politicizing it through sensuous experience, but also serve as an “experimental training for Capital,” one of Eisenstein’s most enigmatic projects following Marx’s script and employing literary techniques of James Joyce’s Ulysses.

Elena Vogman is a literature and media scholar, currently holding a visiting assistant professorship at NYU Shanghai. She has published two books: Sinnliches Denken. Eisensteins exzentrische Methode (Diapahnes 2018) and Dance of Values. Sergei Eisensteins Capital Project (Diapahnes 2019). Her current research project is titled Madness, Media, Milieus Reconfiguring the Humanities in Postwar Europe and will be based from June 2021 at Bauhaus-University in Weimar.