Imagineering

Posted by Dr. Rodanthi Tzanelli on 2015/01/18

I read somewhere that filmmakers are dream merchants, mobile entrepreneurs who sell ideas to those with a more sedentary outlook. I doubt that this means they are Faustian dealers at all times. Dreaming is a ubiquitous human characteristic: we can all afford it in our most private moments without any help or immediate external intervention. Incidentally, as mobile subjects, filmmakers are often granted the badge of strangerhood because they cross imagined, symbolic or actual, territorial borders to make art so frequently. It seems to me that this explains better why they are often feared, excluded from host communities and even persecuted in some cases much like the dispossessed vagabond-migrants (not that this likeness removes class and status considerations).

The role of filmmaking in pushing ideational, cultural and political boundaries stands out for its Imagineering quality. By his I mean that filmmakers facilitate a particular type of engineering that played a vital role in articulations of modernity, and now in the so-called post-modern adventure. Imagineering makes dreaming come alive with the help of technology through image – though I would also add sound and possibly other sensory input. Its power stands miles apart from the crude positivist arguments of the scientific establishment that analyses phenomena on calculated schemata of cause and effect. Imagineering is not a diagnostic tool, but an indicator of the endless possibilities of the gifted human being to hope, create and imagine different futures.

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