Andie E. Shabbar – Abstract

Oscillations of Otherness: Disinterestedness and the Capacity of Affect in Trinh T. Minh-ha’s Reassemblage

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This paper explores the affective capacity of Trinh T. Minh-ha’s experimental documentary, Reassemblage: Fire Light to the Screen. Examining Trinh’s unconventional use of sound and image, I argue that Reassemblage’s disruptive aesthetics have the affective capacity to produce, rather than represent, new subjectivities wherein the line between subject/object, filmmaker/viewer, self/other, and insider/outsider begin to dissolve. In so doing, the paper builds an unlikely theoretical alliance between Gilles Deleuze’s delineation of affect, the Kantian notion of disinterestedness, and feminist scholarship on aesthetics. Paying particular attention to the space in-between an interested and disinterested aesthetic approach, the paper stresses that one must engage in an oscillation of otherness in order to reconsider both the distance and proximity between self and other.

Trinh T. Minh-ha, aesthetics, affects theory, disinterestedness, feminist film theory, experimental film, feminist art philosophy