Film my Desire

As Lacan’s term for the Imaginary suggests, with a simple connotation of the term as casual form of fiction, the amount of optical language that happens between projection and identification, turns out to be the link of the encounter between image and observer’s desire. In other words; the assumed fragmented body of the self opposes to the whole body of the Other, and therefore elaborates the wholeness of his own body as an image of the desired Other. So then the optical language happening between the projected image and the observer’s identification must correspond later to the observer’s desire of a whole-body. Following this idea, the body does not disappear without physicallity, but more than that, it turns to be outlined by the means of images. Sexuality and desire are, therefore, inscribed as drive forces of the subject in the field of the visible, laying out the reached dynamic of the visual. We possess a body without body or an image of a body: we are another. Is there not a key role cinema has been playing and in a way the Internet seems to be expanding?

My intention is, on one hand, to interrogate the lacanian concept of the mirror in the construction of the subject as it is one of the main topics in cinema theories to explain the situation of the viewer in front of the film projection. The model of the „mirror stage“ was actually conceived by Lacan to categorize the psycho-sexual development of the child as recognition of the Self from the visual. Cinema therefore finds in this stage a way to analyse the spectator-screen event as the imaginary production between screen-camera-look. In doing so, the media (cinema) sexualize its discurse, becomming itself the object petit a: cinema itself becomes then „that shiny object of desire“ (twisting a little bit the name of Buñuel’s classic film). On the other hand, I will confront the concepts of language and image through mass-media phenomena (like cinema and the Internet) in order to research on sexuality. The new digital technologies -where images have lost its materiality (ink, oil colors, photo-sensible emulsion, etc) as they have been completely structured by mathematic language (binary codes)- urge us to rethink the psychoanalitical terms of the Self, sexuality and language from a more complex scenario that inevitably shifts the Other from its past position. If images become manifestations of a language of codes, a technologize mirror faces us with a codified reflexion, which is not ours nor of the Other; it is actually placed as a „cyber-image“ somewhere in the middle. Where is then the sexual drive that causes the construction of the subject in such a situation?

The project aims at diverse experiences in contemporary sexual relations, apparentely liberated of the old repressions but, at the same time, unattached of the corporeal act of sex by means of mass media. I will interrogate the position of cinema in today’s subjectivity, when the cinema theories on the lacanian mirror stage seem to be merely outdated. Using diferent audiovisual formats such as HD video, film or cell-phone movies to mediate between me and the other, I will record my encounters with different strangers which I will meet through internet’s sexual networks. My avatar (my character) in this online-spaces and in the film will be named „mirror_stage,“ stressing the lacanian problematic of this action inside the cyber-space. Since any kind of physical sexual contact between both bodies is, in such spaces (chat-rooms, internet-forums or social networks), imposible -being instead replaced by text and visual representation- I will agree with each stranger, before the meetings, to remain with our avatar’s identities in order to make a film out of our encounters. On location and in this very sexualize context, I will challenge them to direct me as a camera-man for making a short-film about their alter-egos. In this fashion, the pro-filmic image will be made up of several elsewise situations, directed by sundry virtual identities, which will be trying to configurate the concept of sexuality with their visual bodies –being in front of the camera- and my imposibility to have a body –being behind the camera. From this tension, the project „Film my Desire“ will be dealing with a very difficult task to achieve, i.e. the existence of the language of the body as manifestation of sexuality in contemporary representation, as a media-based reflection of the Other’s body emerges on the surface where we find our own image, the tension arising from this situation will be as important as the film themself.