Wilfred Bion’s theories of dreaming, of the analytic situation, of reality and everyday life, and even of the contact between the body and the mind offer very different, and highly fruitful, perspectives on lived experience. Yet very little of his work has entered the field of visual culture, especially film and media studies. Kelli Fuery offers an engaging overview of Bion’s most significant contribution to psychoanalysis- his theory of thinking- and demonstrates its relevance for why we watch moving images.
Bion’s theory of thinking is presented as an alternative model for the examination of how we experience moving images and how they work as tools which we use to help us ‘think’ emotional experience. ‘Being Embedded’ is a term used to identify and acknowledge the link between thinking and emotional experience within the lived reception of cinema. It is a concept that everyone can speak to as already knowing, already having felt it - being embedded is at the core of lived and thinking experience. This book offers a return to psychoanalytic theory within moving image studies, contributing to the recent works that have explored object relations psychoanalysis within visual culture (specifically the writings of Klein and Winnicott), but differs in its reference and examination of previously overlooked, but highly pivotal, thinkers such as Bion, Bollas and Ogden. A theorization of thinking as an affective structure within moving image experience provides a fresh avenue for psychoanalytic theory within visual culture.
Wilfred Bion, Thinking and Emotional Experience in Moving Images will appeal to psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists, as well as scholars and students of film and media studies, cultural studies and cultural sociology and anthropology, visual culture, media theory, philosophy, and psychosocial studies.
"This is a game-changing book, and one that lays down an important challenge to scholars of the moving image. In setting out the structuring silences and omissions made within the field whenever a time-worn version of psychoanalysis is brought to bear, Fuery makes a compelling case for the importance of object relational ideas in shaping lived and psychological experiences of film and television. Providing a lively, engaging, erudite, and spirited approach, this book shows how a sustained understanding of the work of Wilfred Bion affords new perspectives on the emotional invitations of moving image encounters. Fuery deftly defines complex ideas in accessible ways, supplying a route into object relations theory for newcomers. At the same time, though, she weaves a sophisticated, nuanced argument about the layers of theoretical complexity at work in her analysis, bringing in the ideas of analysts such as Melanie Klein and Christopher Bollas, as well as the work of film philosophers and psychoanalytic critics more broadly. The book adds much needed depth to debates about psychic experience and emotional lives in relation to screen culture, showing how psychoanalysis expands our understanding of cognitive processes and offers new approaches to theorising audiences. This will be a must-read for anyone invested in moving image theory and criticism."-Caroline Bainbridge, PhD, PFHEA, Professor of Culture and Psychoanalysis, University of Roehampton and Film Editor, International Journal of Psychoanalysis
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 A Theory of Thinking for Moving Image Experience
Chapter 3 Wandering Reverie and the Aesthetic Experience of Being Adrift
Chapter 4 Metaphor, the Analytic Field, and the Embedded Spectator
Chapter 5 Group Experience, Collective Memory and Dreaming
Chapter 6 Linking, Intentionality and the Container-Contained
Chapter 7 Transformation: The Idiomatic Encounter and Use of Moving Image as Object
Chapter 8 Being Embedded: Rhizome, Decalcomania and Containment
About the Author
Kelli Fuery is Assistant Professor at Dodge College for Film and Media Arts, Chapman University, USA. She is the author of New Media: Culture and Image (2009) and co-author of Visual Cultures and Critical Theory (2003). She has also published widely in on the themes of visual culture, psychoanalysis and critical theory.