This project has received funding from the European
Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon
2020 research and innovation programme.
Grant agreement No. 834033 AN-ICON.



© Laila.Pozzo

Virtual meeting (Zoom)

Seminar of Philosophy of Image

The Space of Illusion, from Phantasmagoria to Zoom

Francesco Casetti Yale University

Illusion is not just the effect of a series of textual procedures; it also needs a media environment that supports it. By media environment, or mediascape, I mean a space that in hosting a medium becomes part of it, to the point that it itself becomes an agent of mediation. A good example of illusion that arises in and from an environment is provided by the Phantasmagoria, in which the effect of the presence of ghosts depended both on projection, and on the arrangement of the space in which the projection happened. I will try to apply this double register of analysis, visual and environmental, also to the way in which Zoom pursues an effect of co-presence and interaction among participants.

keywords mediascape, screen, setting, Phantasmagoria, Zoom

Francesco Casetti is the Thomas E. Donnelly Professor of Humanities and Film and Media Studies at Yale. He has previously taught in Italy where he served as President of the scholarly society of Film and Media Studies. Visiting professor at Paris 3, at the University of Iowa, and at Harvard; fellowships at the Otago University, at the Bauhaus University-Weimar, and at Freie Universtität Berlin; awarded with the “Chair of Italian Culture” for a distinguished scholar at Berkeley. Among his books there are Inside the GazeTheories of Cinema, 1945-1995; Eye of the Century: Film, Experience, Modernity;and The Lumière Galaxy. Seven Key Words for the Cinema to Come. His current research focuses on cinephobia in the first half of the 20th Century; and on screen’s propensity to become a component of our current “mediascapes.”