Patricia Pisters is Professor of Media and Film studies at the University of Amsterdam, where she is chair of the department of Media Studies. She is also a member of the steering committee of NECS (European Network for Cinema and Media Studies). Her research and teaching focuses on film-philosophical questions in conjunction with neuroscience and on political implications of contemporary transnational screen culture. Her new book, The Neuro-Image: A Deleuzian Filmphilosophy of Digital Screen Culture is forthcoming with Stanford University Press.
Catherine Malabou’s work makes a strong and important intervention in (re)connecting the materiality of physics and the immateriality of metaphysics through the concept of plasticity. In the first part of my response I would like to sketch a trajectory of this concept – as it is a “plastic” concept in itself. In doing this I hope to do justice to the radical moves which Malabou’s investigations entail, even if I will only be able to look at the developments of the concept in big steps. The implications of this radical turn might be even bigger than Malabou herself suggests, but that is something for the discussion. In the second part of my response I would like to look at a concrete example of what I call a “neuro-image,” contemporary cinema’s response to, resonance with and reflections on neurological and digital plasticity.