Two new open access, e-journals dedicated to film and media studies have appeared over the last two weeks. The first, Necsus, is institutionally affiliated with the European Network for Cinema and Media Studies and, content aside, is just plain beautiful. Its first issue focuses on the theme of “Crisis” and opens with a very timely essay by Jacques Rancière entitled “The Gaps of Cinema.” Here, Rancière explores the irreducibility of cinema’s disparate parts (part material, part experience, part memory, part ideology, part art, part industrial craft, part philosphical concept, part utopia of parts). The essay was first delivered on the occasion of the award ceremony for the Maurizio Grande prize in Reggio de Calabria in January 2004. Upcoming issues of Necsus will organize around the themes of “tangibility,” “green,” and “waste.” These themes invite us to think between the concrete and the conceptual, the material and the experiential. In this way, Rancière’s essay seems to foreground the very gaps that are at stake not just in the concept of “crisis,” but in the thinking of cinema and media that frames this particular journal project.
The second journal, Frames, appeared just two days ago. It is edited by the graduate students at St. Andrews University. The first issue is edited by Catherine Grant, a Senior Lecturer at Sussex and writer-editor of the inimitable Film Studies for Free, and focuses on the intersection between our discipline and the digital. The issue is bursting with forty contributions from scholars, researchers, artists, and archivists. I was lucky enough to be invited to contribute, and even luckier to have my essay selected to open the issue. Frames includes a set of “point of view” pieces that I am just starting to make my way through (and hope to post responses to here). At a first pass, one will immediately notice the multiple experiments at work in the journal. Frames innovates in a number of directions and challenges the boundaries of both the traditional journal and even the formats of e-journaling that have come into view in recent years. Frames is not a digital journal modeling or mimicking an analogue one. Rather, Catherine has taken the opportunity to bring a community together and play with the possibilities of digital forms and the formation of digital knowledge.