Revisiting Huxley’s Dystopic Vision of Future Cinema, The Feelies: Immersive Experiences through Contemporary Multisensory Media

Manfred Milz

Abstract


Aldous Huxley’s concern with media, and in particular with cinema, is one of the most conspicuous components of his work as a social critic and as a novelist. Evaluating its potential societal functions, as an artistic genre, a didactic cultural tool for documentaries or as a mass entertainment venue, determined his critical relationship towards the medium. Due to his impaired eyesight, Huxley’s attention to perception, intertwined with advancing cinema-technologies, was not restricted to the visual, but extended to all of the human senses, as he demonstrated in the Feelies of his novel Brave New World (1932). Primarily with regard to mechanomorphic reflexes of human conditioning, this cinematic concept is interpreted by drawing from articles and essays of evolutionary, psychological, political, and aesthetic perspectives that Huxley developed on a parallel writing track in popular print media during the 1920s/30s. In confronting modes of multisensory immersion around 1900 with some of the 20th/21st centuries, this contribution reevaluates Huxley’s vision of future cinema.

 

Article received: June 10, 2019; Article accepted: July 6, 2019; Published online: October 15, 2019; Original scholarly paper

How to cite this article: Milz, Manfred. "Revisiting Huxley’s Dystopic Vision of Future Cinema, The Feelies: Immersive Experiences through Contemporary Multisensory Media." AM Journal of Art and Media Studies 20 (2019): 27-42. doi: 10.25038/am.v0i20.325


Keywords


flow (absorption in pleasure); multi-sensory interaction; multisequential prosthetic enhancement; participatory dramatic agency.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25038/am.v0i20.325

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