I’ve been sending comments straight to presenters, but I thought I’d do it here instead. Walid’s and Farshid’s takes on Plato’s cave were both fascinating, as were the contrasts between them.
Walid, I very much liked your emphasis on ritual as the source of screen media. This work relates beautifully to your earlier writing on cinema as a folded textile and as an axis mundi, in both cases connecting the viewer to the world. Can you upload those texts to the site so oters can read them? You connect the cave to the womb. I really liked those cave paitings that look like female genitals (seen from outside). My question is, facing which direction? Going in, in an “immersive” return to an oceanic state; or going out into the world, as the photo you showed of the bright light outside the cave suggests?
Farshid, you used the etymologyof hurqālyā to suggest that Mandean and Sabean (and Zoroastrian) fire worship is the source of Plato’s image of the fire in the cave—a thrilling genealogy. You put Sadra, Hegel, and Whitehead together in a deep genealogy of process philosophy (thanks for your shout-out to my article). Also, there seems to be a link to Suhrawardi’s cosmology, in which images are mirrors of the light that is God. My question is, you emphasized the irreality of images, but would you say that movement and becoming are real? You might like Tom Gunning’s article “Moving Away from the Index” where he argues that cinema’s identity lies in movement that connects to the viewer.