A Review of Eugenie Brinkema on "Radical Formalism and 'The Human Centipede'" at Concordia is Available on "Grad/ Aperture"

Published on: February 27, 2015

A review of Prof. Eugenie Brinkema’s talk “Radical Formalism and The Human Centipede” at Concordia is Available on Grad/ Aperture. On February 21, 2015, Julia Huggins wrote, “Last Friday, another installment of the Arthemis Series brought MIT’s Dr. Eugenie Brinkema to Concordia for a lecture on ‘Violence and the Diagram (Or, The Human Centipede)….’” “Brinkema’s current project is one of self-described radical formalism, distinct from the terrain of neo-formalism long familiar to our discipline. By returning to Deleuze’s writing on the diagram, along with Levinas and a bit of Foucault, Brinkema aims to reconnect affect and sensation to form and structure, aptly described as “an algebra of sensation.” After providing a pliable taxonomy of horror films, violence of consumption versus violence of digestion, Brinkema grounded her presentation in The Human Centipede’s use of the diagram to horrify Dr. Heiter’s unwilling experimental subjects (and probably most of the audience too). Brinkema posited that as a technique of representation, the simplistic diagram of black, red, and white space holds an affective power that the actual thing itself does not. In its decomposition and sequencing of elements, Dr. Heiter’s diagram underscores the thematization of graphic horror in The Human Centipede. Of course Brinkema’s theorization extends far beyond the modest notes above – further reading is highly recommended.”