Expanding on the Cinema of Prayōga as an Embodied Approach to Experimental Film

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Kalpana Subramanian


This paper revisits the concept of Cinema of Prayōga, a theoretical framework for the study of experimental film and video proposed by Indian film critic Amrit Gangar in 2005. It re-evaluates the potential and scope of this framework as an alternative approach to notions of avant-garde cinema. Prayōga means practice or experiment in Sanskrit. This paper argues that a deeper focus on the roots of the term in yoga philosophy and praxis, can further expand the potential of Cinema of Prayōga as an embodied approach to experimental film. Further, it illustrates how this framework can support comparative research on experimental cinema, through a re-reading of American avant-garde film aesthetics of light illustrated by the work of Stan Brakhage and Marie Menken. The paper concludes with highlighting how Cinema of Prayōga offers an embodied and alternative epistemological approach to the study of experimental film.


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Biografía del autor/a

Kalpana Subramanian, State University of New York at Buffalo

Kalpana Subramanian is a doctoral candidate in Media Study at the State University of New York at Buffalo. She is interested in the study of the aesthetics of experimental cinema through a transcultural and interdisciplinary lens. Her work explores the poetics of breath in cinema from the perspective of Yoga and Buddhist philosophy. Her articles have appeared in C-Magazine and Papers on Language and Literature among others. Her films have been screened at various inernational festivals and have received various awards and honours. She was a Fulbright visiting scholar at the University of Colorado Boulder (2015-16) and a UK Environmental Film Fellow (2006). Subramanian curates a transnational experimental film screening series, Material Universe, is a vocalist, and is also the author of four children's books.


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