Prof. Dr. Lisa Gotto

3D and fluid aesthetics

Spatial concerns have consistently been at the heart of the historical development of cinema. Since the late 18th century, many technological devices and artistic arrangements experimented with the intention to give spatial volume to projected pictures. However, as 2D conventions became dominant and gave shape to cinema's narrative and aesthetic form, earlier efforts to widen the perceptual field beyond the limits of the flat screen were renounced and abandoned. In the digital age, 3D cinema reclaims this cultural-historical terrain to expand it through its own specific potential.

Assuming that the borders of the filmic frame are not fixed but flexible, cinematic aesthetics can be considered as a floating experience. If cinema aims to provide us with an immersive space, one that is perceptually enveloping, then 3D furnishes the medium with an essential condition underlying its appeal to filmmakers and audiences. To explore this potential, I will examine the concept of fluidity as a specific mode of spatial storytelling. This includes aspects of framing (i.e. organizing the frame as a potentially open set by blurring borders), camera work (i.e. elaborating gliding movements), and shot duration (i.e. advancing temporal patterns of fluid developments).

Curriculum Vitae

Lisa Gotto is a Professor of Film History and Film Analysis at the ifs International Film School. She received her M.A. from the University of Cologne and her Ph.D. from the Bauhaus University Weimar. Since 2001, she has taught at a variety of institutions, including universities and film academies in Munich, Vienna, Cologne, Regensburg, Weimar, Lüneburg and Mannheim. Lisa Gotto’s major research interests are in media theory and popular culture, in film history and film aesthetics. She has published books and articles on technological and cultural transitions in film history, on television culture, gender topics and alternative cinemas. Currently, she is developing a book project on visuality and tactility.


Lisa Gotto is juror for the short film and documentary film competition at the BEYOND Film Festival 2013.