Elena Vogman Former Research Fellow

Elena Vogman
May-July 2019


Elena Vogman is an author, independent curator and postdoctoral fellow in the research project “Rhythm and Projection” at the Institute of General and Comparative Literature at Free University in Berlin. She specializes on the history and theory of cinema and media, with a particular emphasis on forms of visual thinking, practices of montage and the relations between literature, ethnology, art and science. She wrote her dissertation on the concept of Sensuous Thinking in Sergei Eisenstein’s theory project Method. Her first book Sinnliches Denken. Eisensteins exzentrische Methode has been published by diaphanes (2018). Currently, she finishes her next book, Dance of Values. Sergei Eisenstein’s Capital Project, which is forthcoming in the Spring 2019. Based on a study of unpublished archival materials, she reconstructs Eisenstein’s theory of value, analyzing how Marx’s Critique of Political Economy appears in the visual form of montage. Together with Marie Rebecchi and Till Gathmann she curated the exhibition “Sergei Eisenstein: The Anthropology of Rhythm” in 2017 at Nomas Foundation, Rome. An eponymous book, written together with Marie Rebecchi and published by Nero, accompanied the exhibition, exploring the rhythm as an instrument of visual anthropology. In 2018, the trio curates the exhibition “Eccentric Values after Eisenstein” at Espace Diaphanes in Berlin. In her postdoc project “Lines of Drift. Milieu Theories and Cinema after Sergei Eisenstein and Fernand Deligny” she analyzes on the basis of two case studies – the interaction between milieu theories and cinema.
Dated from 2019

Fields of research

History and theory of cinema and media; forms of visual thinking, practices of montage, relations between literature, ethnology, art and science.

IKKM Research Project

Lines of Drift. Milieu Theories and Cinema after Sergei Eisenstein and Fernand Deligny

The project analyzes the interaction between milieu theories and cinema on the basis of two case studies: the work of the Soviet film director and theoretician Sergei Eisenstein and that of the French pedagogue, director, and theoretician Fernand Deligny. Grounded in extensive archival research, the project reconstructs the fundamental aesthetic and epistemic influence that the early 20th century reconceptualization of the milieu in Biology and Psychology had on cinema. Hans Volkel as well Jakob von Uexküll, Heinz Werner and Friedrich Hempelmann – to name but a few of Eisenstein and Deligny’s sources – no longer conceive of the milieu as a transcendental invariant, as a neutral and homogenous space that exists prior to the relations within it, but rather as a labile space in which organism and environment can only be understood through their dynamic interrelations. Combining historical-theoretical and film-historical approaches, this reconstruction will be undertaken with a particular focus on the question of how both Eisenstein und Deligny conceive the medium of film itself as the producer of a milieu, now understood as a technically and collectively constituted space that makes possible new forms of perception and thus transforms humans’ vital environment.

Selected Publications


Elena Vogman: Dance of Values. Eisenstein’s Capital Project, Zürich-Berlin: Diaphanes, (erscheint im Februar 2019)

Elena Vogman: Sinnliches Denken. Eisensteins exzentrische Methode, Zürich-Berlin: Diaphanes, 2018.

Marie Rebecchi, Elena Vogman, in Zusammenarbeit mit Till Gathmann: Sergei Eisenstein and the Anthropology of Rhythm, Rom: Nero, 2017

Edited books:

Hg. mit Simon Ganahl: Topologien der Erfahrung, in: Le foucaldien, 3/1, 2017, URL: https://foucaldien.net/collections/special/topologien-der-erfahrung/

Hg. mit Mira Fliescher: Georges Didi-Huberman, Der Kubus und das Gesicht. Im Umkreis einer Skulptur Alberto Giacomettis, mit einem Nachwort von Elena Vogman und Mira Fliescher, Zürich-Berlin: Diaphanes, 2015.

Hg. mit Mira Fliescher und Lina-Maria Stahl: Umreißen. Die Eigenwege des Zeichnens, Zürich-Berlin: Diaphanes, 2014


„Dance of Values. Reading Eisenstein’s Capital“, in: Grey Room Vol. 72 (2018), S. 94-124.