Found Footage and the Speculative Economy of Attention

Sungyong Ahn


Found footage as a recent film genre reflects the irony of human attention; the more augmented it is by the technologies such as portable video cameras and other sensor devices, the more edges its restricted focus rediscovers. Monetizing the paranoiac affects aroused by something felt at these edges, but not identifiable by the camera operator’s limited resources to intervene, this new horror genre exemplifies a recent tendency in attention economy, which this article terms “the speculative economy of attention.” The attention we pay to our surroundings through many self-tracking technologies is capitalized not only as the attention per se for advertising revenues, but also as what overvalues the horror of hidden problems in its peripheries.


found footage, attention economy; affect; post cinema; surveillance

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