Lecture: Michael Wedel (University of Potsdam/Free University Berlin)

Nosferatu’s Afterlives
Towards an Archaeology of Cinematic Expressive Movements

Date: Wednesday, March 8
Time: 18:30-20:00
Place: Marie Loke Zaal (Harmony Building)
Respondent: Joost Keizer (Art History, RUG)



Whereas media archaeologists have been extremely critical of processes of canon-building (especially when it comes to old film history’s beloved ‘classics’ and ‘masterpieces’), on another, more conceptual level of its discursive formation it can be seen as rather canon-driven, drawing on a firm set of thinkers and cultural theorists, from Sigmund Freud, Henri Bergson and Walter Benjamin to Marshall McLuhan, Michel Foucault and Friedrich Kittler. A name often only mentioned in passing is that of the German art historian Aby Warburg, a contemporary of Freud and Benjamin. Despite the fact that Warburg’s monumental, if unfinished project of the Mnemosyne picture atlas, in which he set out to reconstruct the visual memory of European culture across various media and high/low-culture biases, offers itself as a viable model for media archaeological research, Warburg has so far occupied only a marginal and somewhat shadowy place in media archaeological theory and practice.

With the example of “cinematic expressive movements” from Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922) and their cultural appropriation in the work of the early Alfred Hitchcock and the late Sergei Eisenstein, I would like to suggest that Warburg may be useful in practicing a particular type of media archaeology, one that is concerned with the audiovisual aesthetics and affective qualities of film and other media, and that Jussi Parikka, with reference to Thomas Elsaesser, once aptly called a “Media Archaeology of the Senses”.

As I would like to argue, a media archeology of distinct “cinematic expressive movements” inspired by Warburg could provide an approach also suitable to map contemporary re-appropriations of film history as they abound in today’s mash-up and remix culture of digital combination and aggregation as much as in the contemporary art scene.

Short Bio

Michael Wedel is Professor of Media History at the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF in Potsdam and co-director of “Cinepoetics – Center for Advanced Film Studies” at the Free University Berlin. Between 2005 and 2009 he was Assistant Professor for the History and Theory of Media and Culture at the University of Amsterdam, from 2011 to 2014 co-director of the Film Museum Potsdam. His articles and essays on German film and literature, Hollywood and European Cinema have appeared in a number of edited collections and in journals such as Iris, Film History, NECSUS – European Journal of Media Studies and New German Critique. His books as author include Der deutsche Musikfilm: Archäologie eines Genres 1914-1945 (2007), Filmgeschichte als Krisengeschichte: Schnitte und Spuren durch den deutschen Film (2011), Kollision im Kino: Mime Misu und der Untergang der “Titanic” (2012), and Körper, Tod und Technik: Metamorphosen des Kriegsfilms (with Thomas Elsaesser, 2016).   

LPM Live Performers Meeting 2017

The eighteenth edition of LPM Live Performers Meeting is from 18th to 21st May in the spaces of Radion in Amsterdam.
LPM 2017 Amsterdam offers the unique opportunity to experience 4 days of audiovisual performances, VJing, workshops, panel discussion, product showcases presented by more then 300 artists, professionals and video passionate from 40 countries presenting over 150 projects who will offer an unrepeatable and unique event.

Program foresees more then 150 activities and aims at exploring different themes through new audiovisual languages, techniques and technologies, i.e. workshops related to Live-Coding, LED mapping and stage design for events, gestural control of music and bodily musical performance; presentations of platforms, tools, locals vjs communities from 5 different continents, a conference on AV Audience Development; video installations related to politics and cultural ensemble, interactive cameras catching and transforming bodies and faces in animated gif, personal and meta data tracing, and many more…

Thanks to the contribution of the European Community, in the latest years the LPM project was brought aboard, to produce many foreign editions as in Xalapa (MX), Minsk (BY), Mexico City (MX), Cape Town (SA), Eindhoven (NL) and Amsterdam (NL) in addition to those held Rome (IT). Since 2004, we hosted more than 4600 artists, 2625 amongst performances, workshops and showcases, recording an overall amount of 72 participant countries and welcome more than 1.500.000 visitors.

Again, this XVIII edition seeks to enhance the practice of live video performance, thanks to a rich and unpredictable program aimed at exploring different themes through new audiovisual languages, techniques and technologies.

The daily schedule  will be loaded with many activities: Workshops, Lectures and conferences, Presentations of projects and products, AV Performances, Digital scenography, VJ-DJ Sets.

Vj, artists, designers, professionals and the audience will be involved in the manifold planned activities: from experimental audiovisual performances, architectural mapping shows, and VJ-DJ Sets to workshops, roundtables, and presentations of products and hardware, with a special regard for Free and Open Source projects. Meeting areas devoted to the interaction among the hundreds of participants will be the corollary for the whole duration of the event.

LPM is designed as a place of dialogue, comparison and exchange of ideas and information between artists and fans in the field that are accustomed to meet, communicate and interact mostly in the virtual space of the network. A real meeting place, a space that fulfils an important opportunity for dialogue and exchange, LPM encourages research, experimentation, the encounter between different forms of artistic expression, the interaction of multiple techniques and digital technologies, analog, software and hardware.
LPM is an unmissable spectacle during which the audience has the chance to meet the world’s largest selection of artists active in the field of live video performances.

To attend the meeting, participants must register by following the procedures in the “participate” section of the website, by choosing from several subscription options.

In order to give the opportunity to host as much performances as we can receive, the maximum duration of each show is 30 minutes. Registration is open until April 10, 2017.

Through our 13 years of experience, we were able to draw a conceptual map of the trends that have most influenced the creation of live video performances, and the program of this edition reflects and investigates these trends:

  • Live Cinema: works performed exclusively live, capable of demonstrating a narrative and experimental approach; projects in continual tension between perceptive experience and performative act.
  • Video Mapping: a technique of video-projection that can animate architectural volumes. The effect is spectacular and exciting, it confuses and seduces our perceptions through the dialogue among images and tridimensional surfaces.
  • Digital Freedoms: activism and beauty, aesthetic database, data visualisation of public or private data; these forms of artistic expression have been able over time to both inform and activate the consciences of people around the world.
  • Visual gender: thanks to the critical tension among gender studies, queer theory and contemporary art, the vision of the body, the sexual identity is disconnected from the stereotype of LGBT and video language becomes an instrument of emancipation of the genre.
  • Generative Visual: thanks to an encoding of the active and reactive world around us new digital biospheres offer to the public the experience of complex networks composed of simple sensory-bit binary codes.
  • Stereoscopic 3D: stereoscopic vision allows three-dimensional display of standard video content for a complete perceptive immersion. Ad hoc software and technologies are used to manipulate the visual perception of space to create “augmented” worlds.

The Meeting aims to promote transnational movement and exchange of ideas, artworks and artists. All funds recovered by LPM are invested to support innovative research and experimentation in the field of live visuals with the latest technologies. LPM is part of AVNODE, whose objective is to improve and promote the veejaying culture worldwide.

Realised in collaboration with international partners and co-organizers, the project includes a series of previews and promotional events focused on live video to be held inAustria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Turkey and United Kingdom, during the most important European festivals and cultural events.

LPM is part of AVnode | LPM 2015 > 2018, Large Scale Cooperation Project co-funded by the Creative Europe Culture Programme of the European Union between 13 partners from 12 countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Turkey and United Kingdom, aimed to foster and develop live video culture and european AV artists to worldwide audiences with the production of 36 festivals, 3 Meetings, 3 Audience Development Conferences and more then 200 satellite events over 3 years.

LPM is produced and organised by Flyer Communication (flyer.it), Linux Club (linux-club.org) and FLxER.net (flxer.net), thanks to the cooperation of important international partners.

Spring School: Media Systems: comparative and transnational perspectives. Focus on China

2nd to 6th, April 2017
Perugia, Italy

Proposal submission deadline extended to: 31 January 2017

We are happy to announce that the First Spring School on “Media Systems: comparative and transnational perspectives. Focus on China” will be taking place in Perugia from April 2nd to April 6th, 2017 right before the well-known International Journalism Festival.

The Spring School is directed by Gabriele Balbi (USI Università della Svizzera italiana), Daniel Hallin (University of California San Diego), and Paolo Mancini (Univeristà di Perugia) and organized by the China Media Observatory of the USI Università della Svizzera italiana (Switzerland), in collaboration with the Department of Political Sciences at Università di Perugia (Italy) and the Department of Communication at University of California San Diego (US).

Addressed to advanced Master students, PhDs and junior researchers in communication, media studies, journalism, political communication, sociology of communication and other related fields, the Spring School is based on lectures, discussions of attendees’ research projects, and meetings with participants in International Journalism Festival (Perugia, 5th – 9th, April 2017).

Application to be sent to  springschool.mediasystems@gmail.com   by January 31th, 2017.

More information will be available by  https://springschoolmediasystems.com

CfP: Animation and Memory

International Conference at Radboud University,
Nijmegen, 22-23 June 2017

Confirmed keynote speakers

  • Dr. Annabelle Honess Roe, University of Surrey
  • Professor Suzanne Buchan, Middlesex University London

Invited artist

  • Ülo Pikkov, animator and PhD candidate at the Estonian Academy of Arts

Call for Papers

The past thirty years have witnessed the emergence of memory studies as a field that has yielded a rich body of research into practices of remembering and forgetting in art, popular culture, and everyday life. While live action cinema and documentary films have been studied extensively, the interrelation between animation and memory has so far received much less attention. This lacuna in scholarship is particularly pertinent in light of the increasing number of animation films dealing with various forms, methods, and contexts of remembering and forgetting.

Our conference seeks to address this lacuna. We use the word animation in the broadest possible sense, from stop motion to computer animation and gif files, from cell animated cartoons to painted animation. Cognizant of the medium’s inherent differences from (as well as similarities to) live action cinema, we are particularly interested in the ways in which animation can operate as a medium and a technology of memory and forgetting.

The main questions we will explore are as follows: How do animation films bring forth personal and collective pasts, as well as traumatic, repressed or tabooed memories? What role does the materiality (or immateriality) of the medium play in representing the past and processes of remembering and forgetting? What is the role of found footage, objects, and sound in animation? What role does animation play in disseminating information about the past and how does it serve political ends?

We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers, as well as three-paper panels. Although the conference focuses on animation and memory in a broad sense, we especially seek contributions that address animation in relation to:

  • documentary
  • reenactment
  • recollection
  • adaptation
  • the archive
  • aide mémoire
  • lieux de mémoire
  • communicative / cultural memory
  • postmemory
  • multidirectional memory
  • prosthetic memory
  • performances of memory
  • real and imagined pasts
  • commemoration, memorials and monuments
  • personal and collective traumas
  • forgetting and amnesia
  • found footage / objects
  • tabooed and repressed memories
  • affect, nostalgia and melancholia
  • materiality and new materialism(s)
  • worldmaking
  • theories of memory studies
  • the history of the medium
  • museums, exhibitions, education
  • miniaturization and enlargement
  • festivals and distribution of films

Please send an abstract of about 250 words and a bio of 100 words to the organizers at animationandmemory@let.ru.nl by February 15, 2017.

Conference website: www.ru.nl/animationandmemory

Selected papers will be considered for publication.

Conference committee
Maarten van Gageldonk, László Munteán, Ali Shobeiri, Cansu Soyupak, Josette Wolthuis

Call for Contributions A Million Pictures: History, Archiving, and Creative Re‐use of Educational Magic Lantern Slides

Conference, 29 August 2017 – 1 September 2017
Utrecht, The Netherlands

This conference is organised by the European Research Project A Million Pictures: Magic Lantern Slide Heritage as Artefacts in the Common European History of Learning .

The magic lantern was an important visual entertainment and means of instruction in nineteenthcentury Europe and its former colonies; it was used in popular and academic teaching until the 1950s. However, despite its pervasiveness across multiple scientific, educational and popular contexts, magic lantern slides remain under‐researched.

The project and the conference engage with magic lantern slides on several levels:

  • studying the historical importance of magic lantern slides, projection apparatus, readings, and other paraphernalia as tools in the history of learning in a wide range of fields
  • exchanging archival practices and discussing tools for cataloguing, archiving and giving access to magic lantern slides held in heritage institutions and other collections
  • stimulating the re‐use of this form of cultural heritage in scholarly, artistic, documentary, cultural and other creative practices.

The conference will present and discuss the outcomes of the Million Pictures project and share them with all those interested in the magic lantern and lantern slides from a scholarly, historical, archival, curatorial, artistic, museological, educational or practical point of view. It will also provide a platform for both presenting ongoing scholarly research on the magic lantern, with an emphasis on lantern slides as a teaching tool as well as for presenting activities in the fields of archiving and creative re‐use.

A keynote will be given by media historian Prof. Erkki Huhtamo (UCLA ‐ Design Media Arts / Film, Television, and Digital Media) and a closing statement by Prof. Vanessa Toulmin (University of Sheffield / Research Director of the National Fairground Archive). The programme will also contain magic lantern performances, roundtables and demonstrations.

The conference invites scholars, practitioners in the heritage sector, in the creative industries, in the arts and in cultural/museum education to participate and submit a contribution.

We invite contributions in the following formats:

Scholarly Papers

We invite scholarly papers on the magic lantern and educational or non‐fictional magic lantern slides that have a connection to the broad history of learning. These sessions will present ongoing or recently completed research by scholars from different fields such as Media History, Theatre and Performance Studies, History of Science, Cultural History, Word and Image Studies, Geography, and other disciplinary areas relevant to the lantern and slides.
Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes and will be followed by discussions.
Possible submissions can address (but are not limited to):

  • Lantern slides and their role in various disciplinary histories
  • Debates on teaching with lantern slides
  • Performativity of lantern shows in scientific and other contexts
  • Lantern slide lectures in local science, geography, natural history and other clubs and societies
  • Science popularisers and the magic lantern
  • Lantern use in regional, national or transnational contexts
  • Production and distribution of lantern slides
  • Circuits and tours of lantern slide lecturers and other performers
  • Education of children and/or adults

Poster Presentations

We invite poster presentations on the wider topic of lantern slides in current research projects, (museological) education and established methods of giving access to this form of cultural heritage (digitization, documentation, public engagement) as well as wider aspects of lantern culture.

Demonstrations and Presentations of Artistic Forms of Engaging with Lantern Slides

We invite practitioners and performers to contribute documentations of artistic performances, to present film material, demonstrate a (digital) tool, or prepare another form of encounter or discussion. Please specify your topic/project and the form of presentation in your submission as well as specific requirements (room, technology, maximum number of participants). Contributions in either format do not have a minimum amount of time, but should not be longer than 20‐30 minutes.

Input to Roundtable Discussions

We plan two roundtable discussions dedicated to the topics “Public activities with the Magic Lantern in archives and museums” and “Creative re‐use of Magic Lantern slides”. We invite people with experience in these fields to give input to these roundtables.

5 Minutes of Experience Talks

Curators, collectors, practitioners, but also scholars are invited to prepare a five‐minute presentation on their experiences obtained in or questions raised by a project concerning magic lantern slides which they would like to discuss with the specialists present during the conference. The 5 Minutes of Experience Talks will provide input for further discussion and should address the following questions: what was the aim of your project? How did you go about it? What was the result? What did you learn? What would you recommend?

Proposals for contributions in all forms should not exceed 5.000 characters and should be accompanied by a short bio (max. 1.000 characters).

Deadline for submissions is 31 January 2017.

Proposals for contributions should be submitted via the link on the conference page: http://a‐million‐pictures.wp.hum.uu.nl/conference/

Acceptance will be announced in March 2017.

We are aware that not all potential participants are working at an institution that can cover their expenses. At the moment, we are applying for additional funding to offer fee waivers and, hopefully, part of the expenses.

Conference fees, including lunches and refreshments, will not exceed 20‐25 Euro per day. For questions, please contact Prof. Frank E. Kessler (f.e.kessler@uu.nl ) or Dr Sarah Dellmann (s.dellmann@uu.nl).