The doctoral program in Moving Image Studies at Georgia State University welcomes paper proposals for a meta-disciplinary conference on the state of “the digital turn.”
Conference Dates: February 11-12, 2011
Akira Mizuta Lippit (University of Southern California)
Vivian Sobchack (University of California at Los Angeles)
One of the most pressing questions facing studies of the image today is how to theorize visuality as more and more moving images are given over to the digital. This conference proposes that the notion of “rendering” might provide a useful entrée for an exploration of theoretical continuities and discontinuities in our understanding of the technologically reproduced image, from Benjamin's “Short History of Photography” to CGI.
With regard to image and sound, “rendering” has both a technical and a theoretical currency. It is a term that emphasizes layering, enveloping, and reversibility. In the processing of the image, rendering has the technical sense of the application to a sketch of various effects of “luminence” (transparency, translucency, etc.) under the assumption that light doesn't simply “strike” the object, but rather “envelops” it. Michel Chion relates “rendering” to sound theory with his notion of “rendu,” which describes the spectator as being “seized” by an immersive sonic environment.
If “rendering” presents us with a “point of no return” (in which layers must be permanently merged), it simultaneously implies the slippery act of bringing into being. That is, when understood as a process, “rendering” shifts our attention to reversibility, oscillation, and becoming of the visual, which occur prior to the moment in which image layers are fixed. In this way, “rendering” emphasizes not the image but the image-state, which takes the digital as its “raw material” and embodies it, analogizes it, and thickens it in new and uniquely post-cinematic (and theoretically post-classical) ways. The inbetweenness of “rendering” may offer ways to understand new affects of visual images (across the photochemical and the digital) and their hybrid ontologies.
The conference organizers offer “rendering” as only one provocative tool but welcome paper proposals using any number of frameworks to consider how the digital turn might reconfigure fundamental (“classical”) concepts such as inscription, photogénie, the punctum, the gaze, the body, materiality, aura, analogy, contingency, the virtual, the archive, the uncanny, the labor of imaging, indexicality, visuality, visibility, and decay, as well as how “rendering” or, indeed, other innovative theoretical tools might enable us to think through more recent concepts such as reversibility, the fold, becoming, topological figures, post-humanism, the interface, and the glitch.
Send paper proposals (300–500 words) and brief biography by 15 September 2010 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Queries can be directed to conference organizers Angelo Restivo, Alessandra Raengo, or Jennifer Barker (e-mail addresses available at http://communication.gsu.edu/movingimagestudies). See also the CFP at http://www.movingimagestudies.com/
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