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Ubiquitous Streams: Seeing Moving Images in the Age of Digital Media

Click here for full conference program and poster

The sheer volume of images makes twenty-first century visual culture seem bewildering, not least to educators who hope to demonstrate how current imagescapes change our modes of seeing the world. The challenge is to describe the ways in which moving images today migrate across multiple media platforms, academic disciplines, and aesthetic discourses. Crucial to any discussion is the unprecedented level of image production and distribution by what once would have been considered only media consumers. “Prosumer”-grade digital video equipment, PCs, smartphones, tablets, and the accompanying bandwidth increases of the Internet have blurred former boundaries in terms of skill, access, and IP rights. And in the media arts, practitioners increasingly approach the moving image archaeologically, as a found-object archive to be appropriated by contemporary audiovisual media artists as enthusiastically as Duchamp adopted his 1917 Fountain.

The task of this colloquium is twofold. On the one hand, the aim is to map from different perspectives the emergence of new modes of seeing moving images in the wake of recent media changes. How can we describe and theorize the impact of digital media on the human eye and our practices of seeing? Are these changes really so “new,” or do they recall past media metamorphoses and their accompanying debates? What kind of creative opportunities do they offer, and what kind of losses do they entail? On the other hand, we seek discussion of different models of teaching and researching moving image culture today. What kind of interdisciplinary collaborations are necessary in order to study moving images in the age of digital media? What skills do scholars need to approach and understand the interplay between media and modes of seeing? What are the cross-disciplinary possibilities of studying medical or scientific imaging practices from a media studies perspective? What becomes of our critical concerns with moving images and race, gender, and embodied difference as our enthusiasm for new media ecologies increasingly sends the fields back to the ontological and aesthetic questions of classical film theory? What kind of institutional settings are required to train students both to better analyze and to actively experiment with the imagescapes of the present?

Wednesday, April 2

5:00-7:00 Preconference Workshop
Buttrick Hall, Room 015 (click here to download campus map app)
Teresa Hubbard & Alexander Birchler

Thursday, April 3
Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center Auditorium (click here to download campus map app)
2301 Vanderbilt Place

4:00: Opening Remarks
Jennifer Fay, Vanderbilt University

4:15: Session I
Barbara Klinger, Indiana University Bloomington, “Cinema and Immortality”
Respondent: Paul Young, Vanderbilt University

7:00: Film Screening, Buttrick Hall, Room 103 (click here to download campus map app)
Grand Paris Texas (2009), with introduction by filmmakers Teresa Hubbard & Alexander Birchler
Panel Discussion: Teresa Hubbard & Alexander Birchler; Jennifer Fay, & Paul Young, Vanderbilt University
Moderator: Lutz Koepnick, Vanderbilt University

Friday, April 4 First Amendment Forum, Seigenthaler Center
1207 18th Avenue South (click here to download campus map app)

8:30: Continental Breakfast

9:00: Opening Remarks
Lutz Koepnick, Vanderbilt University

9:15-10:30: Session II
Anna McCarthy, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, “From Work to Content: Formats, Properties, Texts”
Respondent: Vesna Pavlović, Vanderbilt University

10:30-10:45: Break

10:45-12:15: Session III
Peter Krapp, University of California, Irvine, “Let it Bleep, Keep it Sample”
Respondent: John Sloop, Vanderbilt University

12:15-1:45: Lunch

2:00-3:30: Session IV
Dan Levin, Vanderbilt University, “Cognitive Science and Cinema: Seeing Visual Properties, Representing Space, and Understanding Narrative”

3:30-4:00: Break

4:00-5:30: Workshop, Yamada Conference Room, Curb Center
1801 Edgehill
“Moving Images and Media Studies Today: Teaching and Research Within and Beyond the Academy”
Facilitators: Lutz Koepnick, Jennifer Fay, & Paul Young, Vanderbilt University

Jennifer FayPaul Young, and Lutz Koepnick