Activity: Participating in or organising an event › Participation in conference
Floating Visions: Artistic moving images in the age of media configurations.
I wish to interpret the important issues raised by the call for papers of this conference as a challenge. To do so, I will tackle the concept of intermediality looking at artistic moving images and focussing on the confluences that characterise many artworks to prove that these do not work solely as a discursive trait, but rather as a symptom of a different framework – the one I believe the current contemporary media scenario establishes and feeds, that privileges the in-between areas, the grey zones, the junctures and processes taking place therein. This is an attempt to consider intermediality as a concept encouraging and offering a theoretical toolkit apt to think cinema and its variable forms and formats within a media ecology that emphasises conjunction rather than rupture. The theoretical implications of this are major, especially on a conceptual level. My talk addresses these implications questioning the ‘essentialistic’ perspective informed by a medium specificity-based view. It aims at looking beyond the postmedia/postcinema paradigm, by proposing an idea of cinema as a cultural construct that, as such, is a live, changing and open entity, and moreover is the result of ongoing tensions, dynamic processes of exchange and contaminations among the media, as well as between diverse artistic languages. In this sense, linkages and associations, borrowings and spatialisations are what I am mainly interested in. To explore them, I draw upon two case studies through which I wish to argue transpositions, transfers and adaptations are worth being considered in and of themselves for what they are, that is, processes allowing to reflect on the dimension of ongoingness, well before emphasising the starting point they move from and the ending one they lead to. This enables me to question the notion of a shift from one medium to another as, regardless of the separations and the differences, these processes all happen within one, expanded, unique media environment. In other words, to crystallised cinematic forms I oppose floating visions, instead of symbiosis I propose fluidity. Taking this farther, in particular I shall look at artistic moving images with the aim of observing how formats are increasingly flexible, fleeting and ultimately subject to a continuous process of re-design and refashioning, so as to generate what I term media configurations. In proposing this concept, I do not deny the existence of cinema and film as such, however, I feel it is important to acknowledge the changing conditions and circumstances of design, production, delivery, consumption, circulation and exhibition impacting on the field of moving images. It is precisely in reason of these changes that I posit that moving image configurations do call for a contextualisation that needs to happen within a broader media ecology – one where once separated media now collide; one where crosspollination does not necessarily exclude works with exquisitely filmic characters to take shape and yet opens them up to be exhibited instead of screened, or to feed personal digital libraries instead of favouring a shared, collective movie theatre experience; one which allows for new creative dynamics to develop, where complexity is the only valid principle; one of openness and fluidity that does not discard canons, but challenges them by lending itself to be a locus for encounter and exchange.