Experimental Film, Video Art, and the Borders of Cinema
A British Society of Aesthetics Synergy Conference
Queen Mary University of London, May 25-27, 2022
Erika Balsom, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies and Liberal Arts, King's College London
Gregory Currie, Professor of Philosophy, Univeristy of York
Péter Forgács, Media Artist and Independent Filmmaker
Holly Rogers, Reader in Music at Goldsmiths, University of London.
This conference aims to highlight the contribution of experimental films and video art to contemporary culture. For this purpose, one should emphasize the way in which experimental films and works of video art differ from paradigmatic films, as well as the way in which experimental film and video art, as appreciative categories, differ from one another. The idea is to realize a synergy between, on the one hand, the research carried out in analytic aesthetics on notions such as appreciative category, art form, medium, and genre (cf. Walton 1970, Davies 2004, Gaut 2010, Friend 2012, Lopes 2014, Abell 2015), and, on the other hand, the historical and stylistic research, as well as the artistic and critical practice, in the domains of experimental film and video art (cf. Sitney 2002, Dixon and Foster 2002, Michelson 2017).
Most often, the starting point for film historians and theorists is that experimental film should be primarily construed as oppositional to the mainstream fiction film. However, it would be worthwhile to push our understanding of experimental cinema by overcoming negations: instead of speaking of experimental cinema in “non” terms (non-narrative, non-mainstream, non-commercial…), finding terms which says something substantive about it. One suggestion is to think of these films as challenging cognition and providing lessons in perception (Peterson 1994, Michelson 2017, Taberham 2018) or even providing maximal imaginative engagement.
In analytic aesthetics, experimental film, video art, and their connection have been mainly discussed in the debates concerning the ontological nature and the definition of film. Scholars such as Gregory Currie (1995), Noël Carroll (1996, 2008), Trevor Ponech (2006) and Berys Gaut (2010) have proposed accounts of the moving image that are aimed to be broad enough to include experimental films and even works of video art. Yet, some of these seem still capable of challenging these attempts to capture the ontology and the definition of film (cf. Walley 2007, Wartenberg 2010). All this indicates that it might be worth relating the ontological investigation on film to the research on the nature and the variety of appreciative categories, especially those of experimental film and video art. This means combining philosophical analysis of abstract notions such as form of art, medium, and genre with the study of the concrete historical development of experimental film and video art. This is what this interdisciplinary conference aims to do.
Topics for papers and pre-constituted panels may include but are not limited to:
Dr Mario Slugan (Queen Mary University of London)
Dr Enrico Terrone (University of Genoa)
CALL FOR ABSTRACTS
Please submit proposals at: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=aefis20
Submissions should be done as PDF files prepared for blind review. Thus, please just indicate "see PDF" in the "Title" and "Abstract" fields of the EasyChair form.
Questions about submissions can be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The deadline for receipt is Friday July 3, 2020.
Speakers will be notified of decisions Friday July 31. There will be no conference fees. Upon selection, it will be possible to apply for bursaries for early career researchers.
The conference is open to both individual papers or pre-constituted panels (with 3 speakers each and a chair).
In the case of individual papers, please submit abstracts between 500 and 1000 words (references included) together with a title and 5 keywords.
In the case of pre-constituted panels, the conveners are asked to submit a panel proposal including the title, a 300- to 500-word justification for the panel and 300- to 500-word abstracts (references included) for each of the three presentations making up the panel accompanied by a title and 5 keywords. Also included should be names and institutional affiliation for the three presenters and the name, institutional affiliation, contact details, and institutional affiliation for the chair. Panel conveners will be also requested to conform to the Good Practice Policy making sure that at least two of the panelists (including the convener/chair) are female.
In line with the Good Practice Policy of the British Philosophical Association and the Society for Women in Philosophy, the conference organizers have already ensured gender parity among keynotes and will do their best to do so for the other conference delegates. To offset unconscious biases against accepting female work demonstrated in different fields in recent studies, the papers will be blind-reviewed.
We hope for an edited volume to result from the conference. In case of publication the organizers as editors will also ensure that women are well represented.