Filmforum Gorica/Udine, 04/2014

Filmforum Gorica/Udine, 04/2014

2 - 11 April. FilmForum is an international festival devoted to cinema and the contemporary visual arts that brings together scientific research, the dissemination of culture, and exhibition shows. From the very beginning FilmForum has aimed at discovering and developing the most stimulating and innovative artistic areas and research fields (including videogame studies, postcinema, porn studies, film heritage). FilmForum takes place in Udine and Gorizia and it offers conferences, meetings, workshops and screenings. It also hosts the Limina Award for Italian and international books on film. The festival addresses a wide-ranging audience which includes specialists, scholars and students in audiovisual and new media studies as well as fans of cinema and visual culture.

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FilmForum 2014

XXI Udine International Film Studies Conference

Udine, April 2-4, 2014




Temporality, Archaeology, Theories


The XXI Udine International Film Studies Conference is interested in exploring and challenging the concept of historicism in contemporary media theory. In the latest issue of Film History(Vol. 25, no. 1-2, 2013), Jane Gaines claims: “My skepticism should not imply that, in taking the ‘historical turn’, we took the wrong turn, but rather that we didn’t ask enough questions about where we were going.”The“historical turn” represented a fruitful debate in terms of conceptualising history and historicising theory. It represents a dialectical shift from Film History to Cinema History (as an ensemble of practices, discourses and dispositifs) and it enlightens the need of rethinking its objects and methodologies. New Film History’s most effective breakthrough lies in the practice of conceptualising Early Cinema through Foucault-inspired notions like discontinuity, epistemic break, archaeology (Elsaesser, 2004). This perspective is now considered as “a pioneering media archaeological approach” (Strauven, 2012) – a crucial step in criticising teleological historiography. The current mediascape has progressively shown the need of reconsidering each medium’s identity as part of a network of media discourses. In this lanscape, Media Archaeology represents a way of shaping and radicalising the debate: it “emphasizes the thingness of things” and underlines operational and performing possibilities while approaching an object of study (Sobchack, 2011). Here Media Archaeology is conceived not as a discipline, but rather as a methodological hypothesis able to liven up diverse contemporary debate around media with new sources coming from materialist, historicist, and realism-oriented backgrounds. Mindful of these premises and according to the traditional interest in the interplay between historiographical practices and theories and media landscapes (and thereby also including in the debate the different media history approaches that haven’t been mentioned above), the XXI Udine International Film Studies conference would like to suggest the following research paths (which are not exhaustive):

- Materiality and History: In the media-archaeological perspective materiality is considered as opening to a “hardware” history of media in which technologies, devices, tools and physical structures represent theoretical premises for a new genealogy of historicity. How can “document,” “archive,” “cartography” be read as devices and technologies of inscription?

- Temporality: Shifting from history to archaeology means exploring a multi-layered notion of temporality, which deserves to be discussed more extensively. The conflict between continuity and discontinuity (already objects of former debates), and patterns such “processes” and “flows” represent the most relevant fracture between cultural and archaeological readings of Foucault’s work. How can this fracture be reconsidered?

- History writing: How can we relate (or set against) a narrative, canonical historiographical writing, or a post-modern historiography with anti-narrative, hardware oriented historical approaches? Furthermore, how can new media art be considered as an “alternative” history writing?

- Methodologies and Theories: Different approaches to making history have faced issues introduced here, according to extremely different frameworks: psychoanalytical, psychological, cultural, materialistic, up to recall the “hard sciences” such as mathematics, informatics etc. Thus rephrasing Gaines’s “provocation:” where are we going now?

- Archaeological/Cartographic Paradigms: Making history as an “excavation” action or making history as a “mapping” operation lead us to rethinking the historiographical practice as “praxis” and “techné.” How can temporality and spatial inscription be re-thought within the historio-graphical procedure?

- Experience, performativity, body: How can media history and media culture be read, taking into account new perspectives of investigation (i.e. the relationship between the body and access to the media; the way media experience modulates our sensations, perceptions and memories; the way the body can be investigated as a tool of historical inscription and as a field of identity negotiation with the media)?


The organizers invite single and panel proposals

Deadline for paper proposals: November 4, 2013

Proposals should not exceed one page in length. Please make sure to attach a short CV (10 line max).

Submit proposals to:

Further information at:


XII MAGIS – Gorizia International Film Studies Spring School

Gorizia, April 5-11, 2014


The XII MAGIS – International Film Studies Spring School will be articulated in the following four sections:

Cinema & Contemporary Visual Art: Analog Media in the Digital Era. The advent of digital technologies in contemporary art production seems to have generated a paradoxical fascination with analog media and devices. Since the 1990s many artists (Manon de Boer, Tacita Dean, Rodney Graham, Fiona Tan, Paul De Marinis) have started using and combinig pieces of out-of-date analog technologies as part of their artworks. As some researchers (Strauven, Huhtamo) pointed out, this tendency to “resurrect technological past” is not to be interpreted as mere nostalgic inclination but rather as a media archeological interest into the life of old devices and apparatuses, also extended to “contemporary technologies [used] as both the terrain and the tool for archeological excavation”. This year, Cinema & Contemporary Visual Art section will deal with issues related to the use of old analog audiovisual technologies in the digital era, focusing on three main research areas: media art production, media preservation and exhibition strategies.

The Film Heritage: CUT! Censorship, Archive, Governance. The section is organized by University of Udine – La Camera Ottica Film and Video Restoration, CineGraph Hamburg,  University of Applied Sciences Potsdam & University of Potsdam (European Media Studies). After having stressed the Institutionalization of Film Cultures (Film Heritage 2012) and the Accessibility Policies (Film Heritage 2013), the 2014 workshop will deal with The Non-Access / Blocking Access / Disabling Access issues. In order to deepen the analysis of film culture apparatuses/dispositifs, the next edition will explore the field of “the forbidden”, facing the problem of censorship and also expanding the framework of non-accessibility towards archive and governance, curatorship, and the market, restriction policies, invisibility and technological obsolescence.

Post-Cinema: The Border Within-Human Body in Contemporary Media. The section aims at investigating the body’s contemporary status in the realm of new media, such as videogames or the internet. It also aims at analysing the body in the realm of those old visual media (like cinema), which are influenced by the postmedial condition, with specific attention to the innovations generated by technological shifts. Our main interest lies in the increasing attention on the human body as a theoretical focus and in constant reference to past and contemporary authors or theoretical frameworks (Deleuze, Foucault, Merleau-Ponty, embodiement, post-humanism, IA, Gender Theories). Our main focus is on the constant transformation process the concept of human body is going through within the realm of contemporary media products. We would like to explore the borders of the human body as it lies on the verge of opposite conceptual poles – life and death, real and false, technology and flesh, organic and not organic, human and cyborg, human and animal.

Cartography of Pornographic Audiovisual: Southern and Eastern European Pornography. This section aims at mapping the distinguishing features of national pornographies and the glocalization processes through which particular national pornographic practices are translated into transnational forms. In particular, this year the section is dedicated to the analysis of the development and the specific characters of pornography within Southern and Eastern Europe (on a historical, geographical, socio-economic, linguistic, stylistic and political/institutional level), with a particular focus on the following issues: birth and institutionalization of audiovisual pornography in the area;Southern and Eastern European pornographic industries and economies; Southern and Eastern European pornographic genres and styles; Southern and Eastern European legislative systems and censorship; Southern and Eastern European “auteurs”, commercial/mainstream producers and stardoms; Southern and Eastern European audiences.