20-21 OCTOBER 2022. INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP
Organized within the framework of the Exploratory Research Project supported by a grant of the CNCS – UEFISCDI, project number PN-III-P4-PCE-2021-1297.
Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania, Cluj-Napoca, Romania,
CENTRE FOR CINEMATIC INTERMEDIALITY AND VISUAL CULTURE
We invite you to join us on a two-day workshop launching our new research project, Affective Intermediality. Cinema between Media, Sensation and Reality. In this project our goal is not to provide or refine a widely applicable set of abstract concepts regarding the connections between media, quite the contrary, we seek to map areas where intermediality appears as most elusive and mutable, where it is registered as a sensation altering our perception of a medium and where it connects to us in an affective way. Acknowledging the historicality and embeddedness of media within an ever-changing material world and the fact that on both ends of all media processes of creation and reception there is a sensitive, cognizant subject, we set out to investigate the performative potential of media juxtapositions or ambivalences. This performativity, however, hinges on the experience of in-betweenness, something that is very hard to define and that may actually drift into the territory of the uncanny. As Nicholas Royle explains in his seminal book, in the most general sense, the uncanny “has to do with strangeness of framing and borders, the experience of liminality” (2003, 2), as such, according to its most prominent theorists (Ernst Jentsch, Sigmund Freud, Tzvetan Todorov) it is most often associated with the uncertain, the oscillation between ontologies (reality or fiction) and states of being (life or death). All of these resonate with our perception of intermediality, which also means “sensations oscillating in-between media, the perception of the characteristic of one medium in another like a strong sense of déjà vu, like an ‘otherness’ or an ‘interworld’ that is suddenly revealed to us but resists total unravelling”, and therefore “always has the potential to appear to us as something deeply uncanny” (Pethő: The Photofilmic Diorama, 2020, 185). Moreover, the digital age has produced new sensations of ambivalence between animate and inanimate, human and non-human, natural and artificial, immediate and hypermediated, eliciting visceral uncanny effects in contemporary art and in everyday media phenomena alike, often involving a sense of intermediality, and unsettling our familiar concepts of “self” and “affect” (see Kriss Ravetto’s Digital Uncanny, 2019). Starting our project, we propose a friendly debate around some of the issues that puzzle us in this regard, and in which bringing together the concepts of intermediality and the uncanny may prove productive.