Rendering (the) Visible II: Figure (February 6 - 9, 2014)

Curator's Note

The doctoral program in Moving Image Studies at Georgia State University is excited to host a meta-disciplinary conference on the role of the Figure.

Keynote speakers:

• Pasi Väliaho, Director of Film and Screen Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London, author of Mapping the Moving Image: Gesture, Thought and Cinema circa 1900 (Amsterdam University Press, 2010).

• Anne Anlin Cheng, Professor of English and of the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University, author of Second Skin: Josephine Baker and the Modern Surface (Oxford University Press, 2010), The Melancholy of Race: Assimilation, Psychoanalysis, and Hidden Grief (Oxford University Press, 2000).

Opening night of the Rendering (the) Visible II: Figure conference features a screening of video and new media art from the figural perspective of the screen, curated and introduced by Professor Timothy Murray, Curator of Cornell University’s Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, author of Digital Baroque: New Media Art and Cinematic Folds (Minnesota, 2008).

For contemporary theories of visuality, as they move their focus toward process and away from representation, the notion of the Figure (or “the figural”) has become increasingly important. Emerging in French philosophy in the 1960s, the figural reacts against the notion of the “figurative,” or the representational fixity of an image; the figural refers to that which induces discord within any closed system of signification, by way of forces, energies, or intensities. This idea is taken up by Deleuze as “the Figure” in his work on Francis Bacon, where the Figure is that force of deformation which pushes the image away from the cliché which continually haunts it. The Figure moves our attention toward gesture, rhythm, modulation, and resonance within --and at the edges of-- the moving image, whether we’re talking about Eisenstein’s neuro-aesthetics or the dynamic assemblages of first-person shooter games. This conference, thus, seeks to encourage a wide-ranging discussion of how the Figure might provide new avenues for thinking about contemporary media, as well as for reconsidering the history of the moving image in the 20th century. The conference will include papers that mobilize the concept of the Figure in the exploration of any visual medium. The conference also encourages interdisciplinarity and experimentation in the study of visuality and moving image media and projects that play at the intersection of theory and practice.

To celebrate the conference and Georgia State University's Department of Communication, the home of InMediaRes, we would like to highlight the previous work some of the conference presenters have done for InMediaRes.  


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