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Screen Textures: Haptics, Tactility, and the Moving Image, October 17–18, 2014
full name / name of organization:
Film Studies, University of Pittsburgh
To address the rise of haptic media, which pervades everything from gaming to 3D cinema to the surfaces of digital devices – “those skins that beg to be touched,” as Alexander Galloway puts it in The Interface Effect – our conference affirms the need to rethink the haptics of images, historical and contemporary, and welcomes papers that attend to the textural dimensions of interfaces, broadly conceived.
Following Jennifer Barker’s assertion in The Tactile Eye that “cinematic tactility occurs not only at the skin or the screen, but traverses all the organs of the spectator’s body and the film’s body,” we recognize haptics and texture as essential components of cinematic form and visual culture. Focusing not only on spectatorship and textural aesthetics, but also on the materiality of production and exhibition, we invite presentations that address – perhaps with what Eva Hayward called “fingeryeyes” – the haptic encounter of spectator and image, body and apparatus, form and feeling.
Despite the broad critical attention to these topics, the intricacies of haptic spectatorship remain murky, leaving unanswered: how do we feel an image, and what, or whom, is changed by this encounter? How do formal and textual qualities – grainy, unclear images, the surfaces of objects, camera movement – convey a sense of touch or mobility? Conversely, how does cinema’s materiality – decaying celluloid, scratched emulsion, different effects and formats (such as Sadie Benning’s Pixelvision films) – touch back? Which images strike us as chewy, brittle, spongy, and how do our bodies apprehend them? How is texture expressed, experienced, and enacted?
We are particularly interested in submissions that engage Film, TV, New Media, Gaming, and Media Studies Critical Theory and Historiography. Other possible topics may include:
We welcome approaches from a range of disciplines, including but not limited to: Film and Media studies, Art and Art History, Visual Culture, Feminist and Queer Studies, Communications, Critical Theory, Literature, Musicology, and Philosophy.
Interested graduate students may submit abstracts (maximum 300 words) – along with institutional/departmental affiliations and current email – to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 15, 2014. For more information, and updates on the keynote speaker, please visit our website, Special Affects.