CFP: Media Spaces and Architectures

I thought this might be useful for those looking at architecture for their SCMS proposals.


The Velvet Light Trap
Call For Papers
#62, Media Spaces and Architectures

As Lev Manovich writes, the construction of space is a defining principle of both cinema and digital media, unifying them not just as audio-visual culture, but as audio-visual-spatial culture (The Language of New Media, 2001). Cinematic works create spaces out of juxtaposed, sequential images, using mise-en-scène, production design, cinematography, editing, and sound to guide spectator navigation through them. Television series and multiplatform franchises generate ongoing diegetic spaces, building identifiable and consumable worlds out of the gradual accumulation of narrative detail. The interactive, programmable nature of digital media allows for the construction of persistent spaces that can be navigated and/or contributed to by users themselves. Representations and constructions of space and place in film, television, and new media have all helped to augment narratives and immerse the viewer/user in the realm beyond the screen. In all forms of representational media, space is carefully designed, simulated, and presented through a variety of technological and artistic means.

Space is not solely a condition of media aesthetics--the cities, buildings, and social environments in which media are consumed, produced, and distributed may inform or enhance the meaning of the media product as well. Interrogations of spatiality, place, and media thus need to account for both the mediated presentation of space, but also the presence of media in space. The presence and use of screens in the physical environment, including the small screens of mobile personal technologies, have proliferated over time, representing new relationships between media and physical environments. The spaces in which creative labor is performed, and where the fruits of this labor are understood, may reflect and embed in the product a cultural logic and aura of place. Space is mediated, but media are also spatialized.

The Velvet Light Trap invites submissions for a special issue on Media Spaces and Architectures that help us to understand this audio-visual-spatial culture in greater definition and dimension. How do film, television, and new media structure our experiences of space while also being structured by it? How should media spaces and architectures be understood?

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

* Representations of urban space and architecture in any media form
* Representation of past or future space
* The screen in urban environments
* Production and set design
* World building and narrative universes
* Space, place and genre
* Cosmopolitan or global spaces
* Aural/sonic environments
* Mediated public/private spaces
* Gendered/classed/racialized/queered spaces
* Social production of space
* Construction of 3D space (cinematography/editing/montage)
* Wired/digital cities
* Navigable space and virtual worlds
* Locative media (location based technologies like Google Earth, GPS, etc.)
* Blocking and choreography as movement through space
* Spaces of exhibition, production, dissemination
* Consumption of mediated space in everyday life
* Tourism and media (media landmarks, use of media in tourism, theme parks, fan tourism)
* Media capitals and cultural geography of media
* Technologies of spatial representation (Imax, aerial photography, mobile/portable tech, CGI, etc.)
* Imagined space (homelands, borderlands, images in/of diaspora)

Papers should be between 6,000 and 7,500 words (approximately 20-25 pages double-spaced), in MLA style with a cover page including the writer's name and contact information. Please send four copies of the paper (including a one-page abstract with each copy) in a format suitable to be sent to a reader anonymously. All submissions will be refereed by the journal's Editorial Advisory Board. For more information or questions, contact Colin Burnett (, Germaine Halegoua (, or Derek Johnson ( Submissions are due September 15, 2007, and should be sent to:

The Velvet Light Trap
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Department of Communication Arts
821 University Avenue
Madison, WI USA 53706-1497


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