CFP: Domitor 2014 conference

The Image in Early Cinema: Form and Material
Thirteenth International Domitor Conference

Chicago and Evanston, Illinois, USA
21-25 June 2014

Early cinema emerged within a visual culture that comprised a variety of traditions in art and image making. Even as methods of motion picture production, distribution, and exhibition materialized, they drew from and challenged practices and conventions in, for example, photography and painting. This rich visual culture produced a complicated, overlapping network of image-making traditions, innovations, and borrowings amongst painting, tableaux vivants,photography, and other pictorial and projection practices. Film and media scholars have created the concepts of “intermediality” (Gaudreault) and “media archaeology” (Mannoni, Zielinski, et al) in order to account for such crisscrossing traditions and to work against an essentialist notion of film, while other disciplines have suggested ideas, such as “image-system” (Barthes) or “an ecology of images” (Sontag), to conceptualize the dynamic relationship between images and their context. Continuing in this vein, this Domitor conference seeks to trace the various interactions involved in forming a new moving-image culture, using the broad category of “the image” to examine intersections between visual culture broadly conceived and early cinematic form, technology, theory, and practice. Embracing issues involving both cultural forms and material technologies, we invite proposals that employ a range of approaches—from the methods of art history (including formal, social, and political approaches), to the nitty-gritty of archival research into the materiality and technology of the medium.

Possible topics include:

  • Early theories or debates about the nature of the moving image
  • The moving image and the still image: photography, chronophotography, painting, and other imaging practices in early cinema
  • Debates about the value of the image in modern culture; iconoclasm, iconophobia, and early cinema’s contribution to the (perceived) proliferation of images
  • Early visual analysis or interpretation of the moving or projected image
  • Discussion and practices concerning gauges, photographic processes, and image quality
  • The theory and practice of staging an image for the camera
  • Inter-arts articulations of the photographic and painterly in cinema (e.g., pantomime, theater, dance)
  • Technologies of image generation in early animation (e.g., registration techniques)
  • Scientific and informational image-making techniques transposed to moving or projected images
  • Images in early motion picture advertising (e.g., catalogs, posters, post cards)
  • Moving images and the practices of repurposing images across popular media formats (postcards, slides, advertisements, print illustrations)
  • The theory and practice of projection
  • Early preservation theories and practices
  • New approaches to early cinema image identification
  • Early cinema (e.g., the Paper Print Collection) and current practices of digital preservation, access, and reuse

Although we imagine the general time frame for the period covered by papers in the conference to be 1890 through 1915, we realize that cinema developed unevenly across the global stage. For that reason, papers treating cinema after 1915 in countries where early cinema practices postdate the proposed time frame will be given full consideration. Similarly, papers that examine the history and current status of early cinema’s place in the archive and museum are also welcomed.

Important dates
1 December 2013: deadline for proposals
15 February 2014: applicants notified of acceptance
15 April 2014: registration deadline
30 April 2014: essays due for translation
21-25 June 2014: conference dates

More information and submission instructions available at the Domitor website.


Popular Posts