The doctoral program in Moving Image Studies at Georgia State University welcomes paper proposals for a meta-disciplinary conference on the role of the Figure.
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 thus 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. We invite papers that mobilize the concept of the Figure in the exploration of any visual medium. Possible areas of investigation (or experimentation) might include—but are not limited to—such issues as:
* The “aesthetic event,” and its connection to catastrophe, the accident, the mark, the spasm
* The Figure in relation to movement, animation, “non-organic Life”
* The Figure in relation to recent thinking about political affect, aesthetics, and sensoriality
* Approaches to geopolitical mapping animated by notions of contour, ground, diagram
* Connections to aesthetic theorists of modernity, such as Benjamin, Bataille, etc.
The Rendering (the) Visible conference encourages interdisciplinarity and experimentation in the study of visuality and moving image media. We are also open to projects that play at the intersection of theory and practice.
Send paper proposals (300–500 words), including 3-5 bibliographical sources and a brief biography, by 20 September 2013 to movingimagestudies[at]gmail[dot]com. Queries can be sent using the “contact us” page or directed to conference organizers Angelo Restivo, Alessandra Raengo, or Jennifer Barker (e-mail addresses available at http://communication.gsu.edu/movingimagestudies).
Keywords: film studies, television studies, game studies, new media, moving image, rendering, visible, figure, figural, aesthetics, politics, affect, political affect, body, materiality, sensation, sense, logic of sensation, non-organic life, contour, diagram, Deleuze