Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

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Spaces of Imagination – Intermediality in Film Archives and Exhibition

Magnifying glass and slide. Image by Elizabeth Watkins.

Room G.04
School of Fine Art, History of Art, Cultural Studies
University Road
University of Leeds

The Spaces of Imagination: Intermediality in Film Archives and Exhibition symposium discusses questions of intermediality and transitional media in the making and exhibition of photography, film and its archives.

As a polemical statement – the death of cinema – called attention to the impact of digital media on the ways in which films are made and the cinematic archive studied. The perceived shift – from photographic images made and stored on a material base (celluloid nitrate and acetate film stocks) and susceptible to light, heat and touch – to their digital simulacra, initially incited debate around cinema and what might be lost.

A revitalised interest in the technologies, aesthetics and circulation of film has opened a space in which to reconsider different materials and forms of image-making in the exhibition of film and photography. Cultural theorist Thomas Elsaesser suggests that the relationship of digital and analogue media be refigured: not simply defined by a teleological film history of innovations, each technology read retrospectively as a response to the technical limit of its predecessors, but as part of a history of intermedial practices of making and exhibiting film or photograph in combination with other materials and texts. Intermediality, discussed by Joshua Yumibe and Sarah Street, can be tracked to the earliest days of cinema combining still and moving images with animation and elements of performance in the work of lecturers and accompanying texts. What might this practice, which can be tracked to the earliest days of cinema combining still and moving images with animation and elements of performance in the work of lecturers and accompanying texts, offer for the digital circulation and exhibition of archival analog film?

The symposium include papers from scholars, artists, archivists, conservators and curators on the spaces of imagination – in making, conserving and exhibiting photography and film – in combination with or through transfer to other media. Lines of enquiry include, but are not limited to:

  • Intermedial practices of making and exhibiting photography and film.
  • Mediation of landscapes the role of film and photography in geographical exploration: mapping and shaping understanding of a region, the use of expedition materials in public exhibition,
  • Conservation and exhibition of archival materials online: theories of digital/ analogue photography; the curiosity of access to single frames of film displaced from the context of performance and the cinematic illusion of movement; indexicality.
  • Archival lives of film and photography: theories and processes that query ideas of permanence and impermanence through transfer to a new medium.

Download the full programme here.

There is no fee to attend the symposium, but you will need to book. To register please contact: Dr Liz Watkins e.i.watkins@leeds.ac.uk

The Spaces of Imagination Symposium has been made possible by funding from the British Academy.

Image: Magnifying glass and slide. Photo by Elizabeth Watkins.

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