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XV. Film and Media Studies Conference inTransylvania

Intermediality has emerged as one of the major theoretical issues of contemporary thinking about film bringing a fresh view upon the ways in which the moving pictures can incorporate forms of all other media, and can initiate "dialogues" between the distinct arts. The most important works on cinematic intermediality so far have targeted the notion of intermediality both as a general concept and as a specific rhetoric in the works of individual artists. Surveying the current cinematic "landscape" we may encounter some astonishing films that seem to have been designed on the principle of dismissing a conventional, "self-effacing style" in favour of forging an explicitly intermedial visual rhetoric. From the experimental, avant-garde canon to some current examples of mainstream, "hypermediated" digital cinema, from painterly movies bordering on installation art, to so-called "slow cinema" projects, such films challenge us in finding the adequate theoretical framework for analysis.

By organizing this conference we would like to initiate a wider discussion among scholars whose researches may be connected to the idea of inter-media relations in moving images and are engaged in deeper explorations into the poetics of intermediality in film. In doing so we wish to bring into the spotlight one of the key aspects of intermediality: the fact that intermediality as such always manifests itself as a kind of "figuration" in film through which medial differences are visibly and self-reflexively "re-inscribed" within the moving image, and that in general, philosophical terms, intermediality can even be conceived as belonging to the domain of the "figural" in the sense used by Lyotard, and elaborated by D. N. Rodowick in his book Reading the Figural.

In the past few decades there have been several important theoretical works that have dealt with the ways in which moving images operate within a network of interrelated media and with instances in which the boundaries between individual media and arts have been effectively blurred through techniques that enable the features of one medium to resurface within another, and which may offer theoretical vantage points for analyzing possible figurations of intermediality. We may list here studies re-evaluating cinema's connections to traditional forms of visual arts (e.g. Angela Dalle Vacche's, Susan Felleman's, Belén Vidal's, Steven Jacobs's works on cinema and painting, or theoretical analyses of the figuration of the tableau vivant in cinema in seminal books by Brigitte Peucker, Pascal Bonitzer, Joachim Paech, etc.), but also the recent studies referring to the relationship of cinema and photography (e.g. Damian Sutton, Garrett Stewart, Régis Durand, David Campany, etc.), and implicitly to the relationship of stillness and motion within cinema, along with analyses of the connections between cinema, video and installation art (e.g. Raymond Bellour, Yvonne Spielmann, etc.).

In the context of shifting paradigms in film poetics from stylistic patterns of modern or postmodern cinema towards what we may term as "post-media cinema," the figural aspects of intermediality also manifest new forms that may require a search for further theoretical perspectives for identifying and interpreting techniques that figurate intermedial relations. In doing so, perhaps, we should also keep in mind that although intermediality often occurs as a form of aesthetic detachment or as some sort of hypermedia ornamentalism, such figurations can also insist on "tangibility," or, as Brigitte Peucker reminds us in her book, The Material Image. Art and the Real in Film (2007), on "the merger of representation with reality," both through establishing the viewers' intimacy with the medium and through the performative potential of such figures to produce an increasingly haptic cinema, a cinema of "sensual excess" in which the "body" of the medium and the mediation of bodies and sensations sometimes become intertwined in ways that may suggest a rethinking of the figurations of intermediality from the perspective of phenomenology or visual anthropology, and so on. As such, intermedial figurations may be conceived as open to a wide range of philosophical, aesthetical, ideological, historical, and media theoretical interpretations that we hope papers presented at this conference will explore.

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