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[Commlist] CFP: Total Screen - Why Jean Baudrillard, Once Again?
Tue Sep 15 08:47:29 GMT 2020
*MAST *is an online, open-access, and double-blind peer-reviewed
journal, featuring interdisciplinary scholarship in the domain of media
art study and theory.
*CFP: Special Issue:
TOTAL SCREEN: Why Jean Baudrillard, Once Again? *
Katharina Niemeyer (University of Québec in Montréal)
Magali Uhl (University of Québec in Montréal)*
Extended deadline for full submissions: *15th November 2020* (for
publication in May 2021).
What place does or could Jean Baudrillard occupy in media studies,
visual studies, and art theory today? How does his work—as both a
philosopher and a vernacular photographer—continue to influence visual
artists and other forms of media art? How can we confront his radical
views with feminist, intersectional, queer, postcolonial, and other
critical approaches? This special issue of MAST journal seeks to answer
and further explore these questions through proposals from arts
practitioners and theorists.
Provocative, eclectic, ironic, playful, and anticipatory, Baudrillard’s
thinking propels both the image and photography—and that which evades
them—into a dimension that inspires, questions, amazes, and disturbs.
Almost thirty years after 1991, when he argued that “the Gulf War did
not take place” (Baudrillard, 1995) in an attempt to demonstrate the
extent to which our society of images has deviated from an
already-vanished reality; almost twenty years after 9/11, when he
referred to the destruction of the Twin Towers on live television as a
symbiotic apex between experience and its image; his conception of the
image, of its forms, and of its plasticity remain resolutely
contemporary and open to criticism. More powerful than its own presence
in a reality that it renders less and less real while confined to an
endless media feedback loop, the image has become an event and the event
an image. The early philosopher’s writings certainly illustrate the
force of his visionary view of a society, he has not lived in since his
death in 2007, but whose vision has nevertheless encompassed the
dominance of simulacra, transparency, and hyperreality, the injunction
of computer code, the virality of communications, and the implementation
of artificial intelligence—each of which are profound present-day issues
that permeate his work from beginning to end. If Baudrillard’s
philosophy was supposed to have become irrelevant by now (Baudrillard,
2009), it nevertheless persists and does not cease to resurface within
the ideas of the critics of our present time (Smith /et al/., 2017).
Rereading his work, it is remarkable that “these texts never cease to
amaze by their extraordinary ‘topicality’” (Latouche, 2019, p. 18),
especially with regard to the supremacy of images in a society that has
become a total screen (/écran total/, Baudrillard, 2007).
From animated gifs of design objects to selfies in front of
architectural works, from visual shots captured by drones to Instagram’s
‘stories’ or ‘snapshots’ of a reinvented everyday life, to all the forms
of visual recognition made possible by artificial intelligence, imagery
is at the core of today’s social experience (Peraica, 2019; Mirzoeff,
1999). Flowing through our lives, cutting across from one end to the
other, images merge and interact with one another (Bolt, 2004;
Gumbrecht, 2004; Manovich, 2001). However, the behavior of images
concerns their auratic force, too (Alexander /et al/., 2012), in other
words, their capacity to reveal a social situation, a cultural prism, or
a singular experience as well as their agency as artifacts in public
spheres. This raises questions about the role of images in relation to
both the possibilities of our emancipation and of our restriction,
(self-)surveillance, and manipulation. In the current context of
COVID-19, it seems premature to concentrate on the pandemic as a central
theme of this special issue, however, it would be equally inadequate to
ignore it in light of Baudrillard’s systematic and sometimes debatable
reflections on virality and its relationship to disaster. In fact, he
perceived the individual as “the chosen terrain for viruses and viral
diseases, just as computers become the chosen terrain for electronic
viruses (…) For viruses resist and proliferate as soon as they have free
space” (Baudrillard, 1997, p. 11). Moreover, it is crucial to take a
critical look at the screen, which, in the early spring of 2020, has
become our (almost) only communicative interface with the world:
national and international news, shopping, domestic and social
activities, sports and online games, as well as the consumption of
fiction on various platforms, to name a few examples. This is especially
relevant considering how much we invest our professional, family, and
social lives in the screen—including our most intimate moments—but also,
and most importantly for this special issue, our creative moments and
Situated between the dual significance of visibility—to make visible/
accessible and to show/ exhibit, today, the image is the source of many
paradoxes, thus inviting numerous interpretations for artists and media-
and art-theory scholars alike. This special issue proposes a critical
investigation of Baudrillard’s provocative theoretical work and beyond
(Lovejoy, 2004; Toffoletti, 2011 and 2014).
We especially welcome proposals that undertake the critical “Baudrillard
adventure” by focusing on /visuality/—pictures, (moving-) images, and
photographs. Topics of interest in this context may include but are not
* Baudrillard, media, visual, and/or art theory today
* Baudrillard in discussion with feminist, queer, intersectional, and
* Hyperreality and virality in media theory, visual studies, and/or
* Visual implosion and seduction
* Simulation and singularity
* Transparency and opacity
* Loops, memes, and gifs
We encourage submissions in the below categories:
* Full papers (4000-6000 words)
* Short essays (1000-2000 words)
* Video articles (5-10 min)
* Practice-based studies (a media artwork/project accompanied by a
1000-2000 words essay)
The last category (practice-based studies) demonstrates that a creative
media artwork/project is the basis of developing research and making a
contribution to knowledge in the context of this issue’s theme.
Practiced-based studies may include (but are not limited to): digital
arts, media installations, web-based arts, screen-based arts, VR/AR, and
hybrid media projects. Practice-based studies must also accompany an
essay (1000-2000 words) and are assessed for publication on how well
they speak to the issue’s theme. We strongly recommend including images
(up to three) and/or link(s) to video/audio/web in the submissions in
Essays must be unpublished in order to be considered, and the provided
materials must be copyright cleared.
For formatting style and full submission guidelines, please visit:
*Extended deadline for full submissions is 15th November 2020* (for
publication in May 2021).
Please send your submissions (and questions) to
*(specialissue /at/ mast-nemla.org)*
Download the CFP in pdf here.
*About the guest editors:Katharina Niemeyer* is a media theorist and
professor at the University of Québec in Montréal, Canada (Faculty of
Communication, School of Media). She holds a PhD from the University of
Geneva, an MA from Bauhaus Universität Weimar, and is the co-founder of
Rabbitresearch, an undisciplined art group. Trained in media philosophy,
media semiotics, and media archaeology, her research addresses diverse
topics that engage with a critical understanding of media (theory) and
their relations to memory, historiography, and nostalgia. Niemeyer’s
work has mostly been published in French, but she also has work in
English, German, and Portuguese, which can be found in journals such as
the /European Journal of Media Studies/, /New Media and Society/,
/Communication et Langages/, /Le Temps des Médias/, and /Réseaux/.
*Magali Uhl* is a full professor of sociology at the University of
Québec in Montréal (UQAM) and Director of the research center
/Cultures-Arts-Society/ (CELAT-UQAM). She holds a PhD in the
epistemology of human sciences (Panthéon-Sorbonne University, 2000), and
her publications aim at seizing cultural mutations as seen through the
prism of contemporary art. She currently tackles the questions about the
role of spaces and images in the construction of social knowledge. Her
research revolves around the understanding of the contemporary city in
North America and Europe with a focus on topics such as subjectivity,
identity, body, and memory. She is the co-director of the thematic
workgroup: /Visual Studies and Methodologies/ at the AISLF
(International Association of French-Speaking Sociologists).
Alexander, J., Bartmanski, D., & Giesen, B. (Eds.). (2012). /Iconic
Power: Materiality and Meaning in Social Life/. Basingstoke: Palgrave
Baudrillard, J. (2009) /Why hasn’t everything already
disappeared?/ London: Seagull Books Pvt. Ltd.
Baudrillard, J. (1997). /Écran total/. Paris: Galilée.
Baudrillard, J. (1995) /The Gulf War Did Not Take Place/. Bloomington:
Indiana University Press.
Bolt, B. (2004). /Art Beyond Representation: The Performative Power of
the Image/. London and New York: I.B. Tauris.
Gumbrecht, H. U. (2004). /Production of Presence: What Meaning Cannot
Convey/. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Latouche, S. (2019). /Remember Baudrillard/. Paris: Fayard.
Lovejoy, M. (2004). /Digital Currents: Art in the Electronic Age/.
Manovich, L. (2001). /The Language of New Media/. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Mirzoeff, N. (1999). /An Introduction to Visual Culture/. New York:
Mitchell, W.J.T. (2005). /What Do Pictures Want? The Lives and Loves of
Images/. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Peraica, A. (2019). /The Age of Total Images: Disappearance of a
Subjective Viewpoint in Post-digital Photography/. Amsterdam: Institute
of Network Cultures.
Smith, R. G., Clarke, D. B., & Turner, C. (Eds.). (2017). /Jean
Baudrillard: The Disappearance of Culture: Uncollected Interviews/.
Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press Ltd.
Toffoletti, K. (2014). “Baudrillard, Postfeminism, and the Image
Makeover.” /Public Culture/, /10/(1), 105-119. doi: 10.1215/17432197-2397263
Toffoletti, K. (2011). /Baudrillard Reframed: Interpreting Key Thinkers
for the Arts/. London: I.B. Tauris.
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