Merging Media: An Interdisciplinary Conference on the Study of Hybrid Arts
Call for Papers
University of Kent, Canterbury
naturally recognise different artistic media as distinct forms – music,
painting, sculpture, film, dance, theatre, architecture, animation, and
so on – we also understand that these mediums
can nevertheless have a meaningful dialogue in the creation of new
artworks. Over the course of art history there have been numerous
occasions when different media forms have merged or been juxtaposed for
artistic purposes. These intermedial examples have
seen word and image intertwined on the page in the illuminated books of
William Blake; experimentation with the partnership between painting
and music in Modest Mussorgsky's
Pictures at an Exhibition; performance and music
mixed in Variations by John Cage; the deconstruction of
paintings through digital visual manipulation in Peter Greenaway’s
lectures; and the recent National Theatre Live and Royal Opera House
theatrical performances being broadcast onto cinema
screens. These instances – and many more – demonstrate a long tradition
of medium boundaries being crossed, media being combined to accentuate
one another, or the creation of a new medium altogether.
particularly relevant to consider the subject of merging media at a time
when discussions of media archaeologies, media convergence and the
transmedia phenomena permeate contemporary academic
debates. This conference seeks to engage with these topics by exploring
the theories and histories of hybrid art, as well as the effect new
technologies have upon our understanding of this concept. The emergence
of digital technologies is an important strand
in this investigation because it has both facilitated the creation of
new art forms (such as 3D digital animation) and generated the
remediation of older forms (for example, the digitisation of literature
for consumption on computerised devices,
and new forms of interaction with fine art online through virtual galleries).
one-day conference is for postgraduate students and early career
researchers whose work incorporates the interdisciplinary topic of
artistic hybridity and intermediality. We invite proposals
for 20-minute presentations (individual papers or pre-formed 3-paper
panels) or performance pieces from candidates across arts and
humanities. We welcome papers, panels and performances that investigate
“merging media” through a variety of interpretations.
Possible research topics for submission can include, but are not
Hybridity of forms: case studies
which explore instances where two or more established art forms are
combined. What is the effect of this hybridisation?
Hybridity and technology: the impact of new technologies upon intermedial art forms, both past and present.
Does technology facilitate the “merging” of media for artistic
purposes, or is this an inevitable side-effect of – and an unavoidable
trajectory towards – a larger media convergence culture?
Hybridity and history: specific case studies of merged media from the past, from Wagner's conception of
gesamtkunstwerk – where all art-forms are united as one total art
– to the revolutionary intermedial 'decadence' of Warhol's Exploding
Plastic Inevitable, and others.
Hybridity of performance: how
performance is incorporated with various art media, from architecture in
site-specific performances, to video in multi-media productions. How do
we engage with performance through technology?
How does the notion of “intermedial” relate to the performance of art?
Hybridity and the audience: what
effect does a “hybrid art” form have upon its audience? How does merging
media provide new opportunities for engaging with artworks?
Hybridity and remix culture: how
various art forms are recycled and reused in the establishment of new
works of art (e.g. the reprocessing of “found footage” for the purposes
of art; fan-made hybrid products).
Hybridity and modes of production:
ways in which hybridisation impacts upon the production or creation of
an artwork. What relationship does this production have with the
development and influence of new technologies? What
implications do intermedial modes have upon the idea of a singular
artist? Which organisations or institutions inspire or enable the
creation of hybrid art?
Hybridity and sites of exhibition:
what is the relationship between the intermedial art and how it is
exhibited? Is there a convergence between performance and exhibition?
How is the exhibition of such work impacted by technology?
Or is it technological itself (such as the internet)?
Hybridity and theory: work on the
historical or future discourse of intermediality. What implication does
contemporary “merging media” hold for theory? How should hybrid arts be
theorised and which elements – such as production,
exhibition or audience interaction – should be centralised in this
Please send abstracts (300 words) for proposed papers, panels or performances and a short biographical note to
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Deadline for submissions is
13th December 2013. Should you have any queries, please contact us at the e-mail address above.
Conference Organisation Committee
Emre Caglayan, Frances Kamm, Keeley Saunders, Pete Sillett