Workshop at Cité du Cinéma next April 14th entitled : " Magic : Pratices and Discourses"
The entire history of the audiovisual industry, particularly of photography, film and sound art, has been punctuated by inventions of norms or standards, techniques, devices or equipment. Over the long course of transformations to these media and their contents up to the present day, many of these innovations have been abandoned, neglected or simply forgotten before some of them have been rediscovered, especially in the “digital” context, which has promoted resurgence, and in this movement, the aesthetics they made it possible to express.
The papers anticipated should be particularly concerned with these resurgent innovations, whether they relate to premature “objects” or “content”, which had not found their place in the system of practices and competition, had proved unsuitable or inadequate for producers, users or environments, or else projects that endured despite failures experienced for various reasons. Given that this “material culture” has sometimes bequeathed mere remnants, it then becomes a matter of tracking down any traces and bringing them together in coherent areas and timelines.
A reinterpretation of the past employing a more open approach, different from that facilitated by linear history, accompanied by an assessment of the relations that the ideas and experiments of trial, failure and success have sustained in the past and continue to sustain, would therefore serve as a counterpoint to the “evolutionist” vision of modernity and its innovations. Accordingly, in its prospective ambition, it would be an opportunity to evaluate the hypothesis, in terms of innovation, both in the media and in their contents, of the transition from a Promethean aesthetics of the artwork based on the rhetoric of sundry avant-garde manifestos, to an aesthetic of trial and error supported by the experimental nature of contemporary artistic creation like that of the pre-modern past and its share of the unquantifiable, contingent or circumstantial.
Error and the accidental, like success, lie at the heart of the processes of experimentation, creation, innovation, production and the use of artefacts in the industry where they are closely linked. This “creative process” can also be that of artistic creations, because even though their modes of existence are different from those of industry, they are theoretically similar in their relations to failure and success.
Similar to current practice in the field of “reverse engineering” - which studies technical objects based on frequently incomplete information in order to understand how they work, along with the notion that they contain “forgotten” ideas liable to reactivate research - it would be possible to study artworks with the techniques that permitted production so as to reactivate creative approaches discarded in aesthetic terms by dominant practices.
Please submit your statements of intent by email to : com(at)ens-louis-lumiere.fr by the 22nd of February 2016.