Call for Papers ‘Merging Media: An Interdisciplinary Conference on the Study of Hybrid Arts’


4th November 2013

An Article Image

Event Date: Saturday 1st February 2014

Event Location: University of Kent, Canterbury

Deadline for submissions: 13th December 2013


Although we 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.


It is 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).


This 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 limited to:


  • 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 gesamtkunstwerkwhere 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 scholarly debate?


Please send abstracts (300 words) for proposed papers, panels or performances and a short biographical note

Deadline for submissions is 13th December 2013. Should you have any queries, please contact us at the e-mail address above.

Dr Duncan White (Central Saint Martins) – “The Dizziness of Freedom”: Some Notes on Falling in Artists’ Film

In his performance work, ‘The Boy who Fell Over Niagara Falls’, Bas Yan Ader began to develop an art practice around an on-going fantasy of falling.  In his films Fall 1 andFall 2 he attempted to realise this fantasy of falling.  In this talk, I want to consider how this set of gestures (along with a number of other falling off points) can be read in relation to theories of the image and the event.  What does this ‘return to nature’ (if that’s what it is) in which the artist does not make art so much as ‘subject himself to the forces of gravity’, tell us about concepts of experience, mediation and identity in an age ‘after the destruction of experience’?   As well as Bas Yan Ader, the talk will include reference to the work of Carolee Schneemann, Yves Klein, Ana Mendieta and the Bureau of Inverse Technology.


Each paper will be 20 minutes, with 30 minutes at the end of the session for Q&A

Session 1 – 11.30-1.00

Panel 1: Evolving Books and Libraries

  • Dennis Moser (University of Alaska Fairbanks) – ‘Everything Old is New … Again — The Continued and Evolving Intermediality of the Artist’s Book’
  • David Devanny (University of Falmouth) – ‘The Reader as Performer: Decoding Responses to Digital Literatures’
  • Inga Paterson & Alan Hooper (Glasgow School of Art/Mackintosh School of Architecture) – ‘Non-Library What?’

Panel 2: Appropriation & Incorporation

  • Nathaniel Wong (Simon Fraser University) – ‘Remaking the Ready’
  • Sabina Sitoianu (Independent Scholar) – ‘The impact of artistic incorporation of media layers on affective engagement and on our understanding of the index inTerminal Bar (Stephan Nedelman, 2002)’
  • Zahra Tavassoli Zea (University of Kent) – ‘In search for the lost God in the ‘God-Art’ myth: a meditation on Godard’s triptych, Passion, Prénom Carmenand Je vous salue, Marie’

Panel 3: Spaces – Exhibition and Experience

  • Claire Hurley (University of Kent) – ‘Workplace/ Home Space: Ba
    rbara Guest Writing out of the “Studio”’
  • Cristina Miranda de Almeida (University of the Basque Country and Internet Interdisciplinary Institute/UOC) – ‘ New materialities and sensibilities. Understanding Smart cities as hybrid ecologies for art experience’
  • Graham Asker (London Metropolitan University) – ‘Exploring misperception of scale using digital and analogue media’

Session 2 – 2.00-3.30

Panel 1: Beyond the Text

  • Biserka Anderson (University of Strathclyde) – ‘Journalism as art: Breaking the cultural and stylistic boundaries in multimedia newsroom production’
  • Nicole Sierra (University of Oxford) – ‘Pictures that Don’t Move: Fiction, Mass Media, and Postmodern Pictorial Collage’
  • Agata Kolodziej (Jagiellonian University) – ‘Poetry as an Event. When Page on Stage meets the Audience’

Panel 2: Bodies – Virtual and Real

  • Laura Vorwerg (Royal Holloway) – ‘An issue of Horse and Hound: hybridity and interdisciplinarity as creative solutions in A Dog’s Heart and War Horse
  • Ian Grant (University of West London) – ‘Digital Shadows: Performing Hybrid Shadow Theatre’
  • Amie Rai (University of Kent) – ‘Body as Intermediary, Body as Hybrid’

Panel 3: Creative Practices in Art

  • Julian Ross (University of Leeds) – ‘Between Air Art and Japanese Expanded Cinema’
  • Lewis Church (Queen Mary) – ‘The Lower East Side and Lydia Lunch’
  • Stephen Kenyon (Aberystwyth University) – ‘”Boxing the Chimera” – narrative containment and expansion in the art of Penny Hallas’


Session 3 – 3.45-5.15

Panel 1: Digital/Live Performance

  • Jo Scott (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama) – ‘Inter-constructions: hybrid creative processes in live intermedial practice’
  • Christopher Collard (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) – ‘Moving or Morphing Target? Hypermedial Hybrids, Diller & Scorfidio-Style’
  • Sarah Passfield (University of Kent) – ‘Affective dramaturgy – embodied spectatorship and choreographic practices in Dance Theatre: Liz Aggiss’English Channel’

Panel 2: Gaming Technologies and Beyond

  • Joseph Norman (Croydon School of Art) – ‘Speaking Landscapes’
  • Thomas Hale (University of Roehampton) – ‘Let’s Play: Celebration and Cynicism in Videogame Fan Production’
  • James Cockbill (University of Wolverhampton) – ‘Transmedial Aesthetics in Contemporary American Cinema Case Study: Avatar and L.A. Noire

Panel 3: Merging Visual Cultures

  • John Hudson (University of Lincoln) – ‘Hybridization as a consequence of the Theatre of Totality’
  • Caleb Turner (University of Kent) – ‘Avenging Movie Tie-Ins: Stretching The Superhero Narrative Trajectory Across Film Franchises (onto Television Episodes, Video Games, Graphic Novels, Online Spoilers and Beyond)’

Keynote speaker confirmed: Dr Duncan White

Posted on December 3, 2013

We are delighted to announce that the confirmed keynote speaker for Merging Mediawill be Dr Duncan White (Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London).

Dr White’s research interests include: the crossover between experimental film; theories of space; performance and reception; written and visual media; and poetry.

More information about Dr White’s research can be found here:

Recent Research (taken from Arts website):

“I am currently working on a book entitled Art After the Destruction of Experience. I am the lead author and co-editor of Expanded Cinema: Art Performance Film (Tate Publishing 2011), an in-depth account of the histories of Expanded Cinema focusing on questions around notions of space, time and spectatorship in experimental live film and video. I am also working on event-based research projects that include, “Light Writing”, which considers the rich and varied use of text in artists’ film and video and “Flicker and Hum” which explores the relationship between film and experiments in sound. I am also interested in experimental writing practices.”

Books/journal articles

  • 2013: Journal Article ‘Art After the Destruction of Experience: DIAS and Experimental Film in Britain’,Millennium Film Journal ed. by Grahame Weinbren
  • 2012: Chapter ‘Media Prepositions for ‘Platon’s Mirror’: Echo/ Shadow/Light’ in Andreas Beitin, Leonhard Emmerling, Blair French (eds) Platon’s Mirror (Walther Koenig Books)
  • 2012: 7 poems ETZ (Journal) ed. by Pete Spence
  • 2011: Book co-author and editor Expanded Cinema: Art Performance Film, with David Curtis, Al Rees and Steven Ball. (Tate Publishing)
  • 2011: Journal Article ‘Printology: Film Exercises on Paper’ Sequence ed. by Simon Payne
  • 2011: 4 poems Black Box Manifold (Journal) ed. by Adam Piette.
  • 2010: Journal article ‘From White Calligraphy to Video Semiotics -Takahiko Iimura’s Light Writing’ an Interview with Takahiko Iimura, Afterall, edited by Melissa Gronlund
  • 2010: Journal article ‘British Expanded Cinema and the ‘Live Culture’ 1969-1979′, Journal of Visual Culture in Britain Vol. 11, Issue. 1. Published by Routledge. Edited by Ysanne Holt.
  • 2010: 2 poems Jacket (journal) ed. by Pam Brown
  • 2009: Journal article ”The American Areas”: Place, Language and the Construction of Everyday Life in the Novels of Ben Marcus’, in Jacket, ed. by John Tranter and Pam Brown. Available online here.
  • 2009: Journal article ‘Beyond the Frame: Mapping Expanded Cinema’ in Vertigo, ed. Gareth Evans
  • 2008: Journal article ‘Unnatural Facts: The Fictions of Robert Smithson’ in Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, Vol.1, no. 2. pp.161-176. Published by Intellect Ltd. Edited by Julia Lockheart and John Wood.

Recent conference papers/events/exhibitions

  • 2013: ‘Automatic Writing’ video installation for Publish and Be Damned Book Fair, ICA, London
  • 2013: ‘Taking Place’ film screening, Black Maria, Kings Cross Crossing, Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design
  • 2013: Visual Thinking: Between Sound and Light Camden Arts Centre, London
  • 2012: ‘Black and Light: Observation and Destruction in Post-War Artists’ Film’, Playing in the Shadows Symposium, Tate Modern, London
  • 2012: Platon’s Mirror, Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade
  • 2012: ‘Expanded Cinema: Art After the Destruction of Experience’, École des Beaux-Arts, Paris
  • 2012: Mischa Kuball: Platon’s Mirror, Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, London
  • 2012: ‘Lighting the Cave’ Symposium, Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design
  • 2011: ‘Light Writing’, Sheffield Institute of Arts, Sheffield University
  • 2010-11: Light Writing, Banner Repeater, London
  • 2010: ‘Divisions/Revisions: Art Film and Video in the UK 1970-79,’ Moving Images: Artists & Video / Film, Museum Ludwig, Cologne (September 2010)
  • 2010: ‘Dirty Words: The Erotics of Writing in Film’,Cinematic Desire Conference, CUNY, New York (March 2010)
  • Modern (April 2009)


Conference Organisation Committee

Emre Caglaya
n, Frances Kamm, Keeley Saunders, Pete Sillett




Twitter: @mergingmedia14