2017, May 18 to 22: CONFERENCE: International Society for Intermediality Studies 2017

Lai-Tze Fan edited this page May 23, 2017 · 8 revisions

LF = side note by Lai-Tze Fan

International Society for Intermediality Studies 2017: Authentic Artifice

Université de Montréal, Canada

May 18: DAY 1

PANEL: Theoretical and Historical Perspectives

Lai-Tze Fan -- "As if it’s the Real Thing: Dematerialization and Dif- ference on the Intermedial Screen"

Q & A:

Q Marcello Vitali-Rosati: materiality: how do you employ the term?

  • relationship between materiality and medium specificities; does it emerge from clash of different specificities

Q: VHS: tendency towards dematerialization on the surface of media discourse

  • dematerialization and fetishism of noise of remediation
    • fetishism of remediation of analogue
    • VHS noise: what relates to the failure to its function to re-present

      NOISE AS FAILURE TO PROPERLY REMEDIATE NOISE as Bolter and Grusin's hypermedia LF: authenticity through accident? (response to Aaron Finbloom); authenticity through VHS remediation that is actually not authentic bc of the use of line simulators

Jari Kauppinen -- "The Voice is Out of Joint"

  • use of performance as broad: performing arts and performative situations

  • discusses ideas of authenticity in liveness vs. mediation; the idea of what constitutes "authentic"

  • workings of media technologies are blackboxed

  • draws upon Philip Auslander (sp?) and Erica F: sound as creating tension in performance

    • also political surveying of tech as means to expand societal control
  • Kauppinen is interested in the poetic capacities of media technologies

  • assemblage of speech, body, and presence considered unitary dissolves in the performative arts

    • but this situation is replicated in media
    • media also project disembodied voices and words


  • poetic dynamics within the process of mediation, through theoretical and practical process of transduction

    • focus on instance when voice crosses the electric boundary
    • what are the possibilities of this brief moment? expressive possibilities in the ecology of the voices
    • sounds and technologies actualized
  • offers definition of "transducer" (dictionary)

  • see triple venn diagram: Kauppinen proposes this as an interconnected ecology of the mediatic situation on stage

  • this is realized via transfusers

  • proposes transfusion translations as a 2-D strategy that would belong in the field of audio engineering and as linguistic rendition (re: Roman Jakobson on different categories of translation, 1959)

    • RJ's notion of intersemiotic processes has since been expanded to include transmutation from verbal to non-verbal signs and vice versa
    • Dinda Gorlée (transduction) and Michael Silverstein (semoitoic transduction)
    • the intermediality of speeches of non-linguistic texture/structure (??)

In practice

  • transduction as translation of one physical quantity to another

    • but also beyond the physical
    • as a sound designer, he considers something different from direct expression (maybe affect, the vocal, the sonic)
  • in practice, unpacks blackbox of sonic practices (literally, conceptually); SYNTHESIZER??

  • deconstructs a tool to understand its workings and reconstruct it in a personal, creative way

  • also a manipulation of and provocation of existing technoeconomic structures and systems, "to get inside"

  • example of the "normal" sound synthesizer and then the physical deconstruction of the synthesizer

    • exploded nature; DECONSTRUCTION
    • the network of wires as an ecology of sonic interaction; new possibilities of interacting

Q & A:

  • Q Marcello: transduction processes and decreditation; what's the role of sampling?

  • A: this is a reverse operation

    • transduction as primitive process and tool towards deconstructing notions of technologies and their possibilities and what they are implying when we are using them
    • against a nostalgic mood or inclination
  • Q: do you mix these terms, transduction, semiotic transduction, etc.

  • A: more like a progression, maybe even historical progression, but they are all used differently by these different scholars

Aaron Finbloom -- "Graphemes and Phonemes -- A Ludic Interplay between Liveness and Mediation"

  • dialogic is not medium specific

  • playing field of mediation

  • monological presentation of the dialogic; question of reflection, for audience and for himself

  • Q Marcello: you ask a lot of concentration, very demanding exercise

    • end of monologue: reader can just say you don't want this but they won't and will wait until it's over
    • what's the place of institution in monologue versus dialogue
  • A: play with institution from the inside; nod to Derrida's institution

    • how can one be within the monological and explode the dualism from within (LF: I guess by transversing different medium: visual, text, audio in sound and in person)
  • Q: we don't interrupt bc it's a performance. Relative to the voice, the voice is relational; you can hear yourself speak as the presenter; she felt much more addressed when Aaron spoke to her (and felt addressed in a different manner)

  • A: any material (voice, text, body) can be both dialogic and monologic

    • elevation of voice has a liveness or presence that the text doesn't have
    • speaker thinks of it as a rhetorical intensification, but Aaron wants to move away from live presence/dualism
  • LF: problem of trying to find the rhythm to match your text, making me anxious as a reader and I'm trying to rely on sound to understand the words

    • the internalism of it is broken by the present voice
  • element of the accident; isn't this a facet of liveness

    • accident is what reveals the "true"
  • question of citation; LF: I think you spoke as Plato as some point, hehe

Philippe Theophanidis -- "Mediation as Spacing: Defiling Authenticity"

  • video of a hand trying to grasp something that is falling through its hands, then it is released

  • Q: is he trying to grasp or is it releasing?

  • note that the hand is dirty

  • compares to Heidegger's releasement and grasp

  • four readings: threshold, inauthentic, improper, ethics

  • Mary Magdalene and Jesus painting where Jesus won't let her touch him post-resurrection

    • idea of defiling authenticity, as the patient is being defiled
    • will try to invert this proposition

Threshold: Reconsideration of "authentic artifice"

  • authentic artifice as paradox, as oxymoron, but also can be read as repeat of the same thing
    • paradox is interesting: can we think of these two words differently, can we think of media in a different way?
  • need to rethink this articulation; if authentic artifice is not a contradiction, what could be the relation or articulation?
  • Theophanidis argues that they relate or perform a modification
    • authentic is the modification of artifice
    • it is possible to, it allows us to think of media as mode; media through the idea of modal technology
    • so that mediation is modification
    • so that mediation is spacing (medium as the middle)
    • so that mediation is presentation
      • interesting bc mediation is secondary to presence
      • in contrast, mediation could be presence itself; or could be co-presenting


  • Heidegger offers a way to think about authenticity and inauthenticity so that they're not opposed
    • re: argument of whether Being in Time is descriptive or prescriptive
  • whereas people think of inauth as derogatory
  • thinking of inauthentic as concept instead of value
    • authentic is the one who works by itself; inauthentic means "not by myself"
    • so that inauthentic can mean common, community, "in relation," "not being alone"


  • Heidegger's eigentlichkeit and uneigentlichkeit (sp?)

  • others have argued that authenticity should more be translated as "ownness"

    • inauthentic would be not my own, "not proper to me"
  • Heidegger: authenticity is defined as authenticity when it grasps inauthenticity

    • "authenticity is a modified grasp"
  • Being and Time is all about dasein; but mitdasein is necessary, is part of authentic structure

    • dasein discovers that it has no foundation
  • refers to genealogy of Jean-Luc Nancy and Agamben (originary ethics in Heidegger)


  • Spinosa: "truth manifests itself/exposes itself as it exposes falseness"

    • "if you light a candle, you have darkness" (the light reveals the darkness)
  • returning to authenticity and inauthenticity in relation of modification:

  • as long as we try to live in a good world by pushing out the evil, we will fail

    • need to think in position without dichotomies of property and improperty, presence and presentation
  • BBC video of grizzly bear rubbing its back on a tree

Q & A:

  • Q Marcello: reading Heidegger's non-ethical treatment of authenticity and inauthenticity (moral is different from ethics)

    • abandon moral but speak about ethics; more about ethics of spacing and creating?
  • A: in grizzly bear video, it is literal

    • Artistotle: ethos is "the way," just a way of being that is used to describe the behaviour of animals
    • ethics and moral as conflated today (like bioethics and biomoral): what set of rules should frame out behaviour
    • Foucault wanted to separate these: there is something beside rules: we could behave towards others, an adequate behaviour/way/style--adequate for a specific space
  • Q Aaron Finbloom: curious about authentic/inauth within Heidegger

    • progression from dasein to mitdasein
  • A: came back to Heidegger through Nancy bc Nancy is very careful; he recognizes the problems in Heidegger

    • in Nancy's Being Singular Plural; there is the decision to exist
    • Nancy promotes that when we read Heidegger, we have to decide if this is an authentic text

May 29: DAY 2

PANEL: Aesthetic Perspectives

Martin Laliberté -- "Authenticity and illusion in the music of Pierre Schaeffer"

  • Pierre Schaeffer, the inventor of concrete music, electronic music

    • may see him as a reluctant messiah (Richard Bach's term) bc he proposed a structure for music but also denounced it
  • discusses musical crises of 1900-1950

    • crises occurs after Wagner, who pushed music forward in all of its traditional dimensions
    • searching for music beyond the vocal or music; the answer is percussion
  • resulted in search for musical authenticity

  • going back to tradition (Schaeffer's neo-classical training) felt as return to musical authenticity

  • as radio director of France, realized that the microphone changes everything

    • concurrently, in 1940, foley art was emerging in cinema
    • placing a microphone in the scene remediates the sound for foley artists in cinema; new sonic possibilities

Jonathan Goldman -- "Doubles, Groups and Rhymes and the stereo LP. Spatialized works by Boulez, Stockhausen and Pousseur"

  • re: Piere Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Henri Pousseur

  • RQ: how did listeners' new familiarity with stereo sound affect their experience of going to concerts?

  • orchestras that became divided into spatialized groups may have been produced in part in response to "historical artefacts of hi-fi culture" (Jonathan Sterne's quote)

  • seating plans may have reminded audience members of multi-speaker setups

    • Boulez: woodwind groups form a triangle within a rectangle of brass
    • Stockhausen: horseshoe structure for one piece, and offered a schematic drawing that reminds one of surround sound structure
  • Stockhausen was pretty certain that "radio will start broadcasting stereophonically in the not too distant future. Then the listener has more speakers in the room and will get at least an approximate idea of such space music" (quote from Stockhausen in 1964)

  • idea of "artifice of artifice" bc recording tech is already an artifice, a first degree artifact

  • avant-garde artists have to walk a fine line, hooking their innovation to technology that will in a sense become obsolete

Christophe Collard -- "Adaptation as Artifice: Dramatizing Damnation via Digital Design"

  • LePage's La Damnation de Faust (1999) reflects the rise of digital production in theatre

    • "new environments to tell the same story"
  • covers the history of adaptations of Faust

    • it has always been a kind of media history
  • Chapple 2006 on LePage's digital opera: "constitutes an intermedial phenomenon located in-between the medium of instrumental music, the sung lyric and spoken word performed by the singing actor and mise-en-scene, which may or may not include multi-media representation"

  • LePage's work described by Marranca as "performance-as-design"

    • design shifts attention from thematic to material dimensions of signification
    • new applications therefore allow for new perspectives
  • hyperculture as an environment in which everything can potentially be mixed with everything else but which need not imply meaninglessness, as it involved old and new simultaneously

    • Kramer 2008
  • LePage was interested in H Berlioz's time of composition, Paris' "century of light" in the 19th C

    • so he sets his Faust in the same era to capture the cultural shift in technology
  • Collard explores adaptation, whereby artist communicates in an analogous mode

  • Kittler: aesthetics are revealed through patterns, pointing to inter-semiotic interconnectness

  • adaptation examined through aesthetics:

    • influencing the perception of the original work, meta-transference, extending the original
  • LePage as an epistemological director: mise-en-scene as "more than merely a directorial arrangement"

    • rather, it is an engine of spectatorship, so that LePage is more of a dramaturge than a director
    • dramaturge isn't about transforming text into performance, but a conceptually coherent fitting that puts a text in dramatic and scenic tension
    • LePage goes to add technology
  • conceptual blending at play with new associations formed (Fauconnier 2001)

  • Collard also brings in LePage as a scenographer

    • scenography as the "sum-total of theatrical production's technical components"
    • Steve Dixon 2007 on conjunction of performance and new media
    • recasts "quiddity" of theatrical performance
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