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From One Screen to Another: The Mutations of the Spectator – CALL FOR PAPERS

Call for Papers
Université Paris 8 (Centre d’études sur les médias les technologies et l’internationalisation) Institut National de l’Audiovisuel

International Conference
From One Screen to Another: The Mutations of the Spectator

Throughout the last century, the movie screen has changed (in size, in format), which has fundamentally changed the art of mise-en-scene, and with it, the relationship of the spectator to the representation. When television appeared, the potential and the limits of the “small screen” were questioned, and the art of film, especially fictional film, was redefined by taking the context of reception into account. Today, productions created for even newer screens experiment with both mise-en-scene and forms of narration and seem largely dictated by novel contexts of reception (the ways of addressing the Internet user-viewer in a web series, for example). Furthermore, in a museum, some films are exhibited to the gaze of a mobile visitor-viewer.

This gives rise to some potential questions:

What does it mean to be a spectator/viewer of movies, of television, or of the web? (Simultaneously, what does it mean to be spectator of a particular genre: fiction, documentary, etc.)?
How can the spectatorial postures implied by each of these formats –themselves variable– be categorized?
How can we, in each case, think about the articulation between the position of the spectator and narrative or aesthetic invention.

Our experience as spectator changes depending on whether we see a film projected on a big screen, broadcast on television, or shown from the web, whether streamed from an Internet subscription site, or downloaded to be watched on a TV, computer, or tablet screen. Similarly, watching a web series that is being shown on television or projected on a big screen at a première creates a new perspective from which to view the production. In this movement between platforms, the border between the producer and broadcaster and the spectator is blurred to the point that their respective roles are merged. The spectator’s role is transformed in the new map of viewing experience, whether it be by uploading movies pirated from the theatre or from a Blu-Ray disk, by being invited to try watching a new network (or Netflix) show, by reading comments on social media that try and predict the content of future episodes, or by the alteration of a show’s dialogue or setting. With this migration of films, televised series, or web series, the relationships that spectators create and maintain with the works and their creators change: they become cult objects that fans collect, explain, or comment on. However, they are also objects that are at risk of losing their aura when they change platforms.

This provides a second line of questioning:
How, beyond the “convergence of screens”, can we think about the concurrence and divergence of devices?
What does this movement between platforms change in the experience of the cinema, of television, and of the web?
More generally: from one screen to another, what is the role of the spectator?

Scientific Committee :

Jean Châteauvert (Université du Québec à Chicoutimi), Gilles Delavaud (Université Paris 8), Jean-Pierre Esquenazi (Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3), André Gaudreault (Université de Montréal), Marie-Françoise Grange (Université Jean Monnet Saint-Etienne), Jacques Guyot (Université Paris 8), François Jost (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3), Denis Maréchal (Institut National de l’Audiovisuel), Roger Odin (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3), Jean-Michel Rodes (Institut National de l’Audiovisuel), Maria Tortajada (Université de Lausanne).

Date and Location:
Institut National de l’Audiovisuel, Paris, May 21-23, 2014

Proposals (title, 20 lines/300 words, brief bio-bibliography) should be sent, before November 30, 2013, to:
Jean Châteauvert
et Gilles Delavaud